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Water meters install problem

  • 20-08-2013 12:09am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,842 ✭✭✭ riclad


    It was on the Joe Duffy show, today, re water meters, it said there could be a problem with the method of putting in new meters, i.e. most European countries install them around 3ft down. IF they are installed say 1ft down, if we have a bad winter, the meters will freeze and crack, like a pipe breaks, as ice, water expands.

    It would be very expensive to fix or replace, 1000s of meters if they are installed at the wrong depth. It seems every 3 or 4 years we get a really cold winter, with heavy snow. Meters were installed in some new housing estates and they did break due to being installed at a shallow depth.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    riclad wrote: »
    IT WAS on the joe duffy show,
    re water meters ,it said there could be a problem with the method of putting in new meters .
    ie most eur0poean countrys install them around 3ft down.
    IF they are installed say 1ft down, if we have a bad winter,
    the meters will freeze and crack , like a pipe breaks ,as ice, water expands.

    IT would be very expensive to fix or replace, 1000,s of meters if they are installed at the wrong depth.
    IT seems every 3 or 4 years we get a really cold winter ,with heavy snow .
    METERS were installed in some new housing estates and they did break
    due to being installed at a shallow depth.

    Our infrastructure is a bit f***ed anyway. As you mentioned, councils all over the country installed stop cocks inches from the surface. I know of one house where the outside stop cock is barely 6 inches under the footpath, which, despite as much lagging as possible, causes havoc on a regular basis.

    I doubt the meter installers are going to dig down another few feet and reroute the pipes.

    On top of that, they're still persisting with the bloody stupid idea of not bothering to install a meter in each apartment, but just having one for everyone who lives there, leaving people with a utility bill they have no control over :mad:

    On the continent they've managed to retrofit water meters neatly into each apartment in very old buildings, but seemingly that's impossible over here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,783 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw


    You mean they are fitting one meter per apartment block? Surely not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,306 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    Wouldn't it be cheaper to replace meters that break this way than dig deeper given that frozen pipes aren't such a huge problem in this country?


    As for apartments, I suspect the real idea is to get to them eventually.


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Meter boxes in 2010 in Cavan reported to be -24 while air temp was -9


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    mickdw wrote: »
    You mean they are fitting one meter per apartment block? Surely not.

    Yup - I've been in touch with the current incumbent and his predecessor, Gormley about it. Gormley just kept repeating that "things were in the planning stages". I suggest that they plan for this, which was ignored.

    Hogan (or more correctly, his secretary) waffled on about "fair and just". I pointed out that shared meters were neither, then there was more waffle about "planning".
    As for apartments, I suspect the real idea is to get to them eventually.

    From the conversations I've had so far, I don't think so. Once they have a communal meter in, and money being paid there'll be no shifting them. They really don't give a **** about apartment dwellers. There's not even a hint that they're arsed even thinking about enforcing the infamous (and pathetic) MUD act. /rant


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  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Thoie wrote: »
    Our infrastructure is a bit f***ed anyway. As you mentioned, councils all over the country installed stop cocks inches from the surface. I know of one house where the outside stop cock is barely 6 inches under the footpath, which, despite as much lagging as possible, causes havoc on a regular basis.

    I doubt the meter installers are going to dig down another few feet and reroute the pipes.

    On top of that, they're still persisting with the bloody stupid idea of not bothering to install a meter in each apartment, but just having one for everyone who lives there, leaving people with a utility bill they have no control over :mad:

    On the continent they've managed to retrofit water meters neatly into each apartment in very old buildings, but seemingly that's impossible over here.

    They will have to go down to minimum depth of the meter box to get it flush with ground level. I'd be more worried about leaks and the finish of the footpath.


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Thoie wrote: »
    Yup - I've been in touch with the current incumbent and his predecessor, Gormley about it. Gormley just kept repeating that "things were in the planning stages". I suggest that they plan for this, which was ignored.

    Hogan (or more correctly, his secretary) waffled on about "fair and just". I pointed out that shared meters were neither, then there was more waffle about "planning".



    From the conversations I've had so far, I don't think so. Once they have a communal meter in, and money being paid there'll be no shifting them. They really don't give a **** about apartment dwellers. There's not even a hint that they're arsed even thinking about enforcing the infamous (and pathetic) MUD act. /rant

    Their will be a contract to fit in each apartment at a later stage. The problem is getting access according to Irish Water engineers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,842 ✭✭✭ riclad


    I think one meter costs 200 euro plus,
    if we get a bad winter, and 1000 ,s of them freeze, and break who ,
    is gonna pay repair bill.

    Are you saying an apartment block with 20 units ,is just going to have 1 meter?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    Froststop wrote: »
    They will have to go down to minimum depth of the meter box to get it flush with ground level. I'd be more worried about leaks and the finish of the footpath.

    Yerra, tis grand. It'll settle. The footpath was like that to start with. Now that you say it I can see a bit of a bump alright, but sure what do you expect me to do about it? You'd need to talk to the council about that - I'm off the clock.


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    riclad wrote: »
    I think one meter costs 200 euro plus,
    if we get a bad winter, and 1000 ,s of them freeze, and break who ,
    is gonna pay repair bill.

    Are you saying an apartment block with 20 units ,is just going to have 1 meter?

    To the best of my knowledge the winning price was €95/meter. They have to replace faulty meters for 20yrs.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Thoie wrote: »
    Yerra, tis grand. It'll settle. The footpath was like that to start with. Now that you say it I can see a bit of a bump alright, but sure what do you expect me to do about it? You'd need to talk to the council about that - I'm off the clock.

    HaHa yea we will have a grave outside our gates and break our neck every time we come home in the dark.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    Froststop wrote: »
    Their will be a contract to fit in each apartment at a later stage. The problem is getting access according to Irish Water engineers.
    Bull**** (not your comment, Irish Water's). If there are already plans for a contract to fit meters in apartments, why would they not come out and say that? Looking at the Irish Water website, the closest mention is

    http://www.water.ie/help-centre/questions-and-answers/when-will-i-get-a-meter/?category=metering
    Other properties which have been identified as currently "non-meterable" (e.g. apartments, backyard services) will be considered for further phases of meter rollout.
    which means "we're hoping it will magically solve itself, cos we can't be arsed thinking about it".
    riclad wrote: »
    Are you saying an apartment block with 20 units ,is just going to have 1 meter?

    Yes. Or a block with 100 units, or whatever. The website currently says
    ustomers will receive an unmetered bill if a meter has not been installed for their property. The cost of an unmetered bill will be defined by the regulator.
    This doesn't tally with what I've been told in the past about a meter per apartment building. I'll call them tomorrow and see what they say.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm in favour of water metering, as is the norm in many other countries. In most countries you get a "free" allowance each year, and are then charged for the excess. Despite this having been in planning for over two years now, they're coming out with a half-assed, dumb as **** plan of "well, we'll install meters if we feel like it, and some people won't get them, but we'll just bill them an unknown amount, regardless of their usage, while for others we'll just lump them all together and pretend they're just one really big household with 300 people living in it. And despite having had lots of lovely meetings (don't forget to claim your expenses lads!) about this for more than 2 years, we don't have a bull's notion how much we're going to charge".


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    I was informed by a contact on the meter program the apartment meters will follow the home meters and a % will be dedicated to new technologies for reading devices. Their big problem is tracing pipes and getting access to private property. They are very selective in what they publish and the whole thing very secretive from the start.

    "(e.g. apartments, backyard services) will be considered for further phases of meter rollout."

    The harder/problem ones are being left till last.

    " and some people won't get them, but we'll just bill them an unknown amount, regardless of their usage, while for others we'll just lump them all together and pretend they're just one really big household with 300 people living in it."

    The problem is they will bill the landlord and he will have to decide how to split it between the tenants. So if one uses 100 gallons per day and another uses 40 gallons they will be charged the same which is unfair IMO. They may also be hoping a private company will come and do the sh.t work for them.

    With regard to Phil & Co, waste of time, they don't know their arse from their elbow! I doubt if they even know what stage IW are at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,216 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    riclad wrote: »
    IT WAS on the joe duffy show
    Banned.

    No, not really. But seriously, was this the Joe Duffy Plumbing Show? This is the Infrastructure Forum, we try to have discussions on technical merits, not some guy on the radio winding up old people to gain ratings.

    Moderator



    If the meter is at X depth, it is at no more risk than the stop cock that is currently at the same depth.
    mickdw wrote: »
    You mean they are fitting one meter per apartment block? Surely not.
    Many apartment buildings already have individual meters. If individual apartments want meters in the short term, they can fit them themselves.

    Apartment buildings would likely have fewer leaks than individual houses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,521 ardle1


    Thoie wrote: »
    Our infrastructure is a bit f***ed anyway. As you mentioned, councils all over the country installed stop cocks inches from the surface. I know of one house where the outside stop cock is barely 6 inches under the footpath, which, despite as much lagging as possible, causes havoc on a regular basis.

    I doubt the meter installers are going to dig down another few feet and reroute the pipes.

    On top of that, they're still persisting with the bloody stupid idea of not bothering to install a meter in each apartment, but just having one for everyone who lives there, leaving people with a utility bill they have no control over :mad:

    On the continent they've managed to retrofit water meters neatly into each apartment in very old buildings, but seemingly that's impossible over here.

    Just proves it's another money making RACKET, if it was for no other reason,why wouldn't they bury the meters 3' or deeper?? anyway they'll do the maths in the next few days,and probably bury them to the recommended depth...


  • Registered Users Posts: 672 ✭✭✭ Cuttlefish


    So you live in a house that has never had a frozen pipe in 21 years.

    They install a water meter and the next bad frost your pipes are frozen!!

    What do you deduce from that?

    The water has frozen at the recently installed meter point?
    and
    Who is responsible?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,042 ✭✭✭ Kaelyn Inexpensive Threshold


    Didn't know about that one meter per block. My gf and I are both out of the apartment all day and obviously use no water. Why should I pay for the water my neighbors guzzle. They can **** right off.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 8,179 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Sierra Oscar


    Didn't know about that one meter per block. My gf and I are both out of the apartment all day and obviously use no water. Why should I pay for the water my neighbors guzzle. They can **** right off.

    On a similar note, how are they going to manage houses that share a water mains? Quite a lot of houses that were built in Dublin from the 1930's to 1950's have a couple or more houses sharing one water mains. Donnycarney and surrounding areas jumps to mind immediately. Are we looking at estimated bills for people in those houses?


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    On a similar note, how are they going to manage houses that share a water mains? Quite a lot of houses that were built in Dublin from the 1930's to 1950's have a couple or more houses sharing one water mains. Donnycarney and surrounding areas jumps to mind immediately. Are we looking at estimated bills for people in those houses?

    They are planning to separate feeds and Co Councils are surveying these at present. The big problem is can it be done without going on private property.
    If it can't then estimated bills for those I'd imagine.
    I thought this might only happen in more rural areas if a family member built on family ground or in the acre. Surprising to hear it in built up areas, one would have thought town & city areas would all be separate mains supplies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Cuttlefish wrote: »
    So you live in a house that has never had a frozen pipe in 21 years.

    They install a water meter and the next bad frost your pipes are frozen!!

    What do you deduce from that?

    The water has frozen at the recently installed meter point?
    and
    Who is responsible?

    Good point! Hope this helps.
    Most frozen water mains supplies don't freeze at the stopcock, until someone pours hot water down it. They freeze at point of entry to the house where usually the mains is at it's highest point. Most can be only a couple of inches under the footpath as it enters the building.

    But the new meter boxes are supposed to have been tested by a Cavan Council engineer back in 2010 during the cold weather and they were supposed to have recorded temps as low as -24 in the boxes when air temp was only -9. Something to do with thermo-frost.
    I've been unable to find the guy who did the tests as I'd like to see the results.

    Regarding who is responsible for the meter freezing?
    In Scotland, Scottish Water are responsible for theirs as they are providing the service. They have workers on call to attend to frozen meters 24/7.
    I assume it will be the same here as IW will be providing the service.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,884 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Water metering has been the norm here in Germany for decades yet we only replaced our communal meter (1 for 12 apartments in the building) with individual ones this year. many apartment buildings in German have 1 meter. It's then up to the apartment owners to decide how to divide the bill (typically it's done by floor area).


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    murphaph wrote: »
    Water metering has been the norm here in Germany for decades yet we only replaced our communal meter (1 for 12 apartments in the building) with individual ones this year. many apartment buildings in German have 1 meter. It's then up to the apartment owners to decide how to divide the bill (typically it's done by floor area).

    Interesting point about the floor area of the apartment. No doubt they had a little profit on it. I would have thought they would just divide the bill.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    murphaph wrote: »
    Water metering has been the norm here in Germany for decades yet we only replaced our communal meter (1 for 12 apartments in the building) with individual ones this year. many apartment buildings in German have 1 meter. It's then up to the apartment owners to decide how to divide the bill (typically it's done by floor area).


    I feel oddly better now - my own experience in France, Germany, Switzerland led me to believe that every apartment (even in old buildings) had their own meter. It must just have been in the places I visited.

    I can see that floor area is probably the easiest split, though not necessarily the fairest.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,042 ✭✭✭ Kaelyn Inexpensive Threshold


    What if you have say a block of 6 apartments. 4 owner occupied and 2 rented. The renters if coming to the end of a lease could tell the owners to shove it. This may not happen in civilized places such as Germany but I'd wager there's plenty of Irish who'd chance their arm at this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,216 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    What if you have say a block of 6 apartments. 4 owner occupied and 2 rented. The renters if coming to the end of a lease could tell the owners to shove it. This may not happen in civilized places such as Germany but I'd wager there's plenty of Irish who'd chance their arm at this.

    The landlord would deduct any outstanding bills from their deposit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,884 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    What if you have say a block of 6 apartments. 4 owner occupied and 2 rented. The renters if coming to the end of a lease could tell the owners to shove it. This may not happen in civilized places such as Germany but I'd wager there's plenty of Irish who'd chance their arm at this.
    Things like this are what's going to force landlords into requesting "German style" deposits (3 months rent) IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,842 ✭✭✭ riclad


    IF its zero degrees ,the interior pipes should not freeze ,
    if they are insulated,
    the house is occupied ,the heating will be on at least after 6pm,
    I,M concerned we in ireland tend to do things on own way,
    if its fecked ,up,too bad.
    GO back and fix it later.

    eg NRA built loads of new roads in the boom,
    no planning for rest stops ,like in the uk or europe.

    Whats the average depth of water mains going in to new buildings, houses , apartments ,say built since 2005,?

    so 3 people in apartment 1, will pay the same as 1 person in apartment 2 ,in the same building.

    I thought the point of water metering was to reduce consumption,
    reduce waste.


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Hi riclad,

    Pipes won't freeze under normal Irish winter conditions if insulated.
    The problem starts if constant freezing takes place for 48-72hrs night & day, then pipes are at risk as proved in 2010.
    I've repaired burst attic pipe work insulated with Armaflex which is not fitted in most homes and is higher quality than the standard insulation.

    "Whats the average depth of water mains going in to new buildings"

    I would say it depends on who dug the trench. I've seen them at 3 feet and at 3-4 inches under footpaths.

    "I thought the point of water metering was to reduce consumption,
    reduce waste."

    Good point! I think most people & I, thought it was one reason of many to fit water meters. But the method IW are using has noting to do with saving water.
    Quarterly readings with every second bill estimated. Not accurate enough to monitor for leaks but may help reduce consumption.
    It will also cost millions to collect readings. There is newer reading devices which would save this expense. The down fall is the newer readers will reduce employment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    riclad wrote: »
    so 3 people in apartment 1, will pay the same as 1 person in apartment 2 ,in the same building.

    I thought the point of water metering was to reduce consumption,
    reduce waste.

    Froststop wrote: »
    "I thought the point of water metering was to reduce consumption,
    reduce waste."

    Good point! I think most people & I, thought it was one reason of many to fit water meters. But the method IW are using has noting to do with saving water.
    Quarterly readings with every second bill estimated. Not accurate enough to monitor for leaks but may help reduce consumption.
    It will also cost millions to collect readings. There is newer reading devices which would save this expense. The down fall is the newer readers will reduce employment.

    Precisely, and I'd already pointed out as much to Gormley and Hogan. The original plan was just to charge apartment owners a flat rate for water, regardless of usage. That makes a mockery of water conservation. A friend (with a house) jokingly said that if I was being charged a flat rate all year, he'd run a hose from my apartment to his house, and buy me a pint.

    The 3 people in one apartment vs 1 person in another also leads to injustices (they've repeatedly said that they want the charges to be usage based, and just). A charge based on apartment size will in no way encourage me to reduce consumption. If I live alone, take one shower a day, run the washing machine once a week and am out at work all day, my consumption will be a small fraction of someone with 2 kids having regular baths, 2 adults showering, washing machine running daily, and people being around the house all day.

    If I find that my electricity bills are too high and I can't afford them, there are steps I can take to reduce my bills. If I'm suddenly sharing my electricity bill with a random family down the road, there's nothing I can do about it.

    Don't forget, you can always mail [email protected] to ask him to clarify his plans, and raise your objections to flat-charges or forced sharing of utility bills between unconnected households.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ Froststop


    Hi Thoie,

    Maybe tenants in apartments need to start some campaign. It's very unfair to split the bill as all it will take is one person to waste water and the rest will have to cover the cost also!

    One person emailing to try and get info will fall on deaf ears or just be fobed off.

    My meter in my home is set to calculate cost of water automatically. I have it set at the high rate at the moment for demonstration purposes.
    Which is €2.30 per cubic meter and the average weekly cost for a family of four is €3.80. That does not include standing charge or repayments for the meter. They claim that there will be a free allowance but will that come to bare.

    IMO charges could be approx €20-€25/m or €300/yr and will probably be +Vat.


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