Water Meter

Did you know you could completely stop your water meter?

If you are concerned about the skyrocketing water bills and you want to stop the meter for a while, there’s a way you can completely halt the readings, and all you need is a magnet.

You will need a 50x30 mm thick magnet to bring your water meter to a halt.

Ideally, this should be a rare earth magnet, which, unlike the regular magnet, has a stronger magnetic field.

The magnet should preferably feature a nickel coating, which lasts longer than conventional magnets.

The Neodymium magnet is currently the best rare-earth magnet on the market. Most people prefer this magnet for everyday use at home.

Caution is, however, advised when using this magnet as it can attract other objects within its proximity.

Can a Rare-Earth Magnet Stop All Types of Water Meters?

Rare earth Magnets

Yes, especially if you are using a neodymium magnet, which works perfectly with all water meter types in the world.

The magnet will stop the water meter as long as both are manufactured on the basis of a similar principle.

You can use the magnet to control how your water meter moves. What this means is that you will be in a position to control your water bills and only pay what you can afford.

The best magnets to use are the rounded ones, but you should exercise caution when using them since they have a very powerful magnetic field.

Safety Precautions When Using a Magnet to Stop a Water Meter

To avoid scratching your water meter’s surface when attaching the magnet to it, wrap the magnet with soft or thick paper before installing it.

Of course, you also don’t want to publicize to everyone the fact that you have a magnet attached to your water meter.

Make sure no one else but you knows about this. You could lock the magnet and the water meter in an electrical box using a high-grade padlock.

This will prevent unauthorized access, and keep prying eyes from taking a closer look.

Is It Legal to Use a Magnet to Stop a Water Meter?

caught by police

No. It’s illegal to tamper with your water meter in any way, least of all by using a magnet.

Besides, if you damage the meter in the process, this is considered vandalism.

But you might argue that the water meter is on your property and that you can do whatever you want with it.

However, remember that you didn’t install the water meter in the first place. It was installed on your property at your request.

What this means is that it is someone else’s property, even though it’s sitting on your property.

As a result, you don’t have the right to tamper with it or remove it. Your only right over the water meter is to use it to receive water from the supplier.

If you no longer want to use the service, apply to the water board to have the water meter turned off or removed entirely.

Once your application is assented to, the water supply to your property will be turned off and the meter removed.

Legal Ways to Keep your Water Bill in Check

Stopping your water meter with a magnet is illegal. However, there are other ways you can save water and keep your bills down. These include using water-saving technologies and observing basic water-saving techniques as indicated below:

  • Fix that leak: Leaks are some of the most common causes of high water bills. A minor leak could be the reason you are wasting gallons of water every day. If you can just get the leaks fixed, you will save yourself a pretty penny instead of going to the illegal lengths of tampering with your water meter.

  • Take less time in the shower: The average time most people spend in the shower is 8 minutes. How about slashing this time to 5 minutes? You will save lots of water this way, and your water utility bill will reflect the savings. Avoid taking water baths, or take them less often, since they use more water than showers. 

  • Don’t keep the tap running unnecessarily. Some people keep it running when brushing their teeth. This is a lot of water down the drain for no reason. Always turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Instead, fill a glass with water and wet your toothbrush prior to using it. You will use less water this way, and it won’t compromise the integrity or effectiveness of the exercise.

  • Scrape debris off your plates instead of running water on them. When washing plates, rather than rinse the debris off with water, scrape it instead. You will use less water this way.

  • Make sure the laundry is full before washing your clothes: washing small piles of clothes is a waste of water and electricity. Wait until the laundry is full and then set the laundry machine to the relevant water level before running it.

  • Water your lawns thoroughly: If you just water your lawn on the surface, the water quickly evaporates. Instead, when watering your lawn, make sure the water seeps deep into the roots, where it is actually needed. If you just sprinkle it on the surface, it quickly evaporates. 

  • Avoid hosing: It may be easier to use a hose instead of a broom to wash your steps, driveways, and sidewalks, but it will take more water to complete the exercise. If you use a broom instead of a hose, you could save as much as 3,000 gallons of water or more every year.

  • Save water by placing a plastic bottle inside your toilet tank: get a one-liter bottle and fill it with two inches of pebbles or sand and water. Place it safely at the bottom of the tank and make sure it does not interfere with the tank’s operator. You will save up to 5 gallons of water every day without compromising the performance of your toilet. 

  • Avoid using water to defrost frozen food: Instead of using warm water to defrost frozen food, remove the food from the freezer and put it in the fridge. This allows it to defrost safely. Besides the fact that you lose about 150 gallons of water every month by defrosting food using warm water, destructive bacteria are known to thrive in such conditions.

Benefits of Using Smart (Wireless) Water Meters

Wireless Water meter

While smart water meters are not tamper-proof, they are not as easy to tamper with as mechanical ones. Among the benefits of using smart water meters include:

  • Water conservation: A smart water meter keeps you constantly updated on how much water you are consuming. They alert you about water usage irregularities. Besides, they quickly detect leaks and inform you of excessive water consumption before things get out of hand, giving you a chance to get professional help and get the issue resolved.

  • You spend less on water. Since these devices help conserve water, you use less water, which means paying less for water when the bills come. Besides, the water usage data you get from your smart water meter helps you adjust your water usage.

  • Easily detect water line leaks: It can be weeks or months before you notice a water leak in your home. All the while, you will be wondering why your water bills have gone up suddenly without a change in actual water consumption. A smart water meter will flag water leaks as soon as they start, giving you time to address the leaks before the bills start going crazy.

  • They don’t require in-person reading. Unlike manual water meters that require people to read, smart water meters record the readings and relay them to the billing company. Cases abound of fake water readers breaking into properties and stealing, which makes manual water reading extremely risky. A smart water meter sends electronic readings without the need of an agent coming over to take the readings.

  • It’s more accurate: Readings from a smart water meter are more accurate than those from the standard ones. This means you only get to pay for the exact amount of water you consume.

  • Results in better customer service: Since water companies can detect issues early on, courtesy of smart water meters, they can alert you before the next billing cycle, which gives you adequate time to fix whatever is causing erratic water consumption from your end. As a result, customer complaints and claims are kept to the minimum, or eliminated entirely. 

Limitations of Using Smart Water Meters 

  • Performance compromised by poor signal: Some smart water meters rely on mobile networks to relay data. Obviously, a poor mobile network will affect this service, which means information to clients and to the water company is delayed.

  • The water bills do not come down: The goal of a smart water reader is to make sure you pay for the exact amount of water you use in a given cycle. It does not, however, bring down your water utility bills. It will track your water usage and alert you should there be an abnormal spike in consumption. To pay less for your water, your only recourse is using unethical methods such as a magnet to stop the water meter, in which case you have to be extremely careful to avoid being caught.

  • Smart water meters are not supported by every service provider. As of now, not all municipalities or utility companies support smart water meters. The device is not universally available to allow companies to offer the service.

Ethical Issues about Stopping the Water Meter

Man Stopping the Water

Stopping a water meter, for whatever reason, is both unethical and illegal. In the process, you may end up damaging the water meter, which could land you in trouble. 

In any case, should you suspect your water bills are inordinately high, and you think there could be a problem somewhere, the best recourse is to alert the water suppliers, or call a plumbing expert to investigate the piping with a view to establishing what the issue is. It could just be a matter of a leaky pipe or valve.

Another option is to install a smart water meter since it has an inbuilt mechanism for making sure problems are flagged before they become an emergency.

Besides, a smart water meter records the exact reading based on your water consumption.

There are other legal ways of taming your water consumption. These involve making sure you are using your water efficiently and that taps are not running when they shouldn’t.

If push comes to shove and you no longer need to use the municipal water, call them to disconnect the water meter, or remove it altogether.

Conclusion

A 50X30mm thick magnet will stop your water meter, which means your water bills will come down by as much as you want. This sounds easy and neat until the authorities catch up with you. It’s an illegal practice that could land one in deep trouble with the authorities. It’s just not worth the risk.