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water meter my first impressions

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  • 03-10-2014 3:05pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭


    hope i have the right forum. I went out yesterday and inspected our water meter in the road - first impressions are that the digits on it are so tiny and because the meter is placed so far down in the ground i cant bloody read the digits easily - couple that up with dirt and water thats down there and a large piece of plastic nearly covering the digits (which i have now found out is a wireless sender unit for beaming to the water meter officials to read the meter without even bending down and removing the meter lid in the road) how the hell is this supposed to help us the consumers (especially us old fogeys with bad eyesite) to read and monitor how much water we are using (oh hold on maybe they dont want us to read the meter hoping that because we can or wont bother monitoring the meter readings we will use more water than we should? - surely not, that underhanded isnt it? :eek: )

    - then I see there is only a normal tap head now, no special tap key on a rod needed any more (is it a recipe for nasty little tricksters to come along now, flip the meter cover lid and easily turn off your water supply to your house now given the impression you have been cut off? - and why when they put in brass stopcocks originally did they have no tap heads and required the special rod key then?)

    Then I see there is a pool of water at the bottom of the water meter container and thinking is the fitting they put in leaking or is it just rainwater thats got passed the meter box lid and seeped to the bottom of the container?, is there no drain holes in these things to drain the water away? then im thinking if the pool of water is still there in the winter what will happen to it if it freezes up? - ive already contacted irish water to make them aware just in case its a leak.

    Im also wondering why did they particularly use this make of water meters (maybe they got a good deal on them in a job lot) im presuming this is the type they have fitted across the country. There doesnt seem to be any kind of dial whizzing around when you are running water just tiny block digits. (Edit: maybe the spinning dial is hidden by the large clumsy wireless unit attached to the top of the water meter?)

    - The wireless sender unit is a 'clumsy/bulky' 'add on' to the meter attached at the top nearly covering the digits. The wireless sender sends out signal (as far as i can tell through a bit of research by gsm encrypted signal) and that the only thing that can read it wirelessly is only what the water people would have access to which is a special hand held device running the Windows CE operating system and that it would never ever be possible for the consumer to receive or purchase a little portable unit now or in the future that can sit inside the house (say by the kitchen sink) where they can monitor their water meter wirelessly or (if the signal cannot reach as far as inside to house) a portable unit that you can aim near to the lid in the road (without bending down and flipping the lid) and getting your water meter reading that way. So the wireless feature great for the officials - absolutely useless for consumers. I actually have a portable wireless LCD unit for my electricity meter, a clamp simply goes around the live cable to the electricity meter and with this unit i can place it anywhere in the house and see the info and what im using, are you telling me Irish water or their contractors could not have fitted water meters with the same kind of technology and give (or ok offer the chance for the consumer) to buy a portable unit so that customers can guage how much water they are using without having to go all the way out to the road side and flip the meter lid, shove your hand down hole, remove insert and then try and squint at the tiny figures on the water meter? - even though i havent researched it im almost sure that there are more consumer friendly water meters out their with the facilities i mentioned - surely, got to be!

    Anyway, with that out of the way here is a picture i took yesterday of our water meter:

    9dcd3d42-a730-4ca8-a8e6-7e4157c3c401.jpg

    Meter Make: Itron (dont know what model though)
    https://www.itron.com/pages/default.aspx?region=europe&language=english

    Add on Wireless sender at the top: EverBlue Cyble
    https://www.itron.com/productsAndServices/Pages/EverBlu%20Cyble%20Gas.aspx

    The wireless sender has a battery capable of a 10 year battery life.
    This is the reader that is needed to read wirelessly - out of the price range and reach, ease of use of the consumer no doubt:

    https://www.itron.com/productsAndServices/Pages/AnyQuest%20Handheld.aspx?market=water
    Anyquest_Handheld_mi.jpg

    Now to recap im just joe public and i dont know or have the knowledge of every day meter reading and about the products themselves fully enough to be an expert its only a bit of research ive done on the internet with the information i have at hand after inspecting the water meter so if im wrong please feel free to pull me up on it. :)



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 515 ✭✭✭gerbilgranny


    Very interesting.

    I'm someone who isn't anti-water charges - in that I reckon that water has to be paid for - but there are worrying aspects to the way the whole matter is being handled here.

    One wouldn't feel reassured, suffice to say!


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    Very interesting.

    I'm someone who isn't anti-water charges - in that I reckon that water has to be paid for - but there are worrying aspects to the way the whole matter is being handled here.

    One wouldn't feel reassured, suffice to say!

    Yes, i think thats what a lot of people are worried about - the way its all been handled - i feel that although some people feel animosity to paying for water they could have softened the blow, i feel they may have antagonised people with the amount of disruption its caused fitting the meters and blocking peoples driveways etc.. then I think there is still a lot of confusion of how much people will be actually paying and if they will be paying for the meters and equipment used and the fitting of them (which i presume somewhere across time will have to be covered by the householder still) - an the thing that antogonises me is that they have not used a system whereby i can not have a unit in my house relaying the actual water meter reading so i can monitor how much water we are using and also compare my water meter reading with their water meter reading when it comes to it, should there be any discrepancies without me having to go out at road level and remove the lid and try and squint at the small digits way down on the water meter.

    I cannot actually imagine not being able to get to read my Electricity Meter easily so i can check how much units of electricity i am using and double check my meter readings with our electricity providers meter readings so why shouldnt i be able to to the same with my water meter readings, why should it have to be so much more difficult?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    on further research on the Internet I think I have found what model Itron Water meter is used it the Itron Aquadis+ meter and here is a picture of it with the wireless link add-on removed - I can see now why the wireless link obscures the digits now because its virtually placed over the top of the digits and it covers the dial what i was mentioning so you cannot see that whizzing around as well, something that if you had a leak you would be far more better seeing the dial/arrow turning rather than the digits! :

    WM1.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 533 ✭✭✭SmallBalls


    then I see there is only a normal tap head now, no special tap key on a rod needed any more (is it a recipe for nasty little tricksters to come along now, flip the meter cover lid and easily turn off your water supply to your house now given the impression you have been cut off? - and why when they put in brass stopcocks originally did they have no tap heads and required the special rod key then?

    The blue tap head can be removed by pulling on it.

    Also any plumber can install a consumer water meter under your kitchen sink for you to monitor your water usage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    Interestingly did you know the technology used on these water meters fitted by Irish Water detect:

    • Leak detection
    • Reverse flow detection
    • Fraud detection


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,091 ✭✭✭✭Gael23


    How do you turn off the water?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,525 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    SmallBalls wrote: »
    Also any plumber can install a consumer water meter under your kitchen sink for you to monitor your water usage.

    But we shouldn't have to. The problems listing by the OP are the same that I have found, (and currently I am an young(ish) man with good eyesight). No way my paretns will be out checking their meter.

    The gas/esb meters can be checked directly, the OP decided to make it even easier by getting an additional reader but the meter themseves would be enough for most.

    Yet again, it seems that everything is aimed at making the life of IW as easy as possible, forgetting that they have customers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    SmallBalls wrote: »
    The blue tap head can be removed by pulling on it.

    I dunno whether i feel brave enough to do that! :eek:

    SmallBalls wrote: »
    Also any plumber can install a consumer water meter under your kitchen sink for you to monitor your water usage.

    The problem with that is that even if I got a meter installed under the sink - it would not detect the washing machine (in another room, the utility room) and the showers (in the bathrooms) and anything else hooked up to the header tank in the lof such as bath toilet cistern etc - its just not practible enough to fit a water meter under the sink, that would just measure the water being used by that sink

    - you could i suppose install a flow meter between the water meter outside in situe to the mains water pipe coming into the house but why should consumer have to fork out for this and the hassle when the only reason will have to check water usage now is because we will be now getting charged for what we use


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭pippip


    No, youre mis understanding. Generally the main source into the house is under the kitchen sink. From there it fills your tank and everything in your house.

    Only thing it won't detect is any leaks between the road and your house.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    pippip wrote: »
    No, youre mis understanding. Generally the main source into the house is under the kitchen sink. From there it fills your tank and everything in your house.

    Only thing it won't detect is any leaks between the road and your house.

    oh right , maybe in the new houses it enters under the sink, in our 1970's house im pretty sure that the mains doesnt go straight to the kitchen sink i think - i dunno where the mains enters the house to be honest, not even a gate valve or anything to shut of the mains water to the house, have to turn it off at the road


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭pippip


    Ours is late 60's and its under the sink but I think others might be under the stairs. To be honest I have no idea how it goes from there to the tank upstairs.

    We still haven't a meter fitted yet.....haven't received the pack in the post either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,091 ✭✭✭✭Gael23


    What happens if where the meter needs to be installed is on your property and not on a roadway? Ours is on our driveway as there is no footpath on our side of the street


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭pippip


    ryanf1 wrote: »
    What happens if where the meter needs to be installed is on your property and not on a roadway? Ours is on our driveway as there is no footpath on our side of the street

    Might have to be unmetered rates?

    Do you have an external shut off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,091 ✭✭✭✭Gael23


    pippip wrote: »
    Might have to be unmetered rates?

    Do you have an external shut off.

    yes but its on our property as there no footpath


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,393 ✭✭✭danjo-xx


    Very interesting.

    I'm someone who isn't anti-water charges - in that I reckon that water has to be paid for - but there are worrying aspects to the way the whole matter is being handled here.

    One wouldn't feel reassured, suffice to say!

    I'm all for saving water, but for you to believe we've always got it for free is a complete joke.

    OP I feel your pain, I will be an oap in a few months and last week went out to check my meter which is on public footpath near the roadside kerb (no front garden) it was really degrading for me and I was in fear of causing injury to myself to be honest.

    Its 2014 for god's sake, :mad: no one in authority seems to care for the ordinary citizens of this land anymore, I'm actually glad I'm old now because this country has gone to hell.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,893 ✭✭✭allthedoyles


    The meters actually cost €800 each , But I don't know who made them or what country they came from .


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    The meters actually cost €800 each , But I don't know who made them or what country they came from .

    are they - blimey! - I think they are made in Cork by Itron, supposed to have generated 80 jobs down there i think


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,893 ✭✭✭allthedoyles


    are they - blimey! - I think they are made in Cork by Itron, supposed to have generated 80 jobs down there i think

    Now it turns out the cost of water meters alone could be €800. The latest details to surface say that homeowners may have to pay €40 a year for a staggering 20 years just to pay for a water meters.
    http://www.joe.ie/news/current-affairs/water-meters-cost-hiked-to-e800-for-every-house/

    I think the €800 includes installation


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    i would be very interested in how much per piece the water meters cost to make say if they were €80euro per meter (could be less in mass making) so then you have the difference between €80 and then the rest of the charge if it is €800 is for fitting/labour - thats crazy!


  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭n0brain3r


    Took a look at our meter today it's reading 116 excluding the red digits. Is that 116000 litres?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,099 ✭✭✭Redriddick


    Cost of a meter box plus meter is approx €100.Now the wireless transmitter is about €50.Thats for the box they are fitting.You can get cheaper.
    The itron meter has been used for the commercial metering.
    There are alternative meters which have the transmitter fitted to the side of the meter thus are easier to read.
    I myself have fitted a meter for myself to keep an eye on and to compare to Irish waters one.
    My understanding is that if you Stopcock is on your property Irish water will want you to sign an agreement allowing them in to fit the meter,so they cannot be followed for damage etc.
    It will be eventually in your own interest to get it installed as you have probably expeirenced estimated esb bills.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,943 ✭✭✭dodzy


    n0brain3r wrote: »
    Took a look at our meter today it's reading 116 excluding the red digits. Is that 116000 litres?
    m3 are measured on the black and white digits. The 3 red & white digits measure from 999 down to 1 ltr. So if you meter is reading 116/000 then yes, that's 116m3 or 116K ltrs - or €566. How long is your meter installed ? Hard to believe you could get through that much in such a short time. That said, are the meters all at 000 on installation ? I must have a look at mine when I get home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭n0brain3r


    We where one of the first to get them - the second estate in the country I believe. There's 6 of us in the house and I had a leak that's since been fixed. I checked next door and there's only 3 of them and they're out all day and they're at 65 and 3 doors down have only 2 and are never there are at 40 so not too far out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭Aeneas


    My water meter was installed in Feb/March and the reading on 1 Oct was 104 cubic metres, that's 104,000 litres. A friend nearby has clocked up a staggering 150 cu m. Neither of us has leaks as far as we can see, but clearly we have high usage. In my case some of it may have been due to a leaky outdoor tap that I didn't repair until July. In the case of my neighbour it may be a faulty water softener that flushes every night. I called Irish Water who told me that the meters are set at zero when they are installed.
    A more recent set of readings taken over a week shows I am using about 380 litres per day. On that basis my annual bill after deducting the free allowance would be about €540


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    we can but hope and take their word for it that they are reset to zero before installation - however in this corrupt world of ours i do get sceptical , know i shouldnt, but how maby householder would go out and check to see if they were zero straight after fitting? :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,525 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    we can but hope and take their word for it that they are reset to zero before installation - however in this corrupt world of ours i do get sceptical , know i shouldnt, but how maby householder would go out and check to see if they were zero straight after fitting? :rolleyes:

    Hope and trust is irrelevant. This is a commercial transaction and people should check what they are paying for. Doesn't matter if they where set at zero at fitting, only what they read on 1 October. Anyone with a meter should have checked it that morning. If not, then do it now as at least it is some basis to review.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,943 ✭✭✭dodzy


    Out of interest, I'm assuming Andy's pics above show his actual water meter. In this case, it is impossible for him to read the display. Surely grounds for some form of complaint right there ?

    I'd say its only fair that if you are to be expected to pay for a service, then it most definitely should be monitorable* by the consumer ?

    *not sure if actual word or just makey-uppey.


  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭n0brain3r


    Mine is different the transponder is banana shaped and there is a plastic cover to the left of it that can be lifted revealing the digital and a spinning black and white wheel indicating flow through the meter. Also my understanding is that the transponder records on a time basis so regardless of the reading on the meter when installed they will bill for the last 365 days usage as recorded by the transponder.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    Hope and trust is irrelevant. This is a commercial transaction and people should check what they are paying for. Doesn't matter if they where set at zero at fitting, only what they read on 1 October. Anyone with a meter should have checked it that morning. If not, then do it now as at least it is some basis to review.

    I wrote it down on the 2nd of october ... and lost the bloody piece of paper damn!:mad:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,777 ✭✭✭✭Andy From Sligo


    dodzy wrote: »
    Out of interest, I'm assuming Andy's pics above show his actual water meter. In this case, it is impossible for him to read the display. Surely grounds for some form of complaint right there ?

    I'd say its only fair that if you are to be expected to pay for a service, then it most definitely should be monitorable* by the consumer ?

    *not sure if actual word or just makey-uppey.

    yep, thats my view entirely - i want to be able to see the digits clearly and the spinning dial - it should be that way, especially as they dont give you a way of checking it on some kind of remote wireless receiver unit the least it should be easily readable if i have to go out to road and flip the cover and read it that way. I wonder if I phone irish water and asked them to replace the meter to one with a transmitter at the side if they would oblidge? - worth asking do you reckon?


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