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Flow Meter

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  • Flow Meter

    Any recommendations on a flow meter for my irrigation line? Or a way to calculate each zone's water use somehow?

  • #2
    My new water-authority-supplied water meter reads out flow rate directly, so it is very easy. Just run one zone at a time and record the flow.

    Unfortunately, they only installed it recently. Before, it was a bit more of a hassle. I'd run each zone for five minutes, noting the meter reading at the beginning and end, then divide the difference by five to get the flow rate in gpm. It wasn't difficult, just took time and patience.

    (Of course, timing is also important, because other water use during the measurement will alter the reading.)
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition

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    • #3
      At a previous house I had a secondary water meter that measured water usage to my outside spigots. The main benefit of this was that the water company would not charge the sewage portion of water usage which is calculated based on the the total amount of water used. If I used 10,000 gallons of water I would normally be charged for 10,000 gallons of sewage. With the outside meter installed all the water that was used outside was subtracted from the sewage processing fee since the water did not go down the drain and have to be treated as sewage.


      • #4
        My utility company just announced a substantial rebate for certain water flow monitoring devices for purposes of leak detection in residential systems. I've done some initial research to see how or if integration with HS3 might be possible. offers a wifi pulse reader that shows some promise and might work for you with some effort. The system is unfortunately cloud-based but they do offer a public API. And they have no ongoing subscription requirement like other similar devices require. You could possibly trigger readings via HS before and after each irrigation zone runs and calculate/log usage. Couple important caveats: Your meter must be compatible and simultaneous non-irrigation water would of course foul your data. Installing your own secondary meter on your irrigation line would be one solution.


        • #5
          I have a separate line for the Irrigation. I think, as my landscapers remove the backflow thing in fall and put it back on in July. But I'm not sure if there's two meters out there. I guess I should ask my landscapers. Also, apparently there's a Fortrezz Z-Wave water meter, but it requires power, and the backflow thing where it would be installed is probably about 100ft out, but it'd probably work, I know there's an outlet out there I could install an outdoor link as a repeater. You'd think we'd have a GFCI outlet by now.


          • #6
   have been in business for a long time a provide a high quality meter. I have two at my location and both have been working without issue for over ten years. One for irrigation like and a larger one for entire house. They provide dry contact reed switch contact for each pulse. For my irrigation one I use Sonoff Basic to count the pulses and provide the count via WiFi. For my other I use 1-wire counter to provide the interface.

            There are several other technologies available today with some lower price points. I have used a smaller version of DIGITEN hall effect for a osmosis water filter to be able to monitor when it is time to change out the filters. They work for this purpose, but would not be good at small flow detection for leaks. I also use Sonoff Basic to count the pulses this unit provides.

            If you want something that requires no plumbing then something like device from StreamLabs may work, but may require some hacking as it provides a cloud-based Wifi/Smartphone user interface. I have no experience with it.

            If Zwave it the desired interface then FortrezZ is the option. I think it works with HS, but I have no experience.

            I do see on Amazon what looks to be a knockoff of the DLJ sold by at about 50% of the price.

            I elected to use 3/4" for irrigation even though I have a 1" irrigation mains. This was a cost decision as the 1" was quite a bit more expensive. Inside the meter I think the restriction went down to 5/8". Since it was so short of a restriction vs. the overall length of the irrigation line the pressure loss was negligible.

            You will need an electrical interface at some point. For the pulse counter interface it is just a pair of wires and you may be able to tap into the same wiring bundle used for the 24V valve control. Running mains power is a bigger issue.


            • #7
              I'll probably give the z-wave a try. It appears to have a USB power cord, so I wonder if I could power it by a 10w solar panel connected to a USB power bank. That'd be sweet.