How To Read A Meter

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How To Read A Meter

Posted 19.04.2024

How To Read An Electric Meter

Working out how to read your electric meter depends on what type of meter you have. It could be either a single rate digital meter, a two rate digital meter, a two rate single display meter or a dial meter – all of which provide meter readings in slightly different ways. We have outlined exactly how to read each type of electric meter below.

Reading a Single Rate Digital Electric Meter

The simplest meter to read is a single rate digital meter. They comprise five numbers, possibly followed by at least one or two red numbers.

All you need to do to read one of these meters is to right down the first five numbers going from left to right. No other numbers matter to meter readings.

In the example below, the reading is 80214.

An Electric Meter reading 80241-6.

Reading a Two Rate Digital Electric Meter

A slightly more complicated meter to read, you may have a two rate digital meter if you have an agreement with your electricity provider to have cheaper electricity at off-peak times.

It will look similar to a single rate meter, just having two rows of numbers. The top number is the amount of cheaper electricity you’ve used and the lower row of numbers is for the standard rate.

To read this meter, simply note down the first five numbers left to right on the top row, before doing the same for the bottom row. Ignore any numbers after the first five and remember to note down the top and bottom meter readings separately.

In the example below, you would provide both 74005 and 15193.

An Electric Meter reading 74005

An Electric Meter reading 15193

Reading a Two Rate Single Display Electric Meter

Sometimes, a two rate meter will only have one display so you need to cycle between the standard rate and cheap rate readings. In order to see the separate readings, you may have to switch a button or the display may automatically flash between the two readings after a certain amount of time.

As with a regular two rate digital electric meter, you should note down both sets of five numbers left to right in order to inform your energy supplier of your energy usage. For the below, you would give 53620 and 19537.

An Electric Meter reading 53620.

An Electric Meter reading 19537.

Reading A Dial Electric Meter

It is a little more complicated to read a dial electric meter, but the general process is similar. Your meter will have at least five dials, each pointing to a number between zero and nine.

To read this type of meter, go from the furthest left dial to the furthest right. Note down which number each dial is pointing to, choosing the smaller number if the pointer is between two numbers.

If the pointer is directly over a number, check that the dial to the immediate right isn’t between 9 and 0. If it is, reduce your number on the original dial by one.

As with any electricity meter reading, you should end with five numbers. For the below, you should note down 16325. Remember that each dial alternates from the last in terms of direction.

Dial Electric Meter reading 16325

How To Read A Gas Meter

In a similar vein to electricity meter readings, ascertaining how to read your gas meter depends on which type of meter you have installed. With gas meters, you could have a digital metric meter, a digital imperial meter or a dial meter.

Reading A Digital Metric Gas Meter

Taking a meter reading from a digital metric meter is fairly simply. They will have either a digital or electronic meter screen which displays a series of numbers.

There will be five numbers from left to right, followed by a decimal point and two or three more numbers.

All you need for your meter reading is the first five numbers from left to right, so note them down ready for when you send readings to your energy provider. As an example, the reading below would be 75231.

A Gas Meter reading 75231

Reading A Digital Imperial Gas Meter

Similarly, a digital imperial gas meter will have a digital or electronic screen from which you can read the meter. Despite this, there are two main differences between digital metric and digital imperial metrics.

Firstly, you will see there are only four regular numbers, followed two red numbers. Additionally, there is no decimal place on this display.

To take your meter reading, simply note down the first four numbers. It’s really that simple! For example, if you meter looked like the below, your reading would be 9283.

A Gas Meter reading 9283

Reading A Dial Gas Meter

If you have a dial gas meter, you will see four dials that indicate all numbers from zero to nine. There will be a pointer or arrow within each dial, pointing to a number depending on your energy usage.

Your meter reading will comprise four numbers. Going from left to right, note down each number which the arrow is pointing to. If the arrow is between two numbers, choose the lower.

As an example, we would read the below as 3324. Note how alternating dials are clockwise then anti-clockwise.

A Dial Gas Meter reading 3324

How To Read A Water Meter

Reading a water meter can be a little more difficult, but still simple once you get the hang of it. Your meter will either be inside your house attached to your water pipe, or outside your house where your exterior stop tap is, usually under a metal or plastic cover in the ground.

Once you’ve located your water meter, you can take your meter reading. Most water meters should take the form of a round dial. There are three main components within the dial: a low flow indicator, a odometer and the dial arrow itself.

The only part you really need to be concerned with is the odometer – you can ignore the others. This indicates the amount of cubic metres of water you have used, which is the metric used by water companies for accurate bills.

To take a water meter reading, note down the number in the odometer. After a certain period of time, take the reading again and subtract the previous reading from this one. That will inform you of how much water you have used in the intervening time.

If you do this each month, you can give an accurate meter reading to your water company who will determine your bills.

Your meter will look something like the below. The only thing you need to be concerned with is the number reading on the odometer, here just showing 000000.

A Water Meter used to taking readings.

Remember to check out our online store for all your utility meter needs. Some of our most popular products include electric meter boxes, gas meter boxes and water meter boxes, while our meter box repair kits & parts can fix many issues you may have.

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