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Starting Member


Sunday, July 18th 2010, 8:46pm

My Rainbird was fried

Last month our Rainbird ESP-6T was plugged into an outlet which was fried during a lightning strike/surge. The outlet was replaced by the electrician; the Rainbird remained "out" even though I replaced the fuse with the spare one behind the lower face panel. The wire in that fuse is very thin, so I really don't know if either fuse is good. I read another thread which mentioned replacing the external transformer. This seems too complicated for me to do, although someone mentioned getting one at Home Depot. I am trying to fix this myself, but my knowledge is limited. I'm fairly good at following directions and simple schematics, but I need some suggestions as to whether to try to fix or replace the unit.

I am a 63 year old woman who needs some help. ;(



Advanced Member

Posts: 77

Location: Kamloops, In Beautiful British Columbia


Monday, July 19th 2010, 12:09am

You did get an electrician to replace your outlet, get an irrigation contractor to replace your timer. It shouldn't take more than an hour - hour and a half to remove, replace and re-program your fried RainBird. The irrigation contractor can then do a full system check to make sure that everything else is working properly. Don't forget all of your valves for the irrigation system are connected to your timer with wires.

If you want to try to replace it your self, get one from an irrigation supply house, not a big box store. Read the instructions and replace it.

Irrigation Contractor

Certified Backflow Assembly Tester


Supreme Member


Monday, July 19th 2010, 10:12am

If the transformer is connected with screw terminals, the actual replacement of the transformer is simple. The difficult part (for those unfamilier with electricity and what a transformer does) is finding a replacement transformer with not only a matching voltage output, but also a matching current capacity. (An irrigation controller requires a higher level of power than most other transformer-powered consuper electronics).

But before you get to the time and expense of a transformer, you need to verifty you have good fuses first... espeically since I would expect a lightning strike to KILL the electronics in a controller before the transformer becomes damaged enough to need replacing.

And to top it all off, as Mick pointed out, there could be more issues that just the controller/transformer. While a fuse MIGHT have popped before damage has occured, lightning is a powerful force, and one or more control valve (or the wires leading to them) could have been damaged as well.

If damage was bad enough that you're working through home-owner's insurance, you need to just include damage to the irrigation system in the claim and get a licenced contractor to look at this stuff for you.

Otherwise, if there are extenuating circumstances that you need to do this on your own, you'll find people where who are willing to answer questions. But if you don't already understand the concept behind how to select and install a transformer, there could be a very steep learning curve for you... you won't get it fixed quickly.

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