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Protect Your Meter During Harsh Winter Weather

Natural gas meters might be located inside or outside the building, with indoor gas meters vented to the outside. Although outdoor natural gas meters and equipment are designed to withstand winter weather conditions, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice, icicles falling from your eaves, or water dripping from your roof and freezing on your meter can present a safety hazard. In addition to snow and ice build-up around the fresh air and exhaust vents for gas appliances might cause equipment to malfunction, and could possibly create a hazardous carbon monoxide situation due to poor venting. To avoid problems, follow some basic tips:

1. Keep your meter clear of snow and ice

  • Make sure your meter is visible at all times and accessible for maintenance and emergency responders, like Columbia Gas service personnel, meter readers and firefighters.
  • Never let snow completely cover your meter.
  • 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 in 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 your gas meter is completely encased in ice, or if you think there's a potential problem with the piping or equipment, call Columbia Gas.

2. Keep your eaves troughs clear

  • Icicles hanging from your eaves trough, water dripping from your roof, or freezing rain can create an icy build-up on your gas meter and connections.
  • Remove icicles from overhangs.
  • Protect your meter from dripping water that could freeze on meter piping.

3. 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 can 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.

Why it's important to keep your meter clear

  • Accumulated snow places stress on your meter piping, and damage to the piping can cause a gas leak. 
  • In case of emergency, emergency response crews need clear access to your meter.
  • Blocked vents might create abnormal pressure, affect appliance operation, and interrupt service.