Clear the Snow Around Your Gas Meter

Natural Gas Meter

“Clearing snow and ice away from the gas meter and the external exhaust outlets for your natural gas burning equipment helps ensure that both the meter and your appliances function safely,” said Neil MacNeil, Director Toronto Region Operations, Enbridge Gas. “It also allows us to access the meter in the case of an emergency.”

A gas meter covered in snow or ice can impede its function of controlling the pressure of the gas supplied to a home, which could lead to serious risks. In addition, blocked external exhaust vents can cause the carbon monoxide (CO) emitted by fuel-burning appliances to build up in a home, which is also a significant safety hazard.

Exhaust vents, in particular, often extend out of the side of a home as low as one foot above ground, so they have the potential to get covered and blocked fairly easily without a homeowner’s knowledge, especially when a homeowner is shoveling snow or using a snowblower or when there is a severe snow fall.

CO poisoning incidents from snow-blocked vents are also a risk. These incidents can be fatal, so it’s essential that homeowners are vigilant about keeping their exhaust vents clear.

Upon noticing a gas meter or external appliance vent pipe is covered with snow, please remove the snow carefully with a car brush or broom. Do not scrape the meter or vent pipe with a sharp instrument, as this may cause unintended damage.

Enbridge Gas reminds Ontarians of these additional safety precautions:

  • Do not shovel, plow or blow snow up against the meter or vent pipe.
  • Be careful not to bump your meter with a snow blower.
  • Never kick your gas meter or vent pipes in an attempt to clear ice and snow.
  • Remove any icicles from overhead eaves troughs to ensure dripping water does not splash and freeze on the meter or vent pipe.
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