A good way to think about it is like this:


Read from left to right. 
Each hand will be between two numbers. Choose the lower of these numbers. 


For example:

Dial meter

The first hand is between 2 and 3, so this digit is 2.

The second hand is between 6 and 7, so this digit is 6. 

The third hand is between 9 and 0, so this digit is 9 (we can think of the 0 as a 10 here).

The fourth hand is between 2 and 3, so this digit is 2.

The fifth hand is between 9 and 0, so this digit is 9 (we can think of the 0 as a 10 here).


So the reading is 26929.


If you ever think a hand is 'on' a number and you can't decide which numbers it is between, you can look to the next hand to help you decide. 

E.g. With the example above:

You might think the third hand looks to be 'on' 9. 

We need to decide if it's between 8 and 9 or between 9 and 0 (we can think of the 0 as a 10 here). This will tell us if the reading starts 268 or 269.

We can look to the next hand to help us. 

As the third hand turns over from 8 to 9, the fourth hand counts round going over 0, e.g. the readings would count up like this - 2688, 2689, 2690, 2691, 2692, etc.

If the third hand is between 8 and 9, the fourth hand will be a big number, 7,8, or 9. If the third hand is between 9 and 0, the fourth hand will be a small number, 0, 1, or 2.

Because the fourth hand is a small number, we know the third hand has passed 9 and we know the reading starts 269 and we can now carry on to find out exactly what the fourth hand is!


If you're ever struggling to read your clock meter, we'll be happy to help, we do understand that they can be tricky! Please just send in a photograph of your reading and we'll do the rest.