Water meters with real-time capabilities are an increasingly demanded part of building operations. Property managers are tapping into their existing utility meters or installing new ones to gain real-time insights to their water consumption. There are four major reasons why you, too, should consider getting more from your water meter:
But, how do you find the right meter for you?
If you have a utility meter that’s pulse-compatible, or a meter with a pulse output, you can use the existing infrastructure. There are two common meters you can utilize.
Utility Water Meter: You can connect your building’s water meter to a resource management platform. This requires the permission of the utility company and requires a utility company site visit to oversee the implementation. This method will take the pulse from the utility meter and connect it to a pulse sensor, which will then relay the data to a web-enabled platform. Using this method is inexpensive and non-invasive; you don’t need to shut down the building’s water supply to install this type of pulse sensor.
Existing Non-Utility Meter: You can tap into an existing non-utility meter that transmits a pulse by connecting it to a pulse sensor which will relay the data to a data-analysis platform. The register of the water meter might have to be replaced with a register with pulse capabilities, but this is much easier than installing a new meter and shutting off the water supply.
If your building doesn’t yet have water submeters, then it’s time to start metering your water use. As technologies are developed, two viable meter options have emerged on the market.
Inline meters: These are accurate and provide a pulse that can easily be read by a pulse sensor. Installing it requires actually putting the meter inline with the pipe–thus necessitating a water supply shutdown.2. Ultrasound Meters: These non-intrusive meters use ultrasound waves to measure water flow. While the meters don’t require the pipe to be cut and the building’s water shutoff, installation still requires a plumber and the hardware can be expensive. Also, the accuracy is highly dependent on calibration and proper maintenance.
Before you buy, you should properly understand your building’s needs. Know what you want submetered (i.e. tenant spaces, mechanical appliances, etc.) to direct your search for the best provider. The cost of installing meters increases exponentially with the size of the pipe. You’ll also need to dedicate time to assessing your data to make sure your building is running most efficiently.
That being said, the savings experienced through proper water monitoring and management will outweigh the installation costs. You’ll be able to avert severe water damage through real-time alerts, provide your tenants easy and efficient bill-back, and streamline your operations. So, what are you waiting for?