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 »

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

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by Delmarva Keith »

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.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by Delmarva Keith »

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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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 »

Hello guys and happy 23rd.
I visited my local HD store yesterday, and did some reconnaissance in the plumbing aisle.
I came across a few Hunter valves and controllers, and a lot more Orbit-brand products - both controllers and valves.
Is that a good brand to use?
Can the controller be of a different brand than the valves? I assume so since sending a signal through a cable is irrelevant of brands.

I remain unsure of the pump relay. In looking at the controllers yesterday, none of them had a direct connection to a pump, so then I assume that I will need a separate box with the relay, correct?

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 »

Happy February 28th to all and @Delmarva Keith
I have not attacked this project fully, but the ball valve that is used to switch from using the well pump for faucet or irrigation broke, so now i HAVE TO fix this.

I was looking at the Orbit 2 valve pre-assembled manifold that includes the valves as a very easy starting point, but that only accepts 1 inch piping. All of my piping - out of the pump, the sediment filter, in and out of the indexing valve, and into the ground is 1.5 in diameter. I could use 1.5 to 1 reducers at this manifold, but I will ultimately lose pressure, no?

Options:
1. Ignore that potential loss of pressure from using the adapters as described above,
2. Buy the way more expensive valves that take 1.5 piping and build my own PVC manifold.
3. Re-pipe everything from the pump to the vales using 1 inch piping, and use adapters to connect to the two 1.5 in-ground lines

I appreciate your thoughts.

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by g-man »

More than a drop in pressure, I would be more concern with a drop in gpm. Are the current valves 1in ?

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Re: suggestions for replacing a faulty index valve

Post by nabril15 »

g-man wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:55 pm
More than a drop in pressure, I would be more concern with a drop in gpm. Are the current valves 1in ?
All of my current plumbing above ground is 1.5. Under ground it reduces gradually all over the place. Remember that I use well water with a pump

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