moving a gas meter

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  #1  
Old 10-22-03, 03:10 PM
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moving a gas meter

Hi,

I'm refinishing my basement and I'd like it if my gas meter (which is inside) were over near the furnace and water heater, rather than on the wall at the bottom of the stairs. It currently has a huge web of pipe lengths and elbows that span in all different directions for no apparent reason. I think the installer was just using the bits of pipe he had available (this was 60 years ago).

So, any structure built around this thing would have a footprint of at least 2'x4'. That's a lot of space to just write off in my small basement.

Sooo, the gas company said they could come out and move it for a substantial fee. Are they the only ones who can do this, or could a good plumber also do it? I suppose they would need to be able to shut off the gas at the street. I doubt my water supply street wrench will fit the gas line as well. If I get estimates and they suggest flexible gas tubing, should I be wary, or is the flex stuff just as good as rigid?

Having never worked with gas before, I'm eager to learn; however, I don't think my meter is the right place to start. I think I'll start with the stove when I remodel my kitchen, or maybe the water heater when I switch to a tankless.

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-22-03, 03:28 PM
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There the only ones who can move the meter.
 
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Old 10-22-03, 09:21 PM
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The gas company owns the meter -- THEY are the only ones who can move it!
 
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Old 10-23-03, 06:44 AM
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Typically the gas meter is connected with as few "extra" pcs as possible. You (or a plumber) should have no problem shutting off the gas at the meter, and cleaning up the mess around (since I'm guessing that most extra pipes are after the meter).
 
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Old 10-23-03, 08:48 PM
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lilfos,

If you are talking about leaving the meter where it is and altering the pipes downstream (after) the meter, then call a plumber. Like I've said before, gas is NOT a DIY project -- leave it to a licensed plumber who carries a substaintial amount of liability insurance. Water is somewhat forgiving if you DIY and have a leak. GAS ISN'T!!

But if you are talking about moving the meter itself, call the gas company. Like I said, it's their meter, and the pipes TO it are theirs as well. If you 'gasped' when you found out how much they wanted to move the meter, you would CROAK when you got the bill for moving it without their people doing the work!!
 
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Old 10-23-03, 10:35 PM
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It is certainly possible to DIY gas lines Ė I have done this many times. If you chose to do so you need to understand the risks involved and be confident in your abilities. If you any doubts call a gas tech or licensed plumber.

That said if you choose to do so I would suggest you buy yourself an electronic gas detector and a manometer. Especially if you have not worked with gas lines before you may have a gas leak that is small that cannot be detected by leak detection fluid Ė best option is the electronic detector. You should also learn to understand and calculate gas flow/pressure and understand the gas flow equation or tables. Again if you plan to do this try to get yourself a copy of the Gas Code book.

Iíve also done what you plan to do which is to install a tankless water heater. Especially in this case you will need to undertake gas flow calculations before you start the project to make sure that the gas lines can support the flow. If not they will need to be resized.

Having said all this I fully agree with the others about the meter. This is owned by the gas company and only they can move it. I donít think you have any other option.
 
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Old 10-23-03, 10:49 PM
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Millions of people have altered their gas piping, and most have been lucky enough for the project to be successful. Just be aware of the downside.

If you choose to alter the piping yourself, and there's a leak, there will probably be a subsequent fire and/or explosion. IF that happens, there will be an investigation, either from your local fire dept. or from your homeowners insurance co. IF all of that happens, and the insurance co. figures out that you did the alterations yourself (probably without a permit and the subsequent bldg. inspection), you homeowners insurance co. won't pay the claim for damages.

Your choice -- pay the plumber a few hundred dollars and have the job done properly, or risk self-insuring your $200K or $400K house.
 
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Old 10-26-03, 09:10 AM
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Thanks everyone,

From your advice and from a conversation I had with a highly-recommended plumber, I think I'll have a plumber prepare the new gas lines and then have the gas company do the actual meter move. The gas company will just have to disconnect the meter at one end and re-attach it at the other end. That way, I can work with someone who is used to interacting with homeowners and who listens to special requests, instead of a utility company crew who does most of their work for builders and city engineers.

Sounds like gas work can be quite a hassle. I think plumbing codes and sizing requirements are pretty easy to follow, but when it comes to gas, I don't feel like dealing with leak detectors and manometers...or the constant worry that there's a tiny leak somewhere. I think I'll shell out the money for peace of mind and then spend my time cutting trenches and laying plumbing for my new wet bar, laundry room, and french drain.
 
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Old 10-26-03, 11:48 AM
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Yo will find out that the gas company may have to do more than just move the meter. Depending on how your gas company operates, located with the meter may be a line regulator that requires an outside vent. Since it is supply side equipment the gas company will handle it, but do not expect they will be done in 5 minutes.
 
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Old 10-26-03, 01:25 PM
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Where I live (Cinergy) will work with the plumber and a Normac riser is set in the new proposed location with a new line system from meter at curb. From that point the plumber can run future lines from riser into home and provide the future use of the new gas line system in coordination with the gas company and homeowner.
 
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