Rachio Wireless Flow Meter Quick Start Guide

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Rachio Wireless Flow Meter

The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter helps you to avoid catastrophic leaks and provides insights into your outdoor water use. The flow meter detects broken heads, ruptured pipes, and even low-flow leaks with highly-sensitive, state-of-the-art Vortex technology. It also issues notifications for leaks and blockages (and even triggers instant zone shut-off when leaks and other flow issues are detected). 

The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter uses cutting edge wireless technology to connect with the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller. No wires means that no digging is required to connect the flow meter to the controller! Professional installation is recommended for the Wireless Flow Meter, but you may be able to install on your own (in an average of 30-60 minutes) with our DIY installation instructions. 

Installation Requirements:

DISTANCE: Within 300 feet of the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

PIPE: 6 inches of straight pipe after the backflow.

TECH SPECS: Click here for reference.


  • The flow meter should be installed above-ground on an easily accessible pipe.
  • The flow meter can stay in place during winterization and system maintenance because of durable Vortex technology.
  • Pairing, calibration, and settings are controlled from the Rachio app.

Installation Steps

Parts & Tools needed to install*


Step by step directions


If you are unable to complete any of the steps listed below, we recommend a professional installation. Need help finding a pro? Complete the form below to be connected with a local RachioPro!

  1. Ensure

    Ensure your system meets the installation requirements.

  2. Pair

    Pair the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter with the free Rachio app.

  3. Locate

    Locate your backflow preventer.

  4. Turn off

    Turn off water to the irrigation system at the backflow.

  5. Measure and cut

    Measure and cut the pipe after the backflow at the correct locations.

  6. Cut

    Cut the pipe square using a pipe cutter; remove rough edges and debris.

  7. Fit together

    Push the flow meter and fitting together up the depth marked.

  8. Secure joint

    Push the flow meter/fitting and pipe together up to the depth marked; once the pipe reaches the tube stop, a secure joint is created.

  9. Turn on water

    Turn water back on.

  10. Calibrate

    Open your Rachio app and calibrate the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter for real-time usage and leak detection!

What skills will I need for DIY installation?

  • Locate your backflow preventer; turn off and on the water to your irrigation system.
  • Take precise measurements.
  • Use a pipe cutter and deburring tool.
  • Push pipe and fittings together.


Want to learn more? Here are frequently asked questions from our customers:  

Is my system compatible with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter?

The Rachio Flow Meter is only compatible with the Rachio 3 controller. The Rachio 3 contains new, proprietary hardware that allows it to communicate with the flow meter (the Generation 1 and Generation 2 controllers do not have this technology).

What size pipe is the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter compatible with?

The flow meter is designed to be installed on ¾ inch and 1 inch sprinkler systems. Pipes greater than 1 inch diameter are not recommended.

What pipe material is the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter compatible with?

You can install the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter with copper, PVC, or poly pipes. Ensure pipe materials before purchasing fittings. The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter requires a PVC fitting [example SharkBite fitting].

Where should the Rachio Wireless Flow meter be installed?

The flow meter should be installed between your backflow preventer and your valves. It's recommended to be installed at a location with 6 inches of straight pipe (vertical or horizontal) before the flow meter; see Installation Requirements section above for details. You can install with less than 6 inches of straight pipe, but flow measurement accuracy will drop by 5% to 10%.

Will the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter monitor indoor and outdoor water usage?

The flow meter is designed to measure and report outdoor water use only. It is not NSF certified for potable water use and should not be used for indoor water metering.

How far away can the flow meter be from the controller?

Range for above-ground installation is 300 feet.

How many flow meters do I need?

You will need one flow meter for every backflow preventer in your system. If you have more than one controller and only one backflow preventer, your system will not be compatible, as Rachio only supports one flow meter per Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.

About how long does installation take?

On average, installation takes 30 minutes to 1 hour (dependent on DIY skill level).

How long will the batteries last?

The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter requires two AA batteries which last approximately two watering seasons

How do I replace the batteries?

Battery replacement is as simple as opening the flow meter with a screwdriver and replacing the two AA batteries.

What is the warranty?

As part of the Rachio Smart Watering System, the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter includes a 2-year limited warranty. Click here for details.

Is the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter waterproof? Does it need an enclosure?

The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter is fully waterproof, so no need to worry about it getting wet!

How will I know if the flow meter is working at installation?

Once your Rachio Wireless Flow Meter is activated, the water usage chart on the home screen of your Rachio app will switch from minutes of usage to gallons per minute (GPM). If the flow meter cannot read your system’s flow rate or detect leaks, you will receive an error message. If the flow meter is not working for any reason, you will receive a notification through your email or the Rachio app.

What notifications will the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter send?

The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter will alert you anytime a high flow rate or low flow rate is recorded, or when an anomaly flow is detected (i.e. water flow when no schedules are running). You will receive notifications through email and through your Rachio app and in-app on the Home screen and within individual zones.

Do I need to winterize or freeze-proof my Rachio Wireless Flow Meter?

Nope! The revolutionary and very durable vortex technology allows the flow meter to stay in place during winterization and system maintenance. So no need to mess with it once it's installed!



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  • Question: Most residential irrigation systems use automatic antisiphon valves on each zone. Can a flow meter be installed on the main supply line without a backflow device?

  • I have already purchased the gen 3, can I buy the meter at a later date?

  • Hi Don - great question. The Wireless Flow Meter is not designed for potable water use, so it's required to be installed after a backflow device (this would prevent any water that had passed through your flow meter from backing up into your home's water system in a backflow situation). Hope that helps! Feel free to check out the Rachio Community for more information, thanks!

  • Hi Aaron - right now the Flow Meter is exclusively sold in the bundle with Rachio 3, but we're looking into options for selling it separately down the line. If you have any more questions, please head over to the Rachio community to join the discussion (https://community.rachio.com/latest). Thanks!

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