Crazy flow readings


I have had my wireless flow meter since it was first available. I had such problems with it reporting high and low flow warnings that I stopped using it in the app. I have verified with Rachio that it is installed correctly. Now, with additional data, including a Flume flow meter on my main water meter and improved ability to see the flow in the app during calibration, I notice a number of things that are confusing. I could use some advice.

The sprinkler system when we bought the house had a combination of fixed spray head zones and drip system zones. Recently, we added an additional some with rotary nozzles. Another point is that the new zone uses schedule 40 PVC. Although I don’t know the schedule of the old pipe, I do know it was not near as rigid as schedule 40. Both have a 1 inch OD.

So, this is what I see happening. After 30 seconds or so, I get very stable flows on both the new rotary nozzle zone and the drip zones. However, the fixed spray head zones are different. On several of those zones, through 3 minutes of pressurization time, the flow continues to vary between 8 and 20 gpm. This is consistent with the flow reported by the Flume. On top of that, on 2 zones, the wireless flow meter reports zero flow, while the Flume reports a very high flow of 60 gpm. Of note, I don’t notice any big puddles on these 2 zones.

Does anyone have any ideas what might be happening with the fixed spray head zones? Could the flimsy PVC pipe result in variable flow? Is the difference fixed vs rotary heads? And, what could cause the flow to be so high on 2 zones that the wireless meter can’t read it?



I would read through this thread:
The WFM can only resolve flow rates up to 25gpm. It does know that there is an overflow condition and Rachio should report it as such. If not, it may show 0gpm. Obviously, 60gpm is way beyond its range and way beyond the specified acceptable range of 1" PVC pipe. (Not to say that people don’t try to use it this high)

That explains the flowmeter readings, but I can’t explain how you have enough pressure to get astronomical flow rates like that. You must have an incredible shower.


Thanks for your reply. I had read that thread and understand that the Rachio flow meter can’t register that kind of flow. I don’t understand the flow, either. I have a PRV set at 65 psi before the split of the sprinkler system and house plumbing. It just doesn’t make sense. Just as confusing is the variable flow in the other zones.