Old Stone House

Moving the Water Meter

October 7, 2006

Filed under: Basement @ 10:15 pm

meter1.jpgThe passageway between the two basement rooms is 30 inches wide, and four feet deep. Within that passageway, was our water meter – hanging out of the wall. My wife and I had caught shoulders on this nuisance more times then we can remember, and we were bound to move it. Up until the point that we actually decided to give the meter a new home, we figured that the hassle of calling the city to shut off the water, and then working against the clock to both move the meter, and have it inspected was likely more hassle then it was worth. However, it wasn’t until we just took a good look at the thing that we realised that there was a shut-off before the meter.

It seems (or so a plumber told me), that when meters were installed in older houses like ours, it was common practice to include a shut-off before the meter. Nowadays meters are attached without the aforementioned shut-off, and the meter itself is installed with security clips threaded through the connector nuts – if you try to remove these meters, not only will you flood your house, but you’ll also tip off the city that you did so – presumably getting yourself in hot water. (bad pun)

The meter was attached via a myriad of different couplers and combination of pipe types – the most important of which to note was the flared brass connectors that linked the meter to the water lines – these were not run-of-the-mill-hardware-store connectors, so we saved them.

A quick run to the hardware store, and 45 minutes of deep-thought inside the store produced a handful of assorted steel, brass and copper pipe fittings. We dry fitted these repeatedly and even drew schematics to ensure the assembly would work. Once the kids had gone to bed, I turned off the water, drained the lines (into the new laudry tub!) and bravely and cut the pipes…

Two hours later the meter was moved! Although working with steel pipe was a new experience, and some of the bulky fittings were difficult to heat evenly, the entire process was simple! I had successfully reused the flared connectors that the meter had been installed with by extending them with a number of varied fittings, and the entire assembly whirred away happily with a drop of water spilling. Admittedly the construction does look amateurish as not only did I have to moved from steel pipe to brass to copper, but also the water main was 1/2inch – which had to increase to 3/4inch for the meter. It looks bad.

The thought of “moving the water meter” had been much more intimidating then the act itself. Now, the meter was just around the corner from the passageway, turned so we could now read it, and easily accessible for later maintenance.



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