Tiny amounts of water used each day?

Hi all,

New to Rachio and loving the automation. I’m in a newly built house (with new irrigation system) and replaced the Hunter sprinkler control with a Rachio 3 unit; 6 zones (5 grass, 1 bubbler), and I’m having an interesting problem.

Due to some potential landscape metering issues, I’ve been tracking my meter daily and over the past couple of months, on days where no watering is scheduled (or skipped) the dedicated irrigation meter will move a few hundredths (and sometimes tenths) of a gallon. Other days, it will not move at all.

When I first noticed this behavior, it was consistently moving each day until I unplugged my Rachio for a couple of days (3 days in a row unplugged and no movement). Since plugging the unit back in, (and ignoring the watering days), I’d say about 1/2 the days it moves, and the other 1/2 it does not (in no discernible pattern).

Since I would expect any sort of leak at the meter to be relatively consistent (in amount and/or daily changes), it appears that something else is going on here.

Is it possible that the Rachio unit is engaging the zone valves for extremely short periods, or perhaps to check zone valve connectivity, etc.? Is there another way to diagnose small leaks like this at the valve level?

Any pointers/help appreciated.

Nope. Just variations in the meter. In the amount you are talking about, you wouldn’t even see it in your bill, especially since you are working with a dedicated irrigation meter. You are probably on an effluent system, which is a fraction of the cost of potable water.

1 Like

Thanks for the info – very interesting. I’v never been a ‘meter watcher’ before, so what you say could indeed be an explaination – although I do have to say I’m surprised that utility companies are able to deploy metering solutions which have measurable jitter when not being used, especially if the jitter is against the consumer, regardless of the actual measurable costs. Also, a little curious as to why something like that would be so spurious, rather than consistent, (e.g. .01/day, etc.).

And as it turns out, our system uses potable water and the separate meter only saves on the sewage fee – which will eventually make it worth it over time, however water cost is the big thing at the moment.

Finally, I’m really just trying to determine if I’ve got a leak somewhere and not sure how to proceed from here with a meter that registers random, small increments on a daily basis when not used. If small amounts are ‘normal’, what amount would be a cause for concern?