Winter Weather Meter Protection
Natural gas meters and equipment are designed to withstand winter weather conditions including heavy snow and ice. Hard-packed snow, icicles falling from your eaves, or water dripping from your roof and freezing on your meter can create a safety hazard. Also, snow and ice build-up around the fresh-air and exhaust vents for your natural gas appliances can cause them to malfunction and create a carbon monoxide hazard. Watch this video to see how to properly clean off your gas meter.
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 including Columbia Gas service personnel, meter readers and firefighters.
- Never let snow completely cover your meter.
- Use caution when using a shovel around 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 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 our 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-544-5606.
2. Keep your eaves and gutters clear.
- Remove icicles hanging from your eaves or gutters.
- Protect your meter from dripping water that could freeze on the meter and piping.
- If an abnormal amount of snow has accumulated on your roof, use a shovel to remove and protect the dwelling.
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 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.
Why is it so 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.
If you smell natural gas inside your home, get out immediately. From a safe location, away from the building, call 911 and Columbia Gas of Virginia at 1-800-544-5606.