Leak Detection When Not Running

I am interested in buying the flow meter, but I am wondering if it will detect leaks when the system is not watering? I am always a little worried that a valve for a zone won’t shut off properly and water would continue to run. I was hoping this would give me peace of mind and alert me if this happens.


@Owenstire - With the new wireless Rachio flow meter, not the previously wired ones from Toro that also work on the Rachio Gen 2 device, I believe it only checks for flow volume once during the zone run after the pressurization time in order to conserve battery life.

@Brad - this would be a good add and would only add one flow check X minutes after the schedule finished. One could also implement this during soaking periods where nothing is running.


Hmmm. Before I ordered my Rachio 3 and flow meter I asked the question if the flow meter would trigger if, as an example, some debris got stuck in one of the valves causing the zone to still water after it was to have stopped.

The answer I received is that it would give me a message indicating water leakage but that the zone would not close down. That answer precipitated my buying the system.

A little background for my question: A few years ago one of my zone valves did get some debris stuck in it and I didn’t realize that the zone sprinklers were working for a couple of days before I saw some water damage in the basement.

So will the system warn me that the zone valve is leaking or will it not?

@DLane is correct. We only check one time during after the schedule starts and we hit pressurization time. In the use case you’ve presented with a stuck valve and current software we would not catch. @timber @brad This would be a very useful feature to have.



Thanks for the replies and for forwarding this on to the individuals who could make it happen. I can say hands down 100% if the flow meter could detect a stuck valve after the water cycle is complete, I would buy this system in a heart beat. My greatest fear with an underground sprinkler system is not catching that water is still coming out in a zone, until I receive my water bill from the utility company. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing if this is something that will be implemented.


@Owenstire and @silverfox9142 - There is one use case where the Rachio Flow meter WILL catch a stuck valve. In the case where a zone is running AFTER the zone with a stuck valve there probably would be a high flow alert as the flow from the stuck valve zone plus the flow from the scheduled valve zone should be over the threshold for the scheduled valve zone. Now if the last zone run has the stuck valve and it stayed open, then the next time Rachio ran it might flag a high flow use. So, not the entire month - unless the stuck valve is only letting a small amount through that won’t trip the high flow delta.

Hope this helps.

But Franz, the person I spoke to said it would alert me.

When I initially spoke to him, he said it would not work but after the conversation he either texted me or emailed me and said he had spoken to someone who apparently was a higher level than he, and he indicated a stuck valve similar to mine would trigger a text response to me.

So what now? I convinced my wife that this (along with $400) would solve an issue when we’re away from home and in two weeks we’ll be gone for about a month with a system that I was told would alert me if the zone was flooding our basement. I’m sure no-one meant to give out false info but what now?

Please come up with a solution before we leave for your area of the country.

@silverfox9142 I apologize that you received incorrect information. This is a feature we are certainly interested in but there are complexities with detecting leaks when inactive due to the multitude of setups in the market (hoses on line, pool fills, etc).

We are continuing development on the Flow meter but cannot guarantee that this feature will be delivered before you trip. We will be able to protect you from high flow leaks and will notify you if there are any low flow problems.

I will certainly let you know if anything changes with the feature development schedule.


@timber - would the following solve the problem? If there was a spare zone (e.g. only 7 out of 8 or 15 out of 16 zones in use) could that zone be configured on a schedule and calibrated - with no water actually flowing through meter. Then schedule this zone for after the other zones run and if there is a leak that is over the minimum detection level (.5 GPM right??), then it might trigger the high flow alert. The zone shutdown wouldn’t help, but at least there would be notification. Or would a minimum flow value need to be shoved into this zone someway - e.g. by Rachio on the backend or manually open a solenoid on a zone to create just enough flow to be measured for the calibration. This solution might result in low flow messages, but if it was at a known time then that could be a comfort that the system checked and things seem to be OK.

Regarding hoses on line and pool fills, etc. I view those as exceptions and the flow when not running would need to be enabled or disabled and installs with these exceptions would have to disable the warning or live with false positives.

Hope this helps.

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My thoughts exactly. :wink: Well, it’s great to see ideas to solve my problem and the desire to solve the problem, too.

So based on this information am I correct in understanding that this thread which talks about “Inactive System Flow” as a method of leak detection does not apply to the wireless flow meter, only wired flow meters?

As my sprinkler system is aging I occasionally see valve diaphragms failing (spontaneously running zones.) My primary use case for the wireless flow meter was to detect water flow when the system was not actively running any zones, detecting failing valves as well as broken main lines.

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@DLane Thanks for the creative problem solving :slight_smile:

Fortunately we are getting close to making this a feature that should be testable next week. It will provide a check post schedule run to look for any water.

This feature will live at the controller level and you can enable or disable based on your use case.


@timber Thank you very much for the update. I am very impressed with you guys and your willingness to add this feature. I will be ordering my Rachio3 and water flow meter this week in anticipation to trying this feature out. Thank you and everyone at Rachio who had a role in making this a reality for me.


I believe this will add tremendous value and functionality to both the flow meter and overall Rachio system. I too look forward to testing it once available.

Thank you for responding to the improvement suggestions of your user base and supporters.



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Glad to hear your joining the family :slight_smile:

Tim, has this feature gone live yet.

@silverfox9142 it’s in beta right now, but I need your S/N to turn it on for you. Can you please send it over via DM?


Hi Tim - I am also very interested in this feature. I sent you my S/N via DM, could you enable the beta code on my controller?



S/N sent, I’m an avid beta tester, I own gen3 & will be installing flow meter as well.