Troubleshooting FAQs

Image Troubleshooting FAQs

How do I check for a leak?

On a direct read meter:

  • Go to the meter and open the lid.  Clear out any sediment or debris in the meter box (this accumulates in every meter each month).
  • Verify the read from your last Manatee County Utilities Bill. (Read meter left to right just like a car odometer) .
  • Subtract the read appearing on your last statement from current read to get usage.
  • Current read: 23920, on the statement it would appear as 239 (we read in the hundreds and bill in the thousands).
  • To get the current usage subtract the current read from the read on the last statement (example the current read is 239 the last read was 228; the current usage would be 1100 gallons.
  • Look in the upper left hand corner of the meter.  There will be a flow indicator (a small red or black triangle). If all the water is off in the house (no toilets flushing, no sinks running) it should be perfectly still. If it moves or flutters at all water is moving through the meter and going somewhere.
  • To attempt to isolate the water flow turn off the main shut off valve for the house (usually ground level below one of your outside hose bibs).
    • If the flow indicator stops the flow of water is within the house. Possible causes are (but not limited to)
      • A leaking toilet flapper (see below for dye testing your toilet)
      • A leaking faucet
      • Hot water heater cycling
    • If the flow indicator continues to move the water flow is between the meter and the house. (Possible cause are, but not limited to)
      • Leaking backflow
      • Possible line compromise
    • If you are unable to isolate the water flow or unable to repair it you may want to consult a professional in your local phone book.

On a digital read meter:

  • Go to the meter (take a flashlight) and open the lid, clear out and sediment or debris in the meter box (this accumulates in every meter every month).
  • Open the flip top on the meter itself and shine the flashlight down on it (the display is light activated).
  • The read should toggle back and forth between the read and the flow rate.
  • Verify the read from your last Manatee County Utilities Bill. (Read meter left to right just like a car odometer) . Subtract the read appearing on your last statement from current read to get usage.
    • Current read: 5643.56, on the statement it would appear as 56 (we read in the hundreds and bill in the thousands).
    • To get the current usage subtract the current read from the read on the last statement (example the current read is 56 the last read was 45; the current usage would be 1100 gallons.
  • Check the flow rate (display will toggle between read and flow rate). If all the water in the house is off (no toilets flushing, no sinks running) the flow rate should read 0.0. if the display reads any other flow rate water is moving through the meter and going somewhere.
  • To attempt to isolate the water flow turn off the main shut off valve for the house (usually ground level below one of your outside hose bibs).
    • If the flow rate reads 0.0 the flow of water is within the house. Possible cause are (but not limited to)
      • A leaking toilet flapper (see below for dye testing your toilet)
      • A leaking faucet
      • Hot water heater cycling
    • If the flow indicator continues to read other than 0.0 the water flow is between the meter and the house. (Possible causes are, but not limited to)
      • Leaking backflow
      • Possible line compromise
    • If you are unable to isolate the water flow or unable to repair it you may want to consult a professional in your local phone book.

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How do I report a line break (broken line in the street)?

If you discover a broken line or see water bubbling up from the street, please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811, x5216.

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Who do I contact if my meter is leaking?

If you discover water leaking between the street and the meter please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811.

 

If you discover water leaking between the meter and your residence, these lines would be the homeowner's responsibility.  You may want to contact a professional.

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Who do I contact if my backflow is leaking?

If you discover water leaking from the backflow, these lines would be the homeowner's responsibility.  You may want to contact a professional.

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How do I dye test my toilet?

  1. Carefully remove the tank lid and set aside where it cannot drop or be stepped on. 
  2. Drop food coloring or dye tablets into the tank.  DO NOT FLUSH! 
  3. Wait 30 minutes. 
  4. If you see colored water in your toilet bowl, your tank is leaking.

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It was just a small leak...I could not have used that much water!

Image It was just a small leak...I could not have used that much water!

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I filled my pool...can I get an adjustment?

If you have recently filled your pool, you may qualify for a credit on the sewer portion of your bill.  Please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811.

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How do I report low or no water pressure?

Please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811, x5216.

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My water smells or tastes bad. Who do I contact?

Please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811, x5032.

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Can I get my water tested?

Please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811, x5032.

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My sewer is backing up. Who do I call?

Please call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811, x5011.

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Is there a high billing check list?

Please read and follow all directions carefully. Follow all of the steps below and answer after completion. Completing all steps will assist us in identifying what adjustment you may qualify for.

  1. Have you checked your flow indicator, for possible leaking?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. Have you verified your meter reading? (If the meter reading on your bill is incorrect, record your read and contact Manatee County Utilities Customer Service at 941-792-8811.  We will be able to enter your read and correct the billing.)
    • Yes
    • No
  3. Have you dye tested your toilets?
    • Yes
    • No
  4. Are you a seasonal resident?
    • Yes (Go to question 5)
    • No (Go to question 6)
  5. If you are a seasonal resident, were you here when the high bill occurred?
    • Yes
    • No
  6. Do you irrigate (water) your lawn?
    • Yes
    • No
  7. Have you checked your irrigation system for possible problems (broken head, broken pipes, bad timer, bad rain sensor)?
    • Yes
      • How many times per week are you irrigating?   _____
      • How many minutes per zone?   _____
      • How many zones?   _____
    • No

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