HOW TO CHECK FOR A LEAK
Helpful Hints on How to Check for a Leak
To read a typical water meter, simply read across the numbers in the box. The
current reading for the sample meter above is 4076230 gallons. Some meters
have only six digits instead of seven, but they are read exactly the same way. If the
reading you had taken earlier was 4062110 you would have used 14,120 gallons.
The 0 on the far right is a fixed number and never changes. Each number on the
round dial represents one gallon, so from 0 to 1 is one gallon, 1 to 2 is one
gallon, etc. One complete turn of the read needle is 10 gallons.
The small red triangle shaped piece on the dial is a low flow indicator that will
rotate if there is any flow through the meter. It is useful when checking for leaks.
To check for leaks, shut off all water flow in the house such as faucets, washing
machines, etc. Watch the red triangle for at least 5 minutes. If it moves then there
is flow through the meter and you have water running somewhere. Another way to
check for leaks is to write down the numbers and the location of the dial
indicator. Do not use any water for 2 hours. After the 2 hours read the water
meter again. If the dial has moved you have a leak and need to contact a plumber
as soon as possible to avoid a high water bill.
These meters are called positive displacement meters. The water entering the
meter fills a known volume of the measuring chamber on one or the other side of
a movable disc that separates the chamber into two sections. As water enters it
moves the disc (nutates), forcing a known volume of water out of the meter from
the opposite side of the disc. The process repeats as the sections refill and empty
in turn. The nutating action of the disc is coupled magnetically to the register to
indicate the volume of water that passes through the meter. The meter cannot
register water unless it actually does go through the meter.