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Separating water lines into condo units where building only has a main line

Separating water lines into condo units where building only has a main line

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  #1  
Old 07-30-19, 11:30 AM
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Separating water lines into condo units where building only has a main line

34 units in the building.
The water bill is ~$4k/month.
Rather than raising the monthly fee to have everyone cover the cost of the wasteful units, we want to be able to bill water per unit.
The building is configured such that there's one main building pipe running through the building and no main unit line per unit that then separates (into kitchen, tub, toilet, etc.)
In other words, the main building line has several individual lines going to each fixture within a unit.
Only one quote so far to reconfigure the main building line to add a main unit line that then separates into the fixtures within the unit.

Is there any cheaper way to solve this problem and bill per unit?
 
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Old 07-30-19, 01:13 PM
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reconfigure the main building line to add a main unit line that then separates into the fixtures within the unit.
And add a meter at each unit? That's a lot of meters and cost.

If you are going to obtain that many meters and if the existing piping is such that each group of pipes into a unit is clustered, you might be able to insert a meter on the main line between each set of unit pipes and then calculate usage by each unit. The first meter (on the main line) measures all the water passing through it. The second meter measures all the water after the first unit. The third meter measures all the water beyond the second unit, and so on. Meter #1 minus meter #2 is the usage by the first unit. Meter #2 minus meter #3 is the usage by the second unit, etc.

Seems like a lot of cost and complication. Who pays for the initial installation (a lot of work and meters)? Who manages the calculating and billing? How do you enforce payment?

The installation of low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets and a good education program might be a better alternative. Your local water company may have a conservation program that can survey your units and make recommendations, provide flow restrictors, etc.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 04:55 PM
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Before spending any money on this project, I would seek an opinion if it is even legal for you to bill the tenants. I see a lot of possible issues on a project like this and none of them are good, the biggest issue being initial cost.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 10:36 PM
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I'll just throw this out there -- you should check all the toilets with food coloring and make sure that the water level in the tanks is below the overflow. Bad flappers waste a lot of water.
 
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Old 07-31-19, 05:33 AM
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Not understanding how the water lines run in your building. If there is one supply line per unit you can easily add your own flow meters. If not, then significant work is required.

Here is a cheap flow meter that works well. https://www.moen.com/flo?utm_source=...SAAEgKphvD_BwE
 
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Old 07-31-19, 06:59 AM
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There are companies that do this:

https://www.enercare.ca/commercial/t...ring-solutions

The above company is Canadian but I am sure if these guys are searching for business like this in Canada today, then they have probably been doing it in the US for years. Perhaps even this one has a US operation. They might even be an American company that expanded, for all I know.

I believe these guys organize the plumbing, install the meters, etc. I always assumed they did it on a monthly fee, like they do with renting hot water heaters but you would have to contact them to find out.
 
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Old 07-31-19, 07:12 PM
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If separate water piping wasn't in the original bldg design, separating it now would cost almost as much as a complete re-pipe. More if the units don't have their own water heaters. Check the toilets.
 
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