TABLE OF CONTENTS


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 45 seconds.


Introduction

Installation includes a scan of pipe once bluebot is clamped on to identify the pipe size using AI.  The bluebot will self calibrate in-situ and begin reading for flow data. In order to effectively perform this pipe scan, the pipe must be full (pressurized).  The ultrasonic signal will not pass through air, it requires a tight snug fit on the outside of a clean pipe and requires a full pipe.  Some air bubbles in the water flow will not affect bluebot performance.


Scanning The Pipe


We recommend pressing the bluebot device firmly onto the pipe to establish a tight snug fit against the pipe allowing the ultrasonic sensors to get a strong and high quality signal. Confirm that both sides of the device are aligned straight on the  centerline of the pipe.  Assure that the pipe is centered up with the slight "^" shape underneath both sides of bluebot. 


Learn about Ultrasonic Signal Here 


A Full (Pressurized) Pipe


Most water lines are pressurized, but it’s possible there could be some air if no fixtures are on at your property. If you have a repeated poor ultrasonic signal result during installation, try turning on a hose or fixture while you’re performing your rescan (approx. 10 seconds). This will confirm that the pipe is full. 


Picking The Right Install Location


Picking the right install location for bluebot requires a very basic knowledge of plumbing and your home water system. First ask yourself the following question:


1. What kind of data do you want to record?


If you answered "all my water data" you will want to spend time locating a compatible pipe as far up your water line as possible.

If you want to monitor your garden or landscaping, you will find that bluebot is very flexible and that you can install it on an individual line or on the main irrigation line to achieve your sub metering goal. If you have multiple monitoring zones/properties you can install a bluebot for each one and organize them into specific groups in the bluebot app.


Install LocationCoverage
Cold Water MainAll Water Usage*
Irrigation LineSpecific Water Usage Only


Once you have found your water main or irrigation line, you will need to find a straight section of pipe at least 4.0” long with no obstructions (like fittings or dirt) that would get in the way of a tight snug clamp onto the pipe. It is key to assure the ultrasonic sensor pads touch the pipe very tightly so the ultrasonic signal can measure flow. Make sure you are installing the bluebot on a compatible pipe type and size before attempting installation. 


*We recommend considering your home's addition history to ensure all water usage is being captured - could you be installing on a newer or order section of your water line that does not feed through the entire home? Depending on your home's plumbing environment, the addition of a bathroom or ADU after the property was originally constructed could mean they branch off further up the line. 



Compatible Pipe Types


When it comes to ultrasonic technology the newer the pipe, the better. Read more about Compatibility and Specifications.



Plastics


If you have PVC, PEX or PE style pipe you will likely have no issues related to scale or buildup with your bluebot installation.


Metal Pipes


Homes with older copper or galvanized pipe often run into issues because the install location can be filled with buildup better defined as "scale". Scale is an issue because it increases the wall thickness of the pipe interfering with the factory calibration of the device. Here are some tips for checking for corrosion/scale:

Get To Know Your Plumbing


If you are unfamiliar with your home plumbing layout and pipe type, you must learn more before installing your bluebot. Read about Compatibility and Specifications to learn more.

Check for rust in your toilet tank


Rust is product of the iron oxidation.  The best place to look is inside your toilet water tanks. The darker the discoloration the more corrosion may be present. Another common place to check faucets and shower heads--is there calcium, lime, rust?, Turn the water on and if the first 5 seconds is murky or brown this generally indicates the presence hard water/rust or corrosion.


Testing


Testing your water with an over the counter PH, water hardness and copper presence kit is an easy way to see if your pipes are corroded. 


Physical Inspection


Nothing beats a physical inspection of the pipe. If you have a home built before 1970 it's normal to have some corrosion in your plumbing. If the presence of corrosion is confirmed and you know the plumbing is very old it's generally a good idea to hire a professional and perform a physical inspection prior to installing a bluebot on your water line. 



Conclusion


When it comes to picking a good pipe section for bluebot install, make sure it's a compatible size and type, it's in the right location and it's free of corrosion, scale, overlapping fittings, dirt, and debris. Check that the device is installed straight over the centerline of the pipe along the "^" shape on both sides on the underside of the device and no air gaps or debris or paint exist between the ultrasonic sensor pads and the pipe. Press firmly on the device and pipe to establish a snug fit and make sure your water line is full/pressurized during the bluebot scanning process. 



Tip: Send us a photo of your install location, it's free and we would love to help you. You may do so by submitting a ticket or emailing us directly at hello@bluebot.com