Knowing the location of your water meter and how to turn the water on and off is as essential to renters, as it is to homeowners. A burst pipe in your home can lead to a huge disaster, only mitigated by turning the water mains off. Do you know the location of your water main?

How to locate your water main

The water main is located close to the front boundary of your property. It’s usually off to one side of your property and the cover is generally oblong, about the size of a large loaf of bread! Newer meters have a dark green plastic lid, whilst older meters sometimes have a concrete cover. You access the meter by lifting this lid, which often requires poking a screw driver down one side and lifting it up.

It’s not unusual to find that someone has covered over the water meter with soil, bushes or plants, which is why you might find it difficult to locate.

If you do find it and it has been covered up, you will need to dig it free and leave it that way. In urban and semi-urban areas, your water meter will be read every quarter, so easy access is required by the workers who come to read your meter. If you meter can’t be read, because it has been buried or is behind a locked fence, then your water bill will be estimated, but this might be higher than your usage, so always ensure that your meter is easy to access.

If you can’t find your water meter however, you will need to ring your local council who can give you directions. In some country areas, you might need to read your own meter and send the numbers into the council, so you definitely need to know how to find it and read it!

Victoria’s Simplified Rebate Process

How to read your water meter

There are a few different types of water meters in use, mainly because there are older legacy meters that haven’t been updated to newer models. They are all read in a similar way however, so if you can read one meter, you shouldn’t have any problems reading an older or newer model. Once you have lifted the lid on the water meter box, you will see a round meter with a series of numbers along the top face. The meter itself might actually have a small lid that needs to be opened for you to see the numbers.

These numbers represent the amount of water used by your household, measured in kilolitres (1000 litres) and litres. The black and white numbers on the left are kilolitres (for digital meters they are to the left of the decimal point) and the numbers in red and white are the litres (to the right of the decimal point in digital meters). If you are not running any water on your property at the time you inspect your metre, these numbers should not be moving. If they are moving and increasing, you must have a hidden leak somewhere or a tap is running that you didn’t know about.

For emergency plumbing and assistance with burst or leaking pipes, call Red Dog Plumbing on 0418 532 134.