Winter weather prompts gas meter warning |

Winter weather prompts gas meter warning

Enterprise staff report

Natural gas meters and equipment are designed to withstand winter weather conditions including heavy snow and ice. However, hard-packed snow, icicles falling from eaves, or water dripping from roofs and freezing on meters can create a safety hazard.

What’s more, snow and ice build-up around the fresh-air and exhaust vents for natural gas appliances can cause them to malfunction and create a carbon monoxide hazard.

Keep meters clear

Accumulated snow places stress on meter piping and may damage it, which can cause a gas leak.

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Vents installed through an outside wall need to take in fresh air and let out exhaust to support the safe operation of natural gas appliances. Blocked vents might create abnormal pressure, affect appliance operation, and interrupt service. In case of emergency, emergency response crews need clear access to your meter.

Stay safe with these important tips:

Make sure your meter is visible at all times and accessible for maintenance and emergency responders including gas service personnel, meter readers and firefighters.

Never let snow completely cover your meter.

Check your gas meter, pressure regulator, gas piping and appliance vents regularly to ensure they are clear of snow and ice.

Never use salt, hot water or ice melting chemicals to melt snow or ice build-up on your meter or regulator.

Don’t shovel snow up against your meter.

Where possible, use a broom instead of a shovel to clear snow away from the meter.

Take care using a snow blower or plow near your meter.

Never kick or hit the gas meter or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice. Remove the snow or ice with your hands.

If a gas meter is completely encased in ice, if there’s a potential problem with the piping or equipment causing concerns or questions, call Source Gas 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-563-0012. Please dial carefully — Misdials can connect with a company that is not affiliated with SourceGas who tells customers they have won a gift card but requires a credit card number to claim a prize.

Clear your eaves or gutters ice and icicles

Here are some additional tips from the Greater Eagle Fire Department:

Protect your meter from dripping water that could freeze on the meter and piping.

Keep air supply ducts and vents clear.

Keep vents unobstructed and free of debris. Some direct-vent and high-efficiency appliances have side wall vents and air intakes that could become obstructed during heavy snow fall.

Gas equipment requires air for safe combustion and venting of appliances.

Know where your air supply ducts are and keep them free of snow and ice.

Check that your chimney or roof vent is clear.

If you smell natural gas or suspect a leak, leave the area and call 911

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