Installing water meters

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We prefer the meter at the boundary of the property, to act as a marker between privately owned pipework and that which we own and maintain. This is usually in the footpath or the road outside the property boundary. If this isn’t practical, the meter will need to be installed within the boundary of the property, in either an external or internal location. We’ll need to discuss with you how and where this meter will be fitted, to ensure it captures all water usage.

We fit ‘smart’ meters, so that we have the potential to read them remotely. However, from time to time we’ll need to access the meter to confirm readings, or to maintain or replace them. It’s therefore important to install them in an easily accessible location.

We don’t permit meters to be fitted in ceiling voids, as they may be unsafe to access. There must also be no obstruction preventing the meter being read. Wherever possible, meters should be installed in a communally accessible location. Where this can’t be done, you should discuss any proposed alternative with us before you install the meters.

For more information about meters and where they should be located, please see below.

Setting up meters

We deliver meters to your site when you need them. Whether the meters are fitted externally or internally, we'll need to record the serial number and reading for each one. We'll enter this information on our database, so we can verify that the meter location also matches the postal address allocated by Royal Mail. When this check is successful, we enter the details onto our billing system and set up an account for each meter.

For non-household properties, we’ll notify the Market Operator of the connection date and meter details. They’ll in turn notify the appointed retailer, who’ll contact you about billing until the property transfers to the new occupier. (You can find more information in our News and improvements section.)

We need you to contact us within 24 hours of making the connection, to confirm that you’ve done so and to provide us with the property’s meter detail. We’ll then be able to pass on this information to the Market Operator. Please remember that for household connections you must notify us of the details within three days of the connection, as required by the Code of Practice.

As a temporary measure, while the property is empty, the name on the account will be the name of the developer. We write to each address to determine who the new occupier is and then update the account.

Ordering internal meters

For sites where there is likely to be high demand for water, we’ll need to consider the size and location of the water meter, to make sure we can record the correct usage.

The timescale for meter ordering is four to six weeks. If any delays or stock issues arise, we can draw on our own stocks from metering teams across the area. There’s no minimum or maximum order quantity, but we do ask that you are able to store all the meters you order, as we can’t hold stock for you.

If you prefer not to store the meters on your building site, we can deliver them to any address within the Thames Water region.

Please use the meter ordering form to order your meters.

Once delivered, the meters and any fittings are your responsibility. If lost or damaged, you’ll need to pay for them and place a new order with us.

You need to notify us when meters are installed, as well as provide the postal addresses allocated to each plot and the TAPS5 certification.  We’ll then arrange to visit the site to record the details of each meter and check they’ve been fitted correctly - we’ll use this information to set up new billing accounts for the occupants.

If you need any guidance with any of our processes, please do contact us.