Unreliable watering

I’ve had my Iro for about 6 months now and twice I’ve found that it just stops watering (second time was either today or Tuesday, hard to tell). The app says that it’s Online (even after a refresh) and even says “Watering” when it’s supposed to, but it doesn’t actually turn on the sprinklers. The history shows no issues, and it thinks that it executed all of the programs as expected. If I start a manual cycle, it again thinks that it’s starts properly, but the sprinklers don’t come on.

In both cases, I went to the box outside, power-cycled the Iro and reseated it, and it started working again. I believe that the lights on the Iro looked the same before and after - power light was green and wifi light was flashing green. I don’t recall whether the status light was on or not.

The outdoor box is a really tight fit for the Iro, so I don’t that there’s a loose connection between the front and back panels. Was there a firmware update this week that may have put it into a weird state? It’s disconcerting because I feel like I need to check on it to make sure it’s doing what it says it is.


@rccoleman, thanks for reaching out. From the details provided, I believe we’re experiencing a wiring issue.

Some troubleshooting questions/ideas:

  1. Are all of the zones affected? Or just one zone?
  2. Assuming the activity feed is listing all of the zones that were suppose to run, the cloud is processing the commands correctly to the Iro and it’s staying online through the completion of the schedule.
  3. If in doubt, we can setup a test schedule to run during the day (or evening while you’re awake).

Any chance you could post or send us a photo (support@rachio.com) of your wiring to review? Do you have any excess wiring that might be getting in the way of the front panel making a secure connection with the wall mount?

Nope. We post all firmware updates on the community – we also keep a close eye on all devices to confirm that have received and downloaded the firmware update. We reach out to anyone that has a device that is misbehaving.

We understand and will stand behind the product if we need to replace it. Let’s start with the troubleshooting above and go from there.

Best, Emil

It seemed like all zones were affected, but I only spot checked a couple of them.

The wire that I used to connect to the Iro is pretty sturdy, so I suppose that it’s possible that it’s obstructing the connection. I have some replacement wire that should work better, but I’ve been dreading disassembling the thing. Maybe I’ll do it this weekend. The Iro barely fits in the Orbit enclosure that I’m using (see other thread), so it’s a really tight fit when I have the lid closed and locked, and I can’t imagine the Iro working its way off of the backplane.

I’ll do some more investigation this weekend when the sun will be out.

Thanks for the quick reply,

@rccoleman, do you know what gauge wire your system is using? It might help to convert to sprinkler wire if you have thick wiring now.

Additionally, do you think upgrading to the Rachio enclosure would help?

The wiring that goes to my sprinkler valves is proper sprinkler wiring, but it wasn’t long enough and I had to create pigtails to reach the Iro terminals. It was wire that I already had sitting around, and is probably 14 or 16 guage. I have 6- or 8-conductor sprinkler wiring that I can use to replace it, but I haven’t gotten around to swapping it out yet.

Maybe. It wasn’t available by itself when I first bought my Iro, so I had to go another route. I hate that Orbit enclosure, and if I have to keep going in there to monkey with the Iro, it may be worth spending the time to swap it out.


@rccoleman, pending how much space you have available in the box, a terminal strip might help to convert the wiring (this might require upgrading to the Rachio enclosure).

Just an idea :slight_smile:

I swapped out all of the wiring yesterday and did a much better job this time with proper sprinkler wire. It’s still a little too thick to fit in that Orbit enclosure (the catch doesn’t seat easily and is clearly holding the cover closed), but there’s a lot less wire mass between the backplate and the guts now and I think it’s making a better connection. I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it’s more reliable from here on out.


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Awesome! Great to hear the wiring was the root cause. Keep us posted on the connection.

Just curious, did you use a terminal strip?

Best, Emil

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No, I didn’t use a terminal strip because some of the wires weren’t long enough and I didn’t see the need for the extra connection. I just used small wire nuts for each one and there was plenty of space behind the central panel to hide them. I had the wiring slack, I would have preferred using a terminal block.