A Stepwise Guide On How To Remove Water Meter Lock

Key Takeaway

  • A water meter lock is an essential home security component that protects the water meter from getting tempered or stolen.
  • You may remove a water meter lock by unscrewing the mounting screws that hold the meter and then releasing the meter using a wrench.

While we usually don’t give due credit to our water meter locks or gas meter locks for the security of our homes, these locks are actually essential components that ensure nobody meddles with our meters unlawfully. 

A water meter lock ensures that the water meter is not stolen, damaged, or tempered by somebody. The lock physically secures the meter so nobody can access it easily. As a result, they deter many unwanted incidents and are a crucial component of our home-security plan.

There may be some occasions when you need to remove the lock from your water meter. Since water meter locks are usually provided by the water service providers of your area, only a few people are proficient with removing them in case of need. Hence, this article will talk about how to remove the water meter lock so you can access your meter for several reasons.

Why May You Need To Take Off Water Meter Lock?

You may need to access and remove your water meter lock for many reasons.

For example,

  • You need to read the water meter.
  • Your water meter is exhibiting issues and needs to be examined.
  • You are off for a vacation or moving out of your home, so you turn off the water supply.

How To Remove A Water Meter Lock

In this section of the article, we shall elaborate on the material required and the instructions to open a water meter lock to access your water meter.

Step 1: Prepare The Required Materials

Prepare The Required Materials

The materials required to unlock a water lock are usually found easily in households. 

Find the list below.

  • A screwdriver to unscrew the screws that hold the meter lock.
  • An Allen key or a wrench to clasp the water meter.
  • A storage container to hold the flowing water.

Step 2: Locate The Water Meter Lock

Locate The Water Meter Lock

In most houses, the water meter is placed in the front of the house. You can follow the waterline to locate the placement of the water meter. 

Step 3: Turn Off The Water Supply

To ensure that the water doesn’t overflow during the process, turn off the supply by regulating the water turn-off valve. The valve is usually placed adjacent to the water meter. In case you cannot locate the valve, you may connect with your water utility suppliers for assistance. 

Step 4: Access Screws That Hold The Water Meter In Place

Access Screws That Hold The Water Meter In Place

Once you have the required materials in place, locate the mounting screws on your water meter lock. The screws are usually located on the face or the side of the lock, but a panel around it protects the meter. Remove the panel to access the screws.

Step 5: Remove The Mounting Screws

Next, use a screwdriver to unscrew the mounting screws off your water meter lock. Rotate the screwdriver anti-clockwise to remove the screws. You will need a flat-head or a Phillips-head screwdriver depending upon the screws mounted on the lock. 

You may need to use a pair of pliers or a wrench to loosen the screws if they are too tight. If the Screws are too tight, pour a little hot water on them and try unscrewing them again. 

Step 6: Release The Water Meter Lock

Release The Water Meter Lock

Once you have successfully removed the screws off your water meter lock, use a wrench to turn the lock to release it. Continue turning the wrench until the lock is completely released. The meter head of a water meter lock is made of strong and thick metal, so this step may require you to apply some force. But do not overdo the force to avoid damaging the meter.

Step 7: Unlock The Water Meter Lock

After successfully releasing the water meter, it’s time to unlock the lock. To do the same, unscrew the screw cap and the screw of your meter lock. Usually, the lock is held together using one screw that is relatively easier to remove. You may collect the overflowing water in a container.

Step 8: Unlock The Water Meter

Unlock The Water Meter

The final step in the process of taking off a water meter lock is locking off the water meter by turning the core clockwise. Once done, the meter will be unlocked.

Precautions While Removing The Lock From A Water Meter

Since the water meter lock is a safety component, there are certain precautions that you must take care of while you remove it from your water meter.

Some of the precautions are as follows,

  • While removing the water meter lock, be very careful that you are not damaging or breaking the lock, as it can lead to a penalty. The penalty for breaking a water meter lock as per Penal Code Section 12.21  fines the user up to $4,000, 1 year in prison, or both. 
  • In case you are replacing the water meter, ensure disposing of the meter is as per the local disposal laws. Refrain from trashing away the meter with regular waste to avoid environmental hazards. Instead, dump it in a recycling center so it can be properly disposed of. 
  • Keep children away during the process of removing a water meter lock to avoid any accidents or injuries.
  • If you are replacing the water meter, ensure all the fixtures are drained before locking off the existing meter.
  • In case you are facing water leakage at home, find out the exact point and fix it before locking off your water meter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I cut off the lock of my water meter?

Answer – Cutting off a water meter lock is not legal and can lead to a penalty as per Penal Code Section 12.21. You may be punished with a fine of up to $4,000, 1 year in prison, or both. 

Q2. Is it legal to remove a water meter lock?

Answer – It is legal if the water meter lock is removed for servicing, replacing, or reading purposes. However, it is illegal if the meter is tempered in any way and calls for a fine, imprisonment, or both. Also, it is illegal to remove the lock from a water meter that you are not the owner of.


You may not find enough literature on the internet on how to remove a water meter lock as you find on removing deadbolts or tubular locks. In most cases, users rely on plumbers to help them access the lock or the meter and spend money that can be totally avoided. 

Removing a water meter lock requires the right tools, a set of instructions, and a little patience. If you were looking for how to remove a water meter lock, you must have found the article helpful.

If you found the information useful, share it with your friends and family who might need it. For any other query about your water meter locks, write to me in the comment section.

Leave a Comment

Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.