Is the Rachio Controller compatible with an indexing valve?

How an Indexing Valve works

Indexing valves are activated by sufficient water pressure being turned on and off. Therefore, no electrical wiring is required to the solenoid valve. All that is needed for an indexing valve to operate is a controller to turn on and off the water supply (pump or solenoid).

Index Valve in Action

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Video Walkthrough


Indexing Valve FAQ

How do I wire up an Indexing Valve with my Rachio controller?

To connect an indexing valve to the Rachio controller, simply connect the wiring from your old timer (usually an Intermatic) to the Master Valve terminal on the Rachio controller, enable the Master Valve setting in the app (within "More" tab > "Controller Settings" > "Master Valve") then configure each "chamber" of the Indexing valve as its own zone within the app.

What if I have an Index Valve and a Pump?

It's important to know if your water supply is coming from the house (city) or a well (pump). If pump fed, a pump relay is required to run your system. A pump relay is an electrical device that steps up the power from the Rachio controller (24VAC) to your pump (110VAC-220VAC).

CAUTION : In order to avoid potential damage from ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE, relays should be installed at least 15 FEET away from the Rachio controller.

How do I create watering schedules with an Index Valve?

We recommend creating a watering schedule for each zone (chamber) of your Indexing valve and have them run sequentially. For instance, Zone 1 begins at 3 AM, Zone 2 begins at 4AM and Zone 3 begins at 5AM.

If you have Seasonal Shift enabled for your schedule, please note that watering durations can increase 150% of the base duration. As such, the delay between zones needs to account for up to 150% of the base duration before the next scheduled start time can begin. This will ensure there is be no overlap between the zones. See example below for details.

Example: Zone 1 Base Duration: 10 minutes; Max Water Budgeting Seasonal Adjustment = +5 minutes (15 minutes total). If Zone 1 was scheduled to run at 5AM, Zone 2 should not be scheduled to run until 5:20AM or later.

Are there any limitations to indexing valves and the Rachio controller?

Yes, there are 3 limitations to indexing valves:

  1. Since we cannot activate individual "chambers" on demand (see animation above), indexing valves are not compatible with Flex Schedules .
  2. Indexing valves require you to run the valves in order to rotate through the valve chambers accordingly. As such, you cannot manually run an indexing valve, as it will cause your chambers to get out of order with your zones.
  3. Since indexing valves are dependent on the water supply being turned on and off, our Smart Cycle feature cannot be used with an Indexing Valve without causing your chambers to get out of order with your zones.
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