Homes and businesses throughout Penticton are fitted with water meters that track your water usage for the purpose of monthly water billing. These can also be used as a tool to detect a water leak or to monitor your personal water use.
If your water consumption bill is higher than usual, it may signal a water leak in your home. Here are some steps you can take to trace it.
About Your Water Meter
Use these directions to read your meter, followed by steps below to trace any leaks. Note that one cubic foot of water is equal to 28.32 litres of water.
Meter pictured left:
The register pictured left is a standard meter most commonly found in a single family residential home, up to and including meters 1” in size. Here’s what you need to know:
- The small red diamond on the left face of the register is a low flow indicator that will show leaks greater than 0.5L per minute (rotates counter clockwise).
- The large red needle is the sweep hand and one full revolution from 0 to 0 indicates one cubic foot of water consumption. This will show on the needle as having increased by one. Each number from 0 to 0 is 1/10th of a cubic foot of water, as represented by the decimal points.
- One revolution of the sweep hand is equivalent to the numerical change on the odometer.
Meter pictured right:
This meter on the right-hand side will be found on meters larger in size than 1”.
- The small red diamond on the left face is a low flow indicator and operates the same way.
- When the sweep hand has made one full revolution between 0 and 0, the meter has consumed 10 cubic feet of water. Each number between 0 and 0 on the sweep hand represents one cubic foot of water consumption.
- The register has a billing multiplier of 10 as indicated by the black zero on the odometer because for each full revolution the sweep hand makes, the odometer only increases by one. For example, if the monthly read for consumption is 1750 (as shown on odometer), this number is multiplied by 10 to indicate the true value of water consumption used.
If your property has a compound water meter, then both registers are present on the meter as it is made up of a high flow and low flow component within the meter itself.
The two greatest causes of water leaks inside a home are running toilets and excessive water pressure. You can use your water meter to detect a leak.
- Locate the City water meter, typically located inside your residence. The most common location is directly after the main water shut-off and before the valve for your outside irrigation.
- Confirm all taps are turned off inside and outside of residence. While looking directly down at the top of the water meter, locate the small red diamond to the left side of the face. If this red diamond is rotating, it indicates you have a leak.
- You may wish to track the readings on the water meter dial during a time when the residence is empty or faucets have no use. For example, write the numbers down at the end of the day and again in the morning before any water is used. If the numbers have increased, you may have a leak.
Check Water Fixtures
- Are there any taps dripping inside or outside your home? (A faucet dripping at only one drip every two seconds will waste more than 1,000 gallons per year.)
- Is there a toilet running inside your home? Check the toilet bowl to see if there is water trickling down at the back (faulty flapper valve). Use dye tablets (available at your local hardware store) and place in your toilet tank to assist in detection. Lift the tank lid and check to see if the water level is up to the top of the overflow tube and wasting water (may require float adjustment or new assembly).
Check Your Pressure Regulator Valve
- Pressure regulating valves come preset from the factory at 50-55psi for home use. Use a pressure gauge and put on the outside house tap (hose bib). If the outside tap is tee’d off before the regulating valve, you will get a reading indicating the street pressure as supplied from the City. If the outside line is tee’d off after the regulating valve, the gauge will indicate your regulated pressure (50-55psi).
- Locate the cold water tap inside the home where the washing machine is connected. This gauge reading will give you an indication of the inside household pressure. If this reading is greater than 55psi, you should have the pressure regulating valve adjusted or replaced.
City staff can read the community’s approximately 9,500 water meters, in conjunction with approximately 25,000 electrical meters, using an AMR drive-by system.
This is conducted monthly and takes about 20 hours to complete – equivalent to 1,700+ meters per hour. Previously, meters were read on foot, which took several weeks. The City of Penticton embraces the use of technology to create efficiencies in our work.
Report an Issue
Please note that any water meter installed within your home or business, as well as the Electronic Radio Transmitter on the exterior of the building, are City-owned infrastructure and are not to be moved or tampered with. If something is to occur with the units, please contact the Public Works department as soon as possible.
If the City detects an issue with any of the devices, you may receive a letter requesting you to call in and schedule an appointment for repair. This can be completed between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.