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Top: 3 Techniques to Slow Down and Block a Water Meter (2023 edition)

Is it possible to tamper with a water meter? Here are the most popular techniques used by subscribers to reduce their bills.

Top: 3 Techniques to Slow Down and Block a Water Meter (2022 edition)
Top: 3 Techniques to Slow Down and Block a Water Meter (2022 edition)

Block a water meter: how to make a water meter spin upside down? How do some subscribers reduce their water bills? Water meters are devices that measure the amount of water that passes through them. They are typically installed in homes and buildings to help bill occupants for the amount of water they use. 

Some water meters can be easily manipulated to indicate lower than actual water consumption, which can result in significant savings on water bills.

Subscribers who attempt to slow down or block their water meter therefore expose themselves to significant risks. They can damage their own installation, cause damage to the water system and be charged repair costs. In addition, these practices are totally prohibited and offenders risk being subject to penalties.

In this article, we share with you all the information on this practice, as well as the different techniques to slow down and block a water meter yourself.

How to slow down and block a water meter yourself

Water service subscribers sometimes try to modify or block their water meter in order to reduce the amount of their bill. This practice is totally prohibited by the various water managers and can lead to penalties for offenders.

It is possible to reduce your water consumption by tampering with your meter so that it spins upside down, or spins slowly. These techniques have been used for a long time, but it will now be easier to detect.

Water meters are increasingly equipped with technologies to detect this type of fraud. Indeed, when a counter turns upside down with a magnet, this can cause imbalances in the water network. These imbalances can be detected thanks to new technologies, which makes it more difficult to defraud its meter.

How to block the water? Is it possible to tamper with a water meter? Here are the techniques and the dangers.
How to block the water? Is it possible to tamper with a water meter? Here are the techniques and the dangers.

Some subscribers try to slow down their meter by putting an object in the tap or covering it with plastic wrap. This technique is very dangerous as it can lead to water leaks and flooding. In addition, subscribers risk being charged repair costs if they cause damage to the water system.

Other subscribers try to completely block their meter by putting a solid object on it or covering it with a thick film. This practice is also dangerous as it can lead to water leaks and flooding. In addition, subscribers risk being charged repair costs if they cause damage to the water system.

It is important to note that tampering with your water meter can lead to penalties. Indeed, it can be considered fraud and you may end up paying fines. If you are caught in the act, you may even end up in jail. Thus, it is important to think twice before blocking your water meter.

That being said, we will detail the different techniques that slow down and block a water meter

Block the water meter with a magnet

One of the most common methods for to block a water meter is to use a magnet. This technique involves placing a magnet against the water meter. The magnetic field generated by the magnet causes the counting disc to rotate. Depending on the power of the magnet used, the water meter is either slowed down or blocked.

To temporarily stop a counter, a neodymium magnet has enough gravity. However, care must be taken not to leave the magnet in place for too long, as it could damage the meter. Additionally, the use of a magnet is illegal in some countries and can result in fines when discovered.

Water meters are increasingly equipped with protective devices against magnets, making this method increasingly difficult to use. If you are considering using a magnet to manipulate your water meter, it is important to educate yourself beforehand about the possible risks and consequences.

Slow down the counter with clamps

There are several techniques for cheating the water meter, but the clamp technique is the most popular. It consists of install a clamp on the water meter, so that it exerts a High pressure on the impeller. This pressure generates friction at the level of the consumption measurement system, which can slow down or block the metering.

This technique is particularly effective if done well, as it can really prevent the meter from registering any water consumption. However, there are a few downsides to consider. First of all, it can be quite tricky to set up and you have to make sure the clamp is in the right place for it to work properly. Moreover, it can be quite risky.

Although this technique is common, it is not always effective and can even damage the water meter. Moreover, if you are caught in the act of fraud, you risk legal action and hefty fines. Thus, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before resorting to this technique.

Block the water meter with a needle

The needle technique involves making a small hole in the counter dial to insert a needle. The needle must fit into the hole and then between 2 notches of the counting disc. The needle thus exerts a mechanical force on the counting disc and slows it down or blocks it.

This technique is relatively simple to implement and can be very effective if done well. However, there are a few downsides to consider before getting started:

The main drawback is that this technique can damage your water meter and you could be held liable for repairs (so you risk a pretty hefty bill!). Also, if the needle moves or falls off, it can cause more leaks or damage. So you have to be very careful when implementing this technique.

Then, as we mentioned before, this technique only works if it is well executed: the needle must be placed exactly between the 2 notches of the counting disc without touching either one or the other! If you are not precise or patient, it will be useless… or even cause damage!

Fraud on the meter: penalties

The water meter is an essential tool for measuring the water consumption of a household. It is also a way for the water supplier to charge the right price to its customers.

Unfortunately, some subscribers try to cheat the system by tinkering with their water meter using the techniques mentioned in the previous section to avoid paying their bill. Fortunately, several penalties are provided for by the Penal Code for this type of practice.

  • THEsection 311-1 of the Penal Code provides for a prison sentence of 3 years and a fine of 45 euros in case of fraud on the water meter. 
  • Article 322-1 provides for a penalty 2 years imprisonment and a fine of 30 euros for the same facts. 
  • Finally, thearticle R635-1 of the Penal Code provides for a fine of 1 euros in violation of 5th class.

Most of the time, water suppliers solve problems of water meter fraud without resorting to the Penal Code. However, the penalties provided by law are there to deter individuals from cheating the system. If you are caught in the act of fraud, you risk ending up in court.

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Reduce your water bills without cheating

To reduce water consumption, there are several simple actions to adopt on a daily basis. Thus, by taking a shower, one can save water by installing a low-flow showerhead. There are also more and more, adapted to all budgets.

In the kitchen, avoid letting the water run unnecessarily when washing your hands or doing the dishes. It is also important to regularly check your taps and pipes for leaks, as this can represent a real loss of water.

In the garden, water your plants only when necessary and use a watering can instead of a garden hose. If you have a vegetable garden, you can collect the vegetable cooking water to use on your plants.

Finally, it is important to know that we also consume a lot of water when we do laundry or wash our hair. It is therefore important to adjust your washing machine and not overload it, as this can lead to unnecessary water consumption. Similarly, it is advisable to favor solid shampoos that require less water to be rinsed.

The new remote reading water meters

The new remote reading water meters, how does it work? A radio transmitter placed on your meter records the volume of your consumption and transmits it, once a day, to a receiver. Then, this information is relayed from the receiver to the data processing center of your water department.

Remote water meter reading: In concrete terms, remote water meter reading makes it possible to remotely read the data from each water meter connected to the system. This is made possible thanks to the installation of radio transmitters on each water meter. The radio transmitters then transmit the collected data (index, alarm, etc.) to a secure storage space.
Remote water meter reading: In concrete terms, remote water meter reading makes it possible to remotely read the data from each water meter connected to the system. This is made possible thanks to the installation of radio transmitters on each water meter. The radio transmitters then transmit the collected data (index, alarm, etc.) to a secure storage space.

This system allows you to better monitor your water consumption and detect leaks more quickly. It also saves money because you only pay for the water you use.

Remote reading of water meters is a service that is increasingly offered by water services. Indeed, this makes it possible to better monitor the water consumption of households and to detect leaks more quickly.

If you have a remote reading water meter, you can follow your consumption in real time and thus better manage your budget. You can also detect leaks more quickly and avoid paying too high bills.

In summary, remote water meter reading allows you to better monitor your water consumption, detect leaks more quickly and save money.

Unlike the LINKY meter, the communicating water meter is not subject to any obligation. Any user can oppose its installation. The user must send his refusal in writing to the delegate by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt and inform his mayor by attaching a copy of the letter in question.

FAQ water meters

Can a water meter be faulty?

A water meter can indeed be defective, especially if its operation is erratic or if it does not seem to correspond to the actual water consumption. If you suspect that your water meter is faulty, it is important to contact your water supplier and/or your public drinking water network manager so that they can carry out a check.

It is important to note that in some cases a water meter may appear faulty due to improper installation or misuse. For example, if the meter is installed incorrectly, there may be leaks or irregular flows, which can lead to overconsumption of water. Likewise, if you use your water meter incorrectly, for example by opening the tap too quickly or leaving the water running unnecessarily, this can also lead to overconsumption of water.

As a general rule, it is recommended that you have your water meter checked at least once a year by a qualified professional. This will allow you to ensure that your water meter is in good working order and that you are not paying for water that you do not use.

Who pays for the change of the water meter?

In the event of changing the water meter, it is up to the tenant to take the various steps and pay any costs. As we said above, the various steps concerning the opening and installation of the meter are the responsibility of the tenant and not that of the owner.

The amount of the water meter change fee may vary depending on several factors, including the geographical location of the accommodation, the type of meter, etc. On average, it takes between 50 and 150 euros to change the water meter.

It is important to note that changing the water meter is not a mandatory procedure. If the existing meter is in good condition and there are no billing problems, there is no need to change it. However, if you have a new home or want to change your water supplier, you may need to change your meter.

In any case, it is important to get good information from the water supplier and the owner before changing the water meter.

  • THE9 article of the Ministerial Decree of March 6, 2007, requires the replacement of water meters over 15 years old. As part of the modernization of its public facilities, the SDEA is gradually replacing them. Rest assured, this operation is free and fully supported!
  • Why this change of meter? To facilitate readings. Thanks to electromagnetic waves, technicians no longer have to come home.

Who to call to change the water meter?

SupplierPhone number
Suez09 77 40 84 08
Sour02 78 51 80 00
Eau de Paris09 74 50 65 07
Greater Lyon Water09 69 39 69 99

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Written by marion v.

A French expatriate, loves traveling and enjoys visiting beautiful places in each country. Marion has been writing for over 15 years; writing articles, whitepapers, product write-ups and more for multiple online media sites, blogs, company websites and individuals.

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