Hose water timers that work with Rachio?

Back flow prevention is needed for permanent irrigation systems in case the utility water pressure drops while the automated irrigation system is on. If that happens, contaminated ground water from the irrigation system can possibly be sucked back into the plumbing for your home, or back into the water provider’s system.

For manually controlled spigots, not usually an issue, as you would not leave the spigot on if the water supply is not working, and they are not normally permanently connected to below or at grade irrigation heads.

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So would attaching a Iro-controlled irrigation valve at the spigot change any of those requirements?

If I’m understanding what you’ve just said, if I were to connect say, a stake-in oscillating sprinkler to an outdoor spigot with ordinary garden hose, I wouldn’t normally need to worry about backflow into the water supply (e.g. I wouldn’t need a vacuum break at the spigot). Right?

Now if I insert an irrigation valve in the line (hose), use it to control the sprinkler, and leave the spigot open all the time, what changes in terms of needing a vacuum break?

Thanks very much.

On further thought, they’re cheap enough…I’m installing them anyway. Thanks for the insight folks.

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If your hose and sprinklers are above grade, so no ground water can be pulled back into your residential or municipal water system, then I would think the practical risk is minimal or nil.

There is a real risk if there are buried pipes which may leak, or irrigation heads in contact with ground water, and there is an automated valve which might come on when the water supply is at low pressure.

In my municipality, it is a legal requirement for proper backflow prevention to be installed at the POC (point of connection) with an irrigation system, to protect the municipal water supply. You should check out the specific legal requirements in your jurisdiction.

My first irrigation system was a hose timer drip system kit for patio pots. It included a $5 back flow prevention device.

Hope that helps to answer your question.

Sent the previous reply before seeing this message. Yes, prevention is cheap, no reason not to do it.

The Melnor Raincloud, http://www.melnor.com/16403-raincloud-smart-water-timer looks very interesting. Its Wifi Valve bodies have four valves per device and run on four “AA” batteries for about 6 months, low battery leads to failsafe that keeps the valves closed so they don’t get stuck open. The valve bodies are about $70 but currently require the internet control box - a kit (1 internet controller and 1 battery powered four valve body) for about $140

Rainbird also has a faucet connection kit http://store.rainbird.com/fckit-1pk-faucet-connection-kit.html with a backflow preventer, pressure regulator and mesh filter for about $20

The valve bodies are made in Taiwan… if there is a way of obtaining the protocol for turning them off and on. The valve bodies could be purchased independent of the controller kit. They are sold as stand alones now, because each internet controller can support up to two valve bodies.

Since nothing hardware wise actually has to be invented or wired up… this might be the simplest path.

The question then would be if the Rachio controller has any WiFi ability to issue those commands if they are discovered.

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