Once inside the cellar, the main is usually
attached to a meter. However, in some installations, a stop or cock is
placed on the street side of the meter and a gate valve is placed on the
house side. Both act as controls, although it is preferred that a gate
valve be installed before the meter on the street side.
The meter itself rests on a brick or wooden
platform. It is supported in this way to prevent the meter's weight from
straining the connections around it. The meter is a delicate instrument
and should be protected from rough handling, dust, and dirt.
If provided by the municipality, it remains
civic property and cannot be removed without permission.
How to read a water meter
- Before trying to read a water meter,
check to see if it is registering. To do this, turn on the water. If
the meter is registering, the pointer on the lowest dial will move;
if it does not move under these conditions, you should notify the local
water authority at once.
- Commence reading the meter by noting
carefully the value of the unit in which the dial reads. This is indicated
by each dial. These figures indicate the value of one complete revolution
of the pointer; therefore, each division of a dial represents onetenth
of the amount marked against each dial. It should further be noted that
one complete revolution of a pointer of any dial is equal to one division
of the dial of next higher value.
- Care must be taken to note the direction
of movement of the pointers which rotate on alternate dials in opposite
directions on most meters.
- Read the dials commencing with the one
marked 10 and continue in the order shown by figures on the outside
of each dial, setting down the figures as read, i.e., the reading of
the 10 dial in the units column; that of the 100 dial in the tons column,
- Always set down the figure, on each dial,
that has been passed last or is just covered by the pointer.
- When the meter has registered its full
capacity, that is, one complete revolution of the highest dial, it returns
to 0 and starts again. Whenever this happens, place in front of the
reading of all the dials, the figure 1. You must do this in order to
obtain the present reading.
- Subtract from the present reading, the
previous reading and multiply the difference by the local charge per
100 cubic feet, and you have the amount of your bill in dollars and
There are two types of meter dial. One is
a direct reading dial, which requires no instruction. The other is shown
left. By listing the readings as shown below, you will get your total
reading. If you keep a record of readings taken at specific times, you
can determine your water use for any given period.
Dial 10 reads 7
Dial 100 reads 30
Dial 1,000 reads 500
Dial 10,000 reads 5,000
Dial 100,000 reads 60,000
The reading is: 65,537 cu. ft.