Not able to get new controller to power up - Follow up

Not sure if I am missing something, but after finally getting it hooked up to replace an older controller, got it plugged in. I expected lights or something? Transformer is humming gently and ever so slightly warm, but no indication of life.

I did notice it only came with 2 screws, not the 4 the booklet refers to, so now I’m thinking I maybe bought a reject, but just in case I’m missing the obvious, I’ll post this here…


Is it a gen 2? Where did you get it? Was it labeled as “new”? Mine came with 4 screws, but I only used 2 of them (top and bottom). When you plug it in, the bottom segment should be lit up blue. Make sure the outlet has power. Not sure the transformer would hum without power, but you never know.

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Bought new yesterday at HD. $250 for 16 zone unit. It was not on the shelf; they kept the 16s in a separate area. 12s are out on the shelf. Yes to power, and tried a separate cord from another outlet. Definitely power at the transformer.

So I’m guessing I’m in for a remove and return…great.

@civdiv9999 - so not even the first light is blinking? See ->


Tried multiple outlets that are definitely good.

No, no sign of any life.

@civdiv9999 - I think I’d have to agree with you. If HD won’t take it back for some strange reason, ping @emil as I have seen Rachio bend over backwards on customer support. Hopefully the shrink-wrap will be intact on the next unit and you’ll have four screws (not that it needs all four). I think you got a DOA unit or maybe a return that was broken that went to stock instead of back. For giggles, as you’re going to have to take the wires out anyway, after you label the wires so you can re-assemble in the new Rachio, try powering up the Rachio with no wires attached - if you haven’t already done that.

I was planning to.

I replaced a 16 channel Rainbird unit. All the wires were already labeled and tagged. Definitely wish Rachio would have to made the case larger. Really miss having enough working space. Miss having terminal screws too, and I think from some casual reading that I am not alone in having more common wires than the 16 zone unit accommodates.

Surprised they just left an opening at the bottom for a nest of wires. This may be an “indoor” unit but it’s not going in my living room. With the bottom open like that I expect it to become insect home before long. The Rainbird had grommets and sealed against the wire sheaths very nicely.

But, wife looking fwd to a unit she doesn’t have to trek downstairs and under the deck to make changes, so I will give Rachio another shot.

@civdiv9999 - there should be four common ports on the 16 channel unit. See this post from @Gene earlier today where someone had one to one common and zone wires and using a wirenut to group all the commons together (this may have been what your were referring to) -> Can rachio replace my existing controller?.

My old Rainbird unit was outside in a back storage unit - so it NEVER got changed unless it had been raining for a month straight, so I understand. My Rachio has been bullet proof from day 1. Just make sure you’ve got a WiFi signal there.

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Very strong wifi since the router is in basement and the controller will be on basement wall. 10 feet.

Whoever put our system in many years ago ended up with 5 sets of cables, with 3 to 4 valves in each “valve box” based on location in the yard. They all converge at the controller, but it means I have 20 control wires, and not all are used, but I needed 5 commons; one per valve box install.

I’m hoping I can just set this up to water each zone my desired duration, no weather this or rain that - just water the stations throughout the day, and if I have a sprinkler blowout the ability to easily cut that station until the weekend.

Since we care for grandkids often, the ability to easily cancel watering if outdoor activity is anticipated is what drives getting a remote controllable unit.

''Twas up to me I’d let them get surprised a time or 3 anyway. Good for 'em, builds character, but …

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@civdiv9999 - You could get by with twisting two of the commons together and putting them into one slot and then one wire per slot for the other three commons. Rachio will do what you want it to do. If the grandkids start tearing up the yard because it is too wet due to rain and sprinkling - we can take that up in a new thread.

i have the 16 zone model. I’ve only had it for a few weeks. I bought it from Amazon. Worked perfectly. I did have to lower it to reach the wires. I only have 9 actual zones, with one common wire, so I don’t have the problem you have (multiple commons). If no lights come on, I would think it is dead and HD should let you return and replace it. Mine is in the detached garage. I personally don’t have a problem with the wire connectors. Sorry about your issues. Once you get it going, you and your wife will be happy. Good luck!

I returned the old one and exchanged for another one. The replacement did power up, and I have it set up, sorta. It works though.

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What do you mean by sorta? Did you run into issues with all your common wires?

@civdiv9999 - glad it was nothing more than a DOA unit and we got it properly diagnosed.

If you want to get rid of the “sorta” modifier, post back with questions and photographs of the settings and I’m sure that someone in the Rachio community will pitch in and help get it where you’d like it to be.


I’m sure someone in the Rachio community can find a motion sensor that ties into IFTTT and that could trigger a zone for you :smiling_imp:.

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Sorta just means I had to cycle through questions about each zone so I was a bit concerned, but then I found where I could just tell it to do what I wanted.

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