How to Read a Water Meter in Gallons

Written by james clark
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How to Read a Water Meter in Gallons
Write down your meter reading to calculate water consumption. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Reading a water meter helps you understand and monitor your household utility usage before the bill arrives. The meter is typically located below ground in the front yard near the street. Meters in residential neighbourhoods are often grouped close together to save time for water company employees who read the meters in advance of your billing statement. For example, your next door neighbour's meter is may be adjacent to yours. Most water meters measure consumption in cubic feet. Use a simple formula to convert cubic feet into gallons.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Heavy-duty flat-blade screwdriver or crowbar

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  1. 1

    Pry up the round metal plate covering the water meter in the ground, using the flat edge of a heavy-duty screwdriver or crowbar. Some meters may be installed above ground near the building, such as in an apartment complex, where the meter is plainly exposed.

  2. 2

    Write down the numeric readout on the water meter, for example, 000647. In this example, the meter shows current water usage of 647 cubic feet.

  3. 3

    Multiply the reading on the meter by 7.48 to calculate water usage in gallons. For example, 647 x 7.48 equals 4,839.56 gallons.

  4. 4

    Divide the number of gallons by the number of days between meter readings to calculate your average daily water consumption. For example, if 30 days pass between meter readings, divide usage (such as 4,839.56 gallons) by the number of days (30), to arrive at an average daily water consumption of 161.32 gallons.

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