Miami Requires Submeters

Two multi-housing projects – different owners – in Miami-Dade have recently approached us with the same problem. The general contractors of these projects had not budgeted for submeters because in both cases, the MEP had not included submeters in the schematics.

It was not until these properties had displayed mock-up units to their respective Miami-Dade inspectors that they became aware that submeters are required:

Section 5. Section 8A-381 (c) of Miami-Dade County:
The provisions of this article shall apply to multiple unit properties utilizing water services. Effective July 1, 2008, all permit applications for new multi-family residential developments shall be required to include a submeter for each individual dwelling unit.

The vast majority of GCs and multifamily owners in South Florida have been aware of this for years. But in these two cases, the GCs and owners had not previously built multihousing in Miami-Dade.

Submeter Specs in Construction

Most developers of apartment rental and condominium projects are requiring submeters. But all too often, submeter specs included in schematics are inadequate or contradictory.

We’re not sure why but a number of online plans are requiring a laundry list of hardware requirements that simply do not exist in any one set of hardware. For example, one list being used has 16 requirements. Just a few problems with the list:

  • Measuring chamber and measuring element must be easily removable from the main case without removal of meter from the line.
  • Water meter must have a tempered glass lens.
  • Water meters shall have battery operated transmitters with a minimum 5 year average battery life. Battery shall be replaceable without removing water meter from service or replacing transmitter unit.

The first requirement, if understood to mean that the meter must be removable from the flow tube, is a standard feature for some submeters.

Master Meter FAM is removable from flowtube but the register is not glass.



The second requirement is standard on a number of submeters. The third requirement is a standard feature of the industry’s most popular remote read system. But there is no one combination of submeter and transmitter that meets all three of the criteria.

Another list of requirements that we’ve come across requires a specific submeter that is proprietary to a particular Read/Bill/Collect company. If the owner doesn’t mind the potential problem that in the future, only one Read/Bill/Collect company might have access to repair parts, that’s fine. But the specifications state that the owner wants competitive bids from Read/Bill/Collect companies. The requirements are contradictory.

The above are some of the reasons why we thought it would be a good idea to publish a set of manuals for the multihousing and commercial construction industry. On the right of this page is a blue form – fill it out and we’ll email appropriate brochures.