Frederick Plumber’s Guide: How to Read a Water Meter

Do you know much about water meters and their main function? The answer is probably too obvious, the main function of your water meter is to meter the amount of water usage by your Frederick plumbing.

Easy to check, unless you don’t know where your water meter is, that is. In most cases, the water meter is located at the front of your property near the street – located there for easy reading by water department utility “meter readers.” The meter could also be located in a home’s basement, too.

To take a reading of your meter, locate the white numbers on the right side of the meter dial with the black background. These numbers count the number of gallons of water that have passed through your meter since it was installed or reset. Don’t be surprised to find a lot of numbers, particularly in an older home. The American Water Works Association estimates that the daily use of water per capita is 69.3 gallons. Multiply that by several years and the numbers become very big.

If you want to take a sampling of your daily usage, do the following:

  • Select a day to take the initial reading.
  • Write down the numbers on the meter odometer.
  • The next day (or week or month) at the exact same time on the 24-hour clock you took the initial reading, write down the new odometer reading.
  • Subtract the initial reading from the new reading and you get the consumption for that sampling time period. When you water bill comes from the city, you may want to “compare notes” to see if your billing is accurate.
  • Remember that events like overnight guests, filling a pool or hot tub, or excessive showering will impact the readings.

If you take the time to understand the numbers, it may also help you decide on ways to conserve water. It may also provide a hint to any possible water leaks in your home from sources like a toilet valve or garden hose. A meter reading can lead to you calling your Frederick plumbing for a repair.

Reading a water meter may not require rocket science mentality but understanding the numbers could be very beneficial to your wallet and your well-being. For more tips about how to maintain your Frederick home’s plumbing, heating & cooling, give Larry & Sons a call!