How to Install Barnacle with Magnetic Sensors

Before you get started:

Meter identification: Prior to installation, please provide a picture of the meter make, model, size and street address. Take two pictures: one showing a close-up of the face of the meter register and one that shows the overview of the meter along with pipes and the pit. Please make sure the make and model of the meter manufacturer, as well as the totalizer (the odometer-like number display) is clearly shown in the picture.

Test cell reception: Check the cell reception on your own cell phone to make sure there is adequate cell signal strength with AT&T or T-Mobile. If there is no adequate cell coverage, please email Aquacue at

Follow the steps below to install the Barnacle:

  1. Attach the sensors to the meter
  2. Secure the Barnacle
  3. Activate the Barnacle
  4. Test the installation (listen to the beeps)

Connecting the Barnacle to a magnetic coupled meter:

The magnetic sensors are connected via a releasable tie-wrap. Insert the end of the wrap through the zip-tie buckle and secure the sensors to fit around the base of the register.

Position the sensors at 90 degrees and tighten the strap by pulling the tag end through its buckle. Make sure the sensors are positioned flush against the register.

Secure the Barnacle

Here are the main ways to secure the Barnacle:

Shallow meter pit: prop the Barnacle on the floor of the pit, with the antenna pointed skyward.
Wall mounting
: using a 3/8″ drill bit, mark and drill two holes into the side of the pit container (PVC or masonry) and mount the Barnacle to the side of the pit using a screwdriver and two screws (provided.) Warning: using an electric drill to tighten the screw in the mounts can cause vibration and damage to Barnacle. Please hand tighten screws.)  

PVC Pipe mounting: Hammer a 2-foot section of a ¾” PVC Pipe into the ground near the meter. Screw a ¾” hose clamp around the pipe and through one hole of the Barnacle flange. Repeat this for both the top and bottom flange. Antenna: Point the antenna skywards before enclosing the pit. Make sure the antenna is securely attached to the Barnacle. We specify a 2-foot section of pipe, but also need to make it clear that the pipe height has to fit inside the depth of the meter pit. they may have to use a short pipe or hammer the pipe deeper into the ground to make sure the pit lid covers it pit.)
Meter pipe mounting
: attach hose clamps to the water pipe and connect the clamps to the Barnacle. If using metal clamps, put a round of electrical tape  around the section of the water pipe to eliminate possibility of electrolysis.

Activate Barnacle

To activate the Barnacle, touch the provided magnet to the red dot located on one side of the Barnacle. You will hear 1 beep. Wait a few minutes for the Barnacle to beep twice which means the Barnacle has successfully contacted the server. The Barnacle will beep for the next 15 minutes. (You can ignore the beeping.)

If possible, run some water from a fixture that is supplied by that meter. The water can be running while you are securing the Barnacle in the meter pit. Be sure to turn off the water when you are finished.

Reset Barnacle: to reset the Barnacle, touch the magnet on the identification label located on the side of the Barnacle. Warning! Resetting the Barnacle erases all data stored in the Barnacle’s memory. Do not reset the Barnacle unless instructed by Aquacue.

Reactivate Barnacle: to reactivate the Barnacle after resetting, follow the instructions to activate.

Beep Codes

One beep means the Barnacle has received a signal from a cell tower. Two beeps means Barnacle is in contacted with the server. Barnacle will continue to beep for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the Barnacle will operate silently.

Before closing the meter pit, record the totalizer value on the register. Open the register lid and take a picture of all the numbers on the register, and be sure to include the position of the sweep hand. It’s important that all the values on the register are legible: that there is no condensation, flash reflection or bubbles obscuring the numbers. Make sure the picture is date and time stamped.

Here is a video on how to install a Barnacle on a typical residential style meter and meter pit.

One Response to “How to Install Barnacle with Magnetic Sensors”

  1. Mark Dixon Says:

    Piece of cake…

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