Best Flow sensor

If you want to skip below the story, please go to last paragraph please.

We are using pressurized irrigation, are at the end of a line, and seem to keep running into issues. It seems I clean my filter at least once a month (sometimes more). A little over a month ago, the grass seemed to suddenly turn brown (reality is I was not checking it). I starting to figure out what was going on and I started blaming all sorts of things.

This past Saturday, I was digging to split a zone and found no grubs, webworms, or other insects. I went to turn on a zone to make sure I had visual on heads, but found no pressure. Oh no, I think I found the problem. I cleaned the filter and same thing. Grabbed a pressure gauge and found the pressure was quite low. I took out the filter, found I needed to clean the filter again, but measured the pressure without the filter and it was still low.

I called the city and asked that they check the city filter. They replaced the meter as they were thinking it was having issues. When I measured it after that, no change. I called the city back and they said they would talk to another city person about the filter. I happened to run some water yesterday morning, visibly noticed low pressure and did the same thing this morning, noticing higher pressure. The sprinklers are working once again. So, I started today by emptying the soil moisture, which I will probably make sure I get it to 100% and repeat for a few days. I really hope to get it to recover before the grass hibernates.

I was thinking I need to get an inline pressure gauge so I can monitor and catch these kind of issues early. I have not found any online and ask a sprinkler place this morning. They said to use a flow meter and set each zone to a range and they notify when the flow goes either over or below the range while shutting off the system. At least this was a Hunter Flow Sensor (or whatever it is called) on a Hunter Controller. My questions are:

  1. Does Rachio has a similar integration with various flow sensors, not only indicating a potential leak, but also potentially restricted water flow? It appears I can set the low-flow and high-flow triggers (as a percentage), plus auto shut off on high flow.
  2. Does Rachio show a history of the flow per zone?
  3. What is the best Rachio integrated and overall best flow meter?
  4. I am not sure I have a preference between wired and wireless (both seem to have advantages and disadvantages). Curious about thoughts?
  5. With how much organic matter I seem to get, will the sensor restrict flow or require cleaning on anything?
  6. How does the integration work on a water feature that has mechanical auto-fill, but can electronically turn on the actual feature through Rachio? I believe most of the time, the filling happens during and after it is electronically turned on, but do not know how to tell about any other times.
  7. So, I would guess it would cause a trigger if it were filling when a zone was on.
  8. I would also guess it is possible to cause a trigger if none of the zones were on while it was filling. However, it seems like I heard that Rachio does not detect this type of thing?
  9. I just had an interesting thought . . . the new meter is a Sensus water meter, which just might be a smart meter. I found I can look more at aggregate amounts, but not sure about real-time. I doubt that Rachio integrates with this kind of thing, but that would be awesome. Does it?
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  1. Yes, Rachio has Flow meter integration, and yes it’ll work–kind of. It does what you have read, but thats it.
  2. No history, but there is a history of faults. Also, Rachio does not use the flower meter to determine how much water was put on a zone. It just used the meter to alert to High or Low flows.
  3. Everydrop. About $110 on Amazon. I personally REALLY wanted the Hunter, as its metal not plastic for same price, but this meter has worked for me 2 seasons now.
  4. Wired. Always wire sensors unless you cannot.
  5. No cleaning needed. You typically remove them when you winterize though.
  6. I’m not sure what you mean here.
  7. There is a delay for “zone pressurization” before triggering.
    8.THIS IS KEY…IF not zones are one, Rachio does not monitor the flow meter. It’ll happily let you flood your yard if you main line brakes, like to a secondary solenoid box.
  8. Rachio requires a pulse signal, and it’ll have to match a rate (pulses per gallon + offset) of one of the ones listed. This is why I couldn’t use the Hunter one becuase Hunter wouldn’t tell me the pulse rate of their meter so I could confirm.
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