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Jan 22

Checking for Leaks at Your Meter

Posted on January 22, 2024 at 2:17 PM by Stephanie Bernard

We encourage homeowners to check for leaks using their meter following a hard freeze and routinely every Spring to make sure there are no leaks indoors, outdoors, or in irrigation system. Pipe breaks are common during the winter when water freezes and expands inside pipes, causing damage and potential leaks. Detecting a leak as soon as possible can prevent damage to your home and save you money on your water bill!

Using your water meter to check your home for leaks is very easy using the following steps:

Step 1: Turn off all running water at your home. This means no running faucets, flushing toilets, watering lawns, or washing clothes or dishes.

Step 2: Find your water meter box outside in your front yard and remove the lid. This is generally a black plastic box in your yard, located near the street. Remove the lid and locate your meter. Your meter will either have a small dial that looks like a snowflake, or a digital screen. Both are used to indicate flow.

Step 3: If your meter has a dial, for at least five minutes watch the snowflake dial to make sure it does not move. Watch closely and remember not to have any water running during this time. If your meter is digital, record the number and check it is the same after 5 minutes. If it does move, or the number increases, you most likely have a leak.

Step 4: If there is not a leak indicated by your meter, next try running your irrigation system to check for broken sprinkler heads. Check every zone individually to make sure no sprinklers are spewing water erratically or are not working at all. A broken sprinkler head can flow 13-16 gallons of water per minute and, if left unrepaired, can waste about 7,800 gallons in a month of typical watering.

What to do if you discover a leak

If you discover your meter is indicating a leak, it may be as simple as a dripping faucet, or it may take the help of a licensed plumber to determine the source. If you have to have a leak repaired, our customer service department may be able adjust your bill, depending on circumstances. You can learn more about requesting a leak adjustment by calling our customer service department at 940-440-9561 or emailing