Water Meters--Need Advice


#1

We just acquired a park in Indiana. The water bill is out of control. We want to install water meters on each lot but have no experience with this. We have contacted Utility Supply Group listed under “Resources” and have gotten some quotes on meters. We are looking at about $70 per lot just for the meters. Can any park owners give us some input on your experience having meters installed? Can you really do it yourself? Did you hire a plumber? Is $70 a reasonable price? Did you have trouble with tenants when they were being installed? ANY information will be helpful.


#2

Anyone out there willing to share their story?


#3

3/4 Neptune water meters will cost about 46.00 + 10.00 for the adaptors & gaskets. Installation is really simple I did 534 spaces 5 years ago it took an average of about 20 min per meter.

Lee

Manager looking for a new job!!


#4

Maybe I can help. When I developed my park in 1992, we had to go through our local water/sewer department as required by our counties mobile home park ordinances. The cost of the meters back then was $375.00 each. The county I live in gave us an option to sign the installed meters back over to the counties control and they were then responsible for all future maintenance on the meters. I think someone told me they were about $600.00 each now. I would still pay it.

I did hire a plumber on the initial installation. I would check to see if you have any ordinances you would have to meet in your county. $70.00 a meter is very reasonable if you ask me. I have each resident pay their own water and electric bills. I would rather take a little less in rents than tie up my time hunting tenants down to collect everything from rent to unpaid utilites bills.

On one occassion I made an exception and agreed to pay one tenants water and electric bill. This was a big mistake. They don’t try to save, they overuse the utilites and stick the landlord with the bill. If they have to pay it themselves however it is a different story. They are less likely to leave the heat sat on 90* and they are more likely to call the Landlord for simple water leaks if they know they may get stuck paying a high water bill. The only draw back to that is if they are trying to keep pets they don’t want you aware of.

I had a friend who owned a small mobile home park and he was stuck paying high water bills, gas bill,s and electric bills. He went out of business. He couldn’t keep eating the cost and he had to sell out.

So by all means if and when and where ever you can, make them put all utilites in their own name. I promise you, you will get back your investment and save yourself a lot of headaches. Also the county I live in will adjust each tenants water bill once a year if a major leak occurs. If the Landlord has it in their names, the same is true. However, if you have say two different tenants for the same property in one year, then they would give each tenant an adjustment on their bill, whereas the Landlord would only get the one adjustment. I hope this helps.


#5

I have a park in SC and had the same water problem. The costs were extremely prohibitive to go to city water, since we needed an engineering evaluation and complete re-plumbing of the park water lines, not to mention the costs of the meters, installation, etc.

I ended up shopping meters and came up with Utility Supply Group as my lowest price. I paid less than $40 per meter for good brass meters, but it took some tough negotiations. I have since turned several people on to USG. If you go with those meters, ask for Gordon and tell him Michael Krever from Blue Granite Estates in Florence referred you to him. His phone number is (800) 800-2811. He may give you the rock-bottom price.

I hired a handyman type person and paid him $12 per meter installation. He normally makes $15/hour, so he was happily making good money from me at a rate of one installation per 1/2 hour. win/win.

The residents in the park know their water is being monitored and the usage has been cut dramatically. The meters have already paid for themselves many times over since we installed them in June of '05.

As Cherry stated, I would look into the option of having city water brought in if that is feasible in your park. It will bring up the value and relieve you of many headaches in the long run. Remember though that it takes a substantial initial investment that will take some time to recoup.

Good Luck,

Michael Krever


#6

I just installed 24 meters in park I bought 2 years ago. The meters

were about 70.00 each and I paid my plumber 200.00 per unit

labor . This included installing all new water lines. After I sent out

letters informing tenants that we would be charging for water

usage my bill was reduced by 40%. Now when a tenant has a

leak they call right away. All together it cost me about 8k. It should

take about 21 months to recoup cost.


#7

I used a local Co. (National Water Works) to purchase most of my water meters from, Meters were about $35 themselves last time I bought , I ended up with about $70 in all with the meter boxes ,cut offs and proper fittings , paid a handy man $50 ea. to install inground in meter boxes.

And yes depending on how out of controll your water problem is this will defanantly help and and cut your expences by billing out the water/sewer/trash to the tennants.

Had a situation in my earler years where the water was so out of control that the bill was pushing $6000 , when the meters were instaled and the tennants started having to pay for there wast the bill came down to an average of $2000

Just my experiances and thoughts,

Ricky Roland


#8

Hi there, I thought I might be able to help with your question. My husband installs water meters. He’s done over 10,000. They can even read and bill if you want. The number is 800-697-9096 ex 14. or his cell. 608-207-5093 His name is Trent… hope this helps, tracy


#9

Make sure you allow for freezing weather - use heat tape or other means to protect the meters. I have abig mess in OK due to the severe weather - lots of broken meters. We use the Neptune T-10. You can buy used from B & B Electrical in Michigan. I think around $30 -$40 per meter.