When will there be a proper flow sensor support? Live flow reading?


#1

I have an 16 zone pretty massive irrigation system with 2 drip zones. I have two major 1" copper lines with independent backflow preventers installed and I need a flow sensor that properly works and by proper I dont mean accurately measuring how much water I am using when my sprinklers are running but I mean I need to be able to see the live flow usage from my phone at any point in time to be able to detect live leaks in my system. I have over 2500 ft of poly pipe buried and its highly likely there will be leaks. I need alerts being sent when any flow is detected when sprinklers are off or excess flow when they are running.

Doing this, as in adding a live, local only, flow reading to the corner of the app isnt that difficult. It probably wouldnt take more than a week to properly code and couple of weeks to test it. You guys have had this for 1.5 years in development, what is really going on - are you giving up on this? Hydrawise is really picking up with the way they are sending alerts etc and Rachio is falling behind.

I have a software development background (cs major from a top 5 university) and I have been in the business of building software (fairly massive ones with 8 figure budgets) for 15 years, and I am willing to, for free, code this functionality for you guys at my free time but please lets add this. In this day and age, this stuff is so trivial and yet it can be a life saver. My offer is real, I want nothing in return but this thing working:)

I am not going to drop $400 for a flow sensor when its not going to do the number one thing people buy it for which is to detect live leaks in the system.

The other problem is the flow sensors you guys support are all typical cpvc plastic tee connectors with no actual readings on them. If you supported say something like this we could at least go to the meter and look at the physical dials and see if water is being used: http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Hunter-Flow-Meter-p/hc-100-flow.htm


#2

Props to you for your passion on this, @Derstig. I’m not too interested in installing a flow meter myself but am sure there are others who are.


#3

I am a programmer by trade so my brain is always wired up to account for the catastrophe in any situation. Thats how you build software, you first think about how it will break and what makes it weak.

I have a substantially complex and leak prone system (due to rocky terrain as well as some 40 trees over 60 years old in my property and their roots eventually bursting my pipes one day).

Catastrophes dont just happen all the time, they are rare in fact they wouldnt be catastrophes otherwise. People usually dont plan for them and when they happen its game over.

Imagine my pipe bursting when i m away for 10 days and water running for days ruining my yard not to mention the massive water bill that I would get which would be thousands of dollars. I think flow meters are crucial insurance, they are a must have. These irrigation system can and trust me one day will fail (as everything does).

Why I made this post is because unlike what many people may think here, coding this functionality is extremely simple. They already have the difficult part which is properly processing a sensor output and propogating the data working. So they already got the most difficult part done. Not adding this trivial functionality is a big shame:(


#4

I have similar concerns. I want the ability to remotely turn water on/off and monitor for leaks. I am hoping this gadget will help once it becomes available and I figure out how to install it.

https://www.buoywater.com/


#5

I’m a coder too. I’m guessing Rachio just has higher priorities right now given staffing and their software release drumbeat, but I’m glad someone is holding their feet to the fire if the competition is on their heels. I want Rachio to win too - I’m biased since I’m an owner of their controller!


#6

I think getting email alerts regarding the water consumption is a key feature of Rachio. I personally assumed this was working and was not happy to find out that all its doing is measuring the actual flow but not using this reading to do things such as:

  • Sending email alerts when flow exceeds expected
  • Shutting down the master valve if there is one
  • Displaying actual flow

The first 2 are obviously a bit more involved but putting an “Actual Flow: %d gpm” on the main dashbord isn’t that difficult.


#7

These would certainly be nice features for those with flow sensors. I have to imagine these things are on their backlog somewhere.


#8

Not even a single response from devs or product managers here? Thats surely not promising.


#9

@mckynzee thoughts?


#10

Derstig, I completely agree with your sentiments. I have been monitoring the Rachio product for about 8 months, ever since the Gen 2 release when flow monitoring was added and it was hinted that leak monitoring was coming shortly. Since I had a recent $500 water leak while on vacation I am revisiting this. To me, leak monitoring is mandatory, and I have not purchased the Rachio yet, because that feature doesn’t exist. In the past 6 months I have contacted Customer Support, and tried to add it as a product suggestion but I got no response from them. It does bother me that so much time has gone by and no action or roadmap has been discussed for this feature. Particularly for a feature which should be straightforward to implement.

I have also been involved in many software/hardware development projects and would also be more than happy to support any development/beta testing in this area, since I feel it is such a critical feature.

I see two components to leak detection:

  1. Leak after a valve - only detected after the valve is turned on and water flow is compared to a historical reference. Action: Disable valve. Send alert.
  2. Leak before a valve - always leaking. In my system (and I would assume most irrigation systems) without any valves turned on you would expect the flow to be 0. You would always be monitoring water usage on the irrigation “main”. Action: Disable entire irrigation line. Send alert.

In both cases there would need to be consideration for manual valves/hoses on the irrigation main that might be used - so there would need to be some ability to “filter” manual usage. Also the ability to sort out a “main” leak that started while a valve was on. Additional features might also include underflow.

There are other solutions out there, typically much more expensive and not as flexible a system. I would prefer to be in the Rachio ecosystem with all the other excellent features but this is holding me back. At a minimum a roadmap showing this feature might make me feel comfortable enough to at least move over to Rachio. But I suppose if I could prevent another leak I could afford to purchase any of the systems.

Hi @mckynzee or @franz - is there a roadmap for leak detection with rough timeframes?

Thanks for your help.


#11

@rjmiller2000

This is great feedback/insight.

I would like to have our product manager reach out to you to discuss these topics, is that acceptable?

Thanks and have a great week!

:cheers:


#12

I’ll be more than happy to have a call. I already had a 45 min interview with your product team I believe a month or so back which I think went quite well. I’d be more than happy to have another call and get involved in any way you guys want - no strings attached