Question on Upgrade of 24 Zone system to Gen2

I recently took advantage of the Gen 2 upgrade promo. I currently have 2 16 zone controllers running a 24 zone system separated into grass and flower zones on separate controllers. I want to be able to connect a flow meter, thus I upgraded one of the controllers using the promo discount (only 1 promo is allowed per account). How can I successfully connect the flow meter for monitoring flow to both controllers?

I have the same question on the flow. And why is the promo only good for 1 controller and not both?

Which flow meters are you looking at?

Are you trying to detect if there are leaks?

One for the whole system or one per zone?

This won’t be possible from the perspective of having the app identify zones from the controller that does not have the flow meter attached. If there is flow going through your pipes that can’t be correlated to the first device (the one with the flow meter), we can still capture the flow data, but will not be able to assign it to anything, other than a generic flow event.


How do you recommend setting up flow sensing using dual controllers?

Is there any way to have the flow sensor downstream of both controllers (i.e. the water flow for both controllers is going through the meter) ?


Im not sure I understand the question.

In order for the flow sensor to measure from both controllers the meter would have to be placed where irrigation from either controller can be captured. We still could only correlate zone flow to the controller that the meter is attached to, but could record aggregate flow from the second controller, but would not be able to associate it with any of its zones.

Hope this helps.


You could attach the flow meter to both controllers, using optical isolation if desired. Otherwise one controller (and other sources) should be able to write realtime data to the flow register of the other controller over the lan.

@control4reak - As I understand it, the question @Franz asked is dependant on how your water lines are run. (or could potentially be run)

You mentioned a separation between grass and flower zones. So, are we talking:

  • A) a physical separation? (a split in the water early on, flowing in separate directions for grass vs flower)
  • B) an electrical separation? (entire system in one 24 zone water “chain”, but in two separately-managed groups)
  • C) a combination of the two?

Setup recommendations would be easier if we understood the anatomy of your system.

Also, understanding the intent behind your desire for flow sensing is important. Going back to an earlier response:

Are you worried about leaks in a particular zone/area?
I don’t have a flow meter myself, but this seems to be a prime reason people install them.

Bottom line, only the 2nd generation Iro can isolate zone-specific flow data from the meter(s). If grass zones are more likely to need specialized flow data than your flower zones, make sure your 2nd Gen is controlling those. (or vice versa)

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I originally had all 24 zones connected to a single rain bird system and then migrated the system to the Iro. I connected all the grass zones to the first controller and all the flower zones to the second Iro controller. I make sure the flowers water in the morning and the grass at night so they don’t conflict.

I was hoping to have flow data to both determine what each zone was using in water per use as well as to make sure there isn’t a leak in a single zone. If I know what is typical for each zone and suddenly see a spike in gallons per zone I would then be suspicious of a broken head etc.

I am a fan of Rachio (3 Gen 2 controllers) and have the CST•FSI-T15-001 flow meter installed for over a year. While the meter appears to give me reasonably accurate ‘daily totals’ of water usage, the Rachio software provides NO way to see water usage by zone. For more than a year, Rachio users have been asking for high/low flow alerts and per zone water statistics with no results.

Rachio doesn’t appear to consider flow meters of any real priority or usefulness. Which is a shame, because I think it could really distinguish Rachio from it’s competitors.

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Hey @sdxeriscape-

I understand that watching a feature request age with what seems like no progress is incredibly frustrating. I do want to say that Rachio absolutely does view flow meters as very useful. However, from a business perspective, we have far less users who are using flow meters. Therefore, improving the core functionality of the app has been prioritized higher than things like integrations or accessory support. I want to make sure our users know that we are listening and learning and building, and all of the requests surrounding flow features are being heard. While they aren’t here right away, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t on their way!

McKynzee :rachio:

There aren’t more users because their isn’t enough benefit (ie tracking daily water usage, notifying of broken head etc) to get users to adopt them. Also, there aren’t enough flow meters supported in the affordable price range as of yet. To me, a flow meter is an essential piece of gear for true water savings once it s FULLY supported.

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@control4reak Do you know of a flow meter at a more reasonable price point that we do not support? In my experience they are all fairly pricey.

I do not disagree with you- if our support for flow was more robust, it may motivate more users to upgrade their system with a flow meters for the benefit.