How do utility companies read meters?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike Lenthol, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

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    This always bugged me. There are "phone like" wires coming off water and gas meters and going somewhere I don't know. The meters themselves look like very crude industrial devices, with big bolts in them and don't seem like they can have sophisticated dialing electronics inside. And I certainly don't want to mention that I'm curious how it work to the gas/electric/water guy. Next thing I know will be a pizza van with a satellite dish on top following me everywhere. [​IMG]
     
  2. Jay Heyl

    Jay Heyl Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't be concerned about asking how they work. The meter reader isn't going to call out Homeland Security on you.

    Most of the meters have fairly simple dials that the reader looks at and copies down. Some newer models will respond to radio waves and send back their current reading. This lets the meter read simply drive slowly down the block and poll all the meters. It saves a lot of time, shoe leather, and dog repellent. I've never heard of a meter that phones home, but then I'm far from an expert on this topic.
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Some utility companies have rolled out fiber optics to their subscribers, which they use to poll the meters remotely - and if you're lucky, they'll sell you Internet service over the same lines. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Our gas company in NJ has a guy that regurly goes out and manual records the readings.. I've seen the guy a few times before.

    Jay
     
  5. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I've seen Peter the Meter Man in my neighborhood a few times. They are sneaky and get around pretty quick. I work at home and I've only seen them when I leave the house for lunch sometimes.
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I see the Meter Man every once in a while when I walk the dog in the morning. He's friendly.

    What was the question again?
     
  7. Devin U

    Devin U Second Unit

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    My electric company uses meters that can be read with a device that picks up RF transmitted by the meters. Im sure upgrading to it cost a arm and a leg, but what meter readers were getting around here was almost criminal. I knew a guy who did it until the power company started with these new meters, and he made almost 40/hour. Granted, you have to put up with dogs and the summers here in AZ, but fo $40 an hour, I could survive.
     

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