Sprinkler system index valves

index valve
index valve



Many believe that irrigation indexing valves are a simple cheap alternative to individual electric solenoid valves.  While there are situations that warrant the use of these indexing valves we typically advocate replacing them with individual valves for many reasons some of which are listed below.

  1. Index valves restrict water scheduling flexibility, you can not water one zone all week while leaving the rest of your system on a 2 day cycle.  While this might not seem like a big deal it is!  When installing new landscaping, grass, or trees its imperative to have a controller that can water daily while not over watering the rest of the property.
  2. Well and reclaimed water typically cause the index valve to malfunction.  This causes the entire system to go down. In this case its always better to use individual electric valves made for dirty/grey water applications like Rainbird’s PESB scrubber valves
  3. Additional zones of irrigation can not be added to indexing valve systems. Most builders take the lowest bid when contracting the installation of an irrigation system.  This typically means the irrigation contractor spreads the heads farther apart and decreases the precipitation rate such that the irrigation system can be installed with the least amount of zones.  This approach is absolutely wrong.  One of the side effects is if the contractor has installed a index valve and later the resident finds they need additional zones to enable proper segregation of water needs then the entire control system needs to be reinstalled for individual valves.

Conclusively, Indexing valves are to be converted to individual valves to enable the correct segregation and distribution of water across the property.  This in the longer run will save a ton of money in sod and landscape replacement. If you are interested in reducing your long term costs in property management and increase the property’s aesthetics then individual electric valves are the only way to go.