The Happy Gardener

The Newsletter Serving Residential Farmers of the world wide web


Your Water Meter-Learn a Little, Save a Lot



How to read your water meter

Your water meter can tell you how much water you are using during a given time period, and can help you monitor the amount of water you use indoors and outdoors. It helps you figure out how much water each appliance used, and whether thereís a leak inside or outside the house. But first youíll need to learn to read your meter.

Most water meters are located in in-ground concrete boxes toward the street curbs. To expose the gauge, remove the cover and flip open the meterís cap.

Straight reading meters can tell you how much water youíre using in a given period. Simply record the figures shown on one day and again a day later, and subtract the original reading from the new reading. To convert cubic feet to gallons, multiply by 7.48. Using the same process, you can test the amount of water used to irrigate your garden. Turn off all water inside and outside the house, read the meter, then run the sprinklers; take a new reading.

Many new meters come with a leak detector-a small triangle in the center of the meter, which rotates when any amount of water is used. If the triangle rotates even when the water is turned off, thereís a leak somewhere. If your meter is of a different style, call your water agency for help.

Meters help check for leaks

Turn off all water faucets (including your ice maker). If your meter doesnít have a leak detector it will have a sweep hand. Record the meter reading or mark the needle position with a pencil or piece of tape. Keep the water off. Wait at least one hour. Then reread the meter gauge to determine if any water has been used. If a leak is detected, likely culprits are toilets and irrigation systems.

Check for irrigation leaks

Check for toilet leaks

'Better Care Through Integrated Pest Management'


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