Water Submeter Install Techniques - Under or Outside of Skirting?

Question on water submeter installs: We have galvanized metal water risers at our park in Tucson, and are looking for the best way to install submeters in our situation. Would love advice from those who have installed in hot weather climates in a tenant-owned home park with older risers. A few other considerations:

  • We are wary of the galvanized metal cracking when we cut into it, but believe we have a crimping tool where we would cut & crimp and install a new ball valve. We could also install PVC/PEX after the crimp as far as needed pretty easily.
  • We’ve used plastic Metron meters at our other park and really like the technology but are wondering if they’ll hold up to the heat. They also need to be installed horizontally which may be tough in this case.
  • We’re reluctant to start opening skirting on tenant-owned homes to install the meters, however it would be good to have the meters protected from the sun and from vandalism. We also need a place to install a hose bib after the meter to account for hose usage.

AZ sun would definitely take its toll on a composite Metron housing. Just inside skirting seems logical.

Some meters can be installed vertically. Check with the manufacture.
You shouldn’t have rust at the gate valve (brass with galvanized won’t rust), just make sure you support the pipe below the valve before twisting, as you may break something below ground.
I would turn off water to park or a section of the park. Disconnect the union, the flex line, or cut the nipple between the valve and the tee. Next, try to remove the old gate valve and replace with a ball valve. Install the meter and then a tee. At the tee install a hose bibb and other side goes to the mobile. At the mobile you will find each space will be different, I doubt every mobile will be hooked up the same way.
I wouldn’t go under the tenant’s mobile. You don’t know what mess of plumbing you could find. Do everything exterior.

Good Luck

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I’ve only found one company online that says they can install their water meters horizontally


it looks like you can even install it underground image

i agree with CAmhp that you really dont want to go under their place; it’s gonna to be a gong show.

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I would venture to say 90+% of meters across the country are not sitting out in the open for the neighbor kid to pound on.

We install Metron meters under the tenant’s home. That protects them from the weather, vandalism, and the lawnmower. I could not imagine having the meter be exposed anywhere other than under the home.


Under home way better. Or you will have problems. Guarantee.

So far we’ve had no issues with direct sun hitting the meters in AZ or Nevada. :slight_smile:
However we always recommend under the home for out of site out of mind to avoid tampering.

Bill B.

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haha, that’s true. having the meters out of sight is your best bet, but sometimes you have to make do with what you got.

You have lots of options.

The best way will be the most expensive. Here’s the best way.

Dig out the Riser from the main. Make the hole approximately 12 x 18. Install a Lockable angle stop
Angle Stop Photo

Then install your meter.
Install a meter box. Concrete is best but pretty expensive.
Plastic Meter box

Jensen precast makes concrete meter boxes.

Install meter etc

Then 90 back up above ground. Hook up everything to the existing plumbing.

This setup will protect again heat and cold.

Some Tools that you may want to buy to make the job easier.

Jet Sweat Stopper

Cold Shot

I would avoid going under their homes. I can just hear it now: " You messed up my skirting" “No you can’t cut a hole in my skirting”


We have 1000’s of MHP sub-meter installs;

For longevity only use sub-meters that are:

  • Exterior PIT RATED,
  • POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT METER. (allows for vertical or horizontal install, along with other benefits)

The existing galvanized pipe is treacherous , maybe wise replace at the least, the exposed piping into PVC or a PLEX type piping.

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

Correct, our meters are approved for many installation orientations. Vertical, horizontal, and sideways are all options. Additionally, our meters are “pit rated”, meaning they are water and weather resistant. In fact, as the pictures shows, the meter and wireless transmitter will still function when they are fully submerged in water.

We’ve installed tens of thousands of meters under the home. Least expensive way to go. Once in a very blue moon has a tenant ever suggested one of our crew messed up skirting, but we have them take a pic before and after the install. :slight_smile:

Those pictures of Metrons meters look so nice - But they don’t work - I made mistake of
installing 55 of them and on any given day , 10 or so don’t give a reading - And 2 froze and broke over the winter ( Metron directions to wrap heat tape along bottom ARE WRONG - wrap heat tape around meter
in cris cross pattern to keep from freezing ) . There follow up service also terrible - Do your homework and
go with other water meter companies

I have over a 100 metrons that work. Heat tape only goes on the bottom side of the meter as there is no water in the top 1/2. Poor installation will result in poor performance. If heat tape fails, meter freezes.

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We have around 700 Metron meters and have had great success with them. We are in the south and do not have to worry about freezing though. The majority of our meters are underneath the homes. On the rare occasion one doesn’t read well we add an antenna to that meter and it resolves the issue. They’re not 100% hands off problem solver, but I imagine no meter is. Overall satisfied with the product and services we’ve received.

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I agree, the heat tape should be wrapped around the meter body. That being said, we also have a temp reading everyday of the meters, so you can place a threshold alert on WaterScope to notify you when a meter goes below the temp you set. So in other words, if you want a notice that a meter dropped below 29 degrees, you would get an email telling you so you can review on WaterScope and see yup this lot went down to 24 degrees and other meters are showing 45 degrees. It’s a pretty good indicator that the homes heat tape has failed.