The water meter measures the amount of usage in your household. The meter can also be used to verify your bill, monitor your water use, or measure the amount of water consumed by particular uses or appliances. It’s also a great tool for diagnosing leaks in your plumbing system.
In this section you will find information on:
Locating Your Water Meter
Property owners should know where their water meter is located. If the plumbing system fails, quickly turning off the water at the meter may reduce damage.
Meter boxes protect the meter and other system components from damage. A metal or composite plate inset in the meter box lid will typically state “public water” or “water” on it. In the urbanized portion of our service area most water meters will be located behind the curb at the front of your premises. In suburban or rural areas, the water meter is probably located near the property access. Note that water meter locations in the rural portion of our service area can vary greatly from the standard locations. If you need help locating your meter contact our customer service
Property owners are responsible for protecting meter boxes from damage. Vehicle traffic is the primary source of damage to water meter boxes.
Sunrise staff should have unimpeded access to the meter box. Property owners should not place objects, such as basketball hoops on meter box lids.
Sunrise requires that 2 to 5 feet of space around the meter box is kept free of shrubbery, walls, or other obstructions that would interfere with access. Never construct a fence or a wall between the water meter and the street.
If Sunrise has problems accessing a meter, the property owner will be notified and asked to remedy the situation. If meter access is not restored by the date designated on the notice, Sunrise staff may remove the obstruction and the property owner will be billed for the actual costs of doing so.
Reading Your Water Meter
Water meters record the amount of water used in cubic feet in a manner very similar to how an odometer on a car records mileage. The sweep hand measures tenths of a cubic foot. When your meter is read, the white dials with the black letters show the number of whole "units" consumed. One unit equals 100 cubic feet, or 748 gallons. The digits on the black background show a fraction of a cubic foot and are not included in the meter reading.
The red triangle on the left is the low flow indicator that spins if any water is passing through the meter. If you aren’t using water in your home and the triangle is turning, you may have a leak. If you experience a water leak contact customer service to apply for a leak adjustment.
Checking For Leaks Using Your Meter
Your water meter is an important tool for detecting water leaks in your home. To detect a leak, turn off all water in your home and observe the red triangle on the face of the meter. If it moves, there is a leak in your plumbing. Leak adjustments may be granted after proof of repair is provided along with a leak adjustment form.
Toilet flapper valves are the most common location for a leak. The rubber valves deteriorate over time and don’t seal properly, resulting in slow, often silent, leaks. Contact Customer Service for free leak detection tablets that help identify leaky toilets.
Determining the Volume of a Leak
If you find a leak, your water meter can be used to determine the leak volume. Use the following steps to determine the volume of a leak:
- Note the meter reading and the time you start your test to the minute.
- Assure no water is in use during the test. It’s best to perform this test when you are away from home for a while.
- Read the meter after an hour or more and note the time.
- Subtract the first meter reading from the second reading. This is the number of units of water that passed through the meter. Multiply this number by 7.48 to convert it to gallons.
To calculate the leak rate, divide the volume of water leaked by the minutes in your test. For example, a leak of 20 gallons over 120 minutes is leaking at the rate of .17 gallons per minute.
To get a sense of the impact of a leak, multiply your leak rate by 1,440 to get daily loss, and by 43,920 to see monthly loss. In our example, 244.8 gallons per day and 7,466.4 gallons per month would be lost to leakage.
Measuring Water Usage with Your Water Meter
Use your water meter to determine how much water an activity uses. Here’s how:
- Note the meter reading for whole units.
- Perform the activity that you want to measure (such as irrigating or filling a pool). Use no other water while you are testing or your results will be inaccurate.
- Record how many minutes it took to perform the activity.
- When you complete the activity, read the meter. Subtract the first reading from the second reading and multiply the product by 7.48 to calculate the gallons used.
- To determine gallons per minute used, divide the total gallons used for the activity by the number of minutes the activity required. For example, a sprinkler system that used 150 gallons of water in 15 minutes has a consumption rate of 10 gallons per minute.