Indexing valve vs standard for Rachio

So I live in FL and have a 6 zone indexing valve set up. I know Rachio works with indexing valves but Im considering switching out my system to the ‘other standard’ (sorry not sure the actual name of this) where there is a valve/sensor on each zone. I’m trying to gather specific data on the pros and cons of doing this as it relates to Rachio. Also if there are lots of pros, any insight into the conversion would be great (not really rachio related but just saying…)

Thanks all!

@roach, the pros to converting your valves to a standard manifold system is realized in the scheduling flexibility it allows as you can turn on individual zones at any time. Indexing valves require you to run the valves in order to rotate through the valve chambers accordingly. As such, indexing valves are not compatible with Flex Schedules. The con is the time/cost to convert the system. I’m hoping @outbreak could comment on the time and financial investment required to make this conversion (…and maybe post a few photos ;))

Hope this helps.

Best, Emil

Ahh thanks. So other than the cost, there is no downside to the manifold way right? Only pros?

Also, sorta related but any idea why FL homes seem to all have indexing valves and the rest of the country doesnt use this?


Sorry, I’m traveling again. I’m absolutely happy that I switched from my indexing valve to in-line valves. There is so much more control over the system and u can now turn on any zone I want from anywhere.

Think about it this way. If you had different times setup for your zones and used a indexing valve, you could throw off the system if you did a manual run. And if you were traveling, you wouldn’t know which zone was selected.

Living in Fl, I like to water my garden anytime I want, and the in-line valves make it easy and reliable.

Great example, thanks @outbreak

@roach, for command and control of the system, individual valves are the best way to go. They are a great valve for simple, low maintenance operation, but do not allow you to activate any one zone on demand.

Best, Emil

I think the only reason they use indexing valves in Fl is because it’s cheaper. You only need the most basic timer and the indexing valve.

I can’t think of ANY downsides to in-line valves. The amount of control in incredible.

Thanks @outbreak, I second this :wink:

@roach, let us know if you have any other questions we can assist with. Hope to see you convert to Rachio!

Best, Emil

Thanks @outbreak

Do you think you could share some of the parts used and approx price? I see Home Depot has a 3 valve inline manifold. I have 6 zones so I would assume I would need two of those, plus some extra pvc for plumbing. Or is there a manifold more in the shape of the index valve? That would be way more convenient. Here is the one from Home Depot I was looking at


On a related note @emil I bought a Rachio last night so I’m already in the family. Thinking of installing it with the index valve still in place and then do the conversion once I get more info. Hopefully outbreak will have a little time to help a brotha out :smile:

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by the way, here is my current index valve set up

I’d be glad to help you out! First, I think you’ll need this to turn on the pump (unless you already have one) and wire it in.

Then measure the pipes coming out of your indexing valve (it should say on the side if you can read it).

I got 5 of these (because I only have 5 zones). You can add these later once you remove your indexing valve.

I think I ended up spending around $120 for all of the parts after I got the Rachio.

Where do you live?

Thanks @outbreak I live in the Coral Springs (Ft Lauderdale) area. Are you near by?

Do you have pics of your completed set up by chance? Also looking at the inline valves, that manifold looks to be the same only already plumbed together. A little more pricey but may make it less time to do the work. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again

I live in Destin, so that’s a long way. I’ll get pics up soon. I went with separate valves because all of the lines coming together in that small area for the indexing valve were tight and the single valves gave me vertical flexibility when connecting to the long runs.

Ok, here’s a quick photoshop mockup of before removing the indexing valve (I didn’t take a pic before I started). Ignore everything to the right of the indexing valve.

I then dug up the area beneath the indexing valve, so I could get to the pipes. You can see where I was installing the in-line valves.

I then built a box (pictures taken just now - I know, I have to clean it out).

And the finished product which I had to edit for the first picture.

Once I get it cleaned out, I’ll post that pic as well.

Awesome @roach! Welcome to the family. You can definitely install the Iro with an indexing valve. Few questions before you do, however:

  1. Pump? Do you know if your water supply (for the sprinklers) comes from the city, or from a well/pump? If you have a pump, you’ll need a stand alone pump relay to trigger the pump to start. As @outbreak mentioned, the Orbit unit at Home Depot is a great value.
  2. Outdoors? If you’re installing your Iro outdoors, remember you’ll need an enclosure. We recommend ours (available on our webstore), or the Orbit enclosure available at Home Depot also works. For instructions on installation, please see this support article.
  3. Solenoid? If your valve is current setup with a 110v coil, we’ll need to replace the solenoid with a 24v coil. Here are the differences: 110v solenoid coil v 24v solenoid coil

Let us know if you need anymore help.

Here are the final pics, sorry it took so long.

Immediately after cleaning it out.

After putting gravel in the bottom.

And finally, after I put too much foam sealant in the holes. I’ll cut it away when I have time.

@outbreak nice setup! What’s the foam for? Preventing creatures from getting in there?

If you look at pic IMG_5113, sand had worked its way through the holes I cut. So far, the foam is keeping it out - but it’s pouring now and we’ll see how it does. BTW - my system didn’t run today because of the probability of rain today. LOVE IT!

Got it, that makes sense. I was wondering since I also built a box for my setup and hadn’t considered sealing the holes.