A majority of homeowners find their water bill remains for the most part consistent throughout the year. If there is suddenly a drastic increase in what you owe, and you have not had excessive water usage, such as watering a newly laid lawn, watering a garden during a dry spell, or filling a swimming pool, it sounds like you may possibly have a water leak. Knowing how to properly read a water meter is the very first step to figuring out if you have a leak or not.

Checking a Water Meter

The water meter is secured in the ground with a metal plate covering the hole. It is typically located on the front of your property near the sidewalk or street so that utility workers can effortlessly access and read the meter. A variety of times, the metal plate becomes covered in dirt, grass, or weeds, which makes it a bit difficult to discover if you don’t already know where it’s located on your property.

Any dirt or other growth must be removed from the metal plate prior to attempting to remove the lid. Otherwise you may end up covering the water meter with debris. Next, the metal plate is then removed using a screwdriver or other tool to properly lift the plate and expose the meter inside.

How to Read a Water Meter the Right Way

A water meter generally consists of two gauges. One monitors the water usage, and the other, which looks similar to a triangle, is used to figure out whether you have a leak. Prior to reading the meter, all water supplies must be turned off and out of use. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, showers, and sprinklers.

Once all water usage is stopped, you can check the meter. If the triangle still spins afterwards, this is an indicator of a leak. A leak can happen almost anywhere, including an outdoor faucet, inside faucet, shower valve, or toilet.

Call Your Local Long Beach Plumber

When a leak is detected, you’ll need to call a local licensed Long Beach Plumber to locate the problematic valve, faucet, spigot, or fixture. Some items can be repaired, and others must be replaced:

  • Repair broken or damaged pipes inside or outside
  • Replace leaking bathroom or kitchen sink faucets, bathtub faucets, or shower heads
  • Replace valves to the toilet or replace the fixture if it’s cracked