November 13, 2020
Last week we hosted a live event on Facebook explaining everything you need to know about your Helix water meter. We also shared a video of Helix construction and meter shop supervisor Dan Baker answering some common questions about water meters and accuracy.
The 4-minute video shows our testing procedures, how we read meters, why we replace meters and how to use your meter to find a leak.
Q. First off, how accurate are water meters?
New water meters must meet industry-specific guidelines and must fall between 98.5 and 101.5 percent accuracy across three different flow rates. For an added layer of quality control, Helix tests a sample of new meters before field installation to verify the manufacturer’s test results.
Q. Are old water meters accurate?
Old water meters actually under-read water consumption, allowing more water to flow through the meter than the meter registers and work as expected for approximately 17 years. For this reason, Helix staff replaces water meters once they are 15-20 years old. We replace around 3,000 water meters per year to maintain the replacement cycle of our 56,500 water meters.
Q. How do we test meters?
At our El Cajon Operations Center, Helix staff test meters on a testing bench. The bench allows staff to run varying flows of water through the meters into a tank with a known volume. We record the meter’s reading before starting the test and then again after the flow test. We then compare the readings, which provides us with the accuracy of that meter for that flow rate. For residential water meters, we test using a high flow at 25 gallons per minute, a medium flow of 3 gallons per minute and a low flow of ¼ gallon per minute.
This press release was produced by Helix Water District . The views expressed are the author’s own.