Which model for use with master valve that has 6 “zones?”

Good evening,

I’m looking to replace my sprinkler timer with something I can control from my phone and hopefully skip days during the rainy season; however, my irrigation system uses a master valve or indexing valve. I saw your support document (and video) concerning using an older Rachio controller (gen1) with an indexing valve and I’m pretty sure the Rachio 3 still supports an indexing valve (right?), however I still have a few questions….

First, which model would I need to get to account for 6 indexed “zones” even though I’m only connecting one wire, can I just buy the cheapest 4 zone controller and still “address” the 6 indexed “zones?”

Second, in your support document you say to not use any of the smart weather intelligence aspects of the controller if your using it with an index valve to avoid getting the “zones” out of sequence… but what if my grass (and me) don’t really care what “zone” happens to come on first the next time after one of these smart events has taken place? If we don’t care, I’m assuming it’s still safe to use, no?

Finally, I saw mention of a Rachio 3e, but I can’t find it for sale anywhere. Is this controller no longer being sold?

Thank you in advance!


You are correct, all Rachios will support the indexing valve. You probably read and watched the video at: Is the Rachio Controller compatible with an indexing valve?. I personally would rather change out the indexing valve with a manifold and individual valve, but realize that might not be possible or easy. I also tend to get more zones that are needed in case I expand. If those are not possible and you keep the indexing valve, that is okay. Since it gets connected through the master valve, it does not matter how many zones the Rachio has. Remember that you cannot control individual zones whenever you want without cycling through each zone, If all the zones are the same setup and time, then you are right that it does not matter too much if the zones get out of sync. However, it is possible it thinks that one zone got enough water because of a manual run, so it wants to skip it, but really skips another. This could cause a zone to get overwatered and another underwatered. I believe the Rachio 3e is/was being sold through Costco/Sam’s Club.

So all I need is a Rachio 3 (4 zones) and a waterproof enclosure? I’m gonna have to give Costco a call and see if they sell the 3e in store as I don’t see it on their website.

Thank you!

Sorry, I was wrong saying the zones do not matter since it is connected through the master valve. The last part it true, but you still need to set up the schedule for the zones so the master valve gets cycled. I think that means you would need at least 6 zones. I will have to reread the page and watch the video

I called into support… Rachio 3e isn’t made anymore. Also, even though it’s just one wire… to address the 6 indexed zones you would need a 6 zone compatible controller otherwise you’d run into a software issue trying to schedule it to run more than 4 times on the 4 zone controller. :+1:t2:

Good to know about the 3e. That is what I meant to say about the 6 zones, sorry for my confusion.