Water meters are a great way to keep track of the amount of water used in your home. They can be used at the source of the water or throughout the system to determine how much water is flowing into and around the home. There are different types of water meters and choosing one is usually based on what information you specifically want your meter to gauge.

Displacement and velocity are the two most common ways to detect water measurement and the different types of meters are listed below.

  • Displacement water meter. A displacement water meter is usually used in residential homes. As water is consumed in the home, it moves the element that gauges the amount of water used. The water company reads the meter to determine how much to charge your household.
  • Velocity water meter. This type of meter measures the acceleration of the H2O flowing and is then converted into volume to measure household usage.
  • Multi-jet meter. These meters are accurate at low flow rates, but they do not have a straight flow path to allow for measuring high flow rates used in homes.

Check out the How to read your water meter page for detailed instructions on locating and reading your meter.

Important note: Some water utilities encourage customers to read their own meter while others prohibit opening the meter box and tampering with the meter in any way. It is a good idea to check with your utility before examining your water meter.

Where to Get Water Meter

A water meter is usually in place when your purchase your home. As a homeowner, you do have the option to use the type of meter that will give you the best way to measure how much water is used in your home on a regular basis. You should always consult a professional before making any decision on changing or swapping out your current water meter.

Water meters are usually provided by the local water utility. If you wish to purchase an additional water meter, contact a professional plumber. If the plumber does no know how to obtain a water meter, contact your local utility for information. Water meters are not usually sold over the counter at building hardware stores.

Water Meter Installation and Maintenance Tips

A water meter is a device that measures the volume of water used at your home. Water meters are almost always installed by the local water utility. Depending upon the utility, some water meters are the property of the homeowner and some are the property of the utility.

If you are interested in installing an additional water meter in your home, perhaps to monitor a specific water use such as irrigation, a swimming pool, or a water treatment device, contact a professional plumber. Installation of a water meter requires cutting pipes, sweating pipes together, and other plumbing tasks.

Water meter maintenance is almost always the responsibility of the local water utility. If you believe there is a problem with your water meter (a leak, over or under reading, strange noise, etc.) contact your local water utility. The telephone number for your utility can usually be found on a recent water bill or in the phone book.

It is not a good idea to attempt to repair your water meter yourself. In many places, the water meter is actually the property of the water utility – not the homeowner. Tampering with your water meter in any way could result in a fine.

You should also keep a close eye on your water meter to determine if there are any water leaks in your home. If your water bill increases significantly, it could be a sign that there are leaks present in your home. Watch your water meter and regularly check all water sources for leaks to prevent water loss and wasting money.

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