How do I read my water meter?

Understanding Your Water Meter

Learning to read your water meter can help you discover water leaks, monitor your usage, and double-check your water bill.

Water meters are typically located in your basement. Call the water department office at 508-255-1200 for assistance in locating your water meter.

Once you have located your meter, you will notice a glass dial similar to a car's odometer (example below). The sweep hand measures each gallon of water up to 10 gallons. The first number on the right is called the "stationary zero." It represents one's place. There is no need for it to move because the sweep hand does its work. The movable dials on the left of the "stationary zero" represent the 10's, 100's, and 1,000's of gallons and so on.

Locating Leaks

Now that you know how to read your water meter, use this knowledge to locate leaks in your home:

  • First, turn off all water inside and outside your home
  • Then, read your water meter. Mark where the pointer hand is on your meter
  • Wait for an extended period of time. Some people do this while they are sleeping or at work.
  • Re-Read the meter again, as well as look at the location of the pointer hand. If there is any change, you have a leak in your house

Monitoring Household Appliances

To find out how much water (and money) is required to run your sprinkler system, dishwasher, shower, washing machine and so on:

  • First, turn off all water inside and outside your home
  • Then, read the meter
  • Turn on the appliance you wish to monitor
  • When the appliance has shut off, read the meter again
  • Subtract the old reading from the new reading to discover how much water was used

How to read your water meter

Show All Answers

1. How do I read my water meter?
2. What if I need to reach the water department when the office is closed?
3. What is the hardness of my water?
4. What is the average water usage in the Town of Orleans?
5. What do you test for in my drinking water and where can I get those results?
6. When do you flush the fire hydrants?
7. When are water bills mailed?
8. Why Do We Flush?