Water meter question

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Sclass
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Water meter question

Post by Sclass »

I was playing with the idea of keeping a slow drip on my fruit tree all the time through my garden hose. A light went on in my head and I walked over to the water meter and took a look at it to see if it was able to register this slow leak.

I have one of the new meters with the wireless connection. The digital display flashed my total water use and the flow rate which read 0.000. Not sure of the units. Does this mean I don’t have to pay if I leave my water on 24/7 on a slow drip?

This is mostly a labor saver because I only visit the house once a month but I want a good fruit yield in the winter. The little green oranges are popped out all over and I’m afraid the tree will drop them in the summer heat.

Didn’t want to hit the hardware store and risk Covid for a water timer. I’ve used those in the past and they worked well. And of course, this trick is potentially free.

Alphaville
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Alphaville »

hahaha!

cheating intentions aside, i think it would depend on how the meter measures consumption.

if it integrates totals from continued measures of flow, you could perhaps fly below radar.

if it derives the flow from changes in total, then your stated flow could just be oscillating between 0 and n at intervals you haven’t noticed.

other than looking at the firmware of the thing, best way could be to solve it empirically by measuring total use at longer intervals. it shouldn’t be a massive charge anyway?

OTCW
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Re: Water meter question

Post by OTCW »

Most residential water meters are mechanical, even if they have a digital display or are wirelessly connected. They don't really register really low flows very well, and sometimes not at all. If your register is not changing at the low drip you have going, it most likely is not registering. Would need to see some pics to be certain.
Regardless, this reminds me of the movie Office Space where the protagonists convinced themselves they weren't really stealing because they were only taking fractions of a penny at a time.

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Sclass
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Sclass »

I looked at some smart meter data sheets. Looks like it cannot register anything under 15 liters/hour.

A dubious achievement. Water is cheap.

Office Space? I thought that was from Superman 3. :lol:

I can see why the water company encourages customers to fix their leaks. :lol:

OTCW
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Re: Water meter question

Post by OTCW »

Sadly, I never saw Superman 3. Superman 2 was that bad.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Stahlmann »

Hmmm. On this scale it won't be caught prolly.

Anyway, on speaking on "free" utilities obtained this way, I once pondered on how the tech guys measure it.
Once you know the rules... However, they prolly gonna check bigger residential circuit (like whole street or block) and then step by step find the biggest leakage.

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Re: Water meter question

Post by Alphaville »

OTCW wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:49 pm
Sadly,
nothing to be sad about :lol:

Riggerjack
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Riggerjack »

However, they prolly gonna check bigger residential circuit (like whole street or block) and then step by step find the biggest leakage.
Extremely unlikely. Underground pipes leak. And when they leak badly enough that service is affected, or a giant sinkhole opens up to swallow a minivan, they are fixed. But every utility has transmission loss, and an acceptable loss rate. (Last I heard, this rate is 40% in the US electrical grid, and there are still many municipal water systems using hollow creosote soaked logs in their main piping...)
cheating intentions aside, i think it would depend on how the meter measures consumption.
Sclass is living in California, which is experiencing a nearly continuous draught. And has built their infrastructure in a way that disposes of rain into the sewer system as quickly as possible, to more effectively wash solids into the Pacific ocean. All while constantly seeking to secure water from other regions to be piped (with all those implied losses of water and energy) in for a main water/sewer source.

I don't think watering a tree with a trickle counts as "cheating" in this context.

Alphaville
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Alphaville »

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:39 am
I don't think watering a tree with a trickle counts as "cheating" in this context.
well, he’s certainly no jeffrey skilling, but he’s thinking of tricking the meter, which is still cheating, but of the hilarious kind due to context.

then again maybe he’s just trying to water a tree ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Sclass
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Sclass »

Hey I’m just having fun with this. I don’t have to buy a water timer and the free water is a bonus. I was kind of amused that I keep getting the fliers with my water bill that encourage home owners to fix their drips.

What I found interesting was the smart meters have a sensor to detect a magnetic field and alert the water company. This is to catch fraudsters from putting magnets on the meter.

Los Angeles was founded on a stolen water supply. I’m insignificant in the bigger scheme of things down here.

Bigger worries are the coyotes disturbing the hose to get a drink. Soaked soil and moldy tree roots. Etc.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Laura Ingalls »

This thread reminds me of when I discovered you could buy fancy dried mushrooms, Thai Chili’s other light items that from the bulk spice bin area at that Whole Foods and unless the item weighed more than the tare amount .01 lbs you would get the item for free. : ;)

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Re: Water meter question

Post by Alphaville »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:18 pm
This thread reminds me of when I discovered you could buy fancy dried mushrooms, Thai Chili’s other light items that from the bulk spice bin area at that Whole Foods and unless the item weighed more than the tare amount .01 lbs you would get the item for free. : ;)
oh! i need to go have a look at those bins :lol:

classical_Liberal
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Re: Water meter question

Post by classical_Liberal »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:18 pm
This thread reminds me of when I discovered you could buy fancy dried mushrooms, Thai Chili’s other light items that from the bulk spice bin area at that Whole Foods and unless the item weighed more than the tare amount .01 lbs you would get the item for free. : ;)
On no, here we go... Grocery stores that offer cheap salad bars have a fixed weight based payment system. Expensive veggies that are very, very light can be had for cheaper than buying it at the checkout in normally packaged amounts. I can get half pound of baby spinach for 3 bucks, where as a 5oz bag costs 4ish dollars at normal price. :oops:

Alphaville
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Alphaville »

i buy frozen adult, $1.50/lb and never wilts :D

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

For anyone interested in the southwest's water wars check out Cadillac Desert (book) or California Water Wars by American History Tellers (podcast). Chinatown (movie) is a classic too, though fictional.

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Sclass
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Sclass »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:18 pm
This thread reminds me of when I discovered you could buy fancy dried mushrooms, Thai Chili’s other light items that from the bulk spice bin area at that Whole Foods and unless the item weighed more than the tare amount .01 lbs you would get the item for free. : ;)
What!?

I was wondering when I bought bulk spices at Sprouts last week how they actually weighed that little baggy on the vegetable scale! I’ll pay more attention next time.

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Re: Water meter question

Post by jacob »

@GdP - For a fiction novel (set in "a near future"), also read https://www.amazon.com/Water-Knife-Paol ... 080417153X

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Stahlmann
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Stahlmann »

On "extreme" scale of cheapskateness (?!) people over here tend to put large sized eggs into small sized package...
But it's possible to get "busted" for that (as a man who ate 3 small candy bars in supermarket).

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Re: Water meter question

Post by Alphaville »

a year or two ago i read that in german supermarket self-checkouts people were buying a bunch of pricey produce and coding it as carrots.

in the us, walmart’s self-checkout has cameras and the ai has started to identify your items.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Water meter question

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

jacob wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:56 pm
@GdP...
Thanks, I'll check it out. :D

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