Water Leak and Meter Issue

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by tdpadgett, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. tdpadgett

    tdpadgett New Member

    Messages:
    11
    I recently had a water leak outside and it was fixed. However now my red triangle on the water meter moves counter clockwise very, I mean very slowly, stopping at times for up to 30 seconds before moving again counter clockwise. Does this mean I have another leak underground? Should the dial be moving clockwise instead of counter clockwise? I am only the third house from the end of the main line could this be why it is counter clockwise? Thanks.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I don't know for sure about the direction a meter turns, but I do know that if it turns you are using water somewhere. A leak anywhere will cause the meter to move, but since it moves intermittently, I would check the toilets first. A flapper that is not seating perfectly will cause a toilet to have to refill periodically. I'm sure the location of your home in relation to other homes has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
  3. tdpadgett

    tdpadgett New Member

    Messages:
    11
    I have turned off the main cut off inside the house and the red triangle still moves ever so often only counter clockwise. I was told that water can move back into the main line when people use it down the line from me....didn't sound right but that is what I was told.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You may have received good information, I really don't know. I'd still check the toilets because sometimes the cut off valve doesn't shut the water off 100%. Hopefully one of the pros with more meter expertise than I have will be around tomorrow. Lot of the pros are not around on week-ends.
  5. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I just found a good article on this, and according to the article, you still have a leak somewhere between the meter and your main shutoff.

    The final important feature of your meter is the leak detector. In the picture above, it is a small (usually red colored) triangle, but in other meters may be diamond shaped. This detects small volumes of water that may be passing through your meter. If there is water passing through your meter, the leak detector will be turning counter-clockwise. The more water that flows through the meter, the faster the leak detector will turn. For slight leaks, you may have to watch the leak detector for a few minutes to see any movement. If you suspect a leak, turn off all the water in your home and watch the leak detector on your meter. If the detector reveals a leak, locate and and repair the leak immediately.
  6. tdpadgett

    tdpadgett New Member

    Messages:
    11
    If this is the case I have been told to start at the meter because in most cases where the city/county hook up the line to the homeowners is were it could be? I have been told that you should have about two foot or so of copper coming off the meter then into your PVC line if that be the case to your house. I believe they hooked my PVC straight to the meter...not sure.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Have you turned on a faucet, and watched which way the triangle moves?

    My meter, the triangle turns clockwise.

    It would be a BAD thing for water to be flowing OUT of your property into the main.
  8. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    *hire a plumber*

    There's another thread recently here with someone renting a backhoe and tearing up his yard and still never found the pipe he was looking for... Get my drift¿
  9. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    If I'm not badly mistaken the triangle in the meter at one of my rentals turns clockwise when water in the home is being used . I have noticed the same thing as you , the triangle moving very slightly cc stopping , maybe turning very slightly cc again . I contributed it to variance in main line water use .
  10. tdpadgett

    tdpadgett New Member

    Messages:
    11
    I hope you are right. I did just now dig up the joint from the meter to the line in which the City hooked up not us and it has a small leak. I have called them to come out but who knows. The leak is very, very, small so I am not sure if that would case the triangle to move or not....anyone know!! Thanks!!

    Note the line coming from the meter is 3/4 PVC and then hooks into our 1 1/4 PVC, so they did not run copper off of the meter as I have been told should be done.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  11. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Hopefully they don't say the leak occurred as a result of a shovel hitting it. Some people say I'm a glass is half empty kinda guy.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    meter

    If your meter's normal direction is clockwise and yours runs CCW, then it i sucking the water out of your house and you are selling it to the water company. Not a very likely scenarion.
  13. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
  14. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    Would the original poster or someone else turn on a faucet & look at their meter to see which way the triangle is turning when water in the home is being used ? My rental is to far away to go check . Maybe some meters turn one way & some the other . I could be wrong but I'd bet $10.00 the meter I'm talking about turns clockwise when water in my house is being used .
  15. tdpadgett

    tdpadgett New Member

    Messages:
    11
    UPDATE!! Checked my meter and it does in fact run CCW when water is being used. The city came out and fixed the connection between my line and the meter which they hooked up. However I still show a small leak somewhere. They were curious that when the cut the line which comes down a hill to the meter...almost no water ran out. They asked if there was a check valve in the line but there isn't so they were wondering where all the water went. They have suggested digging down every so often and putting in a cut off valve with a 4" PVC pipe to the surface to shut off the line every so often to check...is this a good idea? They also suggested putting in some check valves every so often..is that a good idea?
  16. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    I'm withdrawing my offer to bet $10.00 .
  17. the city is nuts

    putting check valves every so often
    in the line is absolutely totally stupid...


    what you need to do is go into the house and install a
    NEW BALL VALVE so you are 100% sure that water is not pissing through your main stop into the home.
    I have been down this rode before, and you wont be totally sure till you change the main inside the home
    ..

    THEN after you have done this , THEN you read your meter...

    if it si still moveing you need a new water service....


    if it stops totally, then you have something in the home
    like a toilet ballcock running...
  18. tdpadgett

    tdpadgett New Member

    Messages:
    11
    We have changed the main inside the house. I had a plumber come in and completely change everything from where it comes inside the house to where it hooks into my lines. He put in a brand new valve (brass this time) because our last one was PVC and he said might leak. Still the meter will come to a complete stop for about 10-20 seconds then move slowly, stop and ect.....
    If the check valves are a bad idea how about the cut offs every 100ft or so. I have about 400 feet of line from the street to the back of the house.
  19. wraujr

    wraujr Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    MD
    Where is meter located??

    I'm beginning to think your meter is at the street and you have 400' of pipe until you get to main cutoff in house... or is meter at the house???
    Please clarify...
  20. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    In most places the water company is responsible for the line to the meter & the homeowner is responsible for the line from the meter to the house . I'd say he has about 400 feet of pipe that he's responsible for .
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