Flow meter installation in attic


#1

I’m still waiting for my flow meter to arrive on pre-order but figured I should be prepared.

Is it acceptable to install the flow meter in the attic over my garage? My main water supply enters the house in the attic above the attached garage (slab foundation). There is a tee off the supply which feeds all the irrigation lines at the front, and at the back of the house.

I presume this location should be fine for the flow meter? I assume its a sealed unit and shouldn’t be expected to have some amount of “normal leak”?


#2

It’s important that you install it after your backflow device. Other than that, if you have enough straight run of pipe as described below it should be fine:


#3

Is there a specific reason why the flow meter has to be after the backflow device? Or is that more a plumbing code requirement?

I have backflow prevention for my irrigation lines, but it occurs where the irrigation lines exit the house, as in this diagram. My thought is to install the flow meter prior to where the plumbing splits to the front and back of the house irrigation lines.
irrigation

Backflow preventers are typically mounted outside the house since they will leak some water in the siphon breaking process.


#4

From the Flow Meter Quick Start Guide -> The flow meter is not rated for potable water and must be installed after the backflow preventer.


#5

Ugh, so is the flow meter just not rated for potable water use because Rachio didn’t want to get it certified, or is it full of lead and other toxins which make it unsafe for potential potable water contact?

I suppose I could use a double-check valve assembly:


However, those are quite expensive, and they’re not rated to prevent hazardous materials from backflowing.

If its not rated for potable water, do I really want this thing putting who knows what into water that is going to irrigate fruit trees and my vegetable garden?

Its simply impossible for me to install this flow meter in any other location, short of replumbing my house.


#6

@tygunn - not rated for potable water use because Rachio didn’t want to get it certified, or is it full of lead and other toxins which make it unsafe for potential potable water contact?

that is a question for @Brad.


#7

I’ll wait for @brad to chime in then.

If its absolutely imperative to have the backflow preventer prior to the flow meter I’ll unfortunately have to cancel my pre-order and get a refund on the flow meter.

I’d either require significant re-plumbing of my irrigation system, or 3 separate flow meters, all requiring a pretty awkward plumb-job to adapt in, as well as significant cost to add new back flow valves (my backflow valves are all integrated into my irrigation valves).

My plan B is a potable water meter with pulse output; not anywhere as integrated as the Rachio Flow meter, but it would suffice.


#8

Lol, it is not full of lead… I can officially tell you that the product has not been certified for potable water use. I can also tell you that all the “wetted” components, meaning anything touching water, are made of these materials:

ABS plastic
EPDM rubber
410 stainless steel


#9

Yeah, I didn’t figure there would be much issues with the components given the type of flow meter it is.

I think I’m comfortable with ABS, EPDM And 410 stainless being on my irrigation branch. I think there’s a low probability of back flow in my case so I’ll just install it.