Today at my home on Palm Avenue the City water folks came out and switched out my ancient water meter for a brand new one.
I’m told that the City of South Pasadena is starting with older or damaged meters being replaced first – and then moving to replace others.
Since my South Pasadena home was originally built in 1903 – I had one of the older water meter models.
The process was actually very quick. The service person alerted me that they wanted to swap out the water meter and asked permission to shut the water off for about 10 minutes.
For those that don’t know – almost all water meters in South Pasadena are under a small concrete cover directly in from of the house. The service person lifted up the concrete cover and showed me the old meter. It was difficult to read – as the glass covering the meter was so old, worn and dirty.
After shutting off the main water supply just in front of the meter – the new meter was put in place and tested. As some air can get into the water line when these are replaced – the service person gently and slowly opened back up the main meter – prior to testing.
In older homes with older galvanized pipes and possible weak connections – it is important not to turn the water pressure up too quickly. Any surge of pressure and cause leaks in those older pipes.
I then turned on the kitchen sink to ensure that the meter was reading water use properly. I also asked about the water pressure to the house. It turns out that the City-installed water meter doesn’t measure the water pressure going to the house. So the service person graciously offered to measure it at the hose bib for me.
I’m told that the lowest pressure that will even work for a typical house is 20 pounds per square inch (of pipe). The reading on my home (which is pretty far from the water tower) reads 35 pounds per square inch. Homes which are closer to the water tower will have higher water pressure.
So the City is systematically replacing these meters – look for yours to get swapped out at some point. Sooner if your meter is old and it may be a while if your home / meter is newer.