Flow Meter (Gen 3) – What were you thinking?!


How can batteries be changed without removing the entire sensor (for underground). Also very hard to change batteries in tight space conditions.


I live in FL and I have 1" main lines (reclaimed water).

I’ve had my Rachio 2 (and now 3) installed outdoors in the enclosure for 2+ years in direct FL sunlight with no issues.

Yes, the flow meter install process is laborious and not for everyone (I just did mine today). Even more so if your irrigation lines are underground. Pretty cool tech once you get it in.


I put the meter in a valve box. It just rotates on the PVC locks to access the battery.


Maybe I missed something, but I just installed my controller into its outdoor enclosure and the installation couldn’t have gone any smoother. The fit and finish of the product is everything I expected it to be.


I really think the engineering on all the Rachio products has been good and well thought out. In this case, since the flow sensor needs to support a variety of connection types (PVC, Copper, PEX) and fit into various spaces the challenge is making the system flexible with lowest possible common denominator cost and footprint.

Everything in life can be improved, but I don’t think the Rachio team did anything wrong with the engineering of the flow meter. Sure, I’d love for the install to be cheaper, but I want everything cheaper. It’s up to each consumer to decide if the total cost is worth it. For my residential irrigation system I do have 1" copper before and after the backflow preventer so the install cost is $39 (for two 1" Sharkbite connectors).

I also have an outdoor enclosure that I’ve been using since install of my original Rachio 2. I haven’t had any problems, so I’m not sure what issues you’ve experienced.

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13 posts were split to a new topic: Valve box flow meter install feedback


Awesome. What an outstanding and neat install!


Who is the manufacturer of these parts?


Lasco: https://youtu.be/WIBrqKmU4ps


I used the PVC-lock line that Rachio recommended. They are just like Lasco


Eventually after many issues getting fittings that would work - I had to go with 4 of them, I cut out the 3/4" copper pipe and attempted to install the whole contraption with all 4 fittings connected to the flow meter and six inch length of 1" copper. I just cannot budge the copper pipe on either end to fit the whole thing in to push the two SharkBite fittings onto the existing 3/4" copper pipe. They are totally immobile. I can get one side in but I cannot lift the upper pipe at all to fit it into the SharkBite.

Now I have an open gap in my copper pipe and I have no irrigation for the time being. This is a real problem in Arizona. What can I do?

Flow meter install help for copper

@nmstough Can you possibly take some photos of your setup? That may help community think of ideas.

What’s limiting vertical movement of upper section of pipe?

Sorry for your problems. My flow meter is arriving today and I plan to install quickly. I hope I don’t run into unforeseen issues either. The plan seems straightforward. :grinning: My wife is already rolling her eyes at me since she’s convinced I’ll also hit a snag and have no water. :roll_eyes:

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8 posts were split to a new topic: Flow meter install help for copper


I dont know but after I inserted the lower section of the flow meter contraption onto the lower pipe I could not lift the upper section of pipe over the top of it to get it into the SharkBite fittings. There just isnt much “play” in the pipe and of course I didnt want to bend the pipe or create a big problem out of it.
I uploaded a pic but it seems one of the moderators split it into some other post.


@nmstough, I haven’t come up with any good alternate ideas. I would look at how to remove the ball valve section directly after the back flow and then find a way to replace it after flow meter is installed on vertical pipe. If you can get it to fit, you could replace existing ball valve with a SharkBite version along with a fitting to back flow. Fit and cost are the biggest concerns.


I appreciate the suggestion but doing all of this plus the fittings attached to the flow meter is just as complicated as redoing the whole exterior piping of the irrigation system. This was supposed to be a DIY project and not to cost hundreds of dollars. Reading the original product description gave no clue about all this. Caveat Emptor.


Still waiting for Home Depot to get them to my store. Ordered a full week ago. Apparently they are in Ltd qty and only have a few chain wide. Also they do not ship direct but use their internal shuttle to move from store to store. Mine have more frequent flier miles than I do. So stupid. Rachio needs to stock and ship with meter based on pipe configuration. Well. If they ever ship mine anyway. Credit card was charged a month ago. Bout ready to ship email sent to me weeks ago…zilch.


I found that supplyhouse.com had a lot more in stock and with considerably better prices than Home Depot. And no sales tax either.


Wow. You aren’t kidding! Thanks.


Where do you live? Is there an irrigation supply house in your town? Most of the wholesale irrigation houses sell to homeowners. I never go to Home Depot or Lowes for irrigation parts.