How to Read Your Water Meter to Detect Leaks

A large majority of water meters utilizes straight-reading dials which are similar to the odometer within your vehicle. This is an overview of how to read your water meter to check for your monthly usage and how to verify on whether or not you may be experiencing water leaks and may have to consult someone who specializes in home plumbing services. So, how to read your water meter to detect leaks


The dials measure the amount of water you use in cubit feet. 7.48 gallons equates to 1 cubic foot. Your water bill is determined by the amount of 100 cubic foot or 748 gallon increments.

In order for you to read your meter, you will need to read the first 3 numbers from left to right, there will be a total of five numbers, but you will have to disregard the last 2 digits which will have a dark background, the first 3 on the other-hand will have a white background.

For you to get an indication of the amount of water that you are consuming since the last Ccf report on your bill, you will need to subtract what was reported from the current reading.

For example, if your bill stated that you consumed 400 (ccf) or cubic feet of water last month and you check your meter a week later and it says 480, that means since your last bill you consumed 80 (Ccf) or cubic feet of water.

Once you have determined the amount of cubic feet you have been consuming for this month, you will convert it into gallons. In order for you to do that you will need to multiply the total sum of cubic feet you subtracted, multiplied by 748.1, for example:

480-400= 80
80 x 748.1= 59,848 gallons

How To Check For Leaks?

Whenever water isn't being utilized within your home, the meter should not be moving at all. In order for you to determine on whether or not you may be experiencing a water leak here are some tips to assist you in doing so.

  1. Ensure that all the faucets and water consuming appliances within your home, such as a washing machine and dishwasher are not in use.
  2. Once you have done that, grab a notepad and record the dial position along with the time.
  3. After 30-60 minutes, check the needle's position again to see if it has changed since then, if it has you may have a leak.

How to Detect Leaks, Where the Water leak Is Coming From?

If you have determined that you are in fact experiencing a leak, to determine if the leak is coming from the outside or on the inside of your home you need to turn off your house valve. If the dial continues to move the leak is between your house and the meter, if the dial does not move it is within your household.

If left unchecked, the leaks can lead to thousands of dollars of damage to your property and structure within your house. If you are experiencing a leak within or surrounding your house, you need to contact a plumber for repairs.

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