Bucket Test to Verify Meter Performance

The following simple test can be performed to verify that a water meter is properly operating

The following simple test can be performed to verify that a water meter is properly operating. Although his test cannot be used to calibrate the water meter to an exact accuracy standard, it will quickly indicate that the meter is operating properly within general tolerances.

Bucket Test Process:

1. Make sure that no water is in use in the unit.

2. Look at the face of the meter. There should be no movement of any dials on the meter. If the center “leak detector” is spinning, then this indicates that there is water running through the meter.

  • If the meter indicates water is passing through the meter, then double check to make sure all water is shut off in the unit. Check all toilets to make sure none are running.

3. With the meter quiet (not moving) – read the odometer counter on the face of the meter. Write down the reading. Make sure you verify the meter’s unit of measure – gallons or cubic feet. Also make sure you understand what the last digit counts (ie, gallons, tenths of gallons, 10 gallons, 100 gallons, 1 cubic feet, tenths of cubic feet, etc.). This information is typically available on the meter register face.

4. Note: if your unit is equipped with both a hot water meter and a cold water meter, make sure you perform the bucket test independently for hot and cold water.

5. Using a 5 gallon bucket, fill the bucket 4 times with water in a sink or bathtub.

  • If testing a cubic foot meter, fill the bucket 3 time (15 gallons = 2 Cubic Feet)

6. Return to the meter and read the odometer counter. The new reading should be 20 gallons of water higher than the original reading.

Feel free to contact our office if you have questions.

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