Step 1: Locate Your Water Meter
Your water meter is generally located near the curb in front of your home in a concrete box usually marked “water” or in a meter pit with a cast iron lid. Carefully remove the lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver or pliers. Visually examine the area around the meter to make sure there are no harmful insects or other animals.
Step 2: Read Your Water Meter
Water meters measure volume in gallons or cubic feet. One cubic foot = 7.48 gallons and 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons. Water charges are typically based on 100 cubic feet or on 1,000 gallon units. In the meter shown the reading is taken from the figures shown under the words CUBIC FEET. The meter reads 81710.03 which is the total number of cubic feet of water recorded since the meter was installed. If the utility bills in units of 100 cubic feet they would read this meter as simply 817.
Step 3: Determine if there is a leak
Take a reading and wait 10 minutes. Be sure to stop all water use inside and outside the home, including ice makers. When the 10 minutes are up, take another reading of the meter and compare it to the first reading. If the reading has changed, there is a leak.
Water meters also have a low flow indicator. This is usually a small, triangle or wheel that spins when water is flowing through the meter. Look for movement on the low flow indicator while all water used has been stopped. If there is movement, water is still flowing through indicating a leak.
If the water meter has a digital display, a message indicating a leak will flash.