Installer in Houston?


#1

If you have a Rachio Gen 3 with the wireless Flow Meter and live in the Houston area, have you been able to find an installer to install your wireless Flow Meter? I cannot locate anyone willing to do it, and Rachio advises that, surprisingly, no installers are yet trained in the Houston area (how they missed the 4th largest city in the roll-out, especially a primary city for irrigation, I have no clue).

Any recommendations would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks.


#2

@trclac - here is what one community member did in Arizona ->

Will the install be underground? If so, how far from the controller to the flow meter? Does the system use PVC pipe?

I’m in Dallas and I installed the flow meter myself. The hardest part was digging in the black clay gumbo to get the hole big enough for the new valve box. It should be an easy install for any plumber or irrigation installer. I don’t know if they’re flinching because of the configuration of the flow meter (easy, follow the screen prompts) or Rachio system, but that can be accomplished with the community’s input.

Do use the recommended parts and not glue as the flow meter body is ABS and not PVC so they are tricky to bond together. One suggestion, if the pipe size is known is to order the parts and have them on hand as some plumbers or irrigation installers may not have the exact parts.


#3

The install will be above ground. The meter will be about 100’ from the controller. PVC.

I think they’re flinching because this is something, quote, they have never seen, which is what I have heard from more than one irrigation specialist and more than one plumber. Further, it seems no one wants to spend ANY time reading through a manual (even a high level manual) to figure out how to properly install the meter. They would rather just decline the work and go to the next customer, since they are so busy anyway here.

As for DIY, I am terrible at this sort of work, although I can build a mean computer! :slight_smile:


#4

I’ve had similar reaction from HVAC specialists several years ago when they saw my Nest Thermostat. They groaned and didn’t want to touch it, so I had to operate it while they ops checked the air conditioner. I’m guessing they’d be loathed to install a Nest Thermostat too! (Maybe after a few years, they’d be fine, but I’m never calling them back) Good luck finding an open minded, non-tech adverse, “omg technology is putting me out of business” contractor :slight_smile: (I also am disinclined toward DIY but lately with all the successes with the water meter installations w/shark bite or Orbit fittings, I’ve been thinking a little more about it)


#5

Thanks. When my HVAC guy saw the Nest box on my counter and groaned, I didn’t even ask … I just installed it myself. Several years later, and it is still working fine (although I upgraded to a gen 3 Nest, which was also DIY). I also installed my in-laws’ Nest, which, like mine, has been humming along for several years. But, when it comes to PVC work, I’d prefer to contract it out.


#6

@trclac - I think you hit the nail on the head there.

The only issue I’ve seen with above ground installation is making sure there is enough slack in the pipe to push the fittings together - about an 1" +.

I might just call one out and say there is a busted pipe. Then when they show up hand them the flow meter and say bust the pipe and put the flow meter here.


#7

LOL! Love it!


#8

trclac - either post or DM me a picture of the install site and I’ll comment on the degree of difficulty.

The Orbit fittings literally push on. If there is not enough flexibility to move the pipe, then I’d buy the Orbit Manifold pieces mentioned in the underground install as that would provide a union joint and it would be two cuts and pushing pieces together and then closing the unions with no worry about moving the pipe. Of course with the water turned off.


#9

Here’s the pic.


#10

@trclac - looks like a very straight forward install. What is the distance between the 90 degree elbow and the blue colored device on the outlet side?

For DIY, I’d probably recommend the underground parts (will cost a little more and I had to order the parts in as they weren’t in-stock locally), as things come apart at the green fittings:

I’d go bottom up on the installation. Turn off the water. Take off the insulation. Measure 2" up from the blue device and make a cut using a hacksaw or the folding Jab saw with a fine tooth blade. Measure up 15" from this cut and make a second cut. I used the Orbit PVC-Lock bevel tool that came with the release kit to clean the ends. Push on the Orbit PVC-Lock and Orbit Manifold male piece on each end. Assemble the Orbit Manifold swivels, PVC-Locks and Flow meter, slide into the gap and close the manifold threads. The end PVC-Lock devices would be either 1" on both sides or 1" to 3/4" reducing if the system is 3/4" PVC.

A professional installer might just rebuild the section of PVC on the outlet side, but the other option is to put a cut midway between the backflow device and the 90 degree elbow and then get a coupler to put that piece back together again after installing the flow meter (using the cut to provide movement to install the PVC-Lock fittings and then there should be enough left/right flex in the vertical pipe to push the two sections together. This option would use 3 - couplers, one on each end of the Flow Meter and then one between the backflow device and the elbow (this one could be glued or PVC Lock for DIY).

There is no reason a plumber or irrigation installer should flinch at the “plumbing” work on this.

There is no gluing involved, so if one can measure (twice) and create a fairly square cut in the PVC pipe I think it is within DIY capability. I’ve probably confused you with all the options. Either way, easy. Don’t forget to reinsulate the pipe.


#11

Supposedly Ewing Irrigation is Rachio’s national wholesale supplier. They should be coordinating contractor training with Rachio. Why Rachio would choose Ewing and shut out other distributors is a dumb move.


#12

@trclac - I recommend calling Andy’s Sprinkler’s Houston branch (Bill Anderson - Division Owner) 713.898.7055. They are familiar with wireless flow installations and should be able to help out.