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​Can you read your own meter?

Reading your meter is like reading the odometer of your car, except that it measures gallons of water instead of miles.

Learn how to read your meter yourself to:

  • Verify your bill.
  • Monitor your water use.
  • Check for suspected leaks.
  • Experiment with efficient landscaping practices.
  • Measure how much your washing machine or dishwasher uses.
  • Measure how much water your sprinkler or irrigation system uses.
  • Record your swimming pool's auto-float fill.

Types of meters

1) Dial meter

On this type of meter:

  • The first digit (zero) is fixed.
  • The following digits record gallons in tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands and millions.
  • The black dial hand measures single gallons.
    • A full rotation of this dial hand measures 10 gallons.
  • The four white dials are used to bill your consumption (i.e., the amount of water you've used).
  • The triangular dial in the middle indicates whether water is being used or is flowing through the meter. It's commonly called low-flow indicator or leak detector.
    • If you think all of the water is off in your house and the triangle is still spinning, check your plumbing as you may have a leak.

2) Automated meter reading (AMR) meters

Rate of Flow
The LCD display shows the average flow rate every six seconds.
Leak Indicator Symbol
Indicates a possible leak.

If you see:

  • OFF
    No leak is indicated.
  • FLASHING
    Intermittent leak indicates that water has been used for at least 50 of 96 15-minute intervals during a 24-hour period.
  • ON CONTINUOUSLY
    Indicates water use for all 96 15-minute intervals during a 24-hour period.

How much water are you using?

To learn how much water you've used between any two periods of time:

  • Try reading the meter at the same time of day, and record its readings.
  • Subtract the first meter reading from the second meter reading.
  • The difference between the second reading and the first reading will be the number of gallons used during that period of time.
  • Use a flashlight to see the LCD display if needed.