Stumped on Installation


#1

Purchased a new system for a family member and went to install. Seemed pretty straightforward until I saw the old system. There is no “traditional” power cord. Look like it is maybe hard wired into the house somehow. Plus it is installed outdoors. So my questions are:

  1. Can the Rachio unit be installed outside?

  2. If so is there a way to rework the power cord so that I can run it through the small hole in the brick wall?

  3. If not, is there a way to extend the wiring from the original sprinkler system so that they could be run through the wall so that the system can be installed in the garage?

I welcome any help. I included a picture below. Thanks!


#2

@Rachio2 - Rachio sells an external enclosure.

I think the cord that is wrapped is 120 V AC that can be connected to the external enclosure.


#3

I’m sorry. I’m not sure I know what you mean


#4

@DLane is right, as always, :wink: the cable you see running to the right is the power (it is wrapped in the black electrical tape). If you are interested in installing rachio in the garage you can probably pull the power cable back inside and use the original power hole to run the zone wires inside.

In case the original irrigation wires will not be long enough or thin enough in order to fit through existing hole you can pick up a 7 conductor sprinkler wire (link) at your local home improvement store. You would also need a terminal block (link) or simply a pack of wire nuts (link) as well as some enclosure to secure the outdoor junction (ask for assistance in the store to help you pick the right one out, tell them it is for irrigation).

Overall the conversion should be pretty straight forward. One thing you wish to check is the location of the indoor power socket. In case there is not one available where you wish to install Rachio, than outdoor inclosure is a good way to go (even if installing indoors).

Cheers,
Gene


#5

Thank you. Very helpful. I think I will just extend the zone wires inside the garage and install it there. That seems to be the simplest solution. Thanks for the helpful tips on how to extend those zone wires as they are currently too short.


#6

@Rachio2 - sorry I was brief on my first post - I had to run back to my day/real job.

On the bottom left corner of the current X-Core controller there is a gray cover with two screws. I think that if you remove that cover (after turning off the power to that socket/cable) you’ll see a transformer where the yellow wires will originate from (24 VAC to the controller) and the black and white wires (120 VAC) terminate.

The field wire (they sell it by the foot) might fit through where the power cords are currently coming through or you may need a masonry bit to ream the hole out a little more. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there is caulk or sealant in the hole where the electrical wires are coming out of. And cap off or remove the electrical wire - unless you use it to wire up the outdoor enclosure that Rachio sells (if there isn’t an electrical plug near where the wires go out).

Even though @Gene recommended the water tight wire nuts, I might try to find an electrical box that you can place on the PVC pipe and put the connections in - mainly to make the install look prettier. Entirely not necessary.

Any more questions or issues, just post here with pictures (if necessary) and I bet that @Gene or I will respond with a suggestion. Of course, “your mileage may vary”.


#7

Thanks you. Very helpful.

Would it be possible and maybe simplest (given my handyman skills) to remove the existing gray box, attach the existing sprinkler head wires (about 7) to a terminal block outside, attach extension wires and run them all through the wall into the garage to connect to the Rachio?

There is an electrical plug inside the garage that could be used, and I could mount the Rachio unit there.


#8

I like the idea, it may introduce some confusion down the road, but if you clearly label the hunter unit as inactive it should work. For bonus points you can keep your Rachio if / when you ever move, just hook up your old controller as it used to be. Be sure to turn off the power before messing about with the 120V wires going into your old controller.

P.S. @Rachio2 I may have misunderstood your last comment, I thought you’ve meant to keep your old hunter unit as a junction box, that is run the sprinkler cable through the hole that the power cable is currently coming in though, and hook up the new sprinkler wires to the old ones using the terminal block on the hunter unit itself. Let me know if you were talking about something different.


#9

@Gene, I think @Rachio2 was planning on removing the Hunter X-Core box and putting a bare terminal strip there and then run the field wire into the house. My concern with that is the terminal strip probably isn’t outdoor rated and would get rusty/corroded. I’d put the terminal strip in some sort of protected device or use the water tight wire nuts. I was thinking something like this could hold either the terminal strip or individual wire nuts:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-LR-Conduit-Body-R5133652/202043278

Cut down the vertical PVC pipe to where the outlet is parallel with the hole in the brick and then extend the PVC toward the hole.