Impact of hose bibs on Wireless Flow Meter

What impact do hose bibs have on the wireless flow meter? Are there any best practices or guidance on where to install the flow meter in relation to hose bibs or other outlets on the main? I’m concerned about how the meter will handle purposeful flow of water from the main line at times when the valves may not be in use.

In my case, I have a pressurized irrigation water system with secondary (gray) water from the city with no backflow preventer. I currently have a hose bib tapped directly into the main irrigation line from the street. I plan to install a wireless flow meter AFTER my hose bib and before my irrigation valve manifold. Any thoughts on this? Will the wireless flow meter work as designed?

@emil @brad @timber @piperrose Thoughts on this?


@pantherjad - if I understand the installation correct (hose bib, flow meter, valve) then the flow meter shouldn’t see any flow when the hose bib is used by itself as the valve would prevent water from draining out of the irrigation system. When the valve is open then the flow meter would see flow. When the hose bib and valve are both open, there will be reduced pressure and flow through the meter - but it should report the appropriate value. If this will be an underground installation, then check the distance from the installation site to the Rachio and evaluate any signal path issues (i.e. walls).

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Good point about the valves not allowing drainage or backflow from the rest of the irrigation system. You are correct in your understanding of how it will be installed. It will be underground but will be within 75 feet of the controller. It sounds like I’ll be good then. This is great news!

What would you think about installation before vs after a master pressure reducing valve? I am planning on reducing the overall pressure to my manifold and station valves. My default would be to install this prior to the Rachio flow meter. Does it matter?

@pantherjad - in thinking about the principle of conservation of energy I can’t think of a reason why it would matter where the pressure reducing valve is located in relation to the flow meter. Logically, I’d place the flow meter on the manifold side of the pressure reducer.

Not sure if this is something Rachio has tested or not. @Brad would have to comment on that.

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Are you doing just a pressure reducing valve, or a whole pressure reducing backflow assembly? If the later, it would make sense to install flow meter after the backflow since technically, the flow meter is not NSF listed for potable water. While it isn’t going to leach any harmful chemicals that will kill you, and frankly probably could be approved for potable water if Rachio wanted to spend the thousands and thousands of dollars to do so…“technically” it should be behind a backflow…