Flow Meter FAQ (GEN2)


Spruce Gen2 Controller flow meter FAQ

What is a flow meter?

A flow meter measures the actual water flow through the pipe.  Some models have a paddle wheel that turns with the water, others use advanced technology that detects changes in turbulence or sound.  The specific technology does not effect compatibility as long as the meter qualifies as a 2-wire pulse type meter.

Why add a flow meter?

Flow meters measure actual water flow through the pipe.  This provides an accurate measurement that provides the real water use of your system.  The meter can also be used to detect leaks or changes in flow alerting you of potential issues.  Underground irrigation leaks can quickly cause a very expensive water bill, and a flow meter can help avoid this issue.

What flow meters are compatible?

Most 2 wire pulse flow meters are compatible including models from Everydrop, FlowPro, Hunter, Toro, CST and Rainbird.  These meters will have 2 wires that work with a low voltage (8-18VDC) signal. The specification should provide k and offset values for setup and calibration.  The Spruce app has several preset meter options or allows custom values.

  • CST FSI-T10-001
  • CST FSI-T15-001
  • Everydrop 1004-EX
  • FlowPro 104
  • Hunter HC-075 (0.1 gal/pulse)
  • Hunter HC-100 (1 gal/pulse)
  • Hunter HFSFCT100
  • Toro TFS-050
  • Toro TFS-075
  • Toro TFS-100
  • Custom k and offset

Why wired vs a wireless meter?

A wired meter provides an always on monitoring solution that measures flow in real time.  This means that any changes in waterflow are captured because the meter is always on and always monitoring the flow.  Wireless meters typically rely on measuring in intervals and are limited in how long of an interval they can stay on because of battery life constraints.  Because of this limitation, they have not been approved as deduct meters which requires accuracy as a prerequisite.

What is a deduct meter?

Some regions offer rebates for “deduct” meters.  These meters can be used to reduce water utility bills because the water measured through the irrigation system is going into the ground opposed to the sewer.  This water use is “deducted” from the measured water use that is typically used to calculate sewer charges.

How does Spruce use the flow meter?

After installation, you will need to use the baseline routine in the Spruce app to establish baseline flow values for each zone.  after the baseline is complete, the following options are available:

  • Flow deviation and leak deviation notifications – notifications are based on the options selected
  • High deviation – the percent above baseline flow
  • Low deviation – the percent below baseline flow
  • Turn off zone on deviation – when enabled, will turn off the deviating zone for the current water cycle
  • Burst leak detection – immediately sends a notification when flow is above 3 gpm when no water should be flowing,  disabling this can be useful if your system has a hose or faucet located after the flow meter
  • Sustained leak detection – will send a notification when any flow is detected when water should be off, but takes about 15 minutes to validate and send a notification.  This is also more sensitive to small leaks, but will also catch large leaks
  • Pump protect – continually checks that water is flowing when watering, if flow stops, the system will shut off the valve and send a notification
  • Live Logging – start live logging to watch flow in real time to analyze and monitor or make nozzle adjustments

Does Spruce use the flow meter to chart water use?

Yes, after baseline, each zone that uses the flow meter will use the measured water flow to record and report water use.

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