Your water meter could be located in a few different places, but in most homes the main water valve is located where your front yard meets the street. Look for a rectangle plate (Cement composite or metal) at ground level that usually says “WATER” placed on a concrete box (also at ground level). These boxes are typically 2 feet by 2 feet Lift the lid off of the meter box (use a pry bar if needed) and find the water meter.
*TIP- If the utility meter box containing your water meter hasn’t been opened in a long time, you might find that you meter box has been buried by dirt, landscaping rock or vegetation.
It’s unlawful to remove the water meter box lid and to tamper with the water meter and associated valves or plumbing. City Code, § 50.096 (Damage to Water Facilities), § 50.105 (Theft of Water), § 50.153 (Tampering; Damages) & § 50.999 (Penalty)
Irrigation systems are often the cause of excessive water usage. The following should be inspected for failures:
Irrigation controllers, control box solenoid valves, valve diaphragms, leaking underground pipes, valves, bubblers and/or sprinkler heads
A water leak may surface 10’ – 100’ from the leak source. Often, an area of greener vegetation indicates a potential water leak.
Toilet leaks are the most common type of leak found inside the home. Because this type of leak can be silent, it may go unnoticed.
The Green letters represent common toilet parts:
A. Tank Overflow Tube
B. Flush Handle Chain
C. Flapper Valve
D. Flush Handle
The Flapper Valve is the main cause of toilet leaks and are easily replaced.
If nothing is noticeable, add a couple drops of food coloring into the tank (not the bowl). Wait several minutes and if you have coloring in the bowl, you have a leak in the flapper at the bottom of the tank that is allowing water to seep through. At this point you can assess if you want to do the repair yourself, or call a plumber.
The main shutoff valve in your house probably has one of two designs:
• Gate valve: Gate valves are very reliable and last for years, but they become difficult to turn after not being turned for years. If you haven’t closed the main shutoff valve since you moved into your house, do it now. Better to find out that you can’t turn it with your bare hands now than to wait until an emergency.
• Ball valve: Houses with plastic or copper main water pipes leading into the house may have a full-flow ball valve. This valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close it, turn the handle clockwise 1/4 turn so that it’s at a right angle to the pipe.
A gate valve opens by turning the handle left (counter clockwise) to start water flow and closes by turning it right (clockwise) to stop water flow.
A ball valve opens by turning the handle parallel to the water line to start water flow and closes by turning it perpendicular to the water line to stop water flow.
Any time you shut off the water and allow the pipes to drain, unscrew the aerators (small screens) on the ends of all faucets before you turn the water back on. Doing so keeps the small particles of scale that may become loose from inside the pipes from clogging the small holes in these units.