If you’ve just received your water bill and the extra zeroes have left you swearing off long winter showers, don’t stop indulging just yet. Water leaks could be draining your wallet, and the first step to identifying if you have a leak is learning how to accurately read your water meter.

Knowing how to quickly and easily read your meter can save you from digging around in the plumbing (which should always be left to a professional if you prefer the inside of your house kept dry), and it can also help you identify the problem for professionals should they need to be called.

First, know where the meter is located. For most stand-alone homes, a meter will be located at the front-end of the property. Generally speaking it will be close to a water source, so if you have a tap in your front garden that’s a good place to begin. If your front garden is overgrown, it may be obscuring the meter, so be sure to trim any thick shrubs that may be hiding it. If you still can’t locate it, you can call your agent if renting and ask them the location. If you are a homeowner you can contact your city council and ask them to identify the meter’s location, which they may have on record.

Once you’ve found the meter, you’ll need to read from left to right, beginning with the black numbers which represent kilolitres. The white numbers with a red background show you usage in litres. An old-fashioned round meter will have only kilolitres listed at the top, while litres will be represented by red dials. Checking for leaks is as easy as taking a reading from your meter while all water sources are off, waiting at least an hour and then taking another reading. If the numbers have changed it can indicate a leak, something a professional plumber can help you identify.

If the reading stays the same then a leak is unlikely, but you can use your new skills to monitor your household’s water efficiency, such as exactly how many litres those long showers use! For more information and guidance on how to read your water meter, contact us at Jeff Macdonald Plumbing today.