How to Read Your Meter

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Water LeakWhether you are experiencing unusually high water use or you would just like to know how much water you use on a daily basis, follow these easy steps. Before completing the following steps, make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your home. This includes any water using appliance such as dish washer, washing machine, evaporative cooler, water softener, R.O. system, auto pool fills, sprinkler systems, etc.

Step 1 - Locate your meter box (usually located in the front of your property in the easement). The meter box is a large cement box that sits flush with the ground and has a heavy metal lid.

Step 2 - Carefully lift the lid using a screwdriver. Don’t be surprised if there are bugs in the box. Be careful. If you see bees going in and out of the meter box, contact our office at 480-358-3455 and do not continue.

Step 3 - You will find one of the two meters types shown below in your meter box. You may need to clean out the debris inside of the meter box to find the meter. The Town of Queen Creek reads the meters electronically. Therefore, your meter may get buried by accumulated dirt.

Invensys                                 Iperl

Step 4 - After you locate and determine what type of meter you have, you can easily check for a leak. On the Invensys meter, there is either a red pointer in the lower right-hand corner of your meter or a black triangle in the middle of your meter. These are referred to as leak indicators and will move in a clockwise direction when water is moving through the meter. On the IPerl meter, there is a small round circle in the center of the meter next to the word “Gal.” If there is water moving through the meter, a plus sign (+) will appear in the center of the round circle.

Step 5 - With the all of the water turned off on the inside and outside of your home, there should be no movement of the leak indicator on the Invensys meter and no plus sign inside the round circle on the Iperl. If the leak indicator reflects water movement, you may have a leak.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What do I do if my leak indicator is reflecting a leak?

A: To isolate the leak, turn the water off at the shut-off valve in your home, usually located near the hose bib near the front of the house. If the leak indicator stops detecting water movement, the leak is inside the home. (ie. leaking toilet, water heater, ice maker line, water softener, reverse osmosis unit, etc.) If the leak indicator continues to indicate water movement once you’ve shut the water off at the house then the leak is probably outside (ie. stuck irrigation valve, defective auto pool fill, broken service line, etc.)

Q: What do I do if the leak indicator doesn’t reflect a leak but I’m still using a lot of water?

A: Record all of the numbers that are on the meter. This is your first reading. Wait at least one hour. Return and read the meter again. Subtract the first reading from the second reading. If there is no change in the reading after an hour, chances are your high water use is caused by something that is using more water than normal when it runs. (ie. landscape watering system, evaporative cooler, or anything that cycles such as an R.O. unit or water softener, etc.)

Q: How can I tell if I have a problem with my landscape watering system?

A: You can use this same process as mentioned above to determine how much water your landscape watering system uses each time it runs. Take a reading before your system runs, then one after. Subtract the first reading from the second. That is how much you are using each time your system runs. Automated watering controllers can go bad. Check to make sure your system is watering exactly the way you have it set up to run. Next, turn your irrigation system on and check for broken sprinkler heads and missing emitters. If you have gophers, they may have chewed through a buried line and caused a problem.

Q: How can I tell if my toilet is leaking if I can’t hear it?TOILET DYE TEST

A: To check for a toilet leak: Add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and stir the water around to distribute the color. Wait 15 to 20 minutes. If any of the dye shows up in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Check the rubber flapper (this is the most common culprit).

TIP: Use your meter as a tool. The average person uses between 50 and 80 gallons of water per day, per person inside the home. Turn your landscape watering system and auto pool fill off (leaving it off for 24 hours) and take a meter reading. About the same time the next day, take another meter reading. That is how much you have used inside your home. If there are two people living in the home, in 24 hours you should use less than 160 gallons of water at the most (this will include washing machine and dish washer use, if you do not run these items in that 24 hour period, your inside use should be even less). If you use less than that, good for you! If you use more, review your water use habits and check for leaks.

View the water conservation page or contact our office at 480-358-3455 for more tips on leak detection and ways to save water!