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Thread: Water meter and water usage

  1. #1
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Water meter and water usage

    We're currently in the middle of a 12-month comparison period after Thames Water made us fit a meter. According to the monthly updates we are using an average on 677 litres of water, PER DAY!!!

    This just cannot be right. We use the dishwasher every day (average 13-litres), we take two showers (average 60 litres each), we have one bath (average 80-litres) and only use the washing machine once or twice a week (average 60-70 litres per wash).

    It's a terrace house with four of us (out for most of the day and out most of the time at weekends) and the numbers I'm getting are for more than a family of six.

    I calculate, based on average figures on the web, we must use at the very most 350 litres per day Ė 120 litres (2 showers) + 80 litres (one bath) + 15 litres (dishwasher) + 70 litres (washing machine) = 250 litres + 100 litres for all other stuff (filling the water filter/cooking/washing veg/half-bowl for washing up glasses, etc.) We don't even use the washing machine every day.

    Where is the other 300+ litres coming from? There is either a massive leak somewhere that we haven't discovered, or the meter is wrong.

    Has anyone else had problems with meter readings?

  2. #2
    Does that amount include for drainage and surface run off?

  3. #3
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooshabak View Post
    Does that amount include for drainage and surface run off?
    No idea. Surely it just means the amount running through the meter every day?

  4. #4
    I used to get charged per metre for water running down the drain from inside and outside as well
    Last edited by Hooshabak; 11th June 2019 at 12:01.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    I think youíll probably find that a bath full of water is the best part of 1000 litres based on a standard bath being 1.8m long (but say 1.7) and about 0.8 wide and 0.6 deep thatís 0.816m3 or 816 litres.

    Ok, you never fill it but at 60% full, thatís around 500 litres.

    The answer is to stop using the bath every day!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hooshabak View Post
    I used to get charged per litre for water running down the drain from inside and outside as well
    That's sewerage charge. Isn't that listed separately?

    OP, what about garden and shower figures seem low, do you have teenagers?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    I think you’ll probably find that a bath full of water is the best part of 1000 litres based on a standard bath being 1.8m long (but say 1.7) and about 0.8 wide and 0.6 deep that’s 0.816m3 or 816 litres.

    Ok, you never fill it but at 60% full, that’s around 500 litres.

    The answer is to stop using the bath every day!
    All online calculators seem to say 80 litres for a bath. Can't find fault with your figures though!

    Edit - you've got a big bath. Ours is only 0.55 wide, 1.35 long (internal), so about 250 litres half-filled.
    Last edited by Kingstepper; 11th June 2019 at 12:14.

  8. #8
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    I think youíll probably find that a bath full of water is the best part of 1000 litres based on a standard bath being 1.8m long (but say 1.7) and about 0.8 wide and 0.6 deep thatís 0.816m3 or 816 litres.

    Ok, you never fill it but at 60% full, thatís around 500 litres.

    The answer is to stop using the bath every day!
    Almost everywhere I've looked on the web says an average bath takes 80 litres of water. Let's say 100 litres to round it up. Nothing like 500 litres.

  9. #9
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    That's sewerage charge. Isn't that listed separately?

    OP, what about garden and shower figures seem low, do you have teenagers?
    A 12 year old and an 8 year old. They have a bath in the evening, 5 days a week. They almost never use the shower.

    The figures coming back through the meter tell me something is seriously wrong somewhere.

    Even if we used the washing machine every day, and the dishwasher twice a day, we'd still be nowhere near 677 litres?

  10. #10
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Toilet flushing? 8-12litres per flush.
    4No people, 5-6 times per day(?).
    Say 200 litres.

  11. #11
    Master
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    They once had my meter mixed up with my neighbours at my old place.
    It took a while to sort it in the end I was paying less.

  12. #12
    Had a look at the water used by the wife and I. Comes in at a little over 300 litres a day and I would consider ourselves reasonably frugal (don’t use hosepipes etc). Yours is probably right

  13. #13
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Toilet flushing? 8-12litres per flush.
    4No people, 5-6 times per day(?).
    Say 200 litres.
    Forgot about that. Doh!

    I'll start asking them to 'log' their flushes

  14. #14
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Water meter and water usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    All online calculators seem to say 80 litres for a bath. Can't find fault with your figures though!

    Edit - you've got a big bath. Ours is only 0.55 wide, 1.35 long (internal), so about 250 litres half-filled.
    We donít have a bath in our house so I was guesstimating. 250 litres is still three times the 80 litres the OP estimated. Next time they have a bath, perhaps the OP could use a jug to empty it and get an idea of exactly how much heís using.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Southern water estimate table suggests an average of 438l/day.

    https://www.southernwater.co.uk/consumption-guide

  16. #16
    If you think there's a leak check consumption overnight etc.

  17. #17
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post

    Next time they have a bath, perhaps the OP could use a jug to empty it and get an idea of exactly how much heís using.
    You're funny

    I wonder why everywhere says 80 litres when this doesn't appear to be anything like enough?

    Either way, taking into account the toilet flushing, which I'd somehow forgotten, and the nightly baths, then maybe the figure isn't that far out?

    I'll be calling a family meeting then because at the moment I pay about £280 per year in rates, but with the meter it will be about £650. If they want a bath, they'll have to pay for it

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    According to my meter we get through roughly 3 cubic M every week, seems normal?

  19. #19
    What monthly updates are you referring to? They don't read the meter monthly, you (can) do. If you don't provide readings, they make assumptions based on the average for the number of people and the house type etc.

    Call them up - they've always been helpful (though their billing system is an absolute atrocity).
    Last edited by hughtrimble; 11th June 2019 at 13:05.

  20. #20
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    What monthly updates are you referring to? They don't read the meter monthly, you (can) do. If you don't provide readings, they make assumptions based on the average for the number of people and the house type etc.

    Call them up - they've always been helpful (though their billing system is an absolute atrocity).
    It's an electronic automated meter so they read it remotely every month.

  21. #21
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Forgot about that. Doh!

    I'll start asking them to 'log' their flushes
    Love that.

    Logging their bog-logs.

  22. #22
    Craftsman Man of Kent's Avatar
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    Family of 4. Normal usage, been on a meter since 2007. Use about 100 cubic m per year, which translates as about £600.

  23. #23
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    Check for water leaks, may be one of the pipes in the ground is leaking
    Last edited by Franco; 11th June 2019 at 15:49.

  24. #24
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    I used to live in an old Victorian terraced property and needed to turn the water off when repairing a pipe. When I turned it off, two residents from properties at the back lost their water supply too! It seems that the properties had previously been owned by one landlord and they had a shared supply. Mine was the only one on a meter and I had been overpaying for years!

  25. #25
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    OP: turn the stopcock in the house off & see if the meter is still turning - you may need it off for a couple of hours if it's a small leak. Also check to see that no toilets are overflowing if they are the type where the overflow runs into the pan.

  26. #26
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    [QUOTE=Dave+63;5121396]I think youíll probably find that a bath full of water is the best part of 1000 litres based on a standard bath being 1.8m long (but say 1.7) and about 0.8 wide and 0.6 deep thatís 0.816m3 or 816 litres.

    Ok, you never fill it but at 60% full, thatís around 500 litres.

    The answer is to stop using the bath every day![/QUOTE

    My 6 seater hot tub held 2000 ltr s so cannot see how a STD bath can hold 1000 ltr s

  27. #27
    One simple thing to do is go outside and look at the meter, then turn the water off at the mains and see if itís still turning, that will tell you if thereís a leak house side. Next step turn water back on and fill the bath, see if the meter registered a bath full.

    SECOND RULE FOR SAVING WATER IS.

    If itís yellow, let it mellow, if itís brown flush it down. 😂

  28. #28
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    So after the comparison period, have a choice to either move over to the meter or not ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claret67 View Post
    So after the comparison period, have a choice to either move over to the meter or not ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No choice. We're in an 'at risk' area or something so we're all legally obliged to have a meter.

    I have checked the meter and took readings just before we went away (four days) and when we got back. I noticed a small leak at the meter and we'd used 88 units but have no idea what that translates to in actual usage. It's definitely not litres though and we had the cat lady visiting so she would have used water to clean the cat bowls and top up its drinking water.

    I've arranged for an engineer to come out in two weeks time and at least fix the leak they caused and maybe do a test for any other internal leaks but I don't think there can be anything serious.

  30. #30
    Master W124's Avatar
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    The 'sewerage' charge consists of two elements :

    1, Foul water from the toilets/basins - a function of the water consumed.
    2, Rainwater - a function of the roof area.


    By reducing the water consumed, you directly reduce the charge for foul sewerage.

    You can eliminate the rainwater element by diverting your gutters into a large covered water-butt with a pumped outlet.
    We did this a few years ago, and use it for watering the garden and washing the car.

    Your water bill will detail the charges for water consumed plus elements 1 and 2.

    You can control all three with a little planning - eg installing a modern cistern with a part/full flush facility.

  31. #31
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    [QUOTE=hilly10;5121592]
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    I think youíll probably find that a bath full of water is the best part of 1000 litres based on a standard bath being 1.8m long (but say 1.7) and about 0.8 wide and 0.6 deep thatís 0.816m3 or 816 litres.

    Ok, you never fill it but at 60% full, thatís around 500 litres.

    The answer is to stop using the bath every day![/QUOTE

    My 6 seater hot tub held 2000 ltr s so cannot see how a STD bath can hold 1000 ltr s
    If it could hold 1000 litres it would fall through the floor , thats a metric tonne ! I think someone has their decimal point in the wrong place , a bath holds more like 80 litres NOT 800

  32. #32
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Its less than £1 per day at Thames water costs.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  33. #33
    Journeyman
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    Is a cubic metre=1000l=1000kg.
    so maybe 1.7 x 0.5 x 0.3m = 255l?

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by W124 View Post
    The 'sewerage' charge consists of two elements :

    1, Foul water from the toilets/basins - a function of the water consumed.
    2, Rainwater - a function of the roof area.


    By reducing the water consumed, you directly reduce the charge for foul sewerage.

    You can eliminate the rainwater element by diverting your gutters into a large covered water-butt with a pumped outlet.
    We did this a few years ago, and use it for watering the garden and washing the car.

    Your water bill will detail the charges for water consumed plus elements 1 and 2.

    You can control all three with a little planning - eg installing a modern cistern with a part/full flush facility.
    You tell them and they don't count 2?

  35. #35
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Liner33;5121743]
    Quote Originally Posted by hilly10 View Post

    If it could hold 1000 litres it would fall through the floor , thats a metric tonne ! I think someone has their decimal point in the wrong place , a bath holds more like 80 litres NOT 800
    We have a decent (not huge) victorian style bath and it's capacity is rated at 260 litres.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  36. #36
    Master W124's Avatar
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    A large bath is 1700mm x 700mm - allow 75mm all round for the rim and slight taper on the inner faces.

    Convert to metres

    1.55 m x .55 m = 0.85 m2, assume a deep bath is around 40cm or 0.4m, to give a figure of 0.34 m3 = 340 litres.

    A smaller sized or shallow bath will reduce this figure significantly.
    Last edited by W124; 11th June 2019 at 20:35.

  37. #37
    Master W124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    You tell them and they don't count 2?
    You tell them, they inspect and they reduce #2.
    There is still a charge for run-off from your hard standing areas, but the roof area is a significant element of the total..

    https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/...waterdrainage/
    Last edited by W124; 11th June 2019 at 20:36.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by W124 View Post
    A large bath is 1700mm x 700mm - allow 75mm all round for the rim and slight taper on the inner faces.

    Convert to metres

    1.55 m x .55 m = 0.85 m2, assume a deep bath is around 40cm or 0.4m, to give a figure of 0.34 m3 = 340 litres.

    A smaller sized or shallow bath will reduce this figure significantly.
    Bath capacities are listed on VictoriaPlum etc. Typically 160-200 litres to overflow for 1.7 m bath.

    Quote Originally Posted by W124 View Post
    You tell them, they inspect and they reduce #2
    My bill isn't split into 1 and 2 but guess they'd have to reduce it!

  39. #39
    I use 155 L per day, one person in residence. Yours sounds about right.

  40. #40
    In the calculation of bath volumes everyone seems to have forgotten the volume of the bather.

    Average adult something like 70 litre (more for TZers) so should be subtracted from bath volume to give water volume. This gives value closer to the 80 litre widely quoted online.

  41. #41
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    In the calculation of bath volumes everyone seems to have forgotten the volume of the bather.

    Average adult something like 70 litre (more for TZers) so should be subtracted from bath volume to give water volume.
    Speak for yourself!!

    Lol.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  42. #42
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    In the calculation of bath volumes everyone seems to have forgotten the volume of the bather.

    Average adult something like 70 litre (more for TZers) so should be subtracted from bath volume to give water volume. This gives value closer to the 80 litre widely quoted online.
    So I can put the measuring jug back in the cupboard?

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    So I can put the measuring jug back in the cupboard?
    Eureka!

  44. #44
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    Useful link explaining how to check for leaks on a metered supply:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ONLpos1e7yQ


    Worth bearing in mind your meter may be different to the one in the vid.

  45. #45
    I think itís interesting how much water you can waste without noticing. We moved to a 6 bed house from a 3 bed terrace - 1 bathroom with a bath and a barely used piddly shower to 3 fully equipped bathrooms. We have 2 boys, one of whom is disabled and often we need to wash his sheets in the morning, so the washing machine runs every day. Weíve made huge savings in water usage by only running the dishwasher every couple of days, we all have showers, never a bath and the boys usually forget to flush a wee (teenagers!) plus we have modern cisterns with 2 flush levels. I remember from the summer of Ď77 Ďif itís yellow let it mellow, if itís brown flush it down!í - plus the rain this summer means we havenít needed to water a thing. I also wonder if the OP is a regular car washer?


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