How to Read Your Water Meter

Why read your water meter


There are several reasons why locating and reading your water meter is helpful. First, you might be interested in how much water you use in a day. By reading your meter at the beginning and end of the day, you can compare two totals that show how much water you and your family have used. The second reason is to check for leaks. If you turn off all the faucets in your house, look at your clock and it’s still spinning, there’s a good chance you’ve got a leak somewhere. Here are some suggestions to help you find and read your water meter.

How to read a clock?

Locate your watch

Your water meter is usually located near the curb in front of your house although in some areas (usually cold climates) it may be located in your home usually in the basement. External meters are usually housed in a concrete box often marked “water” (as shown in the photo) or in a clock pit with a cast iron lid. Carefully remove the cover using a tool such as a large screwdriver or pliers. Visually inspect the area around the meter to make sure there are no insects or other pests.

Read your water meter

Water meters in the US usually measure volume in gallons or cubic feet. One cubic foot = 7.48 gallons and 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons. Water charges are usually based on 100 cubic feet or per 1000 gallon unit.

Types of water clocks

There are two basic types of water meters – straight-line readings like a car odometer, and tachometers that have a number of distinct dials. The “straight reading” gauge is by far the most common.

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Straight reading meter

Figure 1 In the meter shown in Figure 1, the readings are taken from the figures shown under the words CUBIC FEET. Meter records 81710.03 is the total cubic feet of water recorded since the meter was installed. If the utility bill is in units of 100 cubic feet, they will read this meter as simply 817.figs. 2 metersFigure 2 The meter shown in Figure 2 is brand new; so the reading of this meter is 0.00. The small blue triangle (immediately to the right of “35”) is a low flow indicator. That triangle will rotate if there is water flowing through the meter. This indicator can be useful in detecting leaks.figs. 3 metersFigure 3 The meter in Figure 3, also cubic feet, is a good example of a situation where the last number has been “flipped”. The correct reading per meter is: 2425.92 cubic feet. On most meters, the last digit will switch when the large sweeping hand crosses the 0.6 mark. Note that the size of the gauge is usually printed on the dial. The clock in Figure 4 is a 5/8″ meter as shown on the dial.figs. 4 metersFigure 4 The clock in Figure 4 is an older and much less common model; however, there are still some of these gauges in use. This type of watch has some small dials and is a bit more difficult to read than straight numbers. The dials are marked with 10 divisions and are read like a watch, except that the hands on every other dial turn counter-clockwise. To read this meter, start with the 100,000 dial and read each dial around the meter up to the one foot dial. If the hand is between the numbers, use the lower number. Therefore, the dials on the right register 806323.

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Use your water meter to find leaks

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Posts “How to Read Your Water Meter” posted by on 2021-08-13 18:48:08. Thank you for reading the article at

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