Have you noticed a consistent ticking noise coming from your water meter, and on inspection, seen the numbers rapidly rising on the dial? If you know that your child is having a shower, there is a load of laundry in the washing machine, or your spouse is washing the car, then there is no need for alarm. If you are confident that there is no water usage occurring in your home but your water meter is running, then you are facing an emergency plumbing problem. In this comprehensive guide, we cover the causes of running water meters, what you need to do, and why you should never ignore a running water meter. When you need an efficient and professional emergency plumber for a running water meter, Plumbing Ways is ready to assist you 24/7.
What is a Running Water Meter?
A water meter is an instrument that monitors your household water usage. As the water flows from the main water supply through the water meter, the water meter will record the amount of water used, which will then go towards your monthly water bill. When a water meter is working correctly, the spindle in your water meter will move when water is flowing through the water meter and stop moving when the water flow is ceased. A running water meter is different because it runs continuously, either at an extreme pace or a consistently slow pace, even when you are certain that no one is using any water in your home.
Why is My Water Meter Running?
A running water meter can be a baffling plumbing problem to face without any plumbing expertise. To help you understand the causes, we have outlined the four potential reasons for your running water meter. For an accurate determination of the cause of your running water meter, you should always have an emergency plumber perform an inspection of your household water meter and plumbing.
1) Burst Pipe:
One of the most concerning causes of a running water meter is a burst pipe. As the water gushes out of the broken pipe in your home, your water meter will run continuously at a high speed. The constant flow of water through the water meter and burst pipe can quickly lead to flooding and damage to your home.
Pipes can burst due to corrosion of the pipe material, damage from tree roots, or a major blockage that forces the water to break through the pipe. Alongside your water meter running, other signs of a burst pipe include dropped water pressure, water spots on your ceilings, walls, or floors, a saturated lawn, and unusual noises coming from your pipes. If your running water meter is paired with any of these other signals, you need an emergency plumber immediately.
2) Leaking Pipes:
An equally problematic cause behind a running water meter is having a leaking pipe, or multiple leaking pipes, in your home. With a leaking pipe, your water meter will still run continuously, but at a slower and more consistent pace than if your pipe had burst.
Leaking pipes are more common than burst pipes in homes. They can be caused by blockages in the pipes, damages to the pipe material, or loose connectors. Signs of a leaking pipe only become obvious gradually, which is why if you notice a running water meter, you should take this as a sign that there is a plumbing problem in your home that needs attention from an emergency plumber.
3) Leaking Faucet, Appliances, or Toilet:
Leaking faucets, toilets, and appliances, such as your laundry machine or dishwasher, can also cause your water meter to run. Like with leaking pipes, your running water meter will run consistently but at a slower pace compared to a burst pipe. Luckily, leaking faucets, fixtures, appliances, or toilets are easier to identify than if your internal plumbing pipes were leaking. If you notice pools of water around your toilet or appliances or drops of water coming out of your taps or showerheads, and your water meter is running, you will need to contact an emergency plumber to solve this fairly common plumbing problem.
4) Faulty Water Meter:
In certain cases, the problem may lie with the water meter itself. The water meter may have become damaged by a change in water pressure, air in the connecting pipes, damage to the valves, or extreme temperature differences. Any damage to your water meter may result in the water meter running continuously.
What Do I Do If My Water Meter is Running?
While a running water meter is a sign of a plumbing problem, it is not an uncommon issue for households. If you are dealing with a running water meter, taking the correct steps immediately can prevent any unnecessary damage to your home or wasted money on unnecessary water usage. We have outlined the five steps you should take when your water meter is running.
1) Ensure No One is Using Water:
Your first step to take is to ensure that there is no water being used in your household. The last thing you want to do is spend unnecessary money on an emergency plumber for them to find that your underground irrigation system was on, that you accidentally left the hosepipe running, or that you have a load of dishes in the dishwasher. Perform a quick and thorough search inside your home, while also checking any outside water sources, to ensure that the running water meter is not being caused by your water usage.
2) Check Faucets and Fixtures for Leaks:
While doing your search around your home for any water usage, you should also pay attention to your faucets and fixtures. Check that your taps or showerheads are not dripping, that there is no water puddling around the base of your toilets, or that your laundry machine, fridge (if connected to water), and dishwasher are not leaking. If these fixtures are leaking, you can relay the information to the emergency plumber to assist them with solving your running water meter problem promptly.
3) Take a Recording of Running Water Meter:
Your next step is to take a recording of your running water meter. Use your phone and record around 30 seconds of the water meter to capture the speed at which the water meter is running. While not essential, this can help your emergency plumber initially see the running water meter problem without having to turn your water back on.
4) Turn Off Water Supply:
You will need to turn off the water supply to your water meter. By turning off the water, you will prevent any further water wastage or protect your home from further damage if the water meter is running due to a burst or leaking pipe. Simply tightly twist the shutoff valve until the water meter stops running.
5) Call an Emergency Plumber:
The last step to take is to contact your local emergency plumber to handle your running water meter problem. An emergency plumber will arrive quickly at your home, prepared with the necessary tools and equipment, and assess your running water meter and locate the exact cause of the problem. An emergency plumber is your best solution to understanding and fixing the cause of the running water meter promptly so that you can return to your normal water usage in your home.
Why You Should Never Ignore a Running Water Meter:
We understand that a running water meter may not seem worth the extra expenses of an emergency plumber. Unfortunately, a running water meter is a clear sign of a plumbing problem in your home or a faulty water meter that will need to be dealt with. To demonstrate why you should never ignore a running water meter, we have outlined the two risks that your home and wallet face.
1) Damage to Your Home:
The potential causes behind a running water meter can result in serious damage to your home. A burst pipe can lead to flooding, damaging the structure of your home and destroying your belongings. A leaking pipe can over-time result in devastating damages to the structure of your home and safety risks if electrical wiring becomes wet. To avoid the extreme expenses of repairing a damaged home, and the heartache of losing your belongings or the disruption to your daily life, you should always have a running water meter problem inspected by a professional emergency plumber.
2) Waste of Water and Money:
Alongside the risk of damage to your home, a running water meter is simply an unnecessary waste of water and money. If there is a burst pipe or leaking pipe or fixture, that is fresh water that is not being used by you but will still be added to your monthly water bill. To preserve both water and your budget, you should have your running water meter problem assessed immediately by an emergency plumber.
Plumbing Ways is Your Emergency Plumber for a Running Water Meter:
When you need an emergency plumber for a running water meter, Plumbing Ways is here for you 24/7. Whether you noticed your water meter running on a Tuesday morning or a Sunday evening, a Plumbing Ways emergency plumber will quickly arrive at your home to solve your running water meter problem. Plumbing Ways is the emergency plumber you can rely on to get your home back into excellent working order.
Plumbing Ways emergency plumber team is comprised of qualified, experienced, and passionate plumbers who are readily available to alleviate the stress of your plumbing problem. Our emergency plumber team is experienced with running water meters, allowing us to offer a professional and effective solution to this plumbing problem. Our emergency plumber team will arrive fully equipped with all necessary tools and equipment to get the job done quickly and expertly.
About Plumbing Ways:
Alongside our emergency plumber service for running water meters, we also offer plumbing services for burst geysers and pipes, blocked drains, no water or hot water, broken faucets, water pressure issues, and underground leaks. No matter your plumbing emergency, we will arrive quickly and equipped to provide you with our expert plumbing services.
You can rely on Plumbing Ways in plumbing emergencies and for your general plumbing needs. We offer plumbing services for kitchen and bathroom remodels, full plumbing installation in new buildings, drain laying, soakaways, septic tanks, electric / gas / solar geyser installation and maintenance, and more. You can easily contact us for your plumbing needs on WhatsApp, our phone, or by filling in our online form.
Plumbing Ways is a Cape Town-based plumbing and contractor company. We offer our plumbing and contractor services to Cape Town CBD, the Northern Suburbs, Southern Suburbs, Cape Peninsula, Atlantic Seaboard, and Winelands. Whether you need us for your home or your business, we will always provide you with our professional and prompt services.
Plumbing Ways is your fast and professional emergency plumber that will solve your running water meter problem.