What you need to know about your water meter

What you need to know about your water meter

What you need to know about your water meter

Water meters are the property of your water company. They measure how much water goes from the city’s public water system into private plumbing, and determine your bill. According to United Utilities, in Washington, if you don’t have a water meter fitted, your water bill is instead based on the value of your property.

These meters are a small, but useful part of preserving water resources, and can help you find and fix leaks faster.

We’ve listed some things that are important to know for you to get the most out of your water meter:

Knowing where it is
Though some occasionally share, most homes have their own water meter. Meters are usually positioned near boundaries – left or right curbs, the end of a pathway – or in a box immediately outside the home. If your meter is inside, it will normally be fitted on the pipe closest to the stop tap or under your sink, United Utilities says.

How a water meter helps you control your bill
Water meters are based on usage. much like gas and electric utilities. So if you are concerned about high use reflected on your bill, you can adjust your water consumption and actually see the results in real time.

Installing low-flow shower heads can reduce the amount of water you use while showering by as much as 50 percent, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

If you know how much water your household generally uses, you’ll be more likely to catch leaks and inaccurate readings when they occur.

How to read your water meter
According to a report done by the utility department of Pataskala, Ohio, though they are tested for 97 percent accuracy, the design of water meters doesn’t allow for dial adjustments or calibrations, which means it’s up to you to ensure your reading always reflects your usage.

Water meters measure cubic feet of water used. The City of Pataskala explains the inner workings of your meter as water flowing into the meter’s strainer where it drives the piston, a common flow measurement device. Your dial rotates when water passes through the meter. One full rotation of the dial equals one cubic foot or 7.48 gallons of water, writes the Contra Costa Water District.

The black-and-white numbers on the odometer record the total amount of water used and increases as you use more. The red numbers show fractions of one cubic meter – which is one of the things you should pay attention to when determining if you have a leak.

Testing for leaks
The low-flow indicator will detect even the smallest amount of water movement; it looks like a small triangle or a star. To conduct a leak test turn off all of your water, making sure not to neglect the small things like an ice maker or the sprinklers. Record your water reading before going to bed and refrain from using any water overnight, or at least for four hours. When recording your reading, The Smart Home Water Guide advises using the last number indicated by the dial as the final digit.

If the low-flow indicator moves, this may be reflecting a smaller leak from an appliance or pipe, writes the CCWD.

After waiting four additional hours, check the numbers again, subtracting the first reading from the second. If you’ve used any more gallons, you have a continuous leak.

If you realize that you have a leak and are unable to find it, please contact us to locate the American Leak Detection office nearest you.