Inconsistent flow readings and warnings


I had my Wireless Flow Meter installed this week. I have been getting frequent high and low flow rate warnings on several zones (not the same zones every time). Also getting random zero flow warnings. I also get different flow rates when I re-run calibration. An example would be my front lawn - the first calibration was 4.7gal/min (way wrong!), and the next calibration immediately following was 17.2gal/min (likely correct). My flow meter signal strength shows Good(-4). I have gone through and re-calibrated all of my zones at close to the time my irrigation schedule would run early morning hoping that would help.


@JohnF - there is an option to increase the pressurize and settle times under Controller Settings/Flow Settings. I might bump up the pressurize time a minute or two to see if that helps.


Thank you @DLane. I will do that now and report back at my next run tomorrow morning.


I am having the exact same issues.


I increased the pressurization time to 3 minutes, and still get low-flow warnings on different zones and different flow rates when I run calibration.


@JohnF Would you mind letting me know the variance you are seeing in your calibrations?

Also, what types of zones are you seeing the low-flow warnings on?


Not just low-flow warnings. I am getting low, high and zero warnings.
Here are just a few that I have been receiving. The warnings are across most all of my 12 zones (and zone types). There is really no consistency. I can run a calibration and get 5 gal/min - and run the calibration again and get 14 gal/min. I have tried to run the calibrations multiple times consecutively to get a number that “seems” reasonable to set as a baseline. Then I find that when the schedule runs at it’s normal time a few days later, I get a low or high warning.

9/4 - We detected a flow rate of 7.7 gpm, which is below your set threshold of 9.7 gpm. Without action, Rear Yard will continue to water as scheduled.

9/3 - We detected a flow rate of 8.2 gpm, which is below your set threshold of 8.7 gpm. Without action, Front Shrubs will continue to water as scheduled.

8/31 (Front Yard) - We detected a flow rate of 17.2 gpm, which is above your set threshold of 14.6 gpm

8/31 - We detected a flow rate of 0.0 gpm, which is below your set threshold of 7.4 gpm. Without action, Pool Shrubs will continue to water as scheduled.

8/28 (Front Plants & Shrubs) - We detected a flow rate of 15.7 gpm, which is above your set threshold of 13.8 gpm.

8/27 - We detected a flow rate of 0.0 gpm, which is below your set threshold of 7.6 gpm. Without action, Rear Yard will continue to water as scheduled.

8/27 - We detected a flow rate of 0.0 gpm, which is below your set threshold of 6.0 gpm. Without action, Driveway Shrubs will continue to water as scheduled.


I am having the same issues. New to the system, I just expected “it will work” - hah. From what I have gathered this far, your best bet is to find out what the fluctuation of your system can be w/o having a burst pipe. I mean by that, establish what your system does, for me, it can be low as 1.1 gpm and up to 7.5 gpm. Once established, you can set - under the Advanced tab - the high and low warning amounts, that way you don’t get flooded with notifications and warnings for these day to day fluctuations in pressure and output, but that you only get warnings if it goes abvoe or below your manually set limits. Calibration did not work for me, because several zones fluctuated widely, even if instantly re-calibrated and I even got some ‘could not calibrate’ messages. Manually setting what seems the upper/lower numbers took care of the many emails and I will just not worry about it further for now. At least I try :slight_smile:


I have opened a support case, and tried the resolution that the support rep suggested, but it made no difference. I guess that my support case is in the hands of the wireless flow team now. I may increase the high/low notification thresholds to try and eliminate all the warnings that I need to go into the app and clear out daily. Unfortunately, changing the thresholds won’t help with the random zero flow warnings.


I have same issues - seemed to be tied to updates to the rachio controller. First started getting flow warnings outside of scheduled runs. Then on 9/5 it changed to “no flow” warnings.


Same issue here. Would love an API call to be able to directly retrieve the event history… here’s my best shot at analysis. Visually I haven’t yet been able to find any broken or underperforming sprinkler heads but am most certainly not an expert at this stuff!



Because the ‘Front Yard Grass-…’ leak detections descriptions aren’t specific enough to the zone (the ‘-…’ is cutting off which actual zone is the supposedly problematic one), let’s filter the above list based on where we do have precision:




Will be renaming ‘Front Yard Grass- Right Front’ to ‘Front Right Front’ and ‘Front Yard Grass- Right Back’ to ‘Front Right Back’ to get better reporting.


Got a ‘Front Right Back’ high-flow alert today- flow rate of 4.5gpm which is above threshold of 1.8gpm.
Also got a ‘Back Yard Patio’ high-flow alert today- flow rate of 4.8gpm which is above threshold of 3.8gpm.

I checked the sprinkler heads and didn’t see anything obviously wrong.

Thinking I may just need to re-calibrate these zones? But I’ve already done this…?

  • John


More analysis…


The fluctuations in readings from your flow meter could point to turbulent flow in your system. Could you post a photo of your flow meter installation so we can see if anything stands out as odd?


For now, I have just opened up my thresholds to try and minimize the number of warnings I receive from the flow meter. On one of my zones, I have received warnings for low flow of 8.5 gal/min and high flow of 17.2 gal/min. My flow is definitely not varying over that range. I also receive zero-flow warnings across different zones. Unfortunately, the flow meter is not a trusted measure of my irrigation water consumption/flow at this point. I have had a support case open for about a month, but haven’t heard anything back in 3 weeks or so. I’m hopeful that Rachio can sort through these issues.


Hey @JohnF! Just reached out to our support team for an update. So sorry for the delay!

Lo :rachio:


Thanks. Here you go:

#19 It looks like there might be an issue with your installation. You are required to have at least 6 inches of straight 1" pipe between the upstream shark-bite coupler and the flow meter. The shark-bite coupler is likely causing turbulence in the flow of water, which is why you’re seeing sporadic readings.

I can’t quite tell what material your supply line is made of, but it looks like a 3/4" line. Feel free to check out our 3/4" installation guide for guidance on how to fix your installation :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks, I’m following up on this with my lawn care specialists who installed the flow meter. Their initial impression is the inaccuracy of these meters is why people don’t buy many more of them, but they are investigating.

In the meantime, can you help me understand this alert I received today: