How Do You Read a Water Meter?

How Do You Read a Water Meter?

Reading a straight-read water meter involves locating the meter and looking at the numbers with the white background. Multiply these numbers by 100 or 1,000 to find the amount of water used in cubic feet or gallons, respectively.

1. Find the water meter

If you live in a warm climate, look near the sidewalk to find your water meter. It is in a concrete box. Use a screwdriver or other tool to lift the lid. If you live in a cold climate, look in your basement or the utility room in your house.

2. Determine how you are charged

Look at the face of the meter. It should tell you whether you are being charged per 100 cubic feet or per 1,000-gallon units.

3. Read the meter

Read the numbers with the white background, then multiply them by 100 if you are being charged per 100 cubic feet. If the numbers with the white background are 234, the total number of cubic feet of water is approximately 23,400 because the last two numbers of the reading are dropped. If your water is measured in 1,000-gallon units, multiply the displayed number by 1,000 to find the volume used in gallons. Ignore the long sweep hand and the numbers with a black background. To find your total water usage in a month, subtract the numbers from your new reading from those of the last month's reading.

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