Most residential meters are located inside, in a basement, crawlspace or utility closet. In the case of an emergency or even for simple plumbing repairs it is good to know where your inside water shut off valve is located. Most valves are located just before and just after the water meter.
There are several reasons why you'd want to be able to locate and read your water meter. First, you might be curious in just how much water you use in a day. By reading your meter at the beginning and the end of the day you can compare the two totals to determine how much water you and your family have used.
Checking for Leaks
The second reason is to check for leaks. Turn off all the taps in the house, check the meter to see if it is still turning, if it is chances are you have a leak somewhere with the home. Toilets are the most common sources of leaks. Following are a couple ways to find them:
Put 4 to 5 drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. Wait 15 minutes. If colored water appears in the bowl, you have a leak. The flush valve ball probably needs to be replaced.
If the flush valve ball is not worn, then check to see if it fits into the flush valve snugly. If not then try cleaning it. If the ball still won't seat properly, straighten the guide wire and make sure it is not catching on anything. (Newer toilets have a chain and a "flapper ball".)
Sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder on top of water in tank. If the powder moves toward the overflow tube, you probably have an overflow leak.
Check for leaks in outdoor hoses, pipes, faucets, and connections. Outdoor leaks are often not as visible as leaks inside the home, but can waste just as much water.