Installing a gas meter might appear to be a very quick and easy task. In reality it’s not always straight forward or as fast as you might expect.
A gas meter is just one part of a gas installation. To get gas into a property there must be gas mains in the road of footpath near a domestic or commercial building, a gas service connection pipe, a gas meter, and outlet pipework (downstream of a gas meter) which connects to appliances such as boilers or gas fires.
Where there is already a gas pipe in place and a customer asks us for gas meter, there are a few considerations which we need to take into account. The first is whether the gas pipe is live or not. The second is what pressure exists in the gas mains (low, medium, intermediate, or high). The third is what capacity of gas can be passed through the gas pipe if it is live; This is also known as the load or peak demand / consumption (usually measured in kilowatts or KW, but it can also be measured in cubic feet, cubic metres, or BTUs / British Thermal Units).
It’s important we check the gas pipe is live because some older gas pipes can be disconnected by the gas network where a gas pipe is without a meter for more than a year. We need to know the pressure of gas in the mains to ensure we fit the correct meter. The capacity of gas available is crucial to ensure that adequate pressure can be supplied to appliances or they may not function. If you imagine a Restaurant with many ovens requiring 150 kW at any given time, if the gas pipe or meter could only deliver 120 kW, there could be issues with a low flame on appliances or not lighting at all.
To check if a gas pipe is suitable for a meter, we carry out a free gas pipe check (also known in the gas connections industry as a GT1). This allows us to quote for the most suitable meter. The check can take between 2 days and 2 weeks in most cases.
Once we have the results and we have issued a meter quote, if accepted, it is then necessary for a supply agreement or supply contract to put in place with a commercial gas supplier. Examples of gas suppliers include: British Gas, Total, CNG, Total, and Southern Electric.
The subsequent meter installation date is normally within 5 working days, but can be up to 20 working days for much larger meters.