Over the past decade, more and more homes in the UK have been fitted with a water meter. People are constantly told they can make great savings by utilising their meter correctly but there aren’t many companies out there that are willing to train their customers to keep track of their own readings and make sure their results tally up with each bill. This lack of knowledge means we are relying on the water company alone to read our meter and charge us what they believe to be an appropriate amount. But why not take back some control and get to know your meter a little? It’s easy when you know how!
The Benefits of DIY Readings
Your water provider will usually come and take a manual reading every six months, but there’s nothing to stop you recording a monthly reading yourself. You can quickly compare your findings to the results declared by your water provider to make sure you get charged correctly. Your water company could easily make a simple mistake when checking your meter and you could end up with a bigger bill than expected.
You will also be able to spot potential leaks and other costly issues well before the water provider comes round to do their checks. This approach won’t just help you save cash – catching a leak early could also save you from potential property damage.
Where Is My Water Meter?
The first thing you need to do is find your water meter. It could be in a couple of places depending how recently it was fitted. If you had a unit installed in the last few years then it is likely to be outside; many are installed underneath man-hole covers and will have been placed on your driveway or on the pathway outside your property. You’ll need a small screwdriver to lift the man-hole cover and will then need to remove a small polythene disc from the meter itself. This little device protects the unit from frost.
If it’s been fitted for a while, you may be able to locate it in your garage or next to your internal stop tap.
How Do I Make Sense Of It?
Well, we have two different types of meter in the UK. The older units look like an electric meter with numbers that spin round as the water is used. If you have a new style meter, the display will be digital. The digits you are looking for are black on a white background –these indicate the cubic metres used and the five digit number provided is your ‘meter reading’. Ignoring the numbers in red, note down these digits and compare them with the information on your water bill. Be sure to get in touch with your provider if the two don’t match up!
One last thing to check is the serial number displayed on the water meter. This serial number should match up to the number your water bill – if it doesn’t, get in touch with your water company immediately, as they may have got your meter mixed up with a neighbour’s.
About the author: This article was written for Direct Heating Supplies on behalf of Aquatek, a leading team of plumbers in London.