Valves with real-time feedback?

Hello, been a while on the forum. Need some help.

Have summer home that is 1500 miles away. Has Rachio3 controller. Rachio3 works great, nary a problem. My problem with our drip system is “not knowing if a valve is actually open”. This past Thursday, via our outdoor camera system I could tell that 2 of 4 zones were not getting water. The other 2 zones I can’t see. Rachio3 indicates all is working. Had maintenance guy look over the system. Triggered system on; master valve sounds like it’s open, Z1 valve is heard to open. No water! Had maintenance guy manually open the master valve. Water flows! Returned master valve to operate with applied voltage from Rachio3. Water flows! Ran system thru 3 short cycles. No problems!
Now I’m want valves with a feedback relay that has will indicate that the valve(s) are actually open or closed. Anybody know of such valves?

You’ve just perfectly described the purpose of a flowmeter.

Thanks MeterMan! However, the flow meter won’t tell me if any one of the 5 valves is actually open or closed. The master valve may open but Z2 may not. How does a flow meter tell which valve is open and which one is closed?

Well you know what the flow is supposed to be in each zone. If the master valve fails closed, then you will see 0 flow in all 5 zones. If one of the zones fails closed you will only see 0 flow in that particular zone. If one of the zones fails open then the flow in the other 4 zones will be higher than normal.

The only tricky one is if the master valve fails open and the 5 zone valves all function fine. You wouldn’t really ever know that unless you had a leak after the master and before the zones.

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MeterMan, thanks again for your advice. However, I need true feedback from the valve so that when I send the maintenance man to my house, I can tell him to replace a specific valve.

if you place each valve on a separate zone/schedule & don’t run any cuncurrently then a flow meter would be able to monitor each valve

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I am not always good at explaining things so it is probably my fault for not being clear, but the scenarios I described would in fact allow you to troubleshoot and ascertain from your phone which valve the maintenance guy should replace.

Example: you have a 4 zone system that when working is 7gpm in each zone. (for sake of simplification)
-If the Zone 1 Valve is stuck closed, then the flow during the running of zone 1 will be 0 instead of 7 and you tell maintenance guy to replace Z1 valve.
-Same thing for Z2, Z3, and Z4 being stuck closed.
-If Zone 1 valve is stuck open, then the flow rate on zone 1 will still be 7gpm. The flow on zone 2,3, and 4 will now be higher than the expected 7gpm.
-Same thing for Zone 2,3, or 4 being stuck open. The zone that stays at 7gpm is stuck. The other 3 are higher. Replace the valve in the zone that is staying at 7gpm.
-If the master valve is stuck closed, then you will read 0gpm on all zones and need to replace master.

Like I said previously, the only scenario not covered is master valve stuck open…which is really the least important and if there is a leak that develops, the flowmeter would then tell you the master is stuck open.

Hopefully that makes more sense.