A gas meter measures the flow and volume of either natural gas or propane usage, depending on your property. Natural gas meters are most preferred and have been working well in residential properties for over 50 years. If you notice a drastic rise or fall in your gas usage, it’s time for a professional to investigate for a leak or other lurking issue. On a residential property, the gas meter will be likely located on an exterior side of the house. If you suspect a gas leak, head straight to the gas meter to shut off the gas to your entire home until the specific location of the leak can be pinpointed. The leak may be coming from the furnace, the water heater, or the stove. Each of these pieces of equipment has its own individual shut off valve.
Gas Shutoff Valves
Your gas system has two different shutoff valves, master shutoff and supply shutoff. Master shutoff valves stop the flow of gas to the whole home, while a supply shutoff, sometimes called an individual shutoff, cuts off gas to specific areas or appliances. If you have natural gas, the master shutoff valve will be found on the gas meter itself. If you use propane, you will find the shutoff valve attached at the tank. Either way, the main valve is usually simple to locate once you’ve found the gas meter.
Types of gas valves:
- Street-side gas valve
- House-side gas valve
- Supply valves
Hiller provides expert advice on how to prevent residential gas leaks. We can also help you locate your gas meter, and answer any questions you may have. A Hiller professional can perform a safety inspection in the event of a lurking leak or oddity in your gas usage as detected by reading your gas meter. Gas leaks should be taken seriously. Unfortunately it can be a common, and potentially deadly issue faced by many homeowners.
Potential Causes of a Gas Leak:
- Poorly fitted appliances, typically dealing with the gas hose, leading gas to escape
- Aging appliances need to serviced or replaced to avoid gas leaks; older appliances are more likely to be faulty
What to look for:
An undetected gas leak has many health hazards associated with it, including carbon monoxide poisoning, gas fires (or explosions!). You can’t smell natural gas, so if you’re waiting for that stereotypical “rotten egg” smell people speak about, this will not be the case. Dizziness and nausea while in the home are often signs of a gas or carbon monoxide problem.
Gas Safety Tips From Hiller
There’s no full proof way to avoid a gas leak, but these safety tips sure will help.
- Annual maintenance – Have your gas appliances checked by a professional yearly. Additionally, have your appliances tested for safety standards.
- Be aware of health symptoms – As already mentioned, headaches and dizziness when inside are related to gas and carbon monoxide overload. This must be detected and fixed before those inside lose consciousness!
- Appliances show symptoms, too – Check for warning signs that your appliances are having an issue, such as always making sure you see a blue flame (not orange) when you use your gas stove or checking for condensation buildup on the inside of your windows.
- Install a working carbon monoxide alarm – All homes should contain a functioning carbon monoxide alarm. It will go off when levels reach above what it healthy for humans to breathe.
- Professional inspections for new properties – If you are moving to a new house or buying a new property, have the appliances and gas system checked to make sure everything is up to code.
So, now that we've reviewed all the basics, it's ready-set-locate your gas meter and shutoff valves!Join theHappy Hiller Club!
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