Flow Meter in the Snow - Suggestions please - should I install flow meter above snow depth OR install a protective cover around meter?

Pictured is 12" of snow cover and where I live, snow depth can be much more.

Greetings from Minnesota. The snow is now gone (thankfully) and I am planning to have the flow meter installed this week. Given our snowy winters, I am considering three options and looking to the group for additional suggestions. Options include:

  1. raise the height of the back flow preventer another 8-12",
  2. do #1, plus install a protective cover around the flow meter (it will go below the spigot),
  3. do #1, plus install quick disconnects to remove flow meter during the off season (a Rachio “Pro” suggested this).
    What do you think the best option is?
    Any other thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

This sounds like the best option for your setup; just make sure your disconnects are located before the 6" of straight pipe required BEFORE the flow meter.

I think you have 1" copper based on the photo; if so please reference these instructions.

Good luck! Please post “after” photos! :nerd_face:


Install as needed and is easy, then get a foam or insulation cover that looks like a Rock. That’s what we do in Colorado.

Thanks for your advice. I just installed the flowmeter this morning. Rather, I had it installed and am including this “after” photo. Just ran the calibration, then my first watering for a season. Works like a champ!


ps. Installer created a “blank” section so that I can remove the flowmeter in the fall and re-insert it during spring startup.



I don’t understand why it’s necessary to remove it in the off season. If you’re purging the water from the lines with compressed air, freezing temps won’t hurt it. The batteries could be removed to preserve their charge but the unit itself isn’t temperature sensitive if not in service.

naamang: agree that freezing temps alone are not the problem. See the snow in the 1st pic. The storm that produced that snow began as a thunderstorm with temps in the 40’s, followed by rapidly dropping temps, then a sleet and snow mix which left driveways and sidewalks smothered with 1/2" of ice. The flow meter, if installed, would have been buried by snow. Many thaw-refreeze cycles followed the storm. Everything with a crack in it got damaged. I could have encased the meter - which is also a good solution. The “pro” that I contacted suggested this solution which is equally good, if not better.