Moen Flo monitors for leaks and, for a small monthly fee, identifies the water-using appliances and fixtures in your home, thereby giving you insight — shower by shower, flush by flush, and even washer load by washer load – into your home’s water use. In all cases, there’s real money to be saved, and not just a drop in the bucket. Over its lifetime, the Flo by Moen could potentially save you thousands of dollars. But how to do Moen Flo installation?
Pros & Cons
- Whole-home water usage reporting
- Leak detection
- Automatic shutoff and remote shutdown
- IFTTT and voice control support
- Requires professional installation
- Long learning period
- Lacks user-defined high-usage thresholds
Moen Flo installation video
What is Moen Flo and what it does?
There’s a green manual shutoff valve on top that requires a hex key (included) to turn the water on or off if you’ve lost connectivity with the app, and there are two status LEDS (system and valve) and a power jack. The Flo measures 5.9 by 5.7 by 2.6 inches (HWD) and has a dark blue enclosure. It can be ordered for 3/4-inch or 1-1/4-inch water pipes. The meter has a threaded input connector on one end and a threaded output connector on the other. The system status LED glows green when the Flo is connected to your network, and the valve LED is green when the valve is open (water flowing), red when it is closed (shutoff mode), and white when it is in transition.
Inside is a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio and sensors that measure your home’s water pressure, temperature, and flow rate. The meter comes with two brass threaded connectors, two O-rings, an installation spacer, a manual shutoff hex key, and a power adapter. It also comes with an installation guide and a welcome guide. Despite supplying an installation guide, the company recommends using a professional plumber to install this device.
How does Moen Flo work?
Once installed, Flo takes about a week to get used to the water usage patterns in your home. A toilet flush uses a certain number of gallons quickly, then stops. Washing at a sink might use a smaller number of gallons for 3 to 5 minutes, then the water flow stops. Taking a shower uses a larger number of gallons, but after 10 to 20 minutes, that water flow stops as well. Washing clothes also uses a certain number of gallons and might run for 20 or 30 minutes.
Each of these patterns is observed and cataloged by the Flo. Flo then watches to see if anything outside one of these patterns occurs.
Detailed Moen Flo installation tips
- Close quarters tubing cutter
- Teflon tape
- Pipe dope
- Tools for transition fitting: press tools, soldering tools, or PEX tools
- Tongue-and-groove pliers
Step 1 – Shut off the water
Before you begin any work, you must locate the water main and shut off the water. Next, relieve the pressure in your plumbing by opening faucets in your bathroom and kitchen.
Step 2 – Flo downstream installation
Make sure to install the Flo downstream of the water meter, the backflow, and (if your home has it) the pressure relief valve.
Step 3 – Pipe cutting
The best tool for this job is a close quarters tubing cutter. This tool is often able to cut pipe as small as 1/4-inch to as large as 1-1/8-inch in diameter.
Step 4 – Install transition union
This can be done as a ProPress fitting, a soldered fitting, or PEX transition fitting. Apply Teflon tape to the threaded connection of the transition union — this will help prevent water leakage. For extra insurance, apply pipe dope on top of the tape.
Step 5 – Flo joining nut & device installation
Remove the joining nut from the Flo and thread it onto the transition union. It’s important to install the joining nut separately from the device, or else you won’t be able to fit it onto the transition union. Using a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers, tighten the transition union until it’s snug — this way, the threaded connections won’t leak.
Now that the Flo device is seated on one side of the pipe, you will need to mark and cut the other side of the pipe to make sure it’s a perfect fit.
There is a quick way to ensure the pipe is cut in at precise length. Simply dry-fit the second transition fitting on top of Flo device — along with the other joining nut — and mark the spot on the pipe where the transition stops.
Remove the transition fitting and cut the pipe using the close quarters tubing cutter.
With the pipe now cut to the proper length, you are ready to install the other side of the Flo device. Repeat the steps 5–7 to install the transition union, sealant, and joining nut.
Step 6 – Connecting Flo device
After moving the device into position, hand-tighten the joining nut to the Flo. Be careful not to over-crank it, especially if you haven’t yet rotated the device to the position you want it in yet. Over-cranking the nuts can pinch the O-ring inside, which could result in water leakage.
Once the Flo device is positioned where you want it, it’s time to tighten the joining nuts with a wrench. Once again, be careful: these are plastic fittings, so cranking too hard with the wrench could cause them to break.
Now the device is installed! But don’t plug in the Flo just yet — you will need to install the app first.
Step 7 – Download Flo app
- Download the Flo app from the Apple store or Google Play store
- Create a new account:
- Email and password
- Contact information
- Verify your email address
Step 8 – Update app with data
You will start by adding your home to the device, then filling out basic information about its use and size. Below are the questions, prompts, and available answers to this section of the app.
- Why type of location is this?
- How do you use this location?
- Give your location a nickname
- Enter your location’s address
- How big is this location?
- How many floors are there?
- How many bathrooms are there?
- What type of plumbing do you have?
- Do you know from where to shut off the water to your home?
- What is the source of your water?
Step 9 – Update homeowners insurance data
The app then asks for your homeowners insurance information, claim history, and water utility provider. Many homeowners are receiving a rebate on their homeowners insurance for installing the Flo by Moen in their homes, so this section of the app may be required by your insurance provider to get the discount.
- Have you experienced water damaged in the past?
- Yes, I have
- No, I haven’t
- How much was the claim?
- $0 – $10,000
- $10,001 – $50,000
- $50,001 – $100,000
- Water Utility Provider
Step 10 – Add the devices
Now that you’ve set up the app, you’re ready to add the device.
- First, you’ll choose the size of your device:
- 3/4″ Smart Water Shutoff
- 1″ Smart Water Shutoff
- 1 1/4″ Smart Water Shutoff
- Give your Smart Water Shutoff a nickname
You’re ready to plug in the Flo. Use the following steps outlined in the next steps of the app.
- Pair Home: mark the steps finished below to continue paring your device
- I’ve firmly pushed the power cord into the Smart Water Shutoff
- I’ve plugged the power supply into an outlet
Step 11 – Pair the Flo to your phone
- Scan the QR code. Next, the app will prompt you to scan the QR code — located next to the reset button — with your phone. This code will ensure the app automatically pairs the Flo to your phone.
- Turn on Wi-Fi on the Flo. Press and hold the reset button the Flo device to connect to Wi-Fi. There are two lights on either side of the button — when they flicker, the device is ready to be paired.
- Connect the Flo to your home’s Wi-Fi network. The app will prompt you to choose your home’s Wi-Fi network and log in using your password. After a few minutes, your Flo will be connected to the network.