Above: Rachio Wireless Flow Meter on 3/4-inch PVC pipe
Let’s get started!
The first part of this manual is designed to set you up for a successful installation. Before any pipe is cut:
- Ensure system compatibility.
- Gather all required parts and tools.
- Scan the installation instructions to preview the requirements and what you will be expected to do.
- Rachio recommends professional installation; however, we provide installation instructions for handy people with DIY skills.
- Rachio recommends specific installation instructions based on your pipe size and material. Using any installation methods other than those recommended could damage the Wireless Flow Meter or void the warranty. Using glue of any kind will damage the flow meter.
- While installation times average 30 minutes, we recommend allowing 2 hours for completion.
- If you cannot complete any of the steps, we recommend a professional installation. Need a professional? To find a Rachio Pro, go here.
Make sure your system meets the installation requirements:
- Installation site must be within 300 feet of an installed and setup Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.
- Backflow preventer and installation area must be above ground (recommended).
- The flow meter is not rated for potable water and must be installed after the backflow preventer.
- System must have ¾-inch or 1-inch pipe made of either copper, PVC, PEX, or SDR9 Poly.
- For 1-inch PVC pipe, 1-inch copper or Poly pipe, and ¾-inch PVC pipe, you will need 14 inches of straight pipe between the backflow preventer and valve box.
- For ¾-inch copper or Poly pipe, you will need 16 inches of straight pipe between the backflow preventer and valve box.
- If you have more than one Rachio 3 controller, more than one backflow preventer, or a pump, visit rachio.com/flow-advanced.
The following Rachio Wireless Flow Meter installation instructions are intended only for irrigation systems with 3/4 inch PVC pipe. If your system uses a different pipe size and/or material, please visit rachio.com/flow for instructions tailored for your system.
What’s in the box?
- Rachio Wireless Flow Meter
- Battery cover
- 4 screws
- 2 AA batteries (do not install batteries until prompted)
What you’ll need
Installation instructions are intended only for use with required fittings.
- Required fittings (listed below)
- Required pipe transition (listed below)
- Recommended manual pipe cutter (listed below)
- Sandpaper or deburring tool
- Fine point permanent marker
- Stick ruler
- Phillips screwdriver
- Smartphone or tablet
Required parts and fittings for 3/4-inch PVC
- Two, ¾-inch to 1-inch PVC lock fittings
- Orbit brand, Model # 38677. Available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon.
- One, 1-inch to 1-inch PVC lock
- Orbit brand, Model # 38676. Available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon.
Required pipe transition:
- A 6-inch cut piece of 1-inch PVC pipe (you may need to purchase a longer piece and cut it yourself). Available at any Home Depot, Lowe's, or Amazon. Note: For accurate flow measurement, there must be 6 inches of 1-inch pipe before the Flow Meter. Do not attempt to bypass adding the 1-inch transition pipe, as this piece is essential for proper installation.
Recommended pipe cutter:
- We recommend the Folding Jab Saw (or Jab saw): Model # 48-22-0305. Available at Home Depot and Amazon.
Using installation methods other than those recommended in this manual could damage the Wireless Flow Meter or void the warranty.
Inserting your fingers into the Flow Meter or fittings can damage equipment or cause personal injury.
Once attached, fittings cannot be removed from the Flow Meter, but may be removed from the pipe using fitting removers.
Using glue of any kind could damage the Rachio Flow Meter.
Need some help?
- Check out our Help Center
- Give us a call: 1 (855) 300-3569
- If you’re unable to complete any of the installation steps, we recommend a professional installation. To find a Rachio Pro, go here.
Are you a visual learner? You can preview the installation method in our video. Note that these instructions are specific to 1-inch copper pipe installations - fittings, tools, and pipe configuration will vary according to your system setup.
Don't miss a step! For a successful installation, review and follow all instructions carefully.
Step 1: Pair Flow Meter
- Take the Wireless Flow Meter to the backflow preventer where it will be installed.
- Do not put the batteries in the Wireless Flow Meter until prompted.
- Open the Rachio app. From the "More" tab, enter "Controller Settings" and select "Accessories" then add the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. You will be guided through the pairing process and then prompted to continue installation using this digital manual.
Step 2: Turn water off
- Turn off water to the irrigation system at the backflow or at the main shut-off.
- Drain the system by running any two zones for one minute each using the Quick Run feature in the Rachio App.
Step 3a: Connect fittings
- Push one ¾-inch to 1-inch PVC lock fitting onto one side of the PVC transition (the 6-inch cut piece).
- Push the 1-inch to 1-inch PVC lock fitting onto the other side of the PVC pipe transition.
- Important: Push one ¾-inch to 1-inch PVC lock fitting onto the end of the flow meter so that the arrows on the flow meter point to the fitting.
- Use a twisting action until the pipe or flow meter are seated against the thin ring (tube stop) inside the fittings.
Step 3b: Connect the PVC transition and the flow meter
- Push the 1-inch PVC lock fitting on the transition pipe onto the flow meter.
- Use a twisting action until the flow meter is seated against the thin ring (tube stop) inside the fitting.
Step 4: Measure and cut pipe
Instructions for cutting ¾-inch PVC
- Identify 14 inches of continuous straight pipe between the backflow preventer and the valve box.
- Mark 2 inches after the start of continuous pipe (this is often after a joint); this will be the top cut.
- Mark 12 ¾ inches after the first mark; this will be the bottom cut.
- Put a small X next to the first two marks.
- Mark 1 inch above the top mark to indicate insertion depth.
- Mark 1 inch below the bottom mark to indicate insertion depth.
Accuracy is important here! Measure twice, cut once.
Step 5: Cut and clean pipe
- Make a clean, straight cut on the two innermost marks (denoted with X’s).
- First, cut the top innermost mark.
- Next, cut the bottom innermost mark.
- Do not cut the pipe on the outer insertion marks.
- Some water may leak out of the cut.
- Use the deburring tool or sandpaper to remove rough edges and debris inside and outside the pipe.
Step 6: Install the flow meter
- Important: Install so the arrows on the side and face of the Flow Meter are oriented with the direction of water flow. (Water flows towards the valve box; towards the ground.)
- Push the flow meter, fittings, and pipe together firmly while twisting the fittings to the insertion marks.
- All Rachio recommended fittings swivel 360˚, allowing for easy directional adjustment of the flow meter after installation.
Step 7: Turn water on
- Turn the water back on.
- Check installation site for leaks. If there is a leak, turn the water off and make sure the fittings are pushed up to the body of the flow meter and insertion marks. If the leak cannot be remedied, visit rachio.com/leak.
Step 8: Calibrate zones for leak detection
- To enable real-time leak detection, you must calibrate the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. In the app’s "More" tab, select "Accessories," then select the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. Follow the app instructions to calibrate.
- Check your email for tips on monitoring water flow and leak detection with your Rachio Wireless Flow Meter.
Congrats, you did it!
Your flow meter is now reporting actual water usage and monitoring for leaks. Want to explore Wireless Flow Meter notifications and what they mean? Check out this article for more information!