suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Irrigation systems, sprinklers & other watering topics
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nabril15
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suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:28 pm

Hello
My current set up is: an intermatic mechanical timer that controls a well-water pump, and it feeds and a K-Rain 4000 (or similar) indexing valve. The timer and the valve are within 4 feet of each other. I also have a rain sensor. The indexing valve rarely changes zones despite me replacing the interior disk twice; I'm tired of having to take it apart.

I would like to replace that valve with 2 inline or other type of valve that I can activate separately. My current setup has a zone with rotors, and the second with the sprinkler heads that water my wife's orchids; I want to be able to simply activate one of my 2 zones independently, for example.
After some research, I've learned that I need a new controller, and some type of valves, 2 of them for my 2 zones.
Can you make some suggestions to an effective and decently-priced solution?
THank you

Delmarva Keith
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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by Delmarva Keith » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:40 am

I’d go with either Rainbird or Hunter valves and controller. Both are solid, well supported brands, at least where I am. All you need to do is change the indexing valve to two separate zone valves and wire that to a new controller.

https://www.rainbird.com/sites/default/ ... atalog.pdf

https://www.hunterindustries.com/sites/ ... og_dom.pdf

For a two zone system as a DIY install, frankly just go to your local home center and use what they stock. As an alternative, go to a local irrigation parts supplier when they’re not busy and ask what they suggest in terms of what they sell a lot of locally with few or no returns or problems and with anticipated future parts availability.

nabril15
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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:49 am

Delmarva Keith wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:40 am
I’d go with either Rainbird or Hunter valves and controller. Both are solid, well supported brands, at least where I am. All you need to do is change the indexing valve to two separate zone valves and wire that to a new controller.

For a two zone system as a DIY install, frankly just go to your local home center and use what they stock. As an alternative, go to a local irrigation parts supplier when they’re not busy and ask what they suggest in terms of what they sell a lot of locally with few or no returns or problems and with anticipated future parts availability.
thank you very much Keith.
I currently have a single water supply from a well pump, getting split into the 2 zones inside that index valve. How do I split the water to go into one of the 2 valves, by using a manifold? And, I should probably get a 3 or 4 port manifold to allow for future expansion? I think that I can do this myself, but I'm still unclear on how the pump gets powered on. I assume that it connects to the controller.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by g-man » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:41 pm

Most new controllers have a pump signal output. The controller turns the pump on and then opens the valve for that zone. You want to isolate the controller output signal from the pump with a relay.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by Delmarva Keith » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:08 am

As @g-man said, you’ll need a pump start relay. If your system doesn’t already have one, you have to get one and install it (it likely has one already but who knows).

Here are a couple:
https://www.rainbird.com/products/psr-u ... tart-relay

https://www.hunterindustries.com/irriga ... tart-relay

Note that, if I remember right, some of the Rainbird controllers can’t provide enough current to drive the Hunter relay, so keep that in mind if you mix brands.

For splitting the pump output to two valves, yes a manifold to the valves. You can make room for expansion now or not — pvc pipe is easy enough to work with and if you expand you’ll be digging things up anyway so either way.

To wire the relay you need to be familiar with basic electrical wiring and depending on the pump, 220v wiring. If all of this seems too complicated, just hire a pro and be done with it.

Edit: another thought — does your well also supply your domestic water? If so, it will have its own pressure control valve and will come on automatically — no relay.
Last edited by Delmarva Keith on Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:25 am

thank you all very much
My current pipe set up may force me to install the 2 new valves vertically instead of horizontally on the ground.
Is that alright?

Our well does not supply our home water, and I only use it to irrigate.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:33 pm

Delmarva Keith wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:40 am
I’d go with either Rainbird or Hunter valves and controller. Both are solid, well supported brands, at least where I am. All you need to do is change the indexing valve to two separate zone valves and wire that to a new controller.
Hello Keith and others.
I have decided to proceed with this, I've drawn a couple of solutions, and I continue to appreciate your thoughts. I attached a picture of my existing set up of a well pump, sediment filter, and indexing valve that feeds 2 zones - rotors and heads. When this was installed by an irrigation company, they didn't offer me any options nor did we discuss the plan; he came, installed, and that's what I'm stuck with.

I also attached a picture of my drawings of plans A and B. Ideally I would like to water both zones at the same time, but I bet that my pump pressure is not enough to reach both; i'll suppress that wish for now.
Plan C could be to do either A or B, but to bury the valves underground in a valve box just outside of that wooden box. Is there a benefit or reason for putting them underground??

thank you,

Image

Image

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by Delmarva Keith » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:36 pm

How cold does it get in your part of Miami? I know freezing temps are very rare there generally. Burying the valves will buy you a measure of freeze protection for the valves. My guess is it’s not necessary.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:14 pm

Delmarva Keith wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:36 pm
freezing temps are very rare there generally. Burying
You're hilarious Keith,but I appreciate the thoroughness in your thinking. No, we don't ever freeze. With an extreme cold front that may last 2 or 3 days, we may see temperatures in the upper 40s, but even that is rare. Of course, the planet may behave differently moving forward.

Did my drawings makes sense as a plan? Can the valves be placed vertically by chance or do they have to be horizontal?

EDIT should I just bury them so as to do it properly, even though it means more work?
Last edited by nabril15 on Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Delmarva Keith
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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by Delmarva Keith » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:02 pm

Just from memory, you have to look at the directions that come with the valves. I recall there are some valves where the physical orientation matters.

Poking around, Hunter says its valves don’t care.
https://www.hunterindustries.com/suppor ... nter-valve

I’m pretty sure at least some of the Rainbird valves can’t be mounted vertically.

For valve placement, I’d put them in some sort of underground or enclosed valve box for appearances sake.

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