Finally stopped low and high flow messages!

For anyone who has had troubled with persistent low and high flow messages when sprinklers run…

After I got my wireless flow sensor, I spent months (and over $800!) troubleshooting and revising my sprinkler system to try to stop low and high flow messages from various zones. I had many conversations with technical support. They replaced the flow meter once. Nothing helped. After so many months, the company graciously paid me back for all my expenses.

Now, serendipitously, I seem to have solved the problem. To make a long story short, I changed all my pop-up sprinkler nozzles to Hunter MP Rotary nozzles. These use much lower flow (0.8 gpm per nozzle) as compared to the fixed spray heads I had before. I then re-calibrated all those zones. The difference was impressive. First, my flow per zone was obviously much lower. Second, there was a big difference in how quickly and consistently the flow became stable during calibration. With the fixed spray heads, regardless how long I set the stabilization times, flows would bounce around from 8 gpm to 20 gpm, and any flow in between, randomly, and never stayed stable. In contrast, with the rotary nozzles, flow became unchanging after 30 - 45 seconds. Since then, I have not had a single low or high flow message. I did have the expense of the new nozzles, but finally I have a system that does what I wanted.

So, if you are having trouble with persistent low and high flow messages, consider changing to rotary nozzles. Not only might your flow meter work correctly, but they waste significantly less water.

Adrian

Slight nitpick.

A flowmeter (any flowmeter) simply indicates what the flow in the pipe is doing. If your system was unstable and bouncing around, the flow meter simply showed you that and was in fact working correctly. Now you may have a contention with the software or the way the data is utilized in the calibration process, but the meter did what meters do.

You are absolutely right. And, although it may not have been obvious, that was my point and my conclusion. It had nothing to do with the flow meter. It had to do with the nozzles, and only the nozzles. Still, unless this is a unique situation to my sprinkler system, I would have liked to know that before I purchased the meter (something like: Fixed spray heads may result in variable flow, interfering with the leak protection features of the flow meter. Nozzles may also need to be changed to rotary type.) to be able to take into account the incremental expense. Also, it could have led to a much quicker resolution to my support ticket.

Can I ask one more question just for clarity?

Did the flow never become stable with your old heads even if you waited long enough OR did the maximum time for settling that the controller allowed not be long enough for it to settle?

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No matter what we did, including extending the stabilization time, the flow never became stable. Rachio even hired a sprinkler company themselves to try to get things to work. Rachio eventually gave up and just reimbursed me for my expenses. However, as soon as I changed to rotary nozzles, everything worked perfectly.