Your Water Meter

Your water meter measures your water use, and we read your meter every two months to calculate your water bill. You should know where your water meter is, how it works and how it can help you save water.

The Accuracy of
Your Helix Water Meter

Water meters have to be accurate, to ensure that customer water bills are accurate. Making sure Helix meters are accurate is the responsibility of meter shop manager Dan Baker. In this video, Dan shows how meters work, how we maintain accuracy and how to use your meter to check for leaks on your property. He also discusses what happens to meters as they age and why we replace them.

How to Read Your Meter

This video shows you how to read your meter and monitor your water use.

Sweep Hand
1 time around = 7.48 gallons = 1 cubic foot of water use
100 times around = 748 gallons = 1 unit of water use

Low Flow Indicator
This is the small, star-shaped piece near the center of the meter face. If this spins when you are not using water anywhere on your property, you may have a leak.

Smart Leak Detectors

What They Are

Flow sensors sync to your smartphone and alert you if there is high consumption or a leak on your property.  They are a new technology and offer protection against undiscovered leaks running up your water bill.

The Two Types

There are two types of flow sensors. External devices strap on to your water meter with velcro or zip ties, but can not shut your water off when a large leak occurs. In-line devices can automatically shut off your water when they detect a leak, but they cost more, and a plumber is needed to install them.


Some sensors can measure how much water you use for irrigation and alert you to faulty irrigation programming, broken sprinklers or outdoor leaks. This is a valuable feature given that landscape irrigation is about half of most homeowners’ total water use.

Make sure you install your flow sensor in the right location to meet all of your needs.

How to Check for Leaks

1. Turn Off Your Water
Turn off all water inside and outside your home. Don’t forget your icemaker, irrigation and pool pump.

2. Find Your Meter
Look for a concrete lid with a smaller lid in the middle. If you need assistance, call us at 619-466-0585 during business hours.

3. Open the Meter Box
Remove the lid with a screwdriver and look for spiders and snakes before reaching in. Open the meter’s hinged lid and wipe off the display.

4. Check the Low Flow Indicator
If all the water on your property is off and the low flow indicator is spinning, you may have a leak.

5. Check for Toilet Leaks
Drop a dye tab or food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. If the color appears in the toilet bowl, the toilet is leaking. Replacing the flapper usually stops the leak.

6. Check Outside
Look for running hoses and wet areas in your landscape that may indicate a broken irrigation pipe.

Your Turn-Off Valve

Use the turn-off valve (it’s also called the consumer valve) in your meter box to stop water flow to your property. The metal valve handle is on the house side of the meter. To turn off your water, turn the handle clockwise a quarter turn until it is perpendicular to the water pipe. We recommend turning your valve off for a few seconds twice a year to assure that it works.

Digital Meters

Some Helix customers have a digital display on their water meter. These displays rotate automatically through three screens.

Screen A: Consumption

The underlined digits show your water use in units. The display at left, for example, shows 23 units of water use. One unit equals 100 cubic feet — or 748 gallons. After 45 seconds, the consumption view shows six digits and — if water is flowing through the meter — animated line segments appear. If you are not using water, the animated line segments may indicate a water leak on your property.

Screen B: Flow Rate

The flow rate view shows how much water is flowing through the meter in gallons per minute (GPM). Here are some common flow rates for reference:

.01-.05 GPM / dribbling hose bib or leaking toilet
2.5-3.0 GPM / faucet
2.0-5.0 GPM / shower
4.0-5.0 GPM / washing machine
2.0-2.5 GPM / one sprinkler head

Screen C: Meter Model

The meter model view appears for five seconds, indicating your meter type (d=disc meter), meter model number (35) and number of digits in the display (9).

All Screens: Status Indicators

These icons appear below the numbers on the screen and indicate the display’s status.


The display is operating correctly,


The display is not operating correctly. Please call Helix at 619-466-0585 to report.

24 hours of continuous water flow detected.

No measured water flow in the past 30 days.

End of battery life.

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