Indexing valve vs standard for Rachio


I have never heard of or seen an indexing valve. Interesting product to otherwise save the cost of x minus 1 zone valves.

Best regards,



@outbreak @emil thank you so much for the pictures. Showed my dad and this gives some great ideas. One idea I had was to KEEP the index valve but use it just as a collector/manifold (instead of the log style that I linked earlier or that you essentially built). I’m pretty sure I can unscrew the indexing valve and remove the actual valve inside, which means I already have all 6 of my zones merging into 1 central spot.

I used MS Paint (dont laugh lol) to do a real quick mockup on an image from google (not my own). I think I can get those same inline valves and simply saw all 6 lines and just install them in place. Since it would raise my piping, I would need to adjust the other side of the piping accordingly. Any thoughts on this?

Also comparing my set up to my dads (also in Coral Springs), he DOES have a pump where I do not. The best guess we can think of is his water comes from a well whereas I use city water. Perhaps city water already has pressure and therefore doesnt need a pump?

Also there is some sort of solenoid between where the water comes in before the indexing valve. Is this the ‘pump relay’ or something similar? I am guessing maybe its a valve that is OPEN / CLOSE and what basically turns on my sprinklers since it already gets pressure from the city water. I am completely guessing but that makes sense in my mind lol. With that all in mind, I would just keep this and wire that solenoid into the Rachio I presume, or would I need any extra parts? Again here is the picture of the solenoid/valve thing. You can see it has some wiring coming from my timer and is plumbed inline with the water.

Thanks all


I tried exactly what you’re thinking and it gave me so much water hammer, I was worried one of my pipes would break. I think air gets in from the little hole on the top front.

It does sound like you have city water and your dad has a well. I think you’d connect that valve already installed to the “Master Valve/Pump” on the Rachio. This would open the water line when the system turns on, the the next valve in line would select the zone. I don’t think you’d need any extra parts for this.


@outbreak Thanks. My dad actually has a pump and looks similar to your set up (i can see the pump in your pictures there). Regarding the water hammer, do you think if you had a different indexing valve assembly that it might not have the hammer as much? I guess the only real difference between my current indexing valve setup and what I am proposing is that all of the zones would fill about 6" of water, (until the inline valve) whereas right now the indexing valve stops it before it gets to that point. Def not an expert but I wouldnt think that would make much difference

Figured this propose setup would mainly save in all the crazy plumbing and digging up a huge hole. But if you think its not likely to work, I def value your thoughts. Thanks!!


this is similar to the indexing valve I have currently


I initially tried what you’re thinking, and it was bad. Here’s a thread where I talked about it.



I actually saw this thread previously but, at the time, glossed over the method. Guess I will go back to the drawing board

With the log style, there is no longer any hammer?


Your indexing valve is different than what I had, so it may work. Worst case is to try it and if it doesn’t work, dig new lines or go back to how you had it.

Don’t forget that you will have to run more wires!


Zero water hammer!


@outbreak Good to hear about fixing the issue. Do the inline valves screw in or are they plumbed? Perhaps the least of my worries but if I glue them in and it doesnt work out, $100 down the tubes plus the time to redo it. May just go for the manifold method off the bat to play it safe.

Also did you get Orbit or Rain Bird valves? Thanks!


Sorry for the delay, I mowed the yard then some friends came over and we had a few beers in the pool.

The valves screw in, so you can adjust as necessary.

I got Orbit valves, but only because they were a good deal and had just as good ratings as Rain Bird.


I think you might as well go ahead and try. Worst case is that it won’t work and you’ll have to buy 2 more PVC adapters for each valve.

On the top of my indexing valve, there was a little hole. I think this was there to allow the float to move up after a zone was done watering. If yours looks like the one in the link you provided, you might be able to rig something to prevent that.


@outbreak question regarding the manifold you made. Say you had a leaking valve, can a single valve be replaced? Since they are threaded it would lend itself to replacement however in my mockup I dont see how its possible.

I imagine these will eventually leak, although perhaps the leaks really only come from the top diaphram area, which you can easily swap out without modifying the PVC. Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks


@roach Is your issue with unscrewing the valves because they’ll hit the valve next to them? That was going to be my problem so I just put in a threaded coupler for each one. That way I can pop out the valve without rotating the whole thing and lets them be run closer together.


I figured I’d cross that bridge when I come to it! lol


That coupling, do you use one on each side of the valve? Also the valves I saw at Home Depot were female. Didnt see any male ones, which might be easier. Thanks


In my case, the other end is the 1/2 drip line which has a quick release already at the valve’s output. Otherwise, yeah I’d have put them on either end. Here’s a little better view of how they work. This lets you easily take the whole thing out as a section. In a previous setup I hadn’t done this and had two valves go bad on me. It was really annoying having to cut the pvc while in the box so this time around, I’m trying this.

edit: I should add this is actually a slip union, not technically a coupling (in case you were to search for one)


Man…you were holding out on us!!! I see how it is! :wink:


Awesome, will def look into this. the LAST thing I want to do is spend a day replumbing all this crap, only to have a valve die on me 6 months down the road, and have to tear it all up again. This looks like it would help.

BTW why does it look like your valve has 2 solenoids? Is that for the drop line?


@roach yeah they are 4-1 drip line valves.

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