The device and principle of operation of water meters. Types of water meters, their area of application. Features of the installation of devices, the price of water meters.
A water meter is a device for determining the amount of liquid flowing through pipes to a place of use. The presence of the device in the system allows you to pay only for the used volume, and not at the average rate. To choose the right water meter, you need to take into account some of the nuances and subtleties. In this article we will tell you about them.
The device of water meters
The price of a cubic meter of water for the population is quite high and greatly impacts the family's budget. To reduce the amounts set by the management company, it is necessary to control the volume of fluid consumed. For this purpose, a special device is built into the line - a water consumption meter. In reality, each family member spends 1-3 m per month3 liquid (cold + hot), and according to the norms - many times more. Savings from installing a water meter can range from 30%.
Water meters, regardless of design, consist of various elements:
- Reader… Collects various flow characteristics.
- Scale (monitor) for displaying readings… Consists of 8 numbers in different colors. The first five in black show the flow rate in m3, they are transferred to the water utility. Red means consumption in liters, they are not taken into account in the calculations.
- The case in which all the details are embedded… It is made from a non-magnetic material, usually brass. Less commonly made of plastic with fiberglass or cast iron. To quickly determine the purpose of the water meter, it is painted in different colors: blue - for cold liquid, red or black - for hot, orange - for operation at any temperature.
- Fittings on the body with a diameter of 15 or 25 mm… Required for supplying and diverting flow to and from the product. This diameter provides a flow rate of up to 1.5 m3 per hour, which is enough for a home system, in most cases it does not exceed 1 m3 in hour. The fittings provide a flat pipe section in front of the sensor and increase the measurement accuracy.
- Nuts for fastening the water meter in the pipe (American)… The products allow dismantling the device during operation without dismantling the route.
Complex devices provide space for remote sensing sensors, temperature meters and other useful devices.
Important parameters are often applied to the monitors of cold and hot water meters:
- Qmax - the maximum flow rate at which the readings are taken without error. In such conditions, the product should work no more than one hour.
- Qn - liquid consumption at optimal operation of the device. Usually 2 times less than Qmax. It allows the device to operate without errors for a long time.
- Qmin - the smallest value that provides the minimum reading error.
- Qt - pressure in the line, at which the product gives incorrect values. In this case, it is impossible to predict the sign of the error - in the direction of increasing the flow rate or decreasing it.
- t ° С - maximum liquid temperature. Allows you to select the correct hot water meter. In most cases, an instrument capable of withstanding 90 ° C is sufficient. If the fluid temperature is constant within 90 ° C, products labeled 150 ° C will be needed.
The water meter can only function reliably in conjunction with devices that are often not included in the delivery. These include:
- Coarse filters… Designed to prevent dirt from entering the water meter. They are straight and oblique. The first type is used only when the device is located horizontally, the second - in vertical and horizontal.In stores you can find universal devices for use in any position.
- Non-return valve… It is installed mainly to prevent unwinding of the water meter.
- Shut-off valve… Prevents liquid from draining from the system after dismantling the device.
- Pressure reducer… Installed after the coarse filter. It stabilizes the pressure in the line and prevents breakdowns with a sharp increase in pressure in the line.
All water meters are certified and are sold with a passport confirming that they comply with GOST standards. The passport must contain a stamp, the seal of the manufacturer and the date of verification of the water meter. After putting the product into operation, the controller will schedule the next verification based on this date. The documentation set also includes instructions for installation and operation.
The main types of water meters
In the photo water meters
The area of use of water meters is wide, so they differ in size, design and principle of operation. In home systems and offices, small models are used, through which 1.5-3.5 m passes3 water per hour. It is not advisable to use more powerful products.
In home highways and offices, mechanical devices with a tachometer are installed to account for used water. They are divided into several classes depending on the design and principle of operation:
- Vane water meters… Designed for pipelines with a diameter of 15-40 mm. The reading device for such devices is an impeller rotating along the pipe axis. Its one turn corresponds to the nth amount of liquid. Tachometric water meters are designed for hot water (up to + 130 ° С), cold (up to + 40 ° С), they are also universal (up to + 90 ° С).
- Turbine water meters… This instrument is read by a turbine rotating perpendicular to the pipe axis. The devices are mounted in pipes with a diameter of 50-100 mm, therefore, their use in domestic water supply systems is not justified.
- Single jet water meters… In such water meters, the mechanism rotates a solid stream of liquid. There is a sealed partition between the scale and the impeller, so the service life of the device is quite long. From single-jet water meters, data can be read remotely.
- Multi-jet water meters… In front of the impeller, the flow is split into several jets, which reduce turbulence and increase measurement accuracy. It is easy to carry out checks on the devices, because the upper part with the indicator is easy to dismantle.
- Electronic water meters… A variety of tachometric models with useful devices that take into account the flow temperature. With their help, you can determine the exact volume of liquid with a given characteristic. The device considers barely warm water as cold and remembers its consumption. The product starts recording readings if the temperature differs from the declared value within an hour. The water meter is installed in apartments where the liquid is supplied slightly heated instead of hot. The product consists of three main parts - a measuring capsule, a branch pipe and an electronic unit. The installation technology is similar to the installation of a classic mechanical water meter.
- Volatile… Such devices include electromagnetic, ultrasonic and vortex models. Tachometric versions do not require a network connection.
In addition, there are wet and dry water meters. In the first case, the reader is located in the liquid. It is recommended to install such products after a fine filter, since dirt can damage the impeller or distort the readings of the water meter. In dry models, the cavity is divided into dry and wet sections. The reader is in the dry half and is not affected by dirt in the water. However, its cost is higher than the previous model.
To calculate the consumption of water in large quantities, special products have been developed using modern technologies.All of them belong to volatile devices and cannot work without being connected to the mains:
- Ultrasonic water meters… Such devices use the Doppler effect, which is based on the change in the signal wavelength and propagation velocity in a moving fluid. The transducer produces ultrasonic waves and directs them to the stream. The sound effect is received by other sensors, analyzed and displayed with high accuracy. The device can be installed inside or outside a pipe, used for calibrating other products, or for temporarily calculating fluid flow. There are no moving parts in the structure, so its lifespan is unlimited. Among the disadvantages, one can note a decrease in the accuracy of the readings due to the presence of air bubbles in the pipes.
- Electromagnetic water meters… The principle of operation of the device is based on the properties of the liquid to influence the parameters of the magnetic field. The readings are taken with two electrodes fixed in diametrically opposite places. All fluctuations of the magnetic field are taken into account by the sensors, converted and displayed on the display. Due to the absence of liquid contact with the reader, the device works much longer than a mechanical one, and the accuracy of the readings is higher. Results are unaffected by density, viscosity and flow temperature.
- Vortex water meters… The device uses a method of converting the frequency of separation of the vortex street from the surface of a body of a special shape, built into the device, into an electrical signal. The streamlined body is in the path of the flow. A highly sensitive sensor is placed behind it, which takes into account any changes in pressure in the pipe. The flow creates vortices behind the streamlined body. The distance between them is equal to the volume of fluid flowing over a certain period of time. The faster the flow, the more vortices and flow. However, such devices work well only in a clean liquid without abrasive particles.
See also how to install a steel pipe plumbing.
How to choose the right water meter?
Before installing a water meter, you need to choose a water meter specifically for your case, draw up a work plan, and then you can start installing it. Of all types of devices, only two are used in everyday life - mechanical (tachometric) or electromagnetic. To choose the right type of water meter, study its positive and negative sides, and also consider its scope.
The characteristics of household water meters are shown in the table:
|Tachometer counters||For flow measurement without temperature. The quality of the liquid does not matter.||Compactness, simplicity of design, easy installation, low price, acceptable error of readings, non-volatility.||Wear of the impeller, it is impossible to fix an instantaneous flow rate, a relatively short service life.|
|Electromagnetic meters||For controlling the flow of very pure water (in the food and pharmaceutical industries). In home systems, they are rarely used due to the poor condition of the backbone. Designed to measure large volumes of water.||High measurement accuracy, instant display of water flow, storage of readings, use on water pipes with low pressure, no moving parts.||The complexity of installation, high requirements for the purity and composition of water, works from the mains, susceptibility to flow turbulence, high cost.|
Consider the following when purchasing mechanical water meters:
- Choose a simple tachometer water meter, having previously agreed with the water utility its accuracy class, which is designated by letters from "A" to "D". For domestic highways, devices with the designation "B" (for horizontal installation) or "A" (for vertical) are suitable. Accuracy class "C" is assigned to products that can be positioned in any position.It is not allowed to install water meters in a position not provided for by the instructions.
- To determine the flow rate of hot liquid, buy a water meter in a dry version so that the dirt in the pipes does not harm the reading module.
- If the water flow changes dramatically, choose a combination appliance.
- When installing in an inconvenient place (under the bathroom, behind the toilet), pay attention to the shape of the case. Some models are available in short and long versions.
- Study the operating conditions of the water meter: the state of the line, the presence of solid impurities in the water, the temperature of the supplied liquid. When choosing a cold water meter, remember that the devices are designed for a maximum of + 40 ° C.
Attention! Do not buy a device without a certificate and a stamp in the verification passport with a date.
Positive feedback about the manufacturer of the device is also important. The sales leaders are the following models of water meters:
- BETAR SHV-15… A budget-class Russian-made product. The device is easy to operate and displays accurate readings. It is allowed to be installed in any plane. 2-4 verification periods are in use. Designed for cold water metering only.
- METER SVU-15… The device is manufactured in Russia. Belongs to economy class. The water meter is reliably protected from external influences. Thanks to the brass details, it does not react to the magnet. It can work with hot water for a short time.
- ITELMA WFW20 D080… The device is made in Germany. Differs in reliability and high accuracy of measurements. The manufacturers have done everything possible for comfortable use of the product: they have provided a convenient monitor, a practical design that allows the meter to be installed in a narrow space, and the possibility of remote reading.
- Decast 90-20… A very durable German-made water meter that can withstand heavy mechanical loads and water shocks. Protected with anti-corrosion coating. Equipped with a pointer, very convenient to use. Readings can also be taken remotely.
- ITELMA WFW24 D080… The device is of the middle price category of Italian production. The water meter is not afraid of dirty water. The panel with the reader allows you to take readings even in poor lighting conditions.
- METER VK 25GI… Premium water meter. Differs in increased durability, low measurement error and the presence of additional functions. The body is made of cast iron. The screen is protected by a metal cover. It is possible to take readings remotely. Some models can operate at temperatures over 90 ° C.
Features of the most popular mechanical water meters:
|Model||Water temperature, ° С||Max. line pressure, Pa||Passage diameter, mm||Water consumption, m3/hour||Verification interval, in years|
|BETAR SHV-15||Up to +40||1, 0||15||1, 5||6|
|METER SVU-15||Up to +100||1, 6||15||1, 5||6|
|ITELMA WFW20 D080||Up to +90||1, 0||15||1, 5||4-6|
|Decast Vskm 90-20||Up to +120||1, 6||20||2, 5||6|
|ITELMA WFW24 D080||Up to +90||1, 0||15||1, 5||6|
|METER VK 25GI||Up to +90||1, 0||25||3, 5||5-6|
Important! When buying a water meter, it is recommended to issue a warranty that will ensure the replacement of an inoperative water meter.
DIY water meter installation
In the photo, the process of installing a water meter
Before proceeding with the installation of the cold water meter, draw a plan for the placement of the appliance. Place the water meter in a warm room with good lighting. There should be no conditions around it for damage or distortion of readings. The ideal option is a niche in the wall, closed by a door, or a box with a lid.
The pipes next to the appliance must be in good condition. Before starting work, repair or replace them, preferably with plastic ones.
Place water meters at a height of 30-100 cm from the floor. Provide good access to the meter for reading and maintenance.
Study the passport of the device and its completeness. The technical characteristics of the water meter should meet your requirements. Make sure that the numbers on the case and on the passport are identical.
Make sure that the kit contains everything you need for installation: a coarse filter, a non-return valve, union nuts. Buy them separately if not available. Without such elements, the water meter will not be sealed after installation. Check for rubber or paronite gaskets.
To connect the parts, you may need additional seals - tow or fumlent, you also need to take care of the presence of a shut-off valve and fittings to the pipes for attaching the water meter.
Prepare a special tool for the job: scissors for cutting plastic pipes, a soldering iron for attaching fittings, keys, etc.
Important! Make sure the water pipes are in good condition.
Water meter installation instructions:
- Turn off the water in the riser.
- Decide on the location of the water meters - horizontal or vertical.
- Pre-connect the shut-off valve and the coarse filter, with the filter pipe pointing down. Count the number of rotations of the part that will take the filter to this position.
- Disassemble the assembly and reassemble using the sealing tape. Rotate the part a predetermined number of revolutions to ensure the filter is in the lowest position.
- Before installing the water meter, it is necessary to check the state of the reader: it should show zeros.
- Connect the device and the non-return valve to the assembled unit. When properly assembled, all parts should be located as follows: faucet, filter, water meter, check valve.
- When installing the product, follow the arrow on its body, which indicates the direction of the flow of water. Otherwise, the representative of the water utility will not put seals on the water meters. Mount all parts freely, distortions, compression and tightness are not allowed.
- Measure the length of the assembled unit, taking into account the connection points. Mark on the water pipe a section of the same length in that place: where the instrument should be located, and increase the size by the amount of the protruding parts of the fitting.
- Substitute a basin into which the water from the system will be poured.
- Cut the targeted area out of the trunk.
- Connect fittings to plastic pipes or thread metal parts.
- Place the water meter with parts between the fittings and secure with union nuts. Seal the joints with fumulent or tow. Check the functionality of the product.
After installing the water meter, write a corresponding statement to the housing office and invite a representative of the management company to draw up an act of acceptance of the device and commissioning. If the device is in good working order, a corresponding entry will be made in the passport, allowing its operation, and a seal will be put on the meter. The last step is to sign an agreement to pay for water supplies based on the readings of the water meter.
Important! If the product turns out to be faulty, it is necessary to contact the instrumentation service of the water utility or the housing office, which will issue a conclusion on its condition. With this document, you can return to your dealer and replace the appliance and then re-register the water meter.
Features of verification of water meters
Over time, the measurement accuracy of any water meter decreases, so it is regularly checked for correct operation.
The most common reasons why the accuracy of the water meter readings decreases:
- Wear of the impeller, calculator and other elements due to the long service life.
- The water contains a large amount of salts and metals.
- The liquid is dirty, with an admixture of sand and other solid fragments.
- The meter has broken down as a result of mechanical stress.
- Failure of mechanisms after a long absence of water in the pipes.
- Water meter breakdown due to poor quality parts.
There are other reasons for the malfunctioning of the device, but it is allowed to check the water meter only after a period of time established by law. If the device completely stops working, and there are cracks and streaks on the case, it should be replaced.
Verification is carried out only in a special laboratory, so the water meter must be dismantled and given to specialists. If everything is in order with him, the user receives a certificate of serviceability of the product. After checking, put the water meter in its original place and re-seal.
The frequency of verification is indicated in the passport and can be from 4 to 15 years.
Water meter installation price
The installation of a water meter is not difficult, but the user must still have some experience. If you are in doubt about your abilities, invite an experienced plumber.
The cost of installing a water meter is easy to calculate on your own, while you can decide what is the best to save on. To do this, determine the costs of purchasing the device and accessories, as well as their installation. If you choose a model of a water meter for a price, the most inexpensive will be domestic tachometric devices of domestic production, designed for a performance of up to 3 m3 per hour, with an average degree of protection, having a relatively low reading error. The more complex the product design and the more functions are included, the higher its cost.
Price of water meters in Ukraine:
|Water meter type||Application||Minimum price, UAH|
|Tachometric||For metering cold and hot water in a domestic environment||180|
|Electromagnetic||To account for large volumes of water||3900|
|Vortex||To account for large volumes of water||1500|
|Ultrasonic||To account for large volumes of water||4000|
Price of water meters in Russia:
|Water meter type||Application||Minimum price, rub.|
|Tachometric||For metering cold and hot water in a domestic environment||420|
|Electromagnetic||To account for large volumes of water||8100|
|Vortex||To account for large volumes of water||4100|
|Ultrasonic||To account for large volumes of water||10200|
The cost of tachometer water meters and accessories in Ukraine:
|LV-4T (Ukraine) (multi-tariff)||625-700|
|B Meters (Italy)||440-460|
|Check valve 15||115-120|
The cost of tachometer water meters and accessories in Russia:
|LV-4T (Ukraine) (multi-tariff)||3800-4000|
|B Meters (Italy)||940-960|
|Check valve 15||290-300|
The cost of installing and replacing water meters is mainly influenced by the conditions of work. In hard-to-reach places, they take longer, so you will have to pay more.
The price of installing a water meter in Ukraine:
|Type of work||Amount, UAH|
|Development of a project for the installation of cold and hot water meters||320-390|
|Installation of the meter (free access), no additional work||550-600|
|Warranty service for 24 months (additional payment)||from 40|
|Pipe threading (extra charge)||250-260|
|Installation of a meter without shutting off the water (additional payment)||from 250|
The price of installing a water meter in Russia:
|Type of work||Amount, rub.|
|Development of a project for the installation of cold and hot water meters||710-770|
|Installation of the meter (free access), no additional work||1300-1500|
|Warranty service for 24 months (additional payment)||from 110|
|Pipe threading (extra charge)||510-520|
|Installation of a meter without shutting off the water (additional payment)||from 540|
The cost of replacing water meters in Ukraine:
|Type of work||Cost, UAH|
|Replacing the water meter with free access||350-380|
|Replacing a water meter in a niche||450-480|
|Replacing the coarse filter, free access||50-70|
|Check valve replacement, free access||50-70|
|Replacement of the inlet tap, free access||50-70|
|Replacing the coarse filter in a niche||75-90|
|Replacing the check valve, in a niche||75-90|
|Replacing the inlet tap, in a niche||75-90|
The cost of replacing water meters in Russia:
|Type of work||Cost, rub.|
|Replacing the water meter with free access||830-870|
|Replacing a water meter in a niche||970-1000|
|Replacing the coarse filter, free access||120-150|
|Check valve replacement, free access||120-150|
|Replacement of the inlet tap, free access||120-150|
|Replacing the coarse filter in the niche||170-210|
|Replacing the check valve, in a niche||170-210|
|Replacing the inlet tap, in a niche||170-210|
Real reviews of water meters
It is sometimes quite difficult to make a choice among the large assortment of meters for metering water consumption by both imported and domestic manufacturers. When buying, you need to focus on a lot of different indicators, for example, cost, ease of installation, durability, metering accuracy, throughput and other technical characteristics. When choosing a product in a store, you can take the advice of a sales assistant, but employees may be interested in selling certain models, which are not always the best option. Therefore, we present the most indicative reviews about water meters from real users.
Margarita, 38 years old
We have a Pulsar now. We have been using it for over 2 years. I love the fact that it is versatile and suitable for both hot and cold water. The performance is excellent, it functions flawlessly. The material from which it is made is brass, while it has a fairly strong impeller. During this time, nowhere began to leak. Among all water meters, the reviews for our model are the best. From my own experience, I advised him and the neighbors, I also like everything.
Alexander, 42 years old
We have had a Polish water meter Apator Powogaz for 3 years. It itself is brass, but it is covered with some other metal on top, which quickly rusts in a damp room. This is a minus. But the case itself is sealed, so condensation does not form under the glass, and readings can be read at any time. Its accuracy is almost perfect, and in terms of wear resistance it is not inferior to most of the metering devices. Its carrying capacity is quite high, so it can even be used as a common house for an apartment building.
George, 49 years old
Both my counters - for cold and hot water - are of the same Archimedes company. They have been working properly for more than 3 years. In general, I bought the first one for hot water, tk. this device can significantly reduce the cost of hot water supply. Tariffs are steadily growing, and this device has a built-in temperature sensor and takes into account the consumption at 4 tariffs, depending on the water temperature. Now, when I drain the cold from the pipes, I cry as if it were cold. When the temperature becomes in the range from 40 to 45 degrees, then I pay 0.7 of the tariff, from 45 to 49 - 0.9 of the tariff, and already from 50 - the full cost. Savings are noticeable in payments. According to my calculations, it paid off in a little more than a year. When he realized that Archimedes was very successful, he changed the second one. I am very satisfied with the quality. And other reviews about the installation of water meters of this model are also good. I have not yet met a more popular device.
How to install a water meter - watch the video:
Installing a water meter is an additional financial investment in the water supply system, but they are fully justified. Very quickly spent not only pays off, but also allows you to save the family budget on payment for used water.