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Water data loggers and AMRs-Comparison with AI meters

Water data loggers and AMRs- Comparison

Water data loggers and AMR are two types of electronic devices used to monitor water usage and data. Water loggers are electronic devices that monitor and record water usage automatically over time, allowing data to be assessed, documented, analyzed, and evaluated. There are two types of data logger installations. One is owned and installed by the utility company and the second is installed and provided by third-party technology companies. 

According to customers who rolled out large-scale logger installations across their portfolio around 10 per cent of their loggers failed within the first year. These loggers resulted in repair or replacement charges to the end user. Loggers that are damaged or malfunctioning can not communicate information to the cloud. Another major issue with third party loggers installed on utility meters is that they can simply just be disconnected by the utility company that decides to install its own loggers. 

Pros of Water data loggers

  • Quicker access to information.
  • Ease of installation   
  • Some have alert systems


  • Single point of failure
  • No ability to detect if the leak is inside or outside the building
  • If they are installed on an already underperforming utility meter, they are making a faulty meter smart.
  • When installed in external harsh environments data can be lost.
  • Not all water meters are logger compatible.
  • No ability to shut the water off remotely
  • External meters can be hard to find.
  • Very limited in versatility.
  • Cannot provide real-time flow.

Even if there is extensive use of water data loggers and AMR, there are certain conditions that are applicable to different types of water meter arrangements. The conditions applicable for the arrangements are:

  • Dumb Meters- Having no option to activate a pulsed output
  • Pulse compatible meter with additional equipment installed. 
    • A wired AMR device, as well as a pulse pick-up, are installed. 
    • Snap-on AMR Track
    • a leakage logger and pulse pick-up equipment
    • A leakage logger from the water supplier, a cabled AMR instrument and a pulse pick-up device
  • Digital meters, For which it is not possible or legal to attach accessories 

Automated meter reading (AMR)

Water utilities use automated meter reading as a communication technology to automatically collect water consumption and status data from water meters. AMR systems are classified as either walk-by or drive-by. An endpoint is linked to the encoder register of the meter. This equipment act as a medium for communication between the buyer and the provider. Consumption data are sent immediately from your meter to the supplier, eliminating the need for human meter readings. This gives appropriate billing while also allowing consumers to track and analyze their consumption. 

Pros and Cons of AMR

Pros of AMR

  • Information that can be consumed quickly and easily 
  • AMR meters collect precise data on water usage. 
  • Data consumption of AMR use can be viewed remotely anywhere.
  • AMR collects half hourly data so that utility consumption can be monitored and analysed in high detail.
  • The AMR consumption data may be linked to the utility supplier statement invoicing period, allowing for bill verification. 

Cons of AMR 

  • The cost of installing AMR/logger. 
  • Maintenance costs
  • Data retrieving is slow and time consuming.
  • To acquire access to the data, someone must be proactive. 

There are four types of meters, which water utility companies may use a combination of them throughout their networks 

  • Smart meters in AMI(Advanced metering infrastructure) mode

Smart meters monitor and record water flow and can be converted to AMI mode if Local Communication Equipment is installed and a Wide Area Network (WAN) facility is integrated. When in AMI mode, the data generated by the meter is automatically transferred, which considerably improves the frequency with which the data can be analyzed. When a smart meter is installed but not linked to the WAN, it could be set to Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) mode.

  • Pulseless mechanical analogue meters (dumb meters) 

Dumb meters monitor and record water flow, however they cannot be logged and must be manually inspected to get a reading. The number of readings is determined by how frequently the meter is reviewed. 

  • AMR-capable mechanical analogue and digital (pulse) meters 

The flow of water is measured and recorded by these meters. Analogue meters generate a pulse by using a magnet that spins owing to the flow of water through the meter and activates a switch on each turn, or by producing an electrical pulse in the case of some digital meters. The pulse output in each case corresponds to a known volume of water going through the meter. This pulse output can be used to link equipment to count or “log” the number of pulses. This information can be acquired via a direct connection to the meter or communicated via short-range radio waves and picked up by AMR meter reading equipment. Some logging systems include communications technology that permits data to be transferred over greater distances and at a higher frequency rate than AMR readings.

  • Water loggers on pulse output meters

Water data loggers are electronic devices that monitor and record water usage automatically over time. The data is typically transferred to the cloud on an hourly basis. This information can be viewed by the utility company or customer.  

Reliable smart water metering technology- better and more effective than water loggers and AMR.

Smart Water meters improve productivity while minimizing consumption, water leaks, and operating and maintenance expenses. The advantages are Monitoring of  water flow, distribution, and consumption, Increase access to safe and clean water. Allow for real-time access to water usage data and billing, Reduce the time and cost of manually reading water meters, Improve the identification of leaks and enhance the accuracy of data collecting.

From this aspect, water technology company SMART FLOW introduced the  technology and software to reduce and control all the water costs including reducing energy cost of heating hot water. Unlike Water data loggers and AMR, SMART FLOW Technology gives you access to real time actionable data and alerts via mobile app and desktop to give you total control of your water usage.

 Customers are now starting to not just demand their water usage but actionable insights. This has been extremely difficult to date as there was a disconnect between the meter, the utility company and the customer. SMART FLOW unlike water data loggers and AMR companies has made direct connections with the client and has developed the technology and service to make a major impact with water conservation and management. SMART FLOW allows the client to manage their day to day business while managing their water savings. This allows SMART FLOW to achieve great water saving results for their clients. 

The benefits of using SMART FLOW technology include:

  • No Manual checking of water meters- All water information is accessible in real-time via App/ desktop
  • Cost & Time Saving- 90% of issues are resolved without the need for mechanical plumbing call out charges.
  • Property Protection- Ability to shut the water off remotely when an issue is detected.
  • Sustainability- Energy reduction as typically 10% of water saved is hot water.
  • Device health status– The agents monitor the health status of each device utilizing AI and are proactive with any issues.
Image for water loggers and AMR

SMART FLOW is not only the world’s leading water technology company but also a  mechanical company with over 20 years expertise in water related issues. SMART FLOW  blends technical knowledge and mechanical expertise with AI tech to deliver cost savings and property protection in real-time 24/7. International Award Winning technology is now installed in thousands of commercial properties.  The Water Technology has Saved over 500 million litres of water in 2021 which equates to over £1.25 million in annual water savings for our customers.

Plus they have reduced the costs of maintenance, water heating, energy costs, manual resources, water damage and leak protection estimated at over £5 million savings for our customers. 

SMART FLOW Real water intelligence

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