How To Choose The Perfect Water Meter Size

Selecting the correct water meter size is extremely important before you buy a water meter.

Learn why choosing the correct water meter size is very important and how it can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per year.

A larger meter size than what is required could mean that a residential customer will pay less each billing period and the utility profits would be undermined. This is because the larger size water meter would be unable to accurately measure at low flow rates.

On the other hand, a smaller size meter than what is required means that that same customer could face high flow rate problems because the meter would not be able to adequately supply water.

American Water Works Association (A.W.W.A.) outlines flow rates for each type of water meter and their respective sizes. This is a good guideline to start with as the A.W.W.A. is recognised worldwide.

Let us now take at look at the most popular water meter sizes

Most Popular Water Meter Sizes

Below is a guideline for the general use of the most common water meter size. Always consult your utility company or a professional before you make your final decision

  • ½” -mainly for residential and commercial purposes.
  • ¾”- mainly for residential and commercial purposes.
  • 1” - mainly for residential and commercial purposes.
  • 1 ½”- mainly for residential and commercial purposes.
  • 2” - mainly for residential, commercial and industrial purposes
  • 3” - mainly for commercial and industrial purposes.
  • 4” - mainly for commercial and industrial purposes.
  • 6” - mainly for commercial and industrial purposes.
  • 8” - mainly for commercial and industrial purposes.
  • 10”-20” - mainly for commercial and industrial purposes.

Factors to Remember When Selecting a Meter Size

  • How small or large is the size of the House/Building?
  • The function of the Meter
  • What Size line do you have as a service line (size can run from 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inch for residential)?
  • The different Fixture types such as bathroom, kitchen and gardening.
  • What is the usage by the occupants of the establishment?
  • What is the peak population ?

Meter Selection Process

The first step is to find out the purpose of the meter. Will the meter be used to regulate and evenly distribute water? Or will it be used for billing? In both cases, accuracy is of utmost importance.

For exaple, Multi-jet and Positive Displacement meters are most suitable for low flow rates, while turbine meters are more accurate at high flow rates.

The perfect mix between the two is a compound meter. If your flow rates vary on a wide scale, then choosing a compound meter will suite your needs because it is able to accurately measure low and high flow rates.

The second step is to find out the size line you have as a service line .The size can run from ¾” inch to 1”-1/2” inch for residential or domestic purposes.

Finally, select the meter size by calculating flow rates. This is done by comparing the low flow and the high flow rates of the premises and the low and high flow rates of the water meter that you are selecting.

In addition, to the steps above, pressure loss must be taken into consideration.

Water Meter Calculator

For many, using a water meter size calculator will give them an idea of best meter size that will give them optimum water flow.

A water meter calculator estimates flow rates and pressure losses by information that you insert in the calculator.

By reviewing all the fixture types and sizes, the calculator makes an estimate of the meter size that you will need.

Before you use a meter size calculator, be sure to have basic information at hand such as the size and type of washing machine; type of shower, dishwasher, laundry sink, lawn sprinkler, and urinal.

You should also know if it is for residential or commercial purposes.

Meter size calculators are for estimation purposes, so always get the advice of a professional before you select a meter size.

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