Install help!

Just received the Rachio 3 for Christmas, but worried it will be a bigger project than I can undertake. I believe I have an existing Indexing Valve but not sure if I will need to install a pump start relay? How complicated is that for a non electrician?

My current irrigation is very manual and has to cycle through each of the 4 zones, which leads me to believe Indexing valve.
Images below and any insight is appreciated!

You are right in that you have an indexing valve and that you may need to get a pump start relay.
What looks like a valve on the pump’s output is likely a pressure regulator.

Good news is that recent software changes will allow you to setup a similar schedule with a Gen 3 controller as you use with your old controller. Alas you will not be able to use the Flex Daily schedule (the best one, in my opinion) to the fullest, until you upgrade your index valve to individual valves for each of your zones.

Another good news is that your old controller seems to include a 24VAC pump relay somewhere inside, not sure how easy it will be to get to it, but it may be possible to setup Rachio to drive your old controller instead of the old analog clock you currently have (thus saving you a few bucks on a separate pump start relay).

Alas I can’t find a picture anywhere of how your old controller looks under the front cover, when you find the time, see if you can safely turn off the power to your old irrigation controller and take a front cover off and share a photo of how it looks on the inside. We will be able to advise you at that point if conversion or replacement makes more sense as far as difficulty involved.



@Dabrodas - I’m going to disagree with @gene here. I think you need a pump start relay (2 HP, 220 VAC). As an example:>++st%3A{pump+start+relay}%3Ast+cnn%3A{0%3A0}+cnb%3A{0%3A0}+oos%3A{0%3A1}+lca%3A{556162}+qu%3A{pump+start+relay}%3Aqu

Install list:

  1. Outdoor enclosure for Rachio
  2. Rachio Gen 3
  3. Pump Start relay

Wiring a pump start relay is easy. If one thinks they can wire up the outdoor enclosure for the Rachio to power then one can connect power leads to the pump start relay too. Just make sure the Rachio is wired to 120 V AC (just one hot wire) and not 220 V AC (two hot wires).

Pictures of the existing actual wiring/connections will probably result in suggested wiring configuration for the Rachio and pump start relay.


Considering the cost, @DLane is right in that it may not even be worth it to try setup old controller to work as a pump relay. Is ~$40 worth the risk? Donate your old controller to goodwill and write off $100 from your taxes.