Trouble Shooting Your On-site Water System

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In case of a water leak or other water emergency, here's how to locate your water meter and turn off the water supply to your home or irrigation system. It's really quite simple if you know what to look for and what to do.



Finding Your Water Meter - LVMWD's Video on YouTube

Figure A shows a typical home water service location. In most cases, the meter is located in the sidewalk in front of your home. Your water service is inside of a concrete box with a concrete cover marked "WATER METER".

Locate Meter


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The meter dial pictured below is typical of most residential meters. The dial on the meter serving your home may look somewhat different, but they all work on the same principles.


This flow indicator triangle (1.) rotates whenever water flows through the meter. If the triangle turns when all the water is off on your property, you may have a leak, which should be investigated.

Each full revolution of the register sweep hand (2.) indicates that one cubic foot of water (about 7-½ gallons) has passed through the meter. The markings at the outer edge of the dial indicate tenths and hundredths of one cubic foot.

The water meter register (3.) is a lot like the mileage odometer on your car. The numbers keep a running total of all the water that has passed through the meter. The register shown here indicates that 345,710 cubic feet of water has passed through this meter.


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Checking for Leaks - LVMWD's Video on YouTube

To check for a leak:

Turn off all faucets in and around the house, including the outside hose bibs. Make certain all water devices are not operating (i.g.: hot water tank refilling, aquarium, pool refilling).

Write down the reading on the register of your meter and mark the position of the register sweep hand on the glass face of the meter dial, aslo watch the flow indicator triangle (1.) rotates whenver water flows through the meter.  If the triangle turns when all the water is off on your property, you may have a leak, which should be investigated.

Wait approximately 15 minutes and look at the meter again. If the sweep hand has moved or the reading has changed you may have a leak on your property. Locating and fixing a leak may require a plumber or other professional.

Toilets are the most common source of household water leaks. As a rule, toilet leaks get worse over time.

Another area to check is your lawn irrigation system, especially if it's automated and goes on when you are asleep or away from your home. Manually operate the stations and look for broken sprinkler heads. Also check for water bubbling from the ground, which could indicate a broken pipe.


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How to Turn Your Water Off - LVMWD's Video on YouTube

Figure B shows a typical water service for a residential customer. Starting from the street side of the service, #1 is the district's service valve (to be manipulated ONLY by district technicians), #2 is the water meter (which records your water use), and #3 is the customer handle, installed so you can shut off the water to your home in case of an emergency.


To shut off the water supply to your home:

  • remove the two covers on the service (there is a small cover and larger outside cover);
  • while facing your home from the street, locate the customer handle(#3);
  • slowly turn the handle 1/4 turn clockwise, as indicated by the arrow in the figure.

To turn your water back on, just reverse the above steps. Be certain to cover the meter box when you are finished.

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