Peoples Gas is advising its customers to carefully clear the area around their natural gas meters and regulators to help ensure their proper and continuous operation. Simply brushing deep snow away from the meter and regulator with a broom is sufficient.
Deep snow or ice build-up by the meter and regulator could affect their operation, potentially causing such equipment to malfunction. In addition, additional stress to the meter, regulator, and piping from the weight of snow and ice could also cause a malfunction. Snow and ice buildup around gas meters, in particular, could lead to meter damage and a disruption in energy service. In particular, homes and businesses have snow plowed from driveways, parking lots or access roads, should take care that plow operators do not push wet, heavy snow into gas or electric meters. The meters could become damaged causing service interruptions or, potentially, a natural gas leak.
Customers with high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters that vent through the wall (not into a chimney) should be wary of a buildup of snow or ice around the vent. High-efficiency equipment provides great savings, but a blocked vent could cause the heating system to malfunction by shutting off or, in extreme cases, leading to an accumulation of carbon monoxide in the home. Customers should check the outside vents just to make sure they aren’t covered with snow or ice. Heavy snow and high winds could provide conditions that will result in blocked vents.
As warmer temperatures are expected later this week, melting snow and the formation of icicles on roofs due to warm daytime temperatures and below freezing nighttime temperatures, larger icicles formed above electric or natural gas meters and regulators could damage the meters, regulators, and piping. The melting snow dripping onto the meter regulator set can often encase the regulator in ice causing it to malfunction.
It has been questioned the if snow and ice are a hazard to the natural gas meters and regulators why are they transferring the meters and regulators outside as part of their accelerated main replacement program? Upon calling they could give no answer and residents are not allowed to opt out of having their meters put outside.
March 7, 2013