Value of Having Flow Meter Data?

The flow meter is cool tech and the ability to get quick notification of under / over water use (relative to a point in time baseline) is great. This gets you broken head and malfunctioning valve info. Wanted to see what other value the new flow meter data is giving to people who have this installed.

Rachio has probably been thinking about how and where to present more of this information for most impact.

Specifically wondering, does this new GPM information allow Rachio to replace an important manual setting with a more accurate flow meter based setting? Would having the actual GPM data for each zone, together with the individual zone area, give Rachio the opportunity to improve irrigation accuracy by calculating the inch per hour being applied and using that information in its recommended schedule durations for each zone.

Without the flow meter data, Rachio needs a key part of the irrigation information from the user configured “spray head” selection or advanced “nozzle per inch hour” manual entry. An option to use “CALCULATED INCHES PER HOUR” would use flow meter data and zone area to determine the amount of water each zone is ACTUALLY getting. Obviously this leans harder on the zone area setting but a simple length x width area calculation is an easier calculation for most and more accurate than setting nozzle rates?

@whilger, great question! Not currently, but in the future this could be possible. Short term, you could take the flow meter readings and calculate your PR on a per zone basis. I’ll need to check the support documentation to see if we’ve updated the steps to do this.

Yes, this would be an important measurement :slight_smile:

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I respectfully disagree on this one – if you have a basically square or rectangular area you are watering, that’s probably true. But most of mine are full of curves and oddly shaped. And because so much of it has tree coverage, I can’t use the trick of using Google maps to figure out the area.

Google earth pro does a good job of measuring odd shapes and it’s free.


Concur. I calculated wood chip and rock volumes with GEP areas. They were good enough!

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Just using the flow meter data and area calculation to determine inches per hour would work if your efficiency is very good. Otherwise you might end up with stressed or deadspots.


i’ve been experimenting with the calculation using my flow meter and for a very defined area like a rectangular parkway strip it’s nearly dead on with my catch cups. The story isn’t so simple however because many of my zones are designed to “overlap” somewhat and therefore it can be a bit difficult to define where one zone begins and ends since some % of water from each zone overlaps. Catch cups are still the best but you certainly can do the math to see if the Rachio generic nozzle rate is even remotely close to what you are putting down.

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The Google Earth view of your yard is MUCH better than mine. I can’t make out my back yard lawn at all – I actually have a deck and a large planted island in the back, and you certainly couldn’t tell from this view. Hence my respectful disagreement on the ease of calculating the area.

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