The plumbing industry, like many other home service industries, is constantly integrating new technology into its practices. One of the newer changes to plumbing is the introduction of the residential smart water meter. Understanding how this technology can revolutionize plumbing in El Dorado, CA, can help you determine if one is right for your home.

What is a Smart Water Meter?

Traditionally, water meters were constructed for manual reading. The local water company would need to send out utility personnel to manually read every home’s meter to determine their water consumption for a specific period. With the invention of the smart water meter, readings can now be collected and transmitted to the utility companies’ data systems. These modern water meters work perfectly to both measure and monitor water consumption in homes, buildings, and other facilities throughout the local area.

How Do Smart Water Meters Work?

Smart water meters are designed with waterproof, compact housing. Its digital sensors will monitor the flow of water through the meter. Unlike traditional water meters, smart water meters can measure different flow rates of water through the meter, allowing them to track the homeowner’s usage more accurately. Each smart water meter will continuously send data about water usage to the data collection database at the utility company. This happens through a wireless connection.

Different Types of Smart Water Meters

Utility companies can use different types of smart water meters. The specific type of smart water meter that a utility company picks will depend on a number of factors. These include the current utility company’s infrastructure for data collection, the level of accuracy desired, and other specific utility company needs. Four of the most common smart water meters include the following:

Ultrasonic Meters

Ultrasonic meters are going to be the most accurate option. They use sound waves to measure water flow in reverse or forward flow. These smart water meters are most desirable in industrial settings where accurate water consumption reporting is extremely important.

Electromagnetic Meters

This type of smart water meter uses magnetic fields to measure the flow of water through the meter. Slightly less accurate than the ultrasonic meter, the electromagnetic meter is used in industrial and commercial settings, typically on larger pipes.

Vortex Flow Meters

Vortex flow meters use the principle of vortex shedding to determine water consumption. The vortex shedding frequency is known to be directly proportional to the velocity of the water flowing through the meter. This type of system can be used for both clean and dirty water pipes.

Hybrid Meters

Lastly, the hybrid meter is considered a combination of other water metering technologies. It will use a combination of electromagnetic and ultrasonic metering to create a more versatile and accurate metering system.

The Many Benefits of Smart Water Meters

When you first learn about smart water meters, it becomes clear that these meters help to expedite water consumption data without the need for manual collection efforts. However, this isn’t the only reason that they’re revolutionizing the plumbing industry. In fact, smart water meters provide so many great benefits for homeowners and utility companies alike.

More Exact Consumption Measurements

One of the biggest advantages of utility companies switching to smart water meters over traditional ones is that smart water meters are more accurate. They can measure flow at different rates to provide real-time data about how much water a specific location is using. This allows for more accurate billing than with manual meter monitoring.

Reduced Need for Manual Labor

Another great benefit of smart water meters is that they help reduce a utility company’s need for manual labor. Without the need to send workers around to read meters manually, fewer laborers will be needed behind the scenes. Thanks to the automated collection of real-time water consumption data and remote monitoring alerts, utility companies can save a lot of money on operational costs throughout the year.

Enhanced Data Analysis

With smart water metering technology, trying to identify trends in water consumption could be extremely challenging. Now, all the real-time data can be easily accessed by the utility company to better understand their consumers. This can also help utility companies better plan out infrastructure upgrades for areas that have increased water consumption. There’s no denying the fact that a data-driven approach to operations can lead a utility company to be more efficient with its actions.

Remote Access to Water Services

Another big advantage of smart water meters is that they allow for remote access to individual water services. With the click of a mouse, the water can be shut off for a specific property. Whether it be due to freezing temperatures or a known water break, having this quick access to restrict water flow is a game-changer. Even better, the water can be turned back on with the same ease. There isn’t a need to send out manual laborers to do water shut-offs and reconnections.

Real-Time Monitoring

While the main purpose of smart water meters is to be able to measure water consumption more accurately for customers, they can do more than that. Smart water meters allow the electric company to monitor water pressure, quality, district metering, and distribution leak detection. This can allow the utility company to respond much quicker to a water main break than having to wait for manual reports of a problem from unhappy consumers.

Customer Water Monitoring

Because all this real-time data about water consumption is easily recorded by smart water meters, utility companies can easily share this data with their consumers. Customers can log on to an online portal and track their own water usage. This can allow customers to make better-informed decisions about their water usage in the future. In fact, it can allow consumers to be more eco-conscious about their usage habits so they can try to conserve more water throughout the month.

Better Construction

When smart water meters are compared to traditional meters, there’s a big difference in construction. Smart water meters are manufactured to be more durable and longer-lasting. This means fewer replacement calls for the utility company and much less maintenance for smart water meters.

The Integration of Smart Water Meters

With so many great benefits for both utility companies and consumers, it’s no surprise that smart water meters are becoming a must-have for most locations throughout the country. However, it’s important to realize that they do require upfront labor installation from utility companies to establish a network in a particular area. While bigger communities have adopted the use of smart water meters, they’re still being slowly rolled out to more rural communities. This is a technological advancement that you’ll likely start to see spreading across the country in the next few years.

Expert Plumbing Service

Huft Home Services provides expert plumbing services for the entire El Dorado region. We can also assist with all your heating, cooling, electrical, indoor air quality, home performance inspection, and insulation needs. Contact our office today to schedule your next service appointment with one of our experienced professionals.

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