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How to Read a Sensus Water Meter

How to Read a Sensus Water Meter Easily

You can go ahead and blame the authorities for the high water bills you receive every month. Needless to say, you are within your rights since you are parting with quite an amount for receiving just too little.

But if you can’t substantiate your claims, you will look like a lost clown in front of authorities. On that account, learn how to read a sensus water meter to have a backup on your assertions.

So, how do I go about this?

Well, this write-up takes you through the entire process, leaving no stones unturned. But I must tell you something, you might not get the readings right the first few times, which is okay. A few more times, and you will be on the right track. 

Shall we proceed?

How to Read a Sensus Omni Water Meter

A Sensus Omni water meter provides enhanced accuracy in its readings and guarantees long life than any other water meter in its class. Depending on the one in use, the units of measurement can be one of the following

  • Cubic feet (CF)
  • Cubic meter (M³)
  • Gallon (Gal)
  • Imperial Gallon (IGAL)
  • Acre Feet (AF)

Step 1: Remove the meter lid

The first step is to remove the lid to access the water meter. Be careful not to disengage the cable to the touchpad.

Usually, the meter has three modes:

  1. The AMR- which shows the number of units consumed
  2. The total – Represents the total water registration through the meter.
  3. Test- This one shows the amount of water passed through the meter (Registration) but can be reset back to zero (0).

Step 2: Take the readings

With the lid open, you will see the LCD displaying AMR, totalization, and the Test or resettable totalization.

When taking readings in AMR mode, record the first five digits from the left. Also, take note of the date for future reference. For instance, when you want to compare your water usage for one day against another.

For 1 ½” to 2” Sensus Omni C2 Meters

This meter can read a total of 8 wheels down all the way to 0.1 cubic feet. In such a scenario, the seven numerals to the left of the decimal measure cubic feet, while the one to the right of the decimal goes down to 0.1 cubic feet.

To take the readings in 100 cubic foot increments, write down the first five numerals from the left. Below is an example:

Let’s say the complete meter reading is 0,000,048.3

Meter reading for;

1 cubic foot = 0000048 (48)

10 cubic feet = 000004 (3)

100 cubic feet = 00000 (0)

For 3” TO 10” Sensus Omni C2 Meters

It reads a total of 8 wheels all the way down to 1 cubic foot, meaning that there is no reading beyond the decimal point. To take a reading of, let’s say 100 cubic foot increment, record the first six numerals from the left.

Take an example;

Given a reading of 00,018,023.

Meter reading for;

  • 1 cubic foot = 00018023 (18023)
  • 10 cubic feet = 0001802 (1802)
  • 100 cubic feet = 000180 (180)

You can also tell if water is flowing just by checking the flow icon located on the right side of the register display.

  • A blinking circle with + indicates positive flow.
  • Blinking circle with – indicates negative flow meaning there is water flowing through the meter but towards the opposite direction (Backflow)

If any of the icons are missing, it shows that no water is flowing through the meter.

See also: Which TDS meter is best for home drinking water?

How to Read a Sensus Digital Water Meter

Have you seen a car with a digital odometer display? If yes, then the sensus digital meter has quite a similar look.

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How to Read a Sensus Water Meter Easily 4

Step 1: Open the water meter lid

Typically, the first step is to open the water meter display to access the meter. Always ensure that you don’t interfere with any cabling in the meter box.

Also, be careful when opening the lid because the box might contain bees or ants.

Step 2: Taking the readings

Once open, take off the cover and wipe off any dust and debris present on the display register. Remember, you want to be as accurate as possible.

Usually, there are nine numerals on the display register, with the last two separated by a tiny decimal point. To take the readings, record the first seven digits from the left. Note that the unit of measurement is Gallons (Gal)

Take an example:

Let’s say this is the reading on your meter is 0003033.81.

Disregard the figure to the right of the decimal and record 0003033 as the final water reading. However, your bill will read a rounded figure, for instance, 3000 gallons in this case, depending on your state authorities.

But remember, this reading represents the total amount of water to ever flow through your meter. Therefore, you will need to subtract your previous readings from the current readings to get the amount of water consumed over that period.

How to Read a Sensus Analog Water Meter

Surprise! Some people still use the sensus analog water meter and still find it a pretty complicated procedure.

But it shouldn’t be intricate at all with the following steps.

Step 1: Locate the water meter

Don’t be shocked to find your water meter in your house. Probably inside the basement somewhere near the water heater or furnace. But usually, you will find it outside your home. Check around the yard or near the street for a black-covered box in the ground.

Step 2: Open the Meter Lid

Once you locate the meter box, open the lid to access the meter. Bees and other aggressive insects find meter boxes perfect hideouts, so you should be careful when opening.

Step 3: Take your readings

On the Sensus analog water meter register display, you will see three critical parts necessary when taking the readings.

  • The sweep hand
  • Low flow indicator, and
  • The odometer

See also: What is the most accurate water test kits?

The odometer has eight (8) numerals with three decimal places. The sweep hand is usually red and smaller compared to that of other analog meters. It also indicates when water is running, acting as a low flow water indicator.

One revolution of the sweep hand indicates one cubic foot of water consumed. When the sweep hand moves, the value wheels on the odometer also change accordingly.

Here is an example of a reading:

Let’s say your meter reading indicates 011,426.

Usually, the authorities will bill in 100 cubic feet increment. Therefore, for this reading, the correct billing figure is 0114 CCF.

But then, you will need to subtract the immediate previous reading from the current reading to get the consumption within that period.

How to Read a Sensus 5/8 Water Meter

The Sensus 5/8 water meter is a straightforward reading kind of meter. It usually resembles the odometer in your car but not quite exactly.

Step 1: Locate and open the lid of the meter

Once you locate your meter, open the top lid carefully to access the display. Wipe off any dust and debris from the surface since you want your readings to be as accurate as possible.

Step 2: Read Your Water Meter

This meter takes readings in cubic feet, and the authorities will bill in units of 100 cubic feet.

Take an example:

The reading on the odometer indicates 3235.97 cubic feet of water consumed, a reading of the total amount of water consumed since the meter was installed.

Since the division is 100 cubic feet units, the recorded amount should be 3235 cubic feet.

To get the correct amount of water consumed within a certain period, say a month, you’ll have to subtract the initial previous reading from the current reading. That should give you the total amount of water billed.

FAQs: How to Read a Sensus Water Meter

What units do water meters measure?

The unit of measurement varies from one country to another, but here in the United States, the standard measuring unit is volume in gallons or cubic feet. Usually, the authorities will charge you based on 100 cubic feet, about 748 gallons of water.

How to remote-read water meters work?

They use radio technology devices installed inside the meter box. These devices record the meter readings, and once the car or van collecting the readings passes nearby, the readings are transmitted via radio waves. Usually, the device is powered by a battery which is changed once in a while.

How do I know if my water meter is accurate?

If you doubt the accuracy of your water meter, run the water until the last three digits indicate zero. Once done, fill a one-gallon container with water and observe the changes in the meter if indeed they indicate a one-gallon change. A gallon of water is about .134 cubic feet which should be the reading on the water meter.

For any homeowner loyal to the sensus meters, learning how to read a sensus water meter is essential. Reading water meter should not be a complicated exercise. The first thing you need to do is locate the meter open the covering lid, and take your recordings.

But not all sensus water meters are the same. Some homes still use analog meters, while others have advanced to digital meters with more advanced displays. Therefore, you must identify the type of meter measuring your home water to take accurate readings.


Buckeye, AZ: How to read your water meter

North Penn Water Authority (NPWA): Reading Your Meter

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