Mount Rachio Outside


#1

Hello - I am looking at buying a Rachio for our home but before I do I wanted to know if I could mount this outside where the relayer is now in back by the pool pump? Any special cover needed?

The seconded question is the house was in fourcloser and the timer had been taken off the wall when we got the got the house. Which means all I have is a bunch of wires that had been painted over. How would I know which wires go where? Any suggestions?


#2

HI @Elite0808, good evening. Thanks for reaching out. We appreciate your interest in our product.

The Iro can be installed outdoors, but requires an enclosure to do so. We offer one on out website for $29. For details and installation instructions, please review this support article.

We can reverse engineer the wiring from the valve box(es) to the controller if needed. It’s a few more steps, but if you take photos of the wiring inside any valve boxes you can find, please email them to our support team [support@rachio.com] and one of our wiring experts will review them for you. Worst case, we might need to have an irrigation professional stop by to help, but we a know quite a few good ones :blush:

Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions we can help with.

Best, Emil


#3

I just spent several hours installing my Rachio outside using the Orbit housing mentioned at the end of that support article that I absolutely would not recommend using that enclosure. There are several problems with it -

  • It’s not deep enough. I can get the door to close and the latch secures it, but I’m basically forcing it closed and it takes a screw driver to get the latch to release. It’s not nearly deep enough for the giant 24v power supply, so the power outlet in the box is useless for that.
  • It’s not wide enough. The power outlet is located on the left side and they expect you to mount the controller toward the right side. This doesn’t work with the Rachio because the power connector sticks out to the right by an inch or two. I had to push the Rachio as far left as I could with my wiring, drill new mounting holes, and cover up half of the outlet.
  • The wiring hole sizes didn’t line up with what I already had. Granted, this may not apply to everyone, but I spent an hour at Home Depot last night trying to find waterproof adapters to connect my existing conduit with the box.

In short, I realize that someone posted a good review of the box with pictures of their quality installation, but I really wouldn’t recommend it. I wish there were more options out there, but it seems like it’s pretty much yours and the ill-fitting Orbit one.


#4

@rccoleman, good morning and thank you for your honest feedback.

I second that the Orbit enclosure is not the recommended enclosure for the Iro. We only disclose the installation instructions for it so users have options pending their budget, enclosure availability, etc.

We’re exploring other enclosure options and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Despite the setbacks encountered, were you able to get the Iro installed and mounted? Let me know if I could be of any further assistance.

Best, Emil


#5

The Rachio outdoor enclosure does not seem tailored specifically for the Rachio unit. I noticed Skydrop released an outdoor enclosure which looks nice and tailored for the unit. Any plans for Rachio on a similar outdoor enclosure? A stainless steel option could be very nice especially if it’s installed in a visible area.


#6

I just want to throw my experience in here and say that I think this is heavily dependent on your existing configuration. Overall, the Orbit enclosure worked pretty well for me, although it’s not perfect. I had the opposite problem that you had regarding the conduit; my existing conduit lines up perfectly with the Orbit box and did not line up at all with any others.

The only issue I had is that, as you noted, the box isn’t quite wide enough due to the power connector on the right side of the Iro. I just dremeled out a small bit, and the cable just sticks out of the side of the box. The hole is small enough that moisture getting into the enclosure isn’t an issue.

The mounting holes, as you said, didn’t perfectly line up either, but that was just a simple matter of quickly drilling a new hole. I ended up pretty much centering the IRO in the enclosure, which meant that I could use the existing bottom hole and drilled a new one for the top.

I’m curious how you’re mounting the Iro’s power supply in the enclosure that causes it to not fit. I have mine in there and it’s not tight at all…plenty deep.

Anyway… I agree with you that we need more options, and something that REALLY fits the IRO and works with a variety of standard conduit configurations. But, the Orbit box certainly did a passable job for me.


#7

No doubt that everyone’s installation will be unique, outdoor installations especially so. I had an Irritrol controller before with its own enclosure, so switching to the Orbit one involved some creative Home Depot engineering.

Regarding the holes and power supply, I was hoping to be able to plug the power supply into the outlet that’s built into the enclosure, but there was no way the door would close with the giant 24v Rachio power supply plugged in. I believe the door tapers inward toward the edges, and the distance between the back of the enclosure to the front of the outlet plus the depth of the power supply was too much to allow the door to close. I suspect that either you have a different power supply, a different enclosure, or you weren’t trying to plug the power supply into the outlet built into the enclosure. The divider that the controller and outlet screw into basically divides the enclosure in half, so while there’s empty space behind it, it would require further modifying the box to get to it.

I could have just drilled a hole for the power connector, but I wasn’t particularly comfortable with a hole on the side of the box (would have been okay with the bottom) and I kinda drew the line at adding more epoxy or caulk to the box to further waterproof it. Accommodating the power plug meant positioning the controller where it partially covers the outlet, so that was another impediment to fitting the power supply in the enclosure.

I don’t want to sound too down on the whole thing - I like the controller and I ended up with an installation that I can live with and isn’t too “hacky”. I probably would have just ordered the Rachio one rather than going with Orbit if I’d know ahead of time what kind of challenges and compromises that I’d have to make with the Orbit box.

Rob


#8

@dougpark464, @mjdport and @rccoleman, good evening. Thank you for your feedback on the enclosure installation experience.

Please note we’re exploring a few options for a better experience. We appreciate your early support and patience with the installation process to date.

If anyone one has enclosure tips, tricks or alternative enclosures they have found work with the Iro, please continue to post here and share with others.

Sounds like the major hurdles experienced include:

  1. Conduit connections
  2. Mounting placement inside the Orbit enclosure
  3. Power supply placement/size.

Are there any other major pain-points anyone has has experienced? Please let us know so we can take into consideration with our exploration for a better solution.

Please keep commenting. We’re listening. :smile:

Best, Emil


#9

I was able to order the enclosure by itself yesterday on this website for 39 so for anyone that is still looking for an enclosure they can just go that route.


#10

I’m guessing that we have the same enclosure based on your description, and I do have mine plugged into the outlet on the left INSIDE the enclosure, so I wonder if you’re right about different sized power supplies? @emil, do you know if there have been different sized adapters that ship with the IRO?

What you mentioned above is about all I’ve noticed. A fairly standard/versatile configuration for conduit connections that I’ve seen is four holes on the bottom of the enclosure spaced 3" apart. I think that would work for most standard installations. Any enclosure you guys look at obviously needs to fit the Iro, including the power connector sticking out on the right side, and needs to have the 110v outlet in there as well, with room for the adapter. I did some pretty extensive searching, and couldn’t find anything online or in stores that met all of those requirements… the Orbit was just the closest for me.


#11

@rccoleman and @mjdport, good evening! Happy Memorial Day Weekend Eve :wink:

To answer your question, yes, there have been a few different sized power adaptors used in different production runs of the Iro. Why one might ask? We simply value delivering our product on time, and had to leverage what was available in the supply chain to make this happen. The size different between the two power adaptors isn’t huge, but might be impacting your enclosure installation. Perhaps you could post a photo of your power adaptors and we could compare to see if that was the issue @rccoleman encountered.

Hope this helps add some clarity to the situation. We never intended to make this a pain point for our users.

Thanks, Emil


#12

This is my Iro installed in the Orbit enclosure. The power adapter I have fits fine but, as you can see, I had to dremel a gap for the power connector on the right.


#13

Here are some pictures from my installation:

I chose not to carve out a channel in the side of the box for the power connector, and you can see how it overlaps the outlet. I could have done it differently, but wanted to make sure that my enclosure would remain watertight.

The power supply is right at 2" deep (the picture has a bit of an angle to it because it was an awkward position), the interior depth of the box is about an inch, and the depth of the lid at the edge is a little less than an inch. I suspect that I have the same power supply as mjdport based on the picture, so it’s possible that it would just fit in there. It didn’t fit when I tried it, but I abandoned the attempt when I realized that I had to cover up the outlet, anyway.

Luckily, the power supply fits perfectly in the existing enclosed outlet, so I just ran the cord up into the box. I left the rest of the wiring in case I switch out the box at some point.

The more I look at my pictures, the more annoyed I am that the Rachio isn’t installed square in the box ;( Not worth fixing, though.

Rob


#14

I installed my Iro outside, where it replaced my Toro controller behind my poolhouse. It took me about an hour, mostly due to removing the old controller and labeling each individual zone wire.

I originally purchased the Orbit enclosure, but after reading about the issues some people experienced with it, decided to purchase the outdoor enclosure directly from Rachio. I’ll be returning the Orbit model.

The bottom of the outdoor enclosure Rachio sent has three 3/4" holes with rubber grommets in each. I used two of them, one for AC power and the other for my sprinkler zone wires.

I transferred the diagram of my yard (and the zone locations) from my old enclosure to the inside of the new cabinet, although after doing so, I realized I won’t have to open the enclosure door anymore to activate a zone. :grinning:

Each zone activated correctly during the app’s zone set up. :+1:

I inserted my rain sensor wires into the respective terminals on the Iro, but I’m still unclear if the Iro will use it or the online weather information to skip a scheduled watering event?


#15

@mjdport, @rccoleman and @AlbanyHDTV – awesome photos and detailed feedback of your enclosure installations. Thank you for sharing these with the community!

@rccoleman, just curious, does your outlet have a cover to enclose the power adaptor?

If you have a rain sensor connected to your Iro, the sensor will interrupt the common and override the controller from running any watering times anytime it’s activated by moisture. To know if it’s been activated, just check your history feed; you’ll see an event that reads “It is raining!” when it’s activated, and “It has stopped raining!” once the rain sensor dries out.

Not sure if your rain sensor is working (or don’t want to wait until it rains again), no worries – you can manually test your rain sensor.

Hope this helps. Thanks again for the great photos!

Best, Emil


#16

Yes, it’s just out of frame in the picture. It closes over the power supply and the cord comes out the bottom.


#18

Is there any reason why you couldn’t turn your Rachio or the enclosure 180 degrees so everything fit without cutting the box?


#19

Nope, not at all. The wiring can be a bit tricky, but we’ve had a handful of users do this in the past. If I was to install the Orbit, I would probably mount mine sideways to avoid adding any holes to the enclosure (mainly because I’m lazy ;))

Here’s an example of an Iro installed sideways.

Hope this helps.

Best, Emil


#20

Nope, no reason. I started to do mine that way, but I preferred to cut the box rather than deal with the wiring issue. Just a personal preference.


#21

Cool!