Water meter, gas meter reading?

I got my Aeotec HEM set up to monitor my electric usage, and was wondering if anybody knows of devices that could physically read my gas and/or water meters for data logging?

http://www.fluidwatermeter.com/ just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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Well that looks like a neat device! But the preorder price is $259! I must be spoiled that the HEM was only < $30! I’ll keep that one in mind, but will definitely be looking around for other options.

Any devices that can monitor a gas meter?

That’s pretty good for an ultrasonic meter (i.e., no plumbing costs!). If you need to get an inline meter installed, well, then you’ll probably get the benefit of a smart shutoff valve too, but expect $500+ for the plumber.

As always, though, Kickstarter’s are meaningless until the product hits the shelves. Their timeline is ~6 months … I say they will run 2 to 6 months late… at least.

If you have meters that send out pulses, you can use a mimo lite (or mimo 2).

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I’m not sure if my meters do pulses… The water meters seem to be newer style compared to the gas meter. They are some kind of Badger brand or something, and the city wirelessly reads them.

The gas meter is just one of those old, bulky, tiny little dials meter. I doubt it has any electronics in there, but I’m not sure what to look for.

Hi all. Came across this old thread as I’m looking into reading my gas meter by using a 5mW laserpointer diode. The idea is to aim the laser dot through the meter glass right where the one-cubic foot arm is passing by, then using a photo-detector / LDR / whatever to react to the variance in light as the arm passes by. The analog signal from the LDR would need to either be Schmitt-triggered into a proper digital signal or perhaps fed into an analog port of an Arduino / 8266. Haven’t gotten to figure that part out yet.

Already using webcore, I would take a base reading of the meter and enter it into a variable and then use the signal to run my own counters (total, yearly, monthly, daily), calculating projected costs etc.

I’m planning to build a plastic weatherproof enclosure, which would slide right over the gas meter’s counter, housing both laser and photo receptor, thereby also shielding the setup from false outside light.

This setup would be minimally invasive, thus I trust the gas company won’t mind too much as they read the meter by remote anyway. Even if they did require physical access, it would just be a matter of popping the box off and none would be the wiser.

I’m guessing a similar approach could be used with a water meter, aiming the laser at the edge of the little triangular spinner, and then figuring out how many pulses are equivalent to a gallon or liter of water.

If anyone’s contemplating similar ideas I’d love to hear about it.

The following is from a UK perspective but may apply to other countries as well.

Reading a Gas Meter
Older ‘dumb’ Gas meters can be read in one of two ways and the choice may depend on your particular gas meter. An optical sensor can be used to read the digits of an odometer style display or a magnetic sensor can be used to read each rotation of a dial. A company called ‘Smappee’ makes such a product.


The above is from the Australian website but they did sell it in the UK. They may have stopped selling it in the UK due to the following.

See also

New smart meters i.e. SMETS1 and SMETS2 use an LCD display on the meter and a Zigbee connected IHD - In Home Display and/or CAD - Consumer Access Device. It is not possible to use an optical or magnetic sensor with a smart gas meter.

For smart meters the two possible approaches are to scrape data from your energy suppliers web portal although this typically only updates data received from your smart meter every 30 minutes. Or alternatively if you have a CAD device it is potentially possible to use a local API to query the CAD which gives near real time energy monitoring of both a smart electricity and smart gas meter. If you access the data via a CAD then in theory you can also access the tariff information to accurately calculate cost as well as usage.

Reading Water Meters
For water meters, here in the UK these are still predominantly ‘dumb’ meters with again odometer style displays and hence can be read by the same type of optical sensor. Unfortunately in many cases the meter is located at the edge of a property underneath the public footpath and is both too far to cable to or wirelessly reach. After all not only will it be some distance typically from the house but also underground. An option is to fit a second water meter inside your property but this is of course an extra cost. I also spoke to a water company engineer and even though an optical sensor merely sticks on the outside and does not in anyway alter or interfere with the meter they were not happy with the idea of a customer doing this.

Note: Here in the UK the switch to smart electricity and gas meters is well underway and there is the very faint beginnings of cooperation from energy providers in allowing mere customers to access that data - it is a licensing requirement that they should by the way. However whilst the water providers are also being made to switch to smart meters their progress is far less and so far I have seen zero indications they are providing means for customers to see that data. They are using totally different technology for their ‘smart meters’ compared to Electricity and Gas providers.

Some water leak solutions give an indication of usage and some do this using ultrasound and do not need ‘plumbing in’. Disappointingly many leak detectors which measure flow to detect leaks do not provide means of accessing that data in a form to represent usage levels.

Hi I bought the color sensor tcs34725 and attempted to detect RED when the thin red dial went past through the glass on my water meter…that was a colossal failure. Im intrigued by your idea of a laser diode… were you able to get this to work ???