How to Read Your Water Meter and Check for Leaks Check Your Meter Below are instructions on how to check your meter to find out how much water is going through the meter. Knowing the volume of water will help you determine the amount of water you are using or the possible size of a leak.
- This test should be conducted for a 60 minute period, during which time no water is being used at your location.
- Find your water meter, in some cases the meter is located in the backyard, but typically it is located in a covered box in the front of the house close to the sidewalk or street.
- Write down the numbers indicated on the meter dial at the start of this test. Also notate the position of the sweep hand on the front of the meter.
- Return to check the meter reading after 30 minutes have passed and again after 60 minutes.
- If the numbers have not changed, it is probable that you do not have a leak in your water lines or perhaps the leak is intermediate.
- If the numbers have changed without your using any water, you may have a leak. The meter readings work similar to the odometer on a car. To determine the amount of water going through the meter you can subtract the original numbers from the current reading to determine how many gallons have gone through the meter. The usual residential meter will show thousand gallons increments on the dial with the numbers that have a white background and hundreds to tens of gallons of water shown on the dial with a black background. The sweep hand on the meter is a ten gallon sweep, so every time the hand moves from one digit to the next one gallon of water has gone through the meter. The meter shown above indicates that 369,206.7 gallons of water have gone through the meter.
- The most common culprit for water leaks are toilets. Hundreds to thousands of gallons of water can go down the drain from a running toilet over a month’s time. To check your toilet simply put a colored liquid (or leak detection tablets) in the top tank. Wait 30 minutes or so. If the color from the top tank appears in the bowl without your flushing the toilet you have water going down the drain.
- If you need assistance in locating your meter or understanding how to read your water meter, you may call the Water Department at City Hall at 281-478-7221 or send an email to Customer Service.