An Update On The Wireless Flow Meter

Hey there Rachio Family,

At Rachio, we’re incredibly proud of the three generations of Rachio controllers and accessories we’ve created, and are even more grateful for the dedicated customers we’ve earned along the way.

Our mission is to provide our customers with products that are easy to use and personally rewarding. In particular, the Wireless Flow Meter has saved hundreds of thousands of gallons of water by notifying customers of unusual flow rates, and it will continue to help users like you monitor your lawn and save money from wherever you are. Unfortunately, the variability in irrigation system configurations made for a more complicated Flow Meter installation process for some of our customers—something that falls short of our mission. Because of this, we’ve decided to discontinue sales and production of the Wireless Flow Meter.

We want to stress that the Flow Meter is and will continue to be a supported and working Rachio product. Customers should not be concerned about their currently installed Flow Meters and can trust that the reason for this decision is not due to its current performance or accuracy.

This has also been communicated via email to all current and waitlisted Wireless Flow Meter users. Please check your emails for more information.

Have questions? Click here to learn more.

We’re so thankful to be part of your home and are excited to continue to bring you products that support our mission—and yours.

Best,
Lo + the Rachio Team

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@laura.bauman - just wanted to let you know that as one of the above WFM users, I have not received an email (yet and yes I did check the SPAM folder).

If it is a support/complicated install issue, it seems like it would be a perfect opportunity to license out the firmware (for a reasonable fee) to someone and let them deal with the support issues. Unless Rachio is planning on ditching the 900 MHz radio for a different reason in a future version.

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Hey @DLane! I’m so sorry that email didn’t come through. Thanks for letting me know—I’ll send it to you manually right now!

If anyone else didn’t see an email come through, please let me know!

Additionally, thank you for the feedback about licensing support to a third party! While we don’t have plans to utilize a third party vendor for support, our internal Product and Engineering teams will continue to release software and firmware updates as needed and we won’t be discontinuing support of the product at all :slight_smile: We have also not made any decisions about discontinuing the 900 Mhz internal radio.

:cheers:

Laura, I think the next step should be to give more documentation on the kind of wired flow meters you support.

From my current knowledge, there are two basic types:

  • Frequency modulation: Devices that modulate a frequency onto an electric dc signal. The higher the flow, the higher the frequency.

  • Pulse-generating meters: Devices that get 24V from the controller, and one per gallon or per liter make a short electric pulse. Usually, it’s a classical meter with rotating numbers and digits, and there is a magnet fixed to a wheel that passes a reed sensor once per gallon or litre. This is what Hunter ie sells, and this is what is common in Europe, as it’s basically a house meter plus the magnet and reed sensor.

What do you support? Atm, you only hand out a list of US brands. It’s time to clearly state your specification.

Hey @top_gun_de!

Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile: We do have these support docs available - is there anything missing from this that you’d like to be considered?


:cheers:

There is just a list of few supported models. In my country, flow sensors are usually at a much lower price point. I expect to pay about 60 Euros for a certified flow meter with a pulse signal of 1 pulse per litre. This is the price for a meter that has been lawfully calibrated for municipal billing of potable water with 1" ID and is good for 10 years before recrrtification. The modulated meters are only used in industrial applications and even cheaper.

The meters on your compatibility list are all made for pvc-u glue connections, a concept that is almost alien on a continent that transformed from galvanized steel and copper to HD PE. We use screw connections and compression fittings up to 230 psi.

Your compatibility list only offers high-priced frequency-modulated sensors. This kind of sensor is available from china for less than 10% of the money I pay for a CST or Badger sensor. This is not stolen technology, the concept of these sensors is decades old. In fact, neither Toro, Badger or CST sell their sensors in Europe. At their price point, they wouldhave a hard time to find a market in Europe.

With a Hydrawise controller, it is no problem to connect generic sensors. I just need to enter the specification. For pulse sensors, it’s pulses per litre or per gallon. For modulated sensors, there are K and offset.

This should be your way to go.

Thank you so much for all the detailed information and suggestions @top_gun_de! Sending all this info and your recommendation to the team so they can dig into this option a little further :slight_smile:

So because the Flow Meter installation process was more complicated for “some” customers Rachio decided the heck with the rest of their customer who’s flow meter installation aren’t complicated. I only have 3 zones at my home and I was going to buy a Flow Meter when you got them back in stock. I’m guessing the average home owners don’t have complicated irrigation systems and probably have only 3 to 7 zones. So I’m sorry, but myself and I’m guessing many other Rachio owners are finding it hard to believe Rachio discontinued the Flow Meter because some customers had complicated installations?
I can’t remember any company that discontinued a product line because some customers where having trouble using it. Companies discontinue a product line because it’s not selling, the product was defective or a poor design or they came out with an upgraded model. That’s like a car company stopping production of their cars because some people can’t drive them…
I’m sorry, I am very happy with my Rachio 3 controller and was waiting and looking forward to installing your flow meter…I’m very disappointed…:rage:

I think there may be more to the story between Rachio and the manufacturer making the flow meters for Rachio. I’m sure they can’t or won’t divulge the real reason, but I suspect the complicated install is only a small part of it…

Whoops! Sorry for the delay in response, friends!

Hey @Fixer! Unfortunately, it was more than just a few customers running into trouble with the installation. There are a ton of irrigation system variations, many of which made installation difficult or impossible for many users. At the end of the day, our mission is to provide products that are easy to use (and fun to use) and this simply didn’t meet that mission. I’m SO happy to hear that you love your Rachio 3. There are still some Certified Rachio Pros with Wireless Flow Meter stock, so it’s worth it to reach out to someone in your area to check in. You can find one here.

Hey @tmcgahey! No more to the story (or issues to report) other than what I mentioned just above. :slight_smile:

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Hey Laura,
I picked up a wireless flowmeter today from my local Rachio Pro dealer. Thanks
It will still continue to be supported by Rachio correct?

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Hey @Fixer! So great to hear :slight_smile: We’re definitely still supporting it!

:cheers:

@laura.bauman
Additional flow sensors and the availability to enter a K and offset has been requested already HERE and HERE. Crossing fingers this will get added :slight_smile:

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