Meter FAQs

How To Read Your Water Meter

Why lease a fire hydrant meter?

Hydrant meters are leased on a temporary basis. Using a fire hydrant allows water to be drawn from the public water system without returning it to the public sewer system.  Therefore, there are no sewer charges.  Some examples of use are: filling swimming pools, washing streets or filling tanker trucks.

WSSC Water Fire Hydrant Meters May Not Be Used For Potable Water. 

WSSC Water fire hydrant meters can be used in most of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties (Maryland). However, parts of Bowie, Rockville, and all of Poolesville have their own water system and WSSC Water meters cannot be used on their fire hydrants.  Also, on-site fire hydrants (usually solid red or yellow) are not WSSC Water’s property and WSSC Water hydrant meters may not be used on these hydrants.  All WSSC Water fire hydrants are painted with a green top and a white or light gray body with the exception of similarly colored and marked fire hydrants located in Bowie, Maryland.  Bowie owns and maintains these hydrants. 

Fire hydrant meters can be leased from 2 weeks up to a maximum of 6 months.

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What is the difference between a sub-meter and a fire hydrant meter?

A sub-meter is a permanently installed meter that separately records outside water usage that does not return to the public sewer system for treatment.  A sub-meter is recommended for anyone using large amounts of water for maintaining a pool, landscaping or gardening.

A Fire Hydrant Meter is a temporary use meter drawing water from the WSSC Water system.  Hydrant meters are recommended for customers who require water at sites where no permanent metered connection is available.  Examples for use are washing streets or filling tanker trucks. 

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Can I install a sub-meter?

** Important:  The homeowner/plumber MUST contact WSSC Water to schedule the sub-meter installation.  WSSC Water​ will not read or credit any water that registers on a NON WSSC sub-meter. 

No.  When you decide you want to get a sub-meter, the following process is recommended:

  1. Contact at least three WSSC Water registered plumbers in your service area for estimates on modifying your existing pipe-work to accommodate the meter.
  2. Hire the WSSC Water registered plumber.
  3. The plumber applies for the necessary WSSC Water permit. 
  4. The plumber makes the necessary modifications to your existing pipe-work.
  5. The plumber schedules an inspection of his/her work through WSSC Water's Regulatory Services Group.
  6. WSSC Water inspects and leaves an "Approved" sticker on or near the new pipe-work.
  7. The plumber orders the meter and is given the scheduling office phone number for the county where the work was performed.  This number is then provided to you to schedule a meter installation.
  8. An adult 18 or older must be home during the agreed date and time so the meter can be installed.

Generally, this process may take 7 to 14 days; the meter installation takes about 30 minutes.  | Sub-Meter Information

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How do I get a new Small Meter installed after inspection? 


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How do I get meter wire and tags?

Effective immediately, all appointments to obtain Meter Wire and Tag must be scheduled in advance of pick-up. The WSSC Water’s Materials Management Division (Warehouses) will transfer meter wire and/or associated tags to a Master Plumber who provides a valid driver’s license and a copy of the Certificate of Registration (WSSD Card). Alternatively, a Master Plumber can designate up to six representatives to act on his/her behalf by submitting a formal letter on company letterhead to a the following email address: ( The designated representatives are permitted to pick-up meter wire/tags with a valid driver’s license, copy of the Certificate of Registration (WSSD CARD), and a copy of the formal letter. The following allowances remain in effect:

Anacostia Warehouse (Hyattsville, MD) :

  • The allowances for Meter Wires and Tags per pick-up will be up to 10 spools and 10 packs of tags.

Gaithersburg, Lyttonsville, and Temple Hills Depots:

  • The allowances for Meter Wires and Tags per pick-up will be up to 3 spools and 3 packs of tags

What information do I need to order a new meter? 

Registered plumbers will need to provide the following information: name, address, phone number, their registration or license number, permit number, meter address,  lot and block or parcel number, meter size and location. Please use the attached PDF document as a reference when ordering meters. 

Note to Plumbers or persons scheduling new meter installations via always check “Delivery and Read” receipt.  You should receive a confirmation email that your Request has been processed and forwarded to the appropriate Depot.  Confirmation email will contain a primary and secondary point of contact that should be utilized after 5 days.

Contacts Lists


Primary Contact:

Secondary Contact: 
Temple Hills Jesus Empaynado
Gregory Fitch
Anacostia   Tim Gormley
Ronald Butler
Lyttonsville David Alfred
Christin Patterson
Gaithersburg  Sean Kelly
Rutland Jones

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How many days will it take to get my meter installed? 

After processing your meter order, the depot for your area has up to five days to install the meter. To set up an appointment you will need to contact the individual depot to schedule a date.

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What if I have questions regarding my new meter permit? 

Please contact our Permit Unit at 301-206-4003.

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What is the “release date?”

That is the date your plumber completed the work and WSSC Water inspected and accepted your plumber’s work. 

Who do I contact if I do not have a release date?

For residential accounts, please contact Jeff Andrews at 301-206-4232.  For contract jobs and sub-division work, please contact our Development Services Group at 301-206-8650.

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What is a remote reading device?

A remote reading device is a small box-shaped device (about the size of a deck of playing cards) that allows WSSC Water to obtain your meter reading without entering the property.  The remote is not a meter rather it is attached to your inside meter via an electrical wire.  The wire transmits the inside main meter reading to the remote on the outside wall.  Visual remotes are read like your car odometer.  Electronic remotes can not be read.  We recommend a remote reader for all inside meters to avoid the need for estimated billing. 

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Will WSSC Water install the remote reading device?

Yes.  There are no fees associated with installing the remote unless the property’s unique plumbing configuration is not compatible with the remote.  If an unfinished area prevents WSSC Water from installing the remote, a homeowner can, at their expense, contact a registered plumber to install the remote.    The remote is usually installed on the property’s outside wall as close to the inside meter as possible. 

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Does it cost to replace or repair the meter?

WSSC Water will replace a meter due to mechanical issues or simple aging.  However, an inside water meter must be consistently heated to no less than 55° Fahrenheit to prevent it from freezing.  If the water inside the meter freezes causing a frost bottom leak, we will charge a Damaged Meter Fee that will depend on the meter size. 

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How long will the meter change take?

A standard meter replacement takes about 30 minutes. If an inside meter is being replaced with a remote reading device, then the installation generally requires 45 - 60 minutes.

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How do I schedule or cancel my appointment? 

All customers are provided with their area’s already established 4-hour time frame.  You must agree to the 4-hour time frame and to have an adult 18 or older at the property during the appointment.  Once you are provided this information, our agents will advise that if for any reason an adult is not at the property when we arrive, a “missed appointment fee” will be billed to the account.  Fees vary. 

To schedule or cancel an appointment, or if you have questions, please contact an agent at 301-206-4001, 1-800-634-8400, or contact us online.  An appointment must be canceled the day prior to the appointment to avoid the missed appointment fee.  (Please call an agent to cancel the appointment.) 

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How do I get to the leasing facilities?

Please refer to our Directions page for facility directions

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