Water meter basics: everything you wanted to know

Every house has a water meter. This allows the water company to monitor your usage. Sometimes this is found in the garage, other times it is found in the garden. Water meters can last a long time and are quite sturdy. They are often painted yellow or brown to make sure that they are visible. Let’s take a look at some common questions about water meters. 

Can water meters run backward?

No. It is not allowed to send water back to the water system. Your water could be dirty and contaminate the water supply of your area. This is why houses must have a backflow prevention system. This makes sure that dirty water from your house doesn’t get into the water supply. If dirty water gets in the system, they have to clean a lot of pipes and this is an expensive operation. 

Water meters are sealed so it is not possible to touch them. If you tamper with the water meter, you can get in a lot of trouble. Don’t touch them as they are the property of the water company. If the water meter gets damaged, they can charge you as well.

Can you bypass the water meter?

No, you are not allowed to touch a water meter. Any adjustment has to be made by the water company. You can schedule an appointment with them and they can adjust your system. Some people work on their water heater without knowing that this can result in a hefty fine. 

Some people want to adjust their water meter and allow submetering. This makes it easy if you have multiple people living in a building. The water company can help you with this. They will install new water meters and make sure that everything works properly. 

Who can move my water meter? Can I move the water meter?

Water meters are sealed so that it is not possible to tamper with them or move them. You will have to call the water company and book an appointment to get the water meter moved. If you move the water meter yourself, you can get a big fine. In some instances, you can get in even bigger trouble. Don’t move the water meter by yourself for these reasons. 

The water company will study your request and see if they can accommodate it. Often this is not a problem and they will help you out. They might charge a small fee but this is often free. It can take a few weeks before it is done though. 

Can I have my water meter removed?

If you don’t plan to use water anymore, you can ask the water company they come over and remove your water meter. In most instances, they will advise that you just let them deactivate the meter. This allows you to turn it back on without too much fuss later on. 

Every house needs water. Your plumbing system will break if you don’t use fresh water in it from time to time; Therefore removing a water meter is not that common. Don’t do this yourself as this can result in a hefty fine. 

The water company will check your outstanding balance and ask to get compensated for this when they remove the water meter. They have to follow a procedure to make sure that the water supply doesn’t get contaminated when they remove the water meter. Water is under a lot of pressure at this access point so they use special equipment to slow it down and make it easy to remove the water meter. 

You are often allowed to close the water supply. A plumber has to do this to work on your pipes. In some instances, a key is used to do this, other times you can just close a valve. If you travel for a long period of time, you can also consider closing the water supply to avoid water leaks. 

We have discussed how to find your water meter here.

Why does my water meter have wires?

There are 2 reasons why your water meter might have wires:

-Water meters are sometimes grounded. This means that they are connected to a cable that diverts stray electric currents to the ground. This makes sure that people don’t get in contact with these electric spikes. This is done to protect the water meter and the people around it. The color of the wire is often yellow-green but this can be different for your situation. The cable should be quite wide and be connected to the ground.

Digital water meters have electronic components that allow them to send data back to the water company. These wires should be inside the water meter and not accessible.

 This allows the company to monitor your water usage. You can often follow this in their app as well. If there is a water leak, they are able to warn you and find a solution. This can avoid a lot of expensive damage. Your water meter is often connected to the internet to relay this information to the water company. 

Most people still have an analog meter but digital water meters are rolled out and more and more people are getting one. Some people prefer to keep their analog meter but this is not always possible.

If there is a problem with these wires, you should contact your water company. You are not allowed to repair these yourself in most instances as the water meter is the property of the water company.

To conclude, we can state that you shouldn’t touch your water meter. They are sealed and owned by the water company. If you want to get it adjusted, you will have to contact your local water company to get an appointment. More and more people are getting digital water meters that make it easier to track their water usage. This can help you to reduce it or even find water leaks inside your house.  

Your plumber can help you with closing the water supply but they can’t remove the water meter. In some instances, they can get approval from the water company to work on it but in most cases, the water company will send their own personnel. 

We have discussed what you can do if your water heater is leaking here.