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How to Read the Correct and Precise Water Meter

9 min read

The water meter is used to determine the amount of water that has been used and the costs to be paid. It is very important to know how to read a water meter.

Every housing or building that uses water supply as its water source must have a water meter. This tool is used to find out how much water has been used at once to determine the cost to be paid. So it is very important to know how to read the water meter correctly.

In addition to Water meter staff, you also have to read yourself the amount of water that has been used. The goal is that if an error occurs at any time and causes the bill to soar, you can complain and repair or replace the tool. Knowing water meters and their components can also be of benefit to you.

Water Meter Definition and Components

Definition of a water meter is a tool used to measure the volume of water flowing through pipelines and is equipped with a counting unit. There are counting units, sensor units, and measuring indicator units to support the water meter working system.

The water meter component consists of several main parts, which are as follows:

1. Water meter body

The part where the calculator is located right in the middle of the water meter section is called the main part or body of the water meter. On the opposite side are the inlet and outlet. On the inside, there is also a series of gears or gears.

2. Measuring a part or measuring number (register)

As the name implies, this section has a function to show the results of calculations in the form of valuable data. There are several indications in measuring the volume of water using this tool, namely:

  1. Maximum debit (Q4), the highest debit in the short term
  2. Discharge (Q), the actual volume
  3. Minimum debit (Q1), lowest debit
  4. Nominal discharge (Q3), the highest discharge in working condition when water is flowing
  5. Transitional discharge (Q2), a debit that is between the minimum debit and nominal discharge
  6. Actual volume (Va), the total volume of water passing through the water meter
  7. Indication volume, the amount of volume indicated by the water meter
  8. Maximum error, relative error, and error of indication are errors indicated by the water meter
  9. Pressure loss (∆p), pressure loss at a predetermined water flow
  10. Nominal diameter, design on pipe component sizes

3. Display section

In this section, there is a description of the meter type (multi-jet or single-jet), nominal flow rate (Qn), and metrology class (classification of meters based on accuracy values).

By knowing the parts and components of a water meter, you can more easily understand the function of each part or as a whole. So this can help you in using the water meter according to its function.

Water Meter Function

Not only important for users, but water meters also have an important role for drinking water companies so that they can continue to monitor customer water usage. Apart from being a tool for calculating the volume of water used, this tool can also indirectly provide other benefits such as the following:

  • To ensure to customers the number of fees to be paid according to the amount of water consumed
  • Demonstrate an accountability process for calculating the total volume of water and multiplying it by the total cost per cubic
  • Record every use of water so that every customer will get justice for the number of fees to be paid because it is based on the amount of usage
  • Encouraging customers to save water as needed
  • Can monitor the volume of water that comes out through the utility system
  • Help detect if there is a leak or break in the pipeline

All types of water clock ( đồng hồ nước ) on the market have the same function, which is to calculate the volume of water. However, each type of water meter certainly has a different way of working.

Types of Water Meters

There are various types of water meters on the market. Based on how it works, water meters are divided into the following types:

1. Positive Displacement (Volume)

This type of meter belongs to the class C category and is very suitable for small or domestic industrial customers. The mechanic that drives the meter number is based on the volume of the room that has been determined by the manufacturer so this meter is called a volumetric meter.

The following are the advantages of a positive displacement water meter, namely:

  • Very high level of accuracy
  • Easy to read without requiring special skills
  • Can be read at a low-pressure flow
  • Can be installed in all positions

Unfortunately, this meter is very sensitive to dirt or sand and cannot be used in high-pressure flows. There are 2 types of positive displacement meters, namely:

  • a. Nutating Disc Meter

The hallmark of this water meter is that there is a disc-shaped plate on the inside of the meter body. The disc is connected to the meter register and rotates as water enters the meter. The amount of rotation of the disc is an indication of the quantity of water that enters and is recorded on the meter. 

  • b. Oscillating Piston Piston

type water meter has a kind of bucket ( bucket ) that will rotate when flowing with water. The water flow enters through the input hole and will fill the bucket until it spins. Then channeled to the space behind the bucket through a filter. The bucket drives the mechanics associated with registration numbers. 

If the movement of the bucket is getting faster, the volume of water shown in the gauge number is increasing. There is a check valve to prevent the water from turning back. Unfortunately, the filter in the bucket is so small that it causes the meter to jam easily when exposed to sand. 

  • Non Displacement (Non-Volume)

As the name implies, non-displacement water meters are the opposite of positive displacement. There are several types of water meters, including non-volume, including:

  • Velocity meter

This meter uses the speed of the water to move the mechanics inside the meter to connect to the meter register numbers. The volume that is read in the meter register is the result of the conversion of the specific velocity of the water. There are several types of air velocity meters, including:

single jet

The movement of the mechanical gear that is transmitted to the registered meter is obtained from the speed of the water moving the impeller. Single-jet has one input hole which is equipped with construction so that water enters only one side of the impeller. Single-jet is even capable of reading low water flow ( low flow ). 


The working principle is the same as the single jet, only the multi-jet water meter has 2 input holes and 2 output holes in the form of a shell. The impeller contained in the meter is wrapped by the shell with construction in such a way that it can rotate the impeller. This meter has the advantage of still being able to rotate even though the water contains sand. 

  • Turbine water meter

The meter created by Reinhard Woltman has several fan blades or rotors mounted on the axle. The way it works is using the speed of water to rotate the propellers and forwarded them to the register to then be converted into volume.

Turbine water meters have 2 types of meters based on the installation of the blades, namely:

  • Vertical meter (Woltmag) with a vertically mounted vane axis and commonly used in turbulent flows. The construction is made in such a way that the water flow does not directly hit the fan. So this meter can receive all types of water flow with accurate readings. 
  • Horizontal meter (Woltex) with axle mounted horizontally so that the incoming water directly hits the propeller. This type of meter can only accept the flow of water at high speed because the small flow will not be able to turn the blades. 

How to Read Water Meter

With increasing technology, how to read a water meter can be done in various ways, either manually or using assistive devices. How to read it also depends on the type of water meter used. Here are details on how to read a water meter by type that you can follow:

  1. How to read a mechanical water meter

This type of water meter is the most widely used to measure the volume of water both on a small and large scale. Inside this tool, there is a water flow driver that is connected to the meter register number. How to read it is quite simple and easy, here are the steps:

  1. Unscrew the water meter.
  2. Pay attention to the series of numbers on the surface of the water meter which is shown in cubic units. On the display body, several measurement sections have different functions.

Here’s the explanation:

  • Odometer 

This section serves to show the amount of water that has been used since the meter was first installed. You don’t have to worry because the numbers on the odometer don’t repeat every month and don’t become a monthly bill. 

To read the volume of water you use, pay attention to the index meter which consists of black and red. The red color is used for water meter testing which is indicated in liters. 

While the black color is used as the basis for calculating the bill and is shown in m3 units. So if you want to know the amount of your water bill each month, pay attention to the black numbers. 

  • Big dial

This numeric pointer has a function to show the unit of water you consume. The checkmark between the numbers is the separator between units and hundreds. 

  • Small serration ( triangular dial )

This section is located on the surface of the meter and is an indicator of low flow. Through this dial, you can check for indications of leaks by trying to turn off all the water in the house and check if the water lines are leaking. So that if there is a problem it can be detected early so that there is not too much-unused water that is counted as a bill. 

  1. How to Read a Digital Water Meter

A digital water meter is a type of meter that is very simple because it can be installed easily, is lightweight, and is not too big. This meter can be connected with a pulse cable and is powered by battery power. 

How to read a digital water meter is very easy because there is a maximum of two numbers listed on the display screen. The large number at the top indicates the volume of water used in liters or cubic units. While the small numbers below indicate the flow rate or flow speed. 

  1. How to Read Modbus Water Meter

Water meters that use the Modbus communication protocol are easier to read and control. You can read how much volume of water is used without having to look directly at the meter installed. The meter can still be read without going to the location because it uses the help of a tool. 

The officers can automatically read the results of water meter measurements through data that is automatically sent via Automatic Meter Reading. The data is directly connected via a network to a computer or application on a smartphone. 

When you open the application on a computer or smartphone, data about the amount of water usage can automatically be seen. Both in terms of the amount of water volume and flow rate. 

Make sure you choose a water meter that fits your needs and budget. The quality of the water meter is also very important to consider before buying the product. 

Tips for Choosing a Water Meter

Given the importance of the function of this water meter, don’t be careless in choosing the product. ECOZEN provides a choice of meters in various types, sizes, and brands. In choosing the available products, you should pay attention to the factors and specifications that affect product quality, including:

  • The meter material must have good material, durable, anti-rust, non-toxic, durable, and should not be affected by water temperature
  • There is a protective meter indicating device with a see-through window made of glass and equipped with a cover or safety
  • Must be equipped with anti-magnets that are placed in a watertight part
  • The construction must be designed in such a way that it is easy to disassemble
  • Meets simulation service, Q3, and Q4. durability

By getting the best quality products from ECOZEN, you don’t have to worry anymore about the quality of each component. Knowing how to read a water meter properly and correctly will make you more able to control the use of water used. So that the bill every month can be controlled so as not to swell.  

You can reduce your water use every time the volume used exceeds your target limit. So that more people know how to read a water meter to control water saving, share this information through your social media.

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