Best replacement for a Rain Bird 7-A

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Paliskin, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Paliskin

    Paliskin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I found this forum when search for information about a Rain bird RC 7-A at a customers house. I am a handyman with little experience with irrigation systems. The thread I was reading was a discussion about the amps required to close the values of an old RC 7-A system, a gentleman called "bicmudpuppy" seemed to be the most knowledgeable about this particular system.

    Here's my question, what is the best / cheapest / easiest to understand controller to replace this thing with? The customer is a very nice 75 yr old lady. Any suggestions?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,033

    How many zones is the system? These controllers are very repairable.
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,002

    He's back on the forum, send him a brisket & he'll take care of you.
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    An RC-7 COULD be replaced with almost anything. I'm not sure where to begin asking the "right" questions. If it is operating a batch of still functioning old thermal dynamic valves....................... Who still makes a mechanical that will provide 1.5-2 amps / zone in a resi controller? I don't honestly know of a "good" answer. W/o looking, I *think* the irritrol total control will meet that criteria, BUT I wouldn't want the average homeowner trying to operate it. If it is a "newer" Rainbird system they just wanted to install a good bullet proof controller on, almost any modern controller would suffice. Your level of expertise and your customers level of computer/gadget literacy would be the only concerns. Is the old controller truly "dead"? or is just part of it not operational? I would bet you could still find a NIB RC-7 on ebay at a decent price.
  5. Paliskin

    Paliskin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    One zone has been off for "a few years" according to the owner, the values appear to be working okay, except for one zone seems to stay on a long time after it has cycled past it (zone two) I figured it was related to the slow opening and closing discussed in the other forum.

    I have down loaded the instruction manual from the rain bird site, earlier today when I took off the face panel it appears that several different insects have been calling the place home over the years, there are a couple of wires that are off, I thought maybe that is why zone two is acting funny, figured tomorrow I will carefully brush out the housing and try to reconnect the wires and check the contacts, I am not an electrician either, don't own a multimeter nor know how they operate.

    Is there such thing as a "simple controller"? most of my customers are 65 and up, like I said I do handy man services, basic plumbing, carpentry, electricity and repairs, seems they are always asking for help with their irrigation system controllers, most of the units are old discontinued systems like this (last one was a weathermatic RM series), usually I just try to find the operators manual on the web and print it off and give it to them. But since you all seem real knowledgeable about the subject, I thought I would ask.

    To me in a perfect world the replacement system could either be ran on the timer system or just have on / off buttons for each zone, and a Master on / off switch to shut the whole thing off if it starts going crazy (i.e when they start pushing buttons and turning dials then can't remember what they pushed and turned and just want the crazy thing to turn off)
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,173

    Couple things - first off all the Texas guys will ride you hard on this. Since you are from TX, you're supposed to be licensed to work on a sprinkler system. I don't think you are due to the question being asked.

    It is tough to get older folks to change to a newer digital controller. If you can repair the RC or replace it (tough to find as they have been discontinued) it will be much easier for this homeowner.
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I had hoped that the Rainbird ESP-M would be the answer for some of my older clients.

    The manual operation is pretty simple, almost as simple as an RC.

    One nice feature compared to some of the other newer controllers is a large easy to read display.

    Most of my customers who do their own scheduling seem to prefer the Irritrol RainDial though...
  8. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Try one of these:


  9. Paliskin

    Paliskin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Well if anyone from Texas wants to come over with their certification and work on this system for what I am charging (in other words for FREE) I will gladly hand them the tools. Like I said before I do not claim to be an expert or have much experience with these things. I am just trying to help the lady out.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,033

    Do you even know the existing controller is faulty?

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