Water meter installed after house move

Hi
I have recently moved house by way of a mutual council house swap,(basically down sized from a 3 bed to a 2 bed house).

So I have done the usual utility moves, gas,electric & water, my water supplier is Wessex water who closed my old account at my old address and sent a letter to my new home saying due to a Government policy that when you move house the will install a new water meter if one is not already fitted to the new property.

Well today 23/08/2019 while we were out Wessex water fitted the new water meter and posted a card & leaflet through our door, written on the card in pen was "10m RHS property in footpath in chamber" then a drawing of a oblong with"(3of4taps)".

I had a good look around the outside of my house & up the street as I did not understand what the message on the card meant so I phoned Wessex water up and explained this to them.

The young lady who I spoke with was equally bemused by the message on the card & put me on hold for 3-4 mins, when she came back & after asking where my house stop !!!! was she said that it may be fitted to the main water inlet and it may be outside in the footpath so I went out to find the "oblong" which was a 4 foot x 2 foot metal plate 2 doors down and in the middle of the houses dropped kerb in there driveway, the young lady said open it up and you will find your water meter there.

I said I was unable to lift the plate as I did not have the correct "Tools" to open the plate as there were 2 holes that obviously 2 handles insert into the holes to lift the plate.

So being unable to "lift" the plate, "how do I read the meter or check how much water I am using or saving and more to the point why is the water meter basically not within my property's boundary but down the street where anyone can potentially lift the cover & mess with the meter.

So the long & short of the story is we have to wait 10 working days for someone to come from Wessex water to as the lady said "have a look"

Sorry for the long winded tale but after the last 20 years in my old house paying water rate & having zero problems, less that 3 weeks in my new house this happens.

any help or advise would be appreciated :)
"Silence, Reverend Supermarket"
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Comments

  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Since 1990 Water companies have had the power to fit a meter on change of occupant. The problem is that they often didn't bother to exercise that right.

    It is normal practice to fit the meter just outside the boundary of the property; although you should have the ability to read the meter. Wessex Water should solve that issue when they visit.
  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871
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    I got a meter 20 years ago and haven't looked at the readings for at least 19 years. Unless the property previously had a very low rateable value you are likely to save money. Just use what you need without being wasteful.
  • jbuchanangb
    jbuchanangb Posts: 1,321
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    Unlike other utility companies, water companies still send meter readers round twice a year to read the meters, so you shouldn’t need to read it yourself, but if they send someone out to show you the meter, it would be worth checking the reading, which should be close to 0000, and performing a running water check, to be sure you are looking at the meter actually connected to your house.
  • spiro
    spiro Posts: 6,403
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    Well today 23/08/2019 while we were out Wessex water fitted the new water meter and posted a card & leaflet through our door, written on the card in pen was "10m RHS property in footpath in chamber" then a drawing of a oblong with"(3of4taps)".
    Looking at this the card is telling you the meter is 10 metres Right Hand Side of property in footpath in chamber and yours is 3rd of 4.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
  • t0rt0ise
    t0rt0ise Posts: 4,213
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    I can't see my meter either. It seems to be okay for them to give you a meter that you can't read and just trust that they read them correctly.
  • I wouldn't worry too much about reading metres. The water company come and read mine every six months as standard (I think they should all do that if they don't) and just update my account and my direct debit accordingly. I have no idea where my metre is.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,573
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    I read mine regularly, and its a good job that I do.

    Several years ago the monthly consumption jumped from about 5cu.m month to 50cu.m in a month.

    It was a leak which would have not only cost me lots of money but undermined the house & drive.

    It also helps you keep track of your water costs, much like reading your gas & leccy meters. When you know how much you use and how much it costs you to use it then you can do something about it.

    IMO water meter should be compulsory for everybody then you pay for what you use, no more and no less
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • ...
    I said I was unable to lift the plate as I did not have the correct "Tools" to open the plate as there were 2 holes that obviously 2 handles insert into the holes to lift the plate.

    So being unable to "lift" the plate, "how do I read the meter or check how much water I am using or saving and more to the point why is the water meter basically not within my property's boundary but down the street where anyone can potentially lift the cover & mess with the meter....

    Sounds like you may need to get a suitable tool.
    Usually a hefty screwdriver will do the job if it's a single meter cover.
    But it sounds like you have your meter in a larger cavity, with 2-3 other meters. In which case it sounds like you may need a manhole cover lifter. They should be available from any good DIY store. Toolstation & Screwfix may be a good start :)

    It's not uncommon for water meters to be located under the pavement, close to the boundary of your property. It allows them to be read without anyone having to come onto your property.
    There's nothing much anyone else can do with a water meter (except read it if they are nosey) - but they will need the same tool you currently don't have to access it :cool:.

    Lots of people also have gas & electric meters located externally, albiet on their property, and anyone can access those as most people have a meter cupboard key, or they are readily available.
    (some suppliers even give them away to their customers on request)
  • SamGrundy
    SamGrundy Posts: 18
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    edited 8 September 2019 at 8:00AM
    falcieri wrote: »
    I wouldn't worry too much about reading metres. The water company come and read mine every six months as standard (I think they should all do that if they don't) and just update my account and my direct debit accordingly. I have no idea where my metre is.

    Just like electricity & gas, people should check their water bills carefully and that the meter readings used are correct.
    This is especially important where a number of water meters are located under a single cover, as it is not unknown for a meter reader to get them mixed up.

    If the meter is not located within your property by the stopcock, then it'll be located out in the street where the supply can also be isolated (e.g. if you ever need to have the stopcock replaced). It's also where the supply will be isolated by the water supplier if there is a report of water escaping from your property (e.g. a contantly running overflow) and no one is home to allow access. So best to know where it is. :)
  • matelodave wrote: »
    I read mine regularly, and its a good job that I do.

    Several years ago the monthly consumption jumped from about 5cu.m month to 50cu.m in a month.

    It was a leak which would have not only cost me lots of money but undermined the house & drive.

    It also helps you keep track of your water costs, much like reading your gas & leccy meters. When you know how much you use and how much it costs you to use it then you can do something about it.

    IMO water meter should be compulsory for everybody then you pay for what you use, no more and no less


    I am very careful with my water usage which doesn't change over the course of the year so I check the six monthly reads for any unusual changes. I'm currently using on average 50 litres per day which is the equivilent of one shower so if there is any deviation in my usage I'll spot it. An average 1 person household in my area according to my provider uses 149 litres per day so I think I'm doing okay.
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