Venting about the need to clear your meters

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When you buy a house that is almost 90 years old, you expect to have a few issues. One that I did not expect, but am glad was caught, was a blockage in my gas meter vent.

During a routine boiler tune-up, the contractor immediately noticed the valve on our gas meter that regulates pressure was stuck from debris. This caused the gas pressure we were getting to be significantly lower than what was needed for my gas appliances to work efficiently. The pressure was so low he was surprised we were getting enough natural gas pressure to run more than one appliance at a time.

A DTE Gas technician was at our house the next day and confirmed what our contractor told us, the vent was plugged by debris. A plugged vent meant we were getting reduced pressure, meaning our appliances were not operating efficiently and could lead to carbon monoxide exposure. The repair was done in a few minutes and a new item was added to my winter to-do list, make sure my outside vent, electric and gas meters are clear of snow and debris every time I shovel snow.

Clearing the meters is a simple task. Make sure there is a path to the meter in case a technician needs to access the meters. Carefully remove any ice hanging from your roof that could fall onto your meters. Use a brush, small broom or your hands to remove any ice or snow buildup. Do not use sharp object, hot water, salt or any ice melting chemicals to remove buildups so meters do not corrode, which can lead to meter failure.

Now that our vent has been repaired, my family has noticed our hot-water heater more consistently delivers hot water and the boiler is a lot quieter while heating the house more quickly. My mom’s annual Christmas cookie baking day with my daughter and sister went off without a hitch. Most importantly to me, our house is a little safer.

How to keep your meters clear