Gen2 Installation


Hey guys…I’m new to the Rachio community just getting a Gen2 this Christmas! I’m super excited to not only start saving money but conserving water as my current system I think is super old and just for lack of a better terms eats water!!!

I was hoping someone with more knowledge of sprinkler systems might be able to help me out here and guide me in the right direction on installation. I’m fairly good with self installs (though no expert) and very techie so I think I can do it with a little guidance. I’ve put some picks below to show what I have and hope that someone can get me going in the right direction. Thanks again!!!


@Blackwolfz - The pictures show an indexing system with an Intermatic type timer which controls the master valve to switch between zones. One will need an outdoor enclosure to put the Rachio Gen 2 in. The one connection would be using the master valve and common terminals. This setup would mimic the existing setup and would not use any of the Rachio intelligence to differentiate between the water needs of different zones.

The best solution would be to replace the indexing valve with individual valves per zone so that the full extent of Rachio’s capability could be used. There are a couple of other posts that show the before and after pictures of replacing an indexing valve system with individual zones - it is not that complicated and should still be well within a very techie person’s installation capabilities (cutting and gluing schedule 40 PVC pipe and some additional low voltage (24 VAC) wiring).

See this knowledge base article for Rachio and indexing valve systems ->

Here is one of the posts (starting at 43) where the poster replaced an indexing system with individual zones (with pictures):

and starting at 4 on this one:


Awesome I’ll check those out today!! Thank you!! Quick question @DLane one of the big issues is that it is a pain to control and i can’t stop it if it rains. Is it possible to install it in the setup now and then replace the indexing valve with the individual ones? I’d like to gain some control over the system to even manually start saving water then replace the valves this month. Thanks in advance!!


@Blackwolfz - Yes, install the controller today and then replace the indexing valve with individual valves later one. That is the big limitation on an indexing system, the system needs to stay in synchronization between the controller and the index valve position.

Welcome to the community.


I agree with @DLane, you can install the system today and start enjoying at least some of the benefits of smart system, with recent software changes it is easier than ever to setup the needed delay between zones to support the mechanical operation of the indexing system. The delay functionality (link) was intended for well pumps, but works just as well for your needs.

Until you setup the individual valves (worth it), you would have to essentially treat each of your zones as identical to each other (similar to the way your controller used to operate). There is some individual zone adjustments possible, as in setting one zone to run longer than the others, but should your system loose sync for any reason, the zone which needs water more would get less and some other zone would be over-watered.