indexing valve

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  #1  
Old 11-03-08, 06:54 AM
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indexing valve

I have an indexing valve to control irrigation which the water source is a canal behind my house.I want to switch to electric control because with the index system you have to go thru the entire system to get to a certain zone.Can I convert system over and if so,what steps need to be taken?My present valve is Krain with 6 zones.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-03-08, 05:32 PM
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By Indexing valve do you mean controller? They typically have a large circular dial which spins as each zone changes.

So long as there are wires running into your contoller and a power source you can easily change this over to a digital controller.

Before you go out and replace this was there some specific reason you wanted to run an individual zone? Like are you filling a pond or doing anything specific with it, or just want to water a garden or the front yard and nothing but that for a single time?
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-08, 07:45 AM
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indexing valve

Down here in Florida its fairly common to find an indexing valve to control zones.Its used with a system that has a seperate pump,not city water.What Im thinking of doing is building a manifold for 6 zones with each zone having its own electric controller and installing a 6 zone timer and a pump relay switch to turn the pump on when the zone switch opens.What an indexing valve has is a cam inside so it rotates to a different zone each time the pump is turned on and off.It requires no electricity to operate.The problem is,you have to go thru all the zones to get back to a certain zone.You cannot water a specific zone by itself without watering all zones.
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-08, 04:57 PM
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ah, okay. Now I get it. Up north I have never seen such a device. The closest thing we have would be a hydraulic system, but it does require electricity. Our indexing clocks are gear driven but also use electricity.

When converting this over so long as you know where the feeder or supply is to each "zone" then you will have a much easier time to do your conversion. With any luck some of this line is polyeurothane, or poly pipe. Its much easier to work with than PVC in my opinion.


Depending on the size of your pump and the lines you are feeding you will need either 1" or 1.5" valves. If you are pumping zones that have 1.5"+ poly or 1.25"+ PVC you will probably have to go with 1.5" valves in order to get enough water to pass through and not create backpressure on your pump, possibly hurting it.

When shopping for a pump start relay make sure it matches the output of your pump, either 110 or 220..... maybe 440 but I doubt that unless you have a REALLY large yard. Also make sure it can handle the amp rating of the pump, too.

Did you need reccomendations on controllers or anything of that nature? I am not certain if I can list brands in here or not... I'm kinda new here so I will have to look that one up.
 
  #5  
Old 11-05-08, 03:48 AM
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Thanks for the info.When they put these in,they put the pump out in my back yard close to the canal Im pumping from.They ran 220 wire underground to a subpanel on my house,which is located next to the timer,with the feeder pipe and 6 zone pipes right there as well.The inlet pipe looks to be 1 1/4 and the zone pipes 1 inch pvc.The indexing valve is a 1 foot circular with the 6 zone pipes arraged in a circular pattern with the head on top with the inlet pipe going to it.Im thinking I can cut the pipe below the top head and using elbows run over to the side of my house which is only about 2 feet away.There I could build my manifold with a controller on each zone.Then put the pump relay between the timer box and the subpanel.
 
  #6  
Old 11-05-08, 07:43 PM
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Okay. Your idea and plan is solid and this is all possible.

When the wire leaves the sub-panel to go to the pump would be the best place to cut it and install a pump start relay. What this does it cuts the power to your pump unless your new clock/controller is telling it to complete the circuit.

If you have a single breaker for your pump then its most likely a 120v pump. If it has 2 then its most likely a 240v. However, you can check the silver label on the pump to be sure. You must have the power OFF before you do any of this, of course.

The pump start relay will have instructions with it so installing that wont be too hard. If you have an outlet available and dont mind it being here, this is a good place to mount your clock/controller as well... or perhaps a place more convenient for you.

Between your relay and your controller you will need 18/2 irrigation wire. Irrigation wire is designed for direct burial. Don't get skimpy and use speaker wire or some other junk that you can find out there.

You will need at least a six station controller, or more if you plan to add on in the future.

From the controller to your "indexing valve" you will need to run a minimum of 18/7 wire. That is, 18 guague, 7 wires in the case. I reccomend going a step above what you need, or run 2 wires. Wires eventually go bad or get damaged and its nice to have another one already there.

Do you need help picking out a clock or something like that? A hardware store model will cost you between $30-80 but they have a lot of downfalls I have never been happy with and lack some safety features and ease of use of higher end models. However, a good controller will run between $100-200 so price can play a lot in this.

How else can I help you with this?
 
  #7  
Old 11-06-08, 03:58 AM
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Thank you very much for the info.As far as controller I didnt know if one from Home Depot would be sufficant or I can go to an irrigation supply house to get one.I dont know about brand names.My manifold,controller,relay,and subpanel will be mounted within 1 foot of each other,so wiring should be easy to do.I have looked at an Irritrol model RD-600-EXT,What are your thoughts on this model?
 

Last edited by motleylarry; 11-06-08 at 04:44 AM. Reason: added info
  #8  
Old 11-06-08, 05:00 PM
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Its a fairly out-dated clock and it tends to have problems with programming after a few years.

For what you are doing I think a Rainbird Modular clock would be best.

Other options include Rainbird EC series.

Hunter Pro-C series.


ALl three use battery backups, can run an individual zone and have digital controls. They are all easy to program, stand up well over time and have built-in safety features that you cannot get in a hardware store model.

The Rainbird Modular clock can turn off the Mastervalve control to any unused zone and would be expandable to suit 13 zones if you ever needed/wanted to.

The Hunter Pro-C can also supply more zones than you would need.

The EC comes in 6 and 9 station settings.

Check them all out a little and I can help you decide if you like. You can find them at a local supply house, an irrigation dealer in your area (sometimes the same price--seriously) or online.

I have other reccomendations for how you wire this before you get started so let me know when you picked a controller and ballpark your price.
 
  #9  
Old 11-22-08, 11:39 AM
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To the Captain,as part of my manifold,should I install a pressure relief valve in case the pump starts but a zone valve malfuctions?If so,what pressure should it release water?
 
  #10  
Old 11-23-08, 02:13 PM
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Yes, on the top of the pump you can put a galvanized Tee. Most likely this will be 1.5" as most pumps are this size. In any case, a pressure release valve is a great idea to save your pump from what is called "dead-heading".

Say a zone fails the pump will keep running until it literally boils the water and melts the impellars or something else terrible. The pressure relase valve needs to be set between the normal operation of your pump and less than the pressure your pipe is rated for.

Example:

Say your first zone is running and it uses X amount of gallons and runs at around 65 Lbs.

Now lets assume we dont know what your pipe is rated for so I would go with 80 Lbs to be on the safe side.

Technically you should have the relief valve set to just less than 80 but since its impossible to get it that close, anywhere between 80 and 100 should be fine. the most important thing to protect here is your pump. Those zone lines can be repaired for less than $500, on the offbeat chance they break under higher than 80 PSI.

I'll try and get some kind of a drawing or picture of how to set up your pump (if you have not done so already) when I get a chance. If I forget, please "bump" this thread by saying bump. Its a common practice if you are new to forum usage.
 
  #11  
Old 11-25-08, 05:29 PM
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ok, motleylarry,

Here is a picture I whipped up to help show what I meant about tying this all together. And a rough ballpark of how you do the wiring to the irrigation valves.

I realized I made one mistake, and I did this just because it was easier to draw. For the common wires of the valves you only need one wire to go to your central location there and then put runners between each solenoid (valve) like wires on top of a telephone pole, or outlets in a house.

In other words, you need 1 more wire than you have valves. If this is a long-distance, use a wire with a few extra wires in it for future use... because you dont want to run that wire twice!

Link for picture is here:
 
  #12  
Old 11-26-08, 12:35 AM
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This looks good,my only issue now is a pressure relief valve.My local irrigation supplier has a one inch,75 psi pressure valve.They go for about 70 dollars.If this will work,I'm done, as my manifold is done,wired exactly as you have shown.
 
  #13  
Old 11-26-08, 05:44 AM
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75 psi should be plenty good to keep it from any harm. I can't imagine your pump is running higher than that while "feeding" a zone/station.

Since its a 1" you will need reducer bushings to make it fit. Use the PVC type and put teflon tape on them but NOT liquid teflon or any other pipe dope. Hand-tighten it, then while the pump is running, tighten with wrench until it stops leaking.

Also, in your controller are you using every zone/station it has? I mean is there a wire going to every station available. If not, I can walk you through , for lack of better term, idiot-proofing the clock from dead-heading your pump.
 
  #14  
Old 11-26-08, 01:52 PM
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I have one station avalible.
 
  #15  
Old 11-27-08, 05:18 AM
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Deadheading

Do you mean jumping from unused station to used ones?
 

Last edited by motleylarry; 11-27-08 at 07:54 AM.
  #16  
Old 11-27-08, 08:05 AM
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the one station that is avaialbe, lets say.... 6 for the sake of argument.

Take a wire and connect the #5 post and the #6 post. Make it about 2-3" long to make it easier to do. That way should you ever accidentally program zone #6 to run, it will run #5 so that the water has a place to go.

If it didnt, the pump would just run and no valve would open. At least you could test your pressure relief valve this way... but still not a good idea.

It's a nice safety precaution for $.01 of wire.

Oh, since this is a new clock it shouldn't be a problem, but some controllers/clocks have posts that have become damaged and are always "hot" and should never be used in this manner. Since yours is new, no worries. Just didnt want anyone reading this and thinking its always a good practice.
 
  #17  
Old 12-14-08, 02:16 PM
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I, too, have a indexing valve for my sprinkler system, but the controller, a K-Rain 2510, is no longer functioning properly. The clock doesn't move the pin wheel or the day wheel, and, best I can judge, the problem's not mechanical. I could try replacing the clock motor and buy a bag of pins (there were only four white ones left when I bought the property), but even if that worked, I'd still be left with an old controller whose door has broken off (rotten hinges), which isn't the very best of scenarios, since it's mounted on an outside wall and the lack of a door compromises "water-tight" rather significantly.

I'd like to replace it with a digital controller (I bought an outdoor mount Orbit 4-station one at Home Depot), but I have no idea how to wire it to control individual zones (my indexing value has three positions, so I've got three sprinkler zones, now), because I don't have multiple solenoids and, thus, can't run individual wires from them to individual stations on a digital controller.

I've tried both deep thought and prayer, but neither worked.

Can anybody help me?

Thanks.

Dan
 
  #18  
Old 12-14-08, 02:45 PM
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The previous poster said that his clock had no actual electricity going to it.

I looked up your model since I have not seen these in use before. It basically looks like a clock/relay all-in-one.

You are correct in that a more modern clock and updating would allow you more control over the system.

You clock should be fine but I found that one to be a large pain to use but its not very expensive, which is a plus.

The other piece of equipment you will need is a pump start relay. The relay controls the pump and the controller runs the relay.


I take it you currently have electric valves along with this controller/clock? Or do you have 3 gate valves... which you open by hand and close by hand (usually by turning.

If you can take a picture of your valves that would help.

I can get you a quick drawing, etc, to help out once I know the full scoop.


Sounds like you have, at most, a 1.5 HP pump.
 
  #19  
Old 12-16-08, 03:53 PM
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I have neither electrical valves nor valves I turn by hand: An indexing valve cycles mechanically through its stations one by one (mine has three), sequentially, as the pump's turned on and off, and that's what my current controller does (though now, because the clock's no longer working, it does that only when I turn the system on/off manually).

When the clock works, cycle frequency's determined by the position of placement of pins on the controller's 24-hours "face" and the days selected on the "week" mechanism, while the duration of watering is controlled by the number, placement and length of pins on the placed on the 24-hour face.

How do I go from a system like the above to a digital one that attempts to activate individual solenoids on individual valves?

Thanks.

Dan
 
  #20  
Old 12-16-08, 04:37 PM
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I have never actually seen an indexing valve in action or up close. There must be another piecce of equipment involved other than the controller.

If you were to upgrade you would have to install a valve for each of your 3 zones/stations. Cutting the pipe and installing a valve with a supply line feeding all 3 valves from the pump.

If you look below in this thread there is a link to a picture that you can "blow up" if you click on it that has a rough diagram of how to set this unit up. I have invcluded an illustration of a pressure relief valve to prevent pump damage and a simple wiring diagram.


Note that for your needs and that controller you will have to use small jumper wires from common to common on each zone solenoid. That clock you have cannot take much feedback and will give you lots of problems if you try and run all 3 into one wire nut. That, or you can connect the wiring as shown if the distance from controller to valves is short because the illustration uses 2 more wires than is neccessary.

But if your setup is like the previous person's on this thread, then its basically all listed in this thread already. Let me know if you have further questions and I will help as best as I am able.
 
  #21  
Old 12-20-08, 08:32 AM
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I found some really useful info on this topic by googling "timers for indexing valves."

The stuff on wikianswers and terry love's site both suggest that a digital timer can be made to work on an indexing valve system without any re-plumbing - that it's just a matter of how the controller's programmed and how it's wired.

How this helps others.

Dan
 
  #22  
Old 12-21-08, 04:21 PM
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Thanks. Sounds good. I have never witnessed an indexing valve because they may not work in the climate where I live (gets too cold). That, or we call them something completely different.

My thoughts are also that if you are going to switch something over like this, you get longer-lasting results by starting over with new parts and valves. I cannot count the number of times I have had to go back to something because someone wanted to "save money" by keeping old parts. But I can understand looking at all new and saying that can cost a lot up front, too.
 
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