Wiring Question, 1st& 2nd Lights Blinking, Won't Connect


#1

Hi Rachio! I was very excited to take apart my Hunter Pro C controller today and I install the Rachio Gen 2. I am experiencing some issues now that it’s (possibly incorrectly) installed, so I have a few questions about the wires, connectivity, and the device itself.

  1. Hardwiring: my Hunter Pro C is not technically hardwired. It was plugged into an outlet that is connected to the ceiling in my garage. That plug and cord are cut and are connected to the hunter. Not technically hardwired, but just rewired to an outlet, if that makes sense. Do I need the outdoor controller in order to connect those wires and plug in the gen 2 unit, or am I able to cut the the Rachio power cord and splice the two together?

1a) Hardwiring, continued: I went ahead and bought the outdoor unit, and connected the existing wires to the outdoor unit. I may have added an unnecessary step due to this.

  1. Sprinkler wiring: There were 3 wires that were connected with my Hunter Pro C (REM, AC1, AC2) that I can’t find a place for on the Rachio. The AC1 and AC2 (red and white) were connected to the same place the hunter “power” wires (cord coming from the outlet, cut, and connected to the Hunter terminals inside) were connected to. I read on a Rachio thread that these three wires (REM, AC1, AC2) were not needed, so I did not use them when I installed it. I did not use the ground wire since there isn’t one, and it’s not “technically” hardwired. I put a cap on the green one. Is this the correct way to handle the REM, AC1, and AC2 wires?

  2. Connectivity/booting: Once I flipped my breaker and plugged in the AC cord on the Rachio (AC that connects to the outdoor unit), only the 1st light would stay solid blue. No blinking; it would just go straight to sold blue. After a few tries of unplugging and plugging it back in, it seemed it would light up and blink when the power was inserted about halfway, then would turn off when inserted fully. I kept unplugging and replugging and finally, there was a blinking 1st light and blinking 2nd light. 1st light never blinked a solid blue, and the Rachio could never be found when trying to connect via app. I reset the device and power cycled it several times, and also switched the “hardwire” wires in case there was a potential polarity issue, and got the same results.

So, overall, need help with the hardwire/not hardwire issue, REM, AC1, and AC2 wires, and the booting. Really hoping that once this is resolved that things will be more smooth once it’s up and running. :slight_smile: Really looking forward to it! Thanks in advance!


#2

A lot to address here, so lets take it one step at a time:

  1. You did not necessarily need an outdoor enclosure, but it’s a good thing that you’ve not tried splicing the wires as you were considering. You need the power plug that Rachio comes with, it converts 110VAC into 24VAC and bypassing it would results in some spectacular fireworks and a broken irrigation controller.

1a) You could have used a regular surge protector / power strip like this (link). You’d need to cut off the power plug and strip insulation back to reveal the three wires which could in turn be connected to the power cable coming from your ceiling. Many power strips can be mounted to the wall and rachio’s power plug would connect to it without any modifications.

  1. REM / AC wires should not be connected to Rachio. The Green Ground wire is not used by Rachio’s supply, so you didn’t hurt anything by leaving it not connected. I see no problems with what you’ve done.

  2. I would disconnect the Rachio, let it rest for about a minute and connect everything back. Do not be alarmed if you do not see the 1st light blinking, as long as you see the 1st light as solid blue and the 2nd light blinking, try to go through the setup via Rachio’s app. I’ll leave it up to @rachiosupport to assist you further.

Welcome to the club :wink:
Gene


#3

Hi Gene! On the ceiling of my garage, there is a standard outlet. One plug is used for a garage door motor, and the other is where the Hunter AC plug is connected to.

It looks like the original Hunter sprinkler installer tried to extend the original Hunter plug by adding a longer cord. So it would looke like this:
[[standard outlet]] =[Plug]–/splice/-------cord-----------/splice/–[Hunter]

With the current setup in the garage (using the existing non-grounded cord that was already spliced and extended by the original installer), that is what I spliced to the outdoor box, so it looks like this:
[standard outlet]] =[Plug]–/splice/-------cord-----------/splice/–[Rachio Outdoor/control unit]

I went out to the Rachio just now, and the lights were off. I unplugged, waited about 3 mins, plugged it back in, and I now see a solid blue 1st light, and it will not connect. The lights on the Rachio have either been one of two options: 1) 1st is solid only, nothing else, or 2) both 1st and 2nd are blinking.

Is there a way to upload or submit pictures or video?


#4

@IOT - yes one can attach/upload photos to posts.

What is the WiFi network strength where the Rachio unit is?

Have you checked out -> http://support.rachio.com/article/484-light-diagram

And I’m presuming that you have a Gen 2 version of the Rachio.


#5

Yep, Gen 2. Wifi is strong; I have one of my mesh routers above the garage, so no latency issues.


#6

iOS or Android for phone OS? Do you see Rachio device’s network on your phone (don’t switch to it, I just want to see if it is broadcasting).

You may want to run RouteThis so you can send the results to Rachio support -> http://support.rachio.com/article/606-wifi-network-diagnostic

What type of mesh routers are installed?


#7

Ah, ok. So as far as I can figure you already have a transformer on the line.

@IOT If I’m right, your issue is that Rachio is probably not getting enough voltage. I think the first [plug] connected to the ceiling outlet already reduces 110V down to ~24 (depending on the model you’ve used before), and Rachio’s transformer further reduces it down to ~5VAC.

Does [Plug] connected to the outlet look like this option A (link), or something like this option B (link).

Gene


#8

@DLane - I’m running iOS. Rachio is not broadcasting. Mesh router is Netgear Orbi.

@Gene - it’s option 2.


#9

@IOT - then I think @Gene called it correct. The power going into the outdoor housing should be 120VAC, not 24 VAC from the transformer. One option would be to take an extension cord and plug the Rachio transformer into the extension cord with the other end into the plug by the garage door opener. The other option would be like @Gene suggested and cut off the female end of the extension cord and connect those wires to the plug in the outdoor unit to provide 120VAC to the unit.


#10

@IOT Your Rachio is having issues because it is running at less than 1/5th the voltage it requires.

You don’t really need an outdoor enclosure, since your rachio is indoors an extension cable will work just as well (if not better). I recommend you buy an extension cable long enough to allow the Rachio’s power supply / cable to reach the controller. I recommend you get a power strip like this (link), because those tend to allow being mounted to the wall and will support the weight of the Rachio’s power brick.

What ever you do, DO NOT use existing cord that was used for extending the wire to run 110V AC, if my hunch is correct, it is probably a low power cable and can cause a short / fire if connected directly to the 110V power line.


#11

Thank you both! I grabbed an extension cord, plugged it into the outlet, and ran the original rachio plug to that, and it started up immediately. Now I have an outdoor casing with no use, but at least it’s a learning point for me. :slight_smile: thank you!


#12

Woohoo! We are in business! Are you still within the 30 day return period? If so, you should send us that enclosure back :slight_smile: Have you successfully connected to wifi yet?


#13

Hi! Rachio is up and running, and working wonderfully. Already had a notification this morning of a rain delay, which is great. I am in the 30 day period, but threw away the box and packaging because I really thought I was going to keep it. I sent support an email. :slight_smile: Thank you again!!


#14

Woop!! Welcome to Team Rachio :slight_smile: