Water meter freeze protection

I am looking at adding water meters to my park. I should have done this a long time ago. My concern is freeze protection as I’m assuming the meters will be placed below the home. My park is in MN, where freezing can be a big issue. For freeze protection I am thinking about is…placing a tube about 18-24 inches round directly over the water supply between the ground and the home. I would place the meter inside this tube, with just a water line running out of the tube to the homes water hookup. I would then insulate the tube likely inside and out. Does this seem feasible?

Or, it you have another idea altogether, I would love to hear what has worked for you. I would prefer something that uses ground heat rather than electric to protect the meter. I would think the tenant would then heat tape the water line after the meter. Thanks for your ideas!

Also, how do you brace or support the water meter? so that its not just hanging there stressing the connections?

We dig a pit, and use plastic culvert material to create a tube- maybe 24 or so inches. In the bottom fo the tube is a shut off. The line comes up to the meter, which is set on some metal tubes we wedge in cross-ways in the culvert. We wrap the meter and some of the line below the meter- then all the rest of the lines exposed under the home with heat tape and insulation. Then we stuff insulation on top of the meter, so it is not exposed to any cold, swirling air under the home.

If your meter is out side of the home- the coolest set up I have seen are large metal boxes, the size of a foot locker. These are insulated and the water fed line comes in from under the box. In the box is there meter, and the line comes out the side- heat taped and wrapped, and over tot he home.

Heat tape is key along with the lines being well insulated.


I see you are using heat tape, I was hoping to prevent that as I can already hear my tenants complaining about having to pay for the electric use of the heat tape for MY water meter. Oh well I guess. Also, my hydrants exit right at ground level, I would like to add the water meter right to the top of that, so digging a hole to put the meter under ground level could be a bit difficult. I think I might just mount the water meters in the best stable mounted position I can above ground, add heat tape to it, then plug into the tenants home. I will then add into my lease that the tenant is responsible for heat tape electric. I’m going to wait until we thaw before I add the meters, but I sure am excited to see the results. Right now I am paying $800/mo for 17 units for water and sewer.

It is possible to put heat tape on a temperature-activated switch…


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I though all heat tape had a thermostat built in- it should only kick on when it is below like- 40 I think

They do.

The best set up I have seen so far are the meters installed inside the homes water heater compartment. Remote read is then wired to the outside of the home.

Jim. Do you have on photos of your setup? My parks are in Pennsylvania. I’m looking to make some improvements this year after this winter. We had homes that had insulated risers and supply lines with heat tapes but they still froze. Of course, this probably was the coldest winter that I can recall in my lifetime. 

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Hi Picassomcp,
What method of installation did you decide on? I’m looking into installing meters as well and am trying to figure out the best way to do it.