Why leak detection is important
Leaks are annoying, but the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter helps you stay on top them! Being aware of leaks in real time and fixing any issues can save you tons of money and water. Ongoing leaks (even minor ones) can be costly and may cause even further damage to your irrigation system if left untreated. That's why it's important to investigate any leak notifications from your Wireless Flow Meter.
If your Wireless Flow Meter detects a leak in your yard, what should you do?
First, we recommend a visual inspection of the zone that's reporting a leak. Your Rachio will alert you which zone is leaking; locate this zone in your yard (this is easy if you have included name identifiers or pictures of your zones within the Rachio app). After locating the zone, begin running the zone using the Quick Run feature.
If auto shut-off is enabled on your Wireless Flow Meter, you’ll need to override this to run the zone. To do so, use the Rachio app to navigate to Zones > Individual Zone > Enable the zone > Quick run (from the individual zone screen). If auto shut-off is still enabled, high flow zones will shut off again after pressurized time is reached (usually within 1-5 minutes).
As the zone waters, inspect for leaks around threaded connections to the valves. Threaded joints are the most common locations for leaks. Look carefully for any obvious issues like damaged or leaky sprinkler heads, missing drip emitters/nozzles, stretched hose fittings (these are typically buried and therefore difficult to spot), or pooling water/mud (try probing the ground with a long screwdriver, looking for soil that is wetter than other areas; you may have to just wait until it gets bad enough to become visible).
- If you identify a leak, you can disable the affected zone while you fix the leak. Not sure what repairs are needed? Find a Rachio Pro to get your system running normally again at rachio.com/pro-finder/!
- Don’t see any obvious leaks? There might be a deeper issue (literally) to find. Look for the following clues:
–Look for water flowing over a curb or sidewalk. Any irrigation water flowing over a paved surface signifies water being wasted and a sign of over-irrigation, a broken irrigation head, or poor drainage.
–Look for sediment. An alluvial fan pattern on a sidewalk or parking lot can be a sign that you have a broken irrigation head.
–Look for erosion. If the start of the erosion is near an irrigation head, you should check to see if it is cracked, broken, or has a loose connection at the base.
–Check for grass patches such as darker green spots or taller grass around an irrigation head. When this occurs, the irrigation head is likely cracked, broken, or clogged. Green spots appearing away from an irrigation head are most likely not related to an irrigation problem.
–Got mushrooms or fungi? You may be significantly over-irrigating or have a slow irrigation leak. Check your zone settings to make sure you’re watering the right amount, then contact an irrigation professional if the issue persists.
Stumped on what could be wrong with your yard? We recommend contacting a professional for a lawn audit. Go to pro.rachio.com to get started!