Indexing to Inline Manifold Valves

Hi Rachio community!

I currently have an old Timco index valve with mechanical Intermatic controller (south FL, woohoo!). I’m looking to join the high-tech world and switch to individual, inline valves with a Rachio 3 controller and wireless flow meter. I also wanted to check that my plan is looking good, that I’m buying the correct stuff I need and that I don’t take out anything I can keep. Please, if you see anything that looks wrong, let me know, and many thanks in advance!

So first is an overview of what my current setup is with basic labeling. I’m on municipal water, so no well pumps to worry about.

Now for a close up of the current valving.

I have six zones coming out of the Timco. My current plan is to purchase two of these pre-assembled valve manifolds off Amazon ( to replace the Timco, which will allow me to control the six total zones through the Rachio. I’ll also get two bases ( and valve boxes ( for the valves to sit in and keep dirt/debris out.

What I’m currently wondering is do I need to replace what I assume is the backflow preventer/valve assembly? As far as I understand, the Timco only distributes the water into one of the six zones. It does not completely stop the flow of water, which is the point of the backflow/valve assembly. Which means I will need to purchase a separate backflow unit with no valve (Do I need something like this?: Or will this work?:

Moving on to the electrical portion of the retrofit, my fatal weakness!

Based on the hyper-fancy-location based weather, I do not need the rain sensor, so I can totally remove that. I will need to re-route the zone control wiring and pipe to the Orbit valves and pull in new wiring (I need six wires instead of two, correct?) Another question I had is regarding getting power to the Rachio. Looking at my breaker panel, there’s a label for “Sprinklers”, and I can see wiring going from a junction box to the Intermatic. Is it safe to assume I can reuse these wires to power my Rachio? Or if not reuse them, pull new ones from the junction box to the Rachio.

Anyways, that’s pretty much it, thanks for looking! Here’s a current shopping list:
Rachio 3 w/ wireless flow meter
Rachio outdoor enclosure
Orbit valve manifolds (Amazon)
Orbit valve box (Amazon)
Orbit valve box base (Amazon)
Backflow preventer (Amazon/Home Depot
Copper/aluminum wiring (Home Depot)
Additional 1’ PVC pieces/fittings/glue (Home Depot)
Orbit 1’ PVC lock fittings (for flow meter, Home Depot)
Orbit 57184 union coupler (coupling together valve manifolds)
Pipe Cutter? (I have a reciprocating saw, I don’t think I need a folding jab saw?)

@JupiterWanderer - regarding the electrical questions:

  1. Yes the wiring from the junction box should be able to go straight to the Rachio outdoor enclosure connections. I think you may need to have a longer conduit and wire coming from the junction box to the Rachio controller, but that is an easy fix.

  2. For the sprinkler wire, there will be at least 7 wires - 6 zones and one common. So something like this should work:

If you want to have a master valve that shuts water off to the system when it isn’t running then there would be an additional wire as it will also use the common wire.

  1. It is optional to have a rain sensor with Rachio. That will catch the unforecasted rain shower.

There are a couple of other posts (with pictures) in the community where folks have replaced their indexing valve with manifold sets.

Good luck and welcome to the community.


Love @DLane. :smile:

Thank you @DLane!

I’m guessing the only need for the longer conduit would be if the Rachio outdoor enclosure comes in from the top/bottom/left side? Or if the conduit into the Rachio enclosure is a different size. Easy fix but want to be sure.

Also regarding the master valve, I can keep that then, and just replace the Timco indexing. That makes sense!

I did look over roach’s and outbreak’s retrofits, super helpful and what gave me the confidence to DIY it all.

Realized I’ll also need to measure and ensure there’s 6" of straight down pipe from master valve to wireless flow meter. I’d prefer not to put that underground in the dirt!


@JupiterWanderer - the 120V A/C enters in the bottom left when looking at the enclosure. See ->

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Thank you for your help, @DLane !

Wanted to do a quick update, I picked up the Rachio 2 off Woot for a great deal, so I won’t be going full Rachio 3. I’m planning on buying all the components over the next couple months or so and installing in November while the weather isn’t so hot down here in SouthFL. I’ll be sure to update when I begin install and retrofit.

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