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I have been on a deep well for over 30 years but now need to hook up to the county water line.

My house is 4,400 sq. feet.

Should I use a 5/8 inch or 1 inch meter?

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  • Meter? Do you mean pipe? are they giving you an option to chose ? MORE INFO is needed. If you mean meter is the utility giving you an option ?
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 6, 2020 at 19:32
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    Bigger is always better in situations like this, if the cost isn't too much. Jul 6, 2020 at 19:42
  • I agree with George, I go bigger on plumbing from my well and when replacing water mains I use 1” almost always from the meter to the house, I like my hose to spray far enough to get my grand kids at a full run for a good 5-10 seconds. @4k sf you probably have a fair sized yard and more pressure/flow makes watering less work.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 6, 2020 at 20:01
  • Does your county publish a set of water rules and regulations? Local authorities can be rather bewilderingly idiosyncratic on this front.... Jul 6, 2020 at 23:30
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    Is your house 1 story or 2 story? Is your house located uphill or downhill from the county line?
    – Lee Sam
    Jul 7, 2020 at 13:19

2 Answers 2

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So far as I can tell 5/8 is a common meter size for residential water connections in the US. It'll often be connected to a 3/4 inch pipe. It's normal for the meter size to be smaller than the pipe size.

Some utility providers charge a different base rate according to the size/capacity of the meter (or the pressure delivered, in the case of natural gas). If your water utility imposes a higher recurring monthly charge for the larger meter then it would make sense to take the smaller meter -- unless for some reason you'll require unusually high GPM flow (irrigating a very large yard with the culinary water, for example).

The utility should be able to advise how many GPM can be provided/expected with each of the meters; you should be able to produce at least a rough estimate of your GPM needs by summing the bathing and other water uses that might occur simultaneously.

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  • You're overlooking something here, namely that this is a grand time for the OP to get a service line installed now that's appropriately sized for a NFPA 13D fire sprinkler system down the road -- the single biggest cost item of a fire sprinkler retrofit in a dwelling is having to upsize the existing water service to handle 25-30GPM of flow at a reasonable pressure drop. Jul 6, 2020 at 23:32
  • @ThreePhaseEel I don't disagree.. Whether to carry water, air, or wires, I'm often one to vote for a larger-than-necessary pipe when it isn't economically infeasible to upsize. But OP's question was specifically about the meter size. If the monthly recurring charge is the same for 5/8 and 1 then choose the large meter. Otherwise, size the pipe generously, choose the normal 5/8 meter for now, save money every month (lower monthly base charge), and swap to the larger meter if necessary if/when retrofitting for fire sprinklers down the road.
    – Greg Hill
    Jul 6, 2020 at 23:45
  • That's where the local jurisdictional idiosyncrasies come in...your water main might not be big enough to support the correct size tap for the size of service line you want, or your utility might require the fire sprinklers be tapped after the meter instead of before the meter. There are even utilities that require a separate fire service line, even for a single family dwelling, sometimes even with a second meter. And that's before we get into backflow prevention or multipurpose systems! Jul 6, 2020 at 23:50
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When I built my house 22+ years ago, I had to make the same decision. I chose the 5/8" since there was an "up-charge" for the next size larger which would be charged every month. The 5/8" meter has done a good job except when I tried to water my new lawn using more than 2 hoses connected to sprinklers. I noticed a drop in water pressure when a third hose was used. Also, if someone is showering when the clothes washer is filling there is a slight drop in pressure and flow. This is something that I can accept when I consider the extra charge every month for the larger water meter. The water line coming from the street to the house is 3/4" as is all the main lines in the house. I had the plumber run all 3/4" lines and would not accept any 1/2" tees only 3/4X1/2 reducing tees to serve any individual sink or device. The water supply pressure is a constant 75PSI to the house. I am happy with my decision. my 2 cents

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