Going Away? Shut the Water Off!
Water leaks that arise while you are away will increase your water bill significantly, and could also cause massive damage. Turning off the water at the main shut-off valve is the best way to protect your home from such leaks and large bills, as most insurance companies won't cover your home if you are not home for more than 2 days.
Turn off the main shut-off valve into your home as long as water is not needed to run appliances like a sump pump for example. Your water meter is located in the basement typically at the front of your home. You can find the main shut off valve in your basement on the water service between the water meter and where it comes up through the floor or wall. The shut-off valve could a brass angle handle or look similar to an outside tap valve. Make sure to show everyone in the home the location of the valve in case of emergency, such as a burst pipe. Turn the valve handle clockwise to shut off the water supply into your home.
If you are away from the home in the winter or when there is a chance that your pipes could freeze, ensure that the water supply is turned off completely at the main shut-off valve. Open faucets and drain all waterlines.
If you are unable to close the main shut-off valve, make sure to turn off as many valves as possible to individual fixtures and appliances. Shut-off valves are located under sinks, toilet tanks, at water supply hoses into washers, dishwaters, and hot water heaters. Check these valves annually to ensure they are not corroded, stuck in place or partially turned off. Shut-off valves should always be in the fully open position (or fully off during repairs).
Curious about consumption?
The water meter in your basement measures how much water is used in your house. Every home and business in London has one. In fact, London has been fully metered since 1925.
By tracking your water meter, your awareness of your water use will increase. In addition, watching your meter can help you find water leaks that may be in your house, which ultimately saves you money once the leaks have been fixed.
Assess if your home has a water leak
To detect if there is a leak that requires further investigation in your home use the water meter.
When examining your water meter, see if the red dial is slowly moving. If it is, there is likely a slow leak at some location within your home. Water meters vary throughout the city and the red arrow is not always in the same location.
Numbers on the water meter can also indicate a leak. This is only useful if the number is checked in the evening when water is no longer being used and again in the morning before any water is turned on. If the numbers have increased (similar to a cars odometer) than you likely have a water leak.
Homeowner Responsibilities with Regards to Water Meters
Homeowners must provide clear and unobstructed access to the water meter at all times. The water meter is property of the City of London and should never be enclosed or covered by building materials or obstructed in anyway. It is the homeowners responsibility to ensure free and clear access to the water meter at all times as per the City of London Water By-Law.
Water meters: Did you know?
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) estimates that metering alone can reduce water consumption by 20 to 40 percent.
- There are over 110,000 water meters within the City, of which 100,000 are residential water meters.
- Since 2009, the City of London targets 10,000 water meter replacements per year.
- Residential water meter life cycle (replacement) is between 9 and 13 years.