How to read your water meters is a basic question you should ask yourself when you move into a new home. Generally, your meter is located on the front lawn, either next to the curb or on the side of your home. The dial on your meter is usually red to indicate how much water you’ve used.

If you can’t see it, you can look through the usage indicator in the center of the dial, which is the equivalent of an odometer on a car. If your meter doesn’t have an indicator hand, you can test the water meter by observing its indicator hand.

This hand looks like the second hand of a stopwatch. Wait for 20 minutes, and then note where the hand is. If the indicator hand is moving, then you leak. If the hand isn’t moving, then you don’t have one. If you see it moving, there’s a leak in your water main.

Learn How to Read Your Water Meter

To test the water meter, you need to turn off the tap to check the water flow. You can observe this by observing the indicator hand on your meter. This hand is similar to the second hand of a stopwatch. Place the test hand over the indicator hand on your meter.

After 20 minutes, note down the position of the hand. If the hand is moving, then there’s a leak.  A straight-reading meter is the most basic type of meter. The number of cubic feet it shows on your bill is derived from the number of digits on the meter.

The bill only reflects the first four digits of this reading. If your meter displays six hundred thousand cubic feet, your bill will reflect 615,386 gallons of water. So, the best way to check your merchandise is to read your water metric. In order to check for leaks, you need to know how to read your water meter.

To do this, you must not use any water-using devices during the test period. If you’re lucky, your meter will display a low-flow indicator and a sweep hand, which will tell you whether there is a leak. Alternatively, you can also check for continuous leaks by using the meter’s indicator.

The Basic Type of Meter

The most basic type of meter is the dial-read ring-read cylinder. This is the most common type of meter in the system. The bottom number on the ring-read merchandise meter displays the total volume of water consumed by the house. If this is a rotary meter, the first digit will show the number of units used.

The last digit is the “standing 0” on the merchandise. During the test, you should take note of the meter’s indicator hand. This hand will show whether or not there is a leak. Indicator hands are often found on water meters, which means you should pay attention to them if you suspect your meter may be leaking.

By looking at the indicator hand, you’ll see the meter’s low-flow indicator and the merchandise hand.  To read your water meter, turn it upside down and observe the numbers on the meter. If there are any numbers that are out of sync, the reading is probably inaccurate.

If your merchandise ring has an indicator hand, you have a leak. If it moves a little, you’ve got a leak. The indicator hand is located at the bottom of the merchandise ring.

Check for Leaks and Test Merchandise

You can also check for leaks by knowing how to read your water meter. To test the merchandise ring, just turn on the water faucet, and wait a few minutes. Then, you should notice the indicator hand moving. If the indicator hand moves, it means that there’s a leak.

If the merchandise ring is not working properly, contact your utility company and ask for replacement merchandise. If you don’t know where your merchandise ring is, you’ll have to look for the box on the street. The water meter is usually located in a concrete box near the street.

Make sure you have a flashlight and two large flat-head screwdrivers with you to get inside and check your merchandise. It’s best to wear protective gloves and keep a careful eye out for any critters or leaves.


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