Trumeter | Innovation by Design
Trumeter | Innovation by Design

How to Choose the Right Hour Meter

Most manufacturers of large machinery and equipment require an hour meter to manage service and warranty timelines or metering requirements. As a technical support specialist for devices like these, I can tell you that most OEM’s, repair personnel and end users alike are unaware that there are two very different types of hour meters for different applications. Here’s a breakdown of the two types of hour meters on the market today.

What is an hour meter?

First, some basics. An hour meter, also called a time counter, is a device that records elapsed time. They are usually used to measure the runtime of equipment for maintenance purposes. 

What types of hour meters are there?

Continuous Hour Meters – Total Time

A continuous hour meter measures total elapsed time from the point the meter was started. They are usually designed to be low cost devices that work for many years of operation and use an electro-mechanical design.

Continuous hour meters are most commonly used to dictate service and maintenance timelines or to capture warranty information.

Intermittent Hour Meters – Total Runtime

An intermittent hour meter measures total runtime for a machine by accumulating time when it’s energized and storing elapsed time when it’s not energized. They can be motor driven or electronic and are usually more expensive than continuous hour meters.

Intermittent hour meters are most commonly used for monitoring or metering applications such as monitoring municipal water supply or Life/Maintenance of pumps/motors, and factory equipment.

Which product is right for you?

Here are some examples of each type of hour meter, including the Trumeter products that I support as well as a few others on the market.

Continuous hour meters:

Intermittent hour meters


Rich is an expert in all mechanical, electro-mechanical, and electronic counters and hour meters. He loves helping customers choose the correct product for their application and assist with programming and wiring of these devices.