Northern Climate Water Meters


#1

Hoping I can get some feedback from my fellow northern climate mobile home park owners with water meters.

I purchased a park a few years ago that had badger water meters (installed under the homes) and remote read displays (installed on the outside of peoples homes). It seems they are starting to go bad and I can no longer find replacement remote reader displays that work with the meter on the water line itself.

I have more than few that will not register any usage at all. I also have a fair amount that register obviously low readings like 300 gallons - 1,200 gallons of use in a month. Then I have others I am suspicious of that read from 3,000 gallons up to say 5,000 gallons per month that could be correct but could also be under counting. I do compare my readings with the bill from city and yes I am always under reading sometimes by a large amount. I have had a leak detector in the park before and was still under reading even after fixing some minor leaks.

I also have issues with the remote reader displays in the winter getting melting ice drops off the roof inside the gears and numbers that re-freeze and jam them up. Furthermore in the summer I have bugs that can do the same. The remote reader displays are in a clear plastic housing from the factory but they are not water tight.

I have also heard the park down the road from me installed the metron meters but they were breaking in the cold weather this winter. Do not know if it was because improper install or not.

What meters are you using in northern climates? Do you have suspicions or issues of under reading? Issues with water or bugs? Where are you installing your meters and displays? Any other advise/info greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Jason


#2

Re: Northern Climate Water Meters

Several issues:

  • Older meters (over ten years) start to loose their accuracy (don’t record low flow water);
  • No water usage recorded at remote, wires might be broken to remote, a bad remote or meter not producing a pulse (see other threads regarding pulse meters);
  • Meter freezing issues, heat tape, insulated meter boxes, or same plumbing precautions you have during a deep freeze.
  • Meters for northern climates, not specific designed, however look for a meter with a frost/freeze plate which is designed to break (replaceable) prior to damaging the meter.

Bottom Line: Sounds like a new sub-metering system is warranted, and will probably pay for itself with more accurate billing to your residents’ for their fair share of the water/sewer expenses.

"We’re here to answer your sub-metering questions"


#3

I use badger meters with the remote reads. I’ve so far had no major issues beyond a few meters freezing and breaking each winter. I do have to monitor the meters and follow up on any that aren’t registering use to see what’s going on. Currently our submeter usage is around 82% of our total park usage, which given that we have old water lines I’m pretty happy with.

Just an idea, if you’re concerned about a meter, you could do a really low tech test: Stop anyone from inside a home using any water, read the meter, fill up a 5 gallon bucket, and then read the meter again.