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Water and Gas Meters

Water and gas meters were designed to keep track of how much water is flowing to your home and how much of that water/gas is being used. It is extremely important to know how to read your water/gas meter in as it can help you track your consumption rate and give you a clear warning when you have a leak. The expert plumbers at Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain can help you diagnose problems with your water/gas meter or can help you determine if your meter is warning you that there is a leak.

Water Meters

Water meters are designed to measure the volume of water that is being delivered to your property. These measurements can either be in gallon (the most common) or cubic feet. Water meters are typically located near the curb or sidewalk at the front of your home and can be found in a concrete box. This box will be marked with “Water Meter” on the metal or plastic lid.

How to Read Your Water Meter

Understanding how to read your water meter is extremely important for keeping track of your usage and being able to recognize when there is a potential problem. Water meters have one of two different displays, digital and analog.


Analog displays kind of look like a stop-watch with a large sweep hand on the dial. This dial helps measure the water usage in either gallons or cubic feet. When the sweep hand moves from one number to the next one, this means that a gallon or one cubic foot of water has passed through the meter. A full revolution of the sweep hand occurs every ten gallons.

Analog displays also have a low-flow indicator that turns as the water moves through the meter. This indicator is recognizable by either a triangle, star, or gear shape. It is important to note, however, that some older analog displays may not have a low-flow indicator.

Digital Display

Newer water meters are turning to a digital meter for ease of usage. These meters are light-activated. Make sure you have a flashlight handy when going out to check your water meter if it has a digital display, as it makes it easier to activate, especially on cloudy days.

The digital display will alternate between the meter read and the flow rate. The meter read tells you how much water is being used in the home and the flow rate tells you how much water has passed through the meter. If you have a higher-end water meter it will keep a history of your water use. This can be handy for helping to notice trends such as a spike in water usage that could point to your home having a water leak.

Gas Meters

An Engineer connecting a copper gas pipe in a home.A gas meter keeps track of how much gas is being used in your home, and it works much like the water meter. However, natural gas is measured in cubic feet. Gas meters are installed between the incoming gas lines and the point of distribution to the residential home.

Gas meters operate much like water meters in the fact that the sweep hand or digital reader moves as the force of the gas goes through the pipe. The faster the turn of the sweep hand or climbing of the number on the digital reader, the more gas is flowing into the home.

How to Read Your Gas Meter

Most gas meters are analog though some higher-end ones may be digital. When reading your analog gas meter, it is important to note that you want to write down the numbers from left to right. The hands of adjacent fails will turn in opposite directions of each other, so writing the numbers down this way will help you keep track of the meter read and the flow rate.

Suspect a Water or Gas Leak?

The best way to keep track of your water/gas usage is to read your meter at least once a month. Make sure to write down the numbers each time and compare them from month to month. A spike of usage could indicate a leak. From this point, it is important to contact your trusted team at Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain to test your system for leaks. A gas leak or a water leak can cause major damage to your home and cause health complications if not handled immediately. Our team will be able to move quickly to test, find, and repair the source of the leak so that your family can continue to thrive. Contact our team today for more information about our services or to schedule a water/gas leak test or repair!