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Reading Your Water Meter to Find Plumbing Leaks

A Water Meter BoxHas your water bill been extra high lately? There’s a chance you have a plumbing leak. The trusted plumbers at Browns have provided some great tips below to find out if you have pesky plumbing leaks by performing a simple 30 minute water meter reading test.

Startling Water Leak Stats

Water leaks can happen anywhere from a pipe under your house to a leak in the lawn irrigation system. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  • Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
  • Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
  • Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment.

Water Meter Leak Check

You can detect leaks in your home by doing a simple test involving your water meter, which is probably hiding. So your first step is to locate it. The meter could be located in an underground box near the front curb of your home, so stand back when you open lid (disturbed creatures might try to escape!). Once you locate the meter, ensure that all faucets and water-using appliances are turned off in the home. No water should be flowing. Double check sprinklers and even ice-makers and humidifiers and then record the reading of the meter and wait 15-30 minutes.

Reading Your Water Meter

A water meter is fairly easy to read with three main components including a low flow indicator (star, triangle or gear), a sweep hand (long red hand), and an odometer (spinning numbers). One complete rotation of the sweep hand measures 10 gallons or cubic feet of water used. The low flow indicator moves slowly for small leaks and faster for larger ones. If you are having trouble locating your water meter or finding and fixing your leaks, don’t hesitate to give the plumbing experts at Brown’s a call. We are experts in leak detection and plumbing repairs and replacements.

Compare Water Meter Numbers

Once 15-30 minutes is over and you have triple checked that no one used any water during this waiting time, record the reading of the meter again. If the numbers have changed, this indicates water consumption even though your water was not being used during the test; you may need a plumbing leak detection. The water meter test does not indicate the location of the leak so further investigation is needed to locate the problem.

Call the Trusted Plumbers at Brown’s

Winter time, summer time, any time – contact the plumbing experts at Brown’s Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for all your plumbing-related problems.