How to disclose an attempt to influence the water-meter

Unfortunately, some tenants try to influence water measurement in different ways and to reduce their bill for water consumption. The on-line water-consumption measurement is in fact the only way how to disclose such tenant´s unfair behaviour.

It is often an unusual difference between the consumption measured at master water-meter and the summary of consumptions measured at sub-meters that are the first indications. Theoretically, no difference should appear in the accuracy of metering the cold and the warm water, if the construction of water-meters is identical in principle. As well-known from the practice, much higher differences can be found at metering the cold water, where people cheat more often. Both data can be found directly in the application Smart Water-Meters, if an auxiliary check water-meter is placed behind the master one (or through physical reading of the master water-meter). For this reason, water consumption in flats and that at water main can be found out at the same moment.

The application can record the most frequent attempts to influence the dry-running water-meters by putting an outside magnet to the water-meter, and thus avoid the endeavour to stop the mechanical counter when the water flows through it (usually for a period of the year). This information automatically appears in the application, section “Alarms”.

In the same section, you will find a warning about undesirable backward flow of water, which can be caused e.g. by:

  • intentional or unintentional reverse installation of water-meters (direction of water flow changed)
  • "pushing" of a water circuit with higher pressure into a water circuit with lower pressure (usually cold water into warm water), whereby one of the water-meters runs backwards. This results in e.g. colder water. Besides intentional deceptions, this can also be a technical problem caused, among other things, by taps of low quality.

Clearly-arranged daily consumptions immediately help disclose that the metered water consumption is zero, although tenants provably stay in the flat. A visit to the flat can uncover possible intentional deceptions. Usually, the following additional attempts to interrupt the water-consumption monitoring (sometimes even despite a protective seal) occur:

  • rotation of turbine locked by an inserted wire
  • fully removal of water-meter from pipeline
  • removal of counter apparatus from the bottom body at dry-running water-meters
  • removal of sensor from the water-meter (however, the mechanical counter works on)
  • counter apparatus´s motion locked at dry-running water-meters, e.g. by a heated-up pin which is first “pushed” through the plastic lid and then locks in gear mechanism
  • counter´s upper wheels locked by pressing the lid down using a joiner´s clamp
  • diversion of water flow for illegal offtake before the water-meter
  • etc.

If the consumption is metered every 5 minutes, it is possible to disclose dripping water which the water-meter is not able to record. Dishonest tenants in such cases throttle the flow-rate intentionally, and they fill bathtub or toilet reservoir just with dripping water.

Only the information about the fact that an on-line system, which is able to disclose dishonest tenants, has been introduced leads to early termination of attempts to cheat.