Rachio Flow Meter is EOL: Which to get Now?

Wonder who that mysterious initial partner is :wink:

That being said, I would advise against buying one with expectation of compatibility with Rachio. Pretty sure there is some sort of serial / firmware based authentication that is going on. Within the app, I see Specific serial number and firmware version “flow-ota-combined-53”.

Body / housing may be the same, but does not mean it will work out of the box. Alas I do not know if Rachio has any plans to open up response conditions (such as zone shutoff on a high flow) for a hard wired flow sensors, as far as I know any other flow meter is used for a zone consumption measurement only.

This is some bummer news. The flow meter protection is the primary reason I went with Rachio. Without the meter I wouldn’t have chosen Rachio. Hopefully we get a replacement solution that is as equally as good in the future!

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Rachio did a great job with the wireless, but it is proprietary so we can’t interface to it.

See my response to Gene for additional information.

You are correct that at the current time the Rachio controllers do not implement the same features for wired controllers. The last thing I want to do is mislead people into thinking that only to be surprised.

Having said that, next month we will be introducing a product (available in late spring) that will be sold with the flowmeter that will allow complete utilization of all the features of the flowmeter in parallel with your controller of choice. We will be offering the ability to share a valve wire (and common) to power and communicate with the meter so that new wires don’t have to be pulled.

I will keep you posted as updates become available.

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Man… a “no wireless” solution really stinks high to the heavens, especially when we know it can be done, and done well!

Would there be an option to put the meter inside, before the backflow preventer?

Can’t interface with it at the moment? Or can’t ever?

It is blatantly clear that this in/was the source of the Rachio flow meter, so why wouldn’t it work with Rachio? Proprietary or not, they made it, so what would be stopping them from producing it under their own name, and work with Rachio? Is it Rachio that would block it?

Guessing things didn’t end well between Rachio and this company…

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I think “Your interface” is the key. Pretty sure the wireless control board (link) and firmware / protocol were developed by Rachio, they even had to go through FCC directly whereas if it was developed by someone else they would not have to (but would pay more per unit).

@though - the WFM was not certified for potable (drinking) water, therefore it can’t go before the backflow preventer.

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Technically…but that is just because Rachio didn’t grease the palms of IAPMO to get the approval. There is nothing about the flow meter that wouldn’t pass…

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I think it makes more seance now why Rachio have not gone through the certification of the flow sensor housing / manufacturing process. This was the part manufactured by a partner / supplier to Rachio for whom such certification would represent a significant expense.

Will you be able to get reliable readings over unshielded wire?

Yes, connected to the Rachio it is a 20V swing at low frequency. This is a standard approach many flow meters use.

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So to be clear:
1). This flow meter has to be hardwire to the controller (no wireless interface)?
2). Does it have the same features as the Rachio. Does it have adjustable flow rates for leak detection and does it have auto shutdown if it exceeds the flow rate?
3). Can it be monitored and controlled from the Rachio App or do you have to go to the flowmeter?
4). Compared to the Rachio flowmeter what can the everydropmeter do and not do? Thanks.

1: Yes, our initial products are wired.
2,3,4: Any meter, regardless of brand or technology (including the former wireless Rachio) simply provides the flowrate. None of the things you ask for in 2,3, and 4 have anything to do with the flowmeter itself. (*1) All of this functionality is implemented in a controller. So, I can’t answer what features the Rachio offers when a wired flowmeter is connected.

This is also why I mentioned that Everydrop is working on a product to better utilize all of the functionality that an accurate, repeatable flowmeter can provide.

*1: This is not entirely true. Not all meters are accurate or repeatable enough to implement trip points that have any actual meaning without either making the trip windows huge or getting constant false notifications.

Great, thanks for the info and your reply.

I am one of the folks that didn’t have much success with the WFM - inconsistent readings leading to exceeding threshold warnings, random zero flow errors, etc. Support was very responsive and helpful and we tried many different things to resolve the issues, but for my particular installation we were never successful. I ultimately disabled the notifications across my 12 zones.

On the topic of this post, I installed a Flume device.

It is wireless, and straps around the water meter at the street. No pipe cutting or anything. It appears to be very accurate thus far. They do not interface with Rachio, but do have an API. I hope that Flume and Rachio will interface with each other at some point. I realize that since the Flume installs at the main water input, you wouldn’t be able to isolate irrigation consumption from regular house usage, but I run my irrigation very early in the morning before we get up, so there wouldn’t likely be any water running in the house anyway.

Why not pair with an ultrasonic flow meter that is surface mount? I’m not sure if I believe Rachio’s explanation, but they said installation was one major issue with the old style meter. Seems that a meter with surface mounted technology would solve this issue – however yes it potentially has the issue of not being as accurate as inline technology.

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a) It’s still advertised on the website…???
b) The WFW was a key selling factor for me -
c) R. missed the chance to communicate to all user (i.e. potential future buyer) - very sad
d) Thanks for sharing alternatives here. I hope they will fill the functional gap.