Anti removal detection or sealable water meter

Hello,
I’m wondering If any knows if there are outdoor water meter what can be sealed against removal.
Another option could be that the alarm if pressure drops at their inlet site, which would indicate a removal.

I do ask, as I live in a house with 7 flats what share the water bill as there is only a house meter, but not a meter per flat. For the last couple of years, water consumption on the balconies has been increasing significantly, which raised some dispute about the water bill.
As we cannot install a water meter per flat, the installation of one at the outlet on the terrace or balcony is regarded as a compromise.
There should be ensured that this one cannot be removed or bypass, that is the reason of my question.
Of course, you can still connect the hose to your water outlet in the kitchen etc. Installing a water meter in the drain could detect such abuse.

any input is appreciate
thx

You can by official meters at amazon which come with seals.
I just bought one to to count my water usage for gardening and have this deducted from waste water bills.

I’m really could not find a proper one, could you post the link please :angel:

Here is the link to the one I’ve bought :
https://smile.amazon.de/gp/product/B00R356HF2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I can easily remove that one with a spanner
image
that is something I don’t want to see happening

Please read the description properly :
Das Set besteht aus: 1 Wasserzähler Q3 = 2,5 ( Alt QN 1,5 ) 110 mm Anschluss 3/4 Zoll, Eichung im Jahr der Lieferung, 1 Kombiverschraubung für Anschluss Zapfhahn/Zähler in 3/4 Zoll, Dichtungen, Schlauchtülle und Plombenset

It comes with a set of seales, so easy to know when it was removed, as one would have to break the seal.
That’s why you can use them to have your waste water bill reduced when using it for gardening…

thx for telling me :slight_smile: I checked the OEM webpage and found the sealing kit
Zapfhahnzähler zur Montage an Wasserhähne Q3 = 2,5 ( Alt QN 1,5 ) | Gartenzähler - Zapfhahnzähler | Garten - Zapfhahn - Bad und Küchen - Zähler | Wasserzähler Standard | SPEWA

Plombe für Wasserzähler QN 1,5 einteilig | Sicherungs Plomben Standard | Plomben | SPEWA

Check wm-bus devices. There is unoficial binding for that. Not sure if you gonna find one for raw outside mounting.
The general rule for water meter is dig it deep enough to avoid freezing of measured medium. There are also hats for standard equipment counting pulses from basic meters.

I have one Kamstrup WM-Bus water meter mounted outside. I dismount it before winter comes.

how to figure out which water meter suppliers have wm-bus devices in their portfolio (besides to ask google wm-bus water meter)?
Smart Water Meter - Energy Metering Solutions - STMicroelectronics

The wm-bus is an european standard for radio based measurement devices of different kinds dedicated for submetering. An important note - standard itself supports transport level encryption so your readings are not going in complete plaintext.
You can approach pretty much every manufacturer in your country to see if there are devices which comply with your requirements and standard. Be aware that cheapest devices will use wm-bus but will force you to purchase a “collector” or “readout” terminal/software from manufacturer in order to decode data.
Most of water meters in this standard can report volume, some also flow. More advanced can report dry flow, leakage (continuous flow for over 24h) or negative flow. These are alarms and might not be covered by standard itself - then they come in so called manufacturer specific data-block which wm-bus binding allows you to implement that. (disclaimer - I was paid to work on that binding some time ago!)
The anti-removal option is usually connected with radio-hat and light sensor on its back (which is placed on meter head). Most of the meters have ears to place seal. I doubt if you will find meter with a seal removal sensor, but dry flow should be available.

My first tip would be to check with manufacturers you have around you. Have a look on kamstrup flowiq or sontex.

Cheers,
Łukasz

Hey thx for all the info :smiley:
Could you tell me what is meant by dry flow and radio-hat?
Google shows some absolutely non related results :unamused:

Dry flow - no water in pipe. English term I used might be completely wrong. Privilege of adopted language. :wink:

The hat is also refereed as “radio module”. For example: RFM-TX1 | BMeters - this device is compatible with water meters of same manufacturer. You usually use these if you have a water meter prior “digitalization”.

If you start with new meters just seek for standard equipment. I used Kamstrup Multical 21 cause flowIQ was far more expensive.

On Kamstrup page you will find following alarms:

MULTICAL® 21 / flowIQ® 210x supports the following info codes and alarms:

  • Leakage
  • Burst
  • Dry
  • Reverse flow
  • Tampering

I haven’t implemented that for meters I have (I don’t expect any of these happen without my knowledge).

For detailed information how above functions work see Technical Description (DE) (EN).
Once you get over above you probably will be able to talk over any installer and hydraulic shop salesman. :slight_smile:

Anyhow - if you think of having your submetering project successful please take into account that water meter must be installed in a place which has positive temperatures over winter season (or well insulated). An outside mounting will likely cause meter to break due to temperature or pressure. All manufacturers specify installation requirements to start from +1C up.

Enjoy!

maybe an option to reactivate this discussion what about
WaterHawk Smart Water-Efficient Showerhead (elemental.green) and other systems like this one?
Can you get just the sensor are reuse it in any water outlet?
Actual water consumption could be verified by replacing the classic water meter in the basement with a smart one.

@PackElend It all boils down if you plan to use metering information for billing purposes or just as an additional information for yourself. If you do it for your own use then its fine to go with these.
However, if you plan to bill building tenants for their usage, then mentioned system might not satisfy legal requirements of “measurement device”. That’s why a lot of “smart home” accessories is bound to “home” and not building, cause they can’t replace devices certified for specific use. This is also why every meter installed in building for billing has a “validity period” followed by “legality statement”, “conformity statement” and sometimes “calibration certificate”. Once validity pass these must be re-calibrated or swapped.

I do recall that I saw similar system which was doing metering of water and changed the light to red if consumption exceeded X. While it looked great, the reality is that A) you have to install it in every tap B) you can’t use it for billing C) it does not tell you what’s proportion of cold/warm water.
In this regard systems such this do fit hotels and individual apartments. Hotel can remind tenants of their over-consumption of water (which can be a problem in there) and you as home owner can know how much water is taken by shower. Yet in multi family buildings such approach will not pass. Depending on building kind you might need to know how much warm water was taken to properly calculate pre-heating cost.

If you have an existing water meter then look for replacement which satisfies legal requirements of metering device - for EU it will be Measurement Instruments Directive (referred as MiD).
Measuring instruments (MID) | Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and then look for devices which offers you compatible communication interface. As said, for billing devices you can go with wmbus which is already integrated into openHAB through a radio dongle. Signal is strong enough to pass over a wall or two so you don’t need to place openHAB in a cellar. :wink:

Best,
Łukasz

hey,
thanks for the answer.

The problem is that you have to open up the wall (hoping that there are still tiles of the same style lying around). This makes any upgrade very expensive and break-even might be never reached.
So that could be a compromise as you would monitor certified overall consumption and distribute it according to the feedback of these kinds of smart devices.
Of course, you will need to do some verification runs and build abuse checking logic into the monitoring system. It would be not perfect but much closer to reality instead of using a fixed distribution key for the water bill.

I guess a simpler approach would be to monitor main warm/cold water supply and equally distribute costs across occupants. One condition there is to know exact number of occupants so there is no way to cheat. This way will not require you to get extra measurements while still might be accepted as a legally valid way.
Once people get a feeling of being overcharged they are much faster to accept cost of individual meters. Either for water or heating.

that is how all startet. One occupant did badly adjust the watering system, so a lot of fresh water was drained from the balcony.
It is a problem, but the installation of a pair of cold and hot water meters has been estimated at CHF 6000 as wall has to be opend up, a cutout in the pipe has to be made etc.

I don’t know prices in Switzerland so I can’t judge is it a lot or not within your conditions. Within Poland where I live this could be a monthly salary in IT sector. :wink:
Comparing apples to bananas I can say that you have expensive plumbing services. :wink:
Other way which function very well here is installation of pair of water meters under the kitchen sink, where pipe leaves wall and other in bathroom next to main pipe. It takes a bit of space but require minimum changes to the installations. Still a lot of work, yet it requires no heavy equipment.

Can you tell how are the water taps outside connected? Are they connected to apartment pipe or they go from cellar? If you do pay for waste (sewage) water based on the consumption then there is definitely a point to reduce bill by water which occupants throw directly into the ground.

I will share details tomorrow

Yes 6k are quite a lot even here.
Was quite surprised as well but have not invested time to for additional quotation

Hey,
I’ve been searching the scan of the water lines diagram all day long but have not found it yet (but it is somewhere). So I can show you only the extract taken by a camera.



there are three raising pipes that could allow measuring flow per rising pipe but distribution across apartments is still the challenge.
Currently, the overall yearly consumptions of around 6000 CHF for water and 13’000 CHF for heating are distributed by the value quote of each of the eight owners.

As the individual costs are much lower as currently know the cost for installing commonly known water meters, I’m checking for a better option.

Installing meters below the sinks etc. should be fairly easy
image
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but doing the same thing in the showers raises the costs as you have to open up the wall

both sides of the wall between bathrooms:
imageimage

higher qualitiy in a different appartments
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you could skip a flat per raising line and subtract the remaining apartments from overall but some installation still have to be done