I would fully expect to get a bill based on either average use over a year
or average summertime use. If a previous month before the zero bill showed
a major drop they might reasonably assume the meter stopped during that
period and do something about estimating that.
Doing something about a gradual slowdown I would highly doubt because
that's probably not how a meter fails and in any case, peoples' usage does
change over time for many reasons and saying it's been dropping since 2010
so we're going to re-bill you for the past couple years based on 2009 usage
is preposterous, if that's what you are suggesting.
If neither the dials on the meter itself orthose on the remote unit
are changing, then there is no way for them to determine how much
water you used. (I used to work on remote reading systems).
They will most likely attempt to bill you for estimated usage. Whether
you are required to pay for it or not probably depends on the T&C's
you agreed to when you signed up for water.
Thanks for the first real answer. The dials on the meter head have not
moved. The remote is just a black plastic knob (no dials) sort of thing
that the meter reader puts his/her reader thing over. Could be RFID but I
don't think that existed when this was installed so maybe some sort of
inductive device. Rockwell Touchread I think.
Boy, you're dumber than I thought. What makes his
answer real? Is he the guy that designed and built the
particular meter you have? Experienced with water company
meters? Seems unlikely that he knows any more about
water meters than anyone else here, but he does have one
qualification. He's given you the answer you want so
you can go use that extra water, gaming the water
company and the other rate payers.
That wasn't the point. I don't think anyone would think
there is a snowball's chance in hell of a water company
somehow reading the gears of a failed water meter,
where the visible digits stopped turning, to determine
the actual water usage. The point was that the OP got an
unqualified NO to the question he was asking and just
accepted that, because it was the answer he was looking
for, without even considering the qualifications of
the respondent. That's all he wanted, any answer, to
green light taking all the free water he can.
Review what I said. I didn't say it was an accurate answer. Not being
skilled in this field (which is the reason to seek an answer anyway) I can
only review what has been said and weigh its plausibility. The reason I
said it was the first real answer is because, well, it's the first real
answer. No other responses actually answered the question. This morning a
couple of more responders have.
As for getting the answer I want, yes, I would hope my original conjecture,
that it's either impossible or far too much trouble, to get a reading out
of the underlying mechanism was correct. Everyone desires to be correct.
There was always a small chance that someone who knows these things would
say that underneath the remote sender head there is something that is
easily read. That may be wrong but it's not totally implausible to someone
unfamiliar with what's inside.
utility systems rountinely have leaks of all sorts that go unmeasured
and unpaid for. i have reported water and even gas leaks that never
i was told that some leakage was normal.. and to be expected.
the gas leak from a exposed gas line was in a large open field and
they said given its size ( small ) and open terrain they werent
concerned. i reported to the local paper and years later it was still
i read once that the pittsburgh water system losses over 12% ofall
terated water to leaks... thats a lot.
but the cost to fix those leaks would be in the millions, so its
cheaper to just let most leak......
all business have overhead, i guess leaks are considered overhead and
a cost of doing business......
meter readers who used to uncover theft of services have been
elminated here, so i uess they saved enough to tolerate thieves.
a electric meter reader uncovered theft noting house all lit up, AC
running meter not moving.......
meter readers had uses beyond just reading meters
To put a followup into the record, today a bill arrived with a zero
reading. The water portion (they also bill for sewer and for the
commercial trash / recycling / yard waste hauler) still had an amount but
it was about a quarter what the charge was back in winter. Maybe that's
their base charge. If they do any averaging maybe it will show up next
time but I think maybe they won't waste their time. A cost of doing
business just like leakage.
The meter was changed out late last week and with pipe unions on each side
I am told the tech was in and out in under ten minutes.
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