Author Topic: What tool to open this water meter cover?  (Read 2953 times)

What tool to open this water meter cover?
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:36:03 pm »
Trying to assist someone (remotely) to open their water meter cover and take a reading.  I'm guessing the stop tap is also down the same hole.  The water company has proven unhelpful.  And having experienced the mis-reading of meters and mis-billing by water companies in the past, I always endeavour to take control of such matters.

Does anyone know the exact tool needed to open this particular cover, and where to get one?  Google not throwing up anything in the way of images of similar covers.

The words on the cover are 'Atlantic Plastics Limited Cardiff, European Patent No. 61908'.  Am awaiting dimensions and separation of the slots, but early indications are there's about 4 inches between the slots.

I assume a two-pronged tool just slots down into the grooves and you then need to twist (anticlockwise?) for the cover to come up/off.....is that right?  Can one use a wide-jawed adjustable spanner as a makeshift alternative......or are these covers usually too tight/difficult without the proper tool?  Reports are that the cover is metal rather than plastic.

Thanks.


ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 01:40:30 pm »
Will it not lever up with a wide screwdriver?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 01:43:04 pm »
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 01:50:34 pm »
It won’t be threaded. Circular ones are usually just levered up! As ED says, a thin flat bladed screwdriver down the edge. I suspect the top slot# are for a meter readers tool that makes lifting the lid quicker.  Under it you may find a foam pad, this is frost protection for the meter if it’s a shallow one.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 02:37:51 pm »
Hmmm.  They've previously tried the screwdriver technique without success (even getting a friend to help), which is what prompted this thread.

I did wonder whether a stop tap key was the appropriate tool, and my contact has been asking around using the photo for reference, again without success.  But stop tap keys seem to come in different styles/shapes/sizes, which is why I'm awaiting a report on the slot dimensions etc.....and I was also assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that stop tap keys are for the actual stop tap rather than the cover.

Unfortunately I am doing this remotely, and my contact is a complete airhead on anything like this.  And I've only ever had to deal with easy-opening inspection covers for water meters.

Thanks for the replies.

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 03:36:29 pm »
Either it'll be something with two long prongs that slot into each of those slots and then the lid is levered up.

Or, if you cleared out the detritus from the slots, you'd find you could insert something and turn it a quarter turn to allow it to be lifted it out.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 03:49:30 pm »
Or, if you cleared out the detritus from the slots, you'd find you could insert something and turn it a quarter turn to allow it to be lifted it out.

I thought that too, but clearance of the detritus reportedly revealed no insertion points beyond the visible edge of the slots for anything to fit into.

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 04:44:07 pm »
Can you describe the wording on the cover. I can make out European and Cardiff?
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 04:46:08 pm »
The words on the cover are 'Atlantic Plastics Limited Cardiff, European Patent No. 61908'.  Am awaiting dimensions and separation of the slots, but early indications are there's about 4 inches between the slots.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 04:51:50 pm »
Ask the water company - its their meter box and they should know and tell you (or their customer) - they may even have an on-line live chat.

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2018, 04:57:54 pm »
Mmm the patent document relates to products designed to be built into walls but does also refer to keys being held by the company to stop tampering. I have not read the document.  Could this be one such location?

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/EP0653610.pdf

The water company should help here. I imagine that everyone should have the ability/right to read a meter where installed.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2018, 07:53:01 pm »
We were given a tool for opening the water meter cover when we moved in to our house in the early 90's. Our meter cover looks identical to the one you pictured. I've checked and the distance between the centres of each jaw is 4 inches.

Apologies for the link but can't work out how to post image direct in to thread

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZNGzbdn5tfxba2989

Couldn't find anything on-line that matched for sale, but it could easily be made with a length of flat bar

https://www.austenknapman.co.uk/mild-steel/mild-steel-flat-bar/


Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2018, 09:35:00 pm »

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2018, 09:35:57 pm »
YACF is rubbish.  Not one suggestion of 'angle grinder', let alone 'thermite'.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2018, 09:37:41 pm »
Surely thermite would be for welding it shut?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2018, 09:38:25 pm »
Surely thermite would be for welding it shut?

That's the elegance of it.  Opens it up, then closes it for you.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2018, 09:47:02 pm »
It's plastic, thermite would be overkill (although it would melt down into the tap assembly below, and melt that and release mains pressure water upwards, mixed with still burning thermite).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2018, 10:13:06 pm »
....... would be overkill......   

is there any such thing....?. :o

cheers

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2018, 10:05:43 pm »
Thanks for the replies, particularly those posting specific information.

Further screwdriver-based attempts have been tried with no success, and my contact has currently given up on it as all-too-difficult.

I'll be there in person at some point, so will go to town on the bugger then.

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2018, 11:43:15 am »
It's not locked, the tamper lock would be fitted in the centre. It'll turn to release a tab and then will lever up, assuming the turn completes because the slot has probably got fine crud in it. It may well be sprung hinged so will only lever from the opposite side of the hinge which you won't know where is located. Then there is an insulating plug fitted underneath the lid 'designed not to impede opening', again assuming that fine crud hasn't blocked it against the telescopic pipe. All in all, it's moderately more accessible than Alpha Centauri.

Kim's got the answers.   

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2018, 12:00:18 pm »
YACF is rubbish.  Not one suggestion of 'angle grinder', let alone 'thermite'.

Nor, has anyone suggested dusting off and nuking the site from orbit. 

Standards are slipping

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2018, 12:22:44 pm »
You have liberally WD40'd haven't you? Also, if there is any sort of lip in those slots, a claw hammer is astonishingly useful at lifting covers.

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2018, 12:57:55 pm »
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: What tool to open this water meter cover?
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2019, 09:19:56 pm »
This sounds like my meter which has a threaded circular cover in the pavement.  It unscrews anticlockwise.  I use two old table knives, one in each of the slots about 10cm apart, to start the movement.  Then it unscrews by hand rising about 1.5 cm before becoming free.

Underneath is the insulation which when removed reveals the meter.