Water Flow Gauge integration with Iro Idea


#1

I would be VERY interested in buying an accessory for my Iro for monitoring the actual water flowing to my irrigation system.

Usage Ideas:

  1. Accurate Zone Water usage - It would allow us to know exactly how much water is getting to each zone, since the Iro can sync the flow with the schedule of which zone is being watered.
  2. Broken Sprinkler Detection - The Iro could learn what the normal flow rate if for an area, and it if seems unusually high it can notify the owner with an alert, and possibly even turn off the sprinklers as a precaution (if desired by owner)

Implementation Ideas:

  1. Create WIFI enabled Water Gauge device
    a. that the Iro can access via an IP address directly on the local lan
    b. The device could send data to the Rachio cloud server, and the Iro can get the data from there.

  2. Irrigation cabling - I have a few spare wires that go to the irrigation valves, that could be used to connect directly to the Iro, if that was an easier way to get the data to the Iro. Of course that would have to implemented on a Version 2 of the hardware. Example devices at: http://www.futurlec.com/Flow_Sensor.shtml

  3. Z-wave Water gauge device - using home automation device which are becoming more popular, the data can be collected and sent to Rachio cloud server. SmartThings and VeraLite are very popular, and I’d bet most Iro owners have one of these.


#2

However, in the meantime, just being able to add a Gallon Per Hour per zone, so that the estimates are more accurate would be very useful.


#3

@aaronrryan‌ Our 1.7 mobile release (coming out this week) allows you to input those exact numbers. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback. Thanks!

http://www.support.rach.io/article/258-version-1-7-new-features


#4

Will this feature allow us to figure out the actual Gallons used per zone, or will it assume the default 1,000 Sq ft per zone, as discussed in the other thread:
http://www.community.rach.io/discussion/comment/532/#Comment_532

I have a really small yard, and all my 7 zones are under 1000 sqft.

I’d really like to be able to change the ASSUMED area of the zone.

I supposed I can reverse the math, and figure out how much water is going to each zone (by looking at the water company meter) and knowing my actual sq ft, and can manually set the nozzle rate to be accurate assuming Iro will be multiplying by 1000 sqft. :slight_smile:

But that will probably mess up the math for the other watering features.


#5

@aaronrryan‌ This release will not allow you to input actual yard square footage. That is in our backlog and hopefully we can add it in the next coming releases. Thanks and let us know if you have any more questions!


#6

You know if we could just put in the GPM (Gallon Per Minute) per Zone, then Gallons used per zone would be easy to calculate, just
(Run Time) * (Zone Flow Rate) = (Gallons Used).

I used the Rachio app this morning to run each zone for 6 minutes, while I was looking at the water company meter, and I was able to get the flow rate per zone. It was nice not having to run back to the garage to start the next zone :slight_smile:

This seems to be an easier and more accurate method than figuring out the Sq Ft of the Zone and picking the correct nozzle type that gives you the correct flow rate.

-Aaron


#7

@aaronrryan‌ Agreed. Will try to get this in the near future.


#8

Sweet, thanks for your quick response.


#9

@aaronrryan‌ this is a pretty good idea! Given good sprinkler heads, flow shouldn’t change over time… so a one time manual “calibration” (by looking at the meter) would give a nearly exact rate of water usage per zone.


#10

@franz I got a question about the math of how the report of “Gallons Used” works, and I’m wondering if my assumptions are correct.

I made a custom nozzle with 1 cu.in/hr and used “fixed spray head” and I ran the zone for 1 hr and the report said it used 622 gallons. So I assume that if I want to control the rate of the “Water Used” going to a zone, I can just take the GPH of what I really use and divide by the 622, and then I’d get the decimal of what I should set the nozzle cu.in./hr so the Gallons Used calculated will be correct.

Here is an example:
For simplicity, lets say that the real GPH of a zone is 62.2 GPH, I’d then get 62.2/622 = 0.1

So in theory, if I setup a custom nozzle with 0.1 Cu.In./hr, the calculations of Gallons Used should be correct for that zone.

Does this sound correct? Does the type of nozzle (Fixed Spray, Bubbler, etc) affect the “Gallon Used” calculation? I wasnt sure if there are any other factors that affect the results.

I plan on trying a few test to see if my theory is correct, but if you have any input, I’d appreciate it.

Thanks,


#11

I ran a custom nozzle of 0.1 cu.in./hr for 1 hour and the Gallons used was 62 gallons, so looks like my math is correct.


#12

@aaronrryan‌ Awesome, thanks for the feedback :slight_smile: We hope to incorporate something like this into the app so everyone can do this much more simple. Thanks again!


#13

I did notice that if I manually ran a zone, that the “Gallon Used” does not show up in the report. It has to be a scheduled watering for reports to track the water being used.

Is this a bug? Is there a better place for me to report bugs.


#14

@aaronrryan‌ That is correct :frowning: Not so much a bug (we are capturing all of that data) but a time constraint in getting those reports out. It is in our backlog and we want to add that data into the reports soon.

Thanks and let us know if you have any more feedback!


#15

@aaronrryan‌ We are fixing this for 1.8 (next release). None of us can remember even why that filter was put in :slight_smile: