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Old 06-11-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


I bought a K-Rain 3604 sprinkler controller to replace my Rainbird controller (indoor unit that plugs into wall), but the 3604 is an outdoor unit that has the transformer built into the unit for hard wiring. I dont want to pay an electrician $200 to hardwire a $50 controller, so Id like to convert it to a plug-in. I read online that all you need to do is attach a pigtail to the controller, but there wasnt an explanation of what a pigtail is and how to attach it. Can someone please tell me how to convert this controller? Thanks.

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Old 06-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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I bought a K-Rain 3604 sprinkler controller to replace my Rainbird controller (indoor unit that plugs into wall), but the 3604 is an outdoor unit that has the transformer built into the unit for hard wiring. I dont want to pay an electrician $200 to hardwire a $50 controller, so Id like to convert it to a plug-in. I read online that all you need to do is attach a pigtail to the controller, but there wasnt an explanation of what a pigtail is and how to attach it. Can someone please tell me how to convert this controller? Thanks.
buy a pre made cord...

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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buy a pre made cord...
Can I just cut the end off a 16 AWG extension cord and use that? Also, in the controller transformer, there are three connections labeled A, N and E with a black wire connected to E, nothing connected to N and a red wire connected to A. Do I need to use a three prong plug and connect the white wire to A, the green wire to N and the black wire to E, or do I just need a two prong cord and connect the white wire to A and black wire to the E? Sorry for all of the questions, but I no absolutely nothing about wiring.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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Originally Posted by lancetb View Post
Can I just cut the end off a 16 AWG extension cord and use that? Also, in the controller transformer, there are three connections labeled A, N and E with a black wire connected to E, nothing connected to N and a red wire connected to A. Do I need to use a three prong plug and connect the white wire to A, the green wire to N and the black wire to E, or do I just need a two prong cord and connect the white wire to A and black wire to the E? Sorry for all of the questions, but I no absolutely nothing about wiring.
I have no idea what "A" "N" "E" represent, so I can't offer any help, you could take a picture though... that would help greatly.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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I have no idea what "A" "N" "E" represent, so I can't offer any help, you could take a picture though... that would help greatly.
I've uploaded a picture of the connector inside the transformer and of the extension cord I was planning to use.
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in-k-rain01.jpg   Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in-plug.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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I've uploaded a picture of the connector inside the transformer and of the extension cord I was planning to use.
Is there a wiring diagram? whats the voltage of this unit?
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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Is there a wiring diagram? whats the voltage of this unit?

There's no wiring diagram in the manual (can't find anything online either). Below are the elctrical specs:

Electrical Specifications
Electrical Power Supply: 110-120 VAC/60Hz/230VAC 50Hz
Electrical Outputs: 24 Volts AC, 1.0 AMP
To Solenoid Valve: 24 VAC 50/60 Hz 0.75 AMPs max.


Wiring: The output circuits should be installed and protected in accordance with wiring rules


Below is all the information about the wiring that's in the manual:

Electrical Hook-up
Warning:
1. All electrical work must be carried out in accordance with these instructions following all
applicable local, state and federal codes.
Failure to do so will void the controller’s warranty.
2. Disconnect power supply before any maintenance work to the controller or valves is undertaken.
3. Do not attempt to wire any high voltage items yourself, i.e. pumps and pump contactors or
hard wiring the controller power supply. This is the field of a licensed electrician. Serious
injury or death could result from improper hook up. If in doubt consult your regulatory
body as to what is required.
Field Wiring Connections
Preparation
1. Prepare wire for hook-up by cutting the wires to the correct length and stripping approximately
0.25 inches (6.0mm) of insulation from the end to be connected to the controller.
2. Ensure terminal block screws are loosened sufficiently to permit easy access for wire ends. Insert
stripped wire ends into the clamp aperture and tighten screws. Do not over tighten as this may
damage the terminal block.
3. A maximum of 0.75 Amps may be supplied by any output. Check the inrush current of your
solenoid coils before connecting more than two valves to any one station.

Last edited by lancetb; 06-11-2012 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Add more info.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


Can you take one more picture of the whole unit? i want to see where those wires on the terminal block end up....
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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Can you take one more picture of the whole unit? i want to see where those wires on the terminal block end up....
Here you go.
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in-k-rain02.jpg   Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in-k-rain03.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #10
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


Its just 120v to a transformer, I would just hook it up as follows, "E" to black wire, "N" to green (ground) even though this isn't doing anything...(plastic enclosure) and "A" to white....
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #11
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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Its just 120v to a transformer, I would just hook it up as follows, "E" to black wire, "N" to green (ground) even though this isn't doing anything...(plastic enclosure) and "A" to white....
Thank you very much for your time, I appreciate it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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Its just 120v to a transformer, I would just hook it up as follows, "E" to black wire, "N" to green (ground) even though this isn't doing anything...(plastic enclosure) and "A" to white....
Concure....just to add....

That transformer will basically isolate the unit from your house electrical. In other words, it does not matter which color you connect to A & E....the transformer has no polarity...

The output is 24Vac....you can grab ether end and it's not going to hurt you.

But personally....I'm surprised they don't have a ground in there....

About the only 'potential' fault you could get is if the transformer had a short from the primary winding to the secondary winding (very unlikely) which could then energize the load side to some voltage between 0 and 120Vac....but one would hope that the transformer is UL listed and has passed they traditional HiPot tests.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:43 AM   #13
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


Again, I appreciate your help. It took about 45 minutes to replace my old controller and this new one is working fine.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #14
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Convert sprinkler controller from hardwire to plug-in


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Again, I appreciate your help. It took about 45 minutes to replace my old controller and this new one is working fine.
Fantastic!

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