Winter Meter Information
Keep Snow and Ice Away From Meters
Whenever we approach the winter season, and the snow begins to fall, Montana-Dakota Utilities encourages customers to inspect their natural gas meter. Check regularly to ensure snow and ice have not built up on the meter. Customers should also inspect the area round the furnace vent to ensure snow and ice are not blocking the vent.
SAFETY REQUIRES CLEAR ACCESS AT ALL TIMES
Please keep the area in front of and around your gas meter clear. This includes the storage of boats, trailers, as well as snow and ice. Our desire is to ensure safe access to the meter and to keep the meter protected.
Why is it important to keep your meter clear of snow and ice buildup?
- Accumulated snow places stress on your meter piping. Damage to the piping can cause a gas leak.
- If there is an emergency, emergency response crews need clear access to your meter.
- Excessive snow cover may result in abnormal pressure, affect appliance operation and interrupt your service.
- Ice and snow may block the electronic reading of your meter. Our desire is to accurately bill your gas usage.
Did you know snow and ice can damage gas meters?
Accumulations of snow and ice can cause the regulator and meter to malfunction and result in a hazardous situation. A buried regulator may become clogged, affecting the supply of gas to the appliances. When melting occurs and the snow becomes wet and heavy, it can put pressure on the meter. This pressure can cause strain on the associated piping. In extreme cases, the possibility exists that the piping could break.
- Meters are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, but remember to protect them from ice and snow buildup during the harsh winter months.
- When removing heavy accumulations of snow or ice, do not strike meters with snow blowers, blades or shovels.
- Do not kick your meter to break or clear ice.
- Protect your meters by removing overhead icicles and snow from eaves and gutters to ensure they do not cause damage as they fall. Also, dripping water can splash and freeze on the meter or vent pipes, which could affect proper operation.
- SAFETY COUNTS – When you dig out your gas meter, please watch for these warning signs.
- SIGHT – a dense fog, mist or white cloud
- SMELL – a distinctive gaseous odor
- SOUND – hissing, whistling or roaring noise
If you believe damage has occurred around the meter or you have no heat or smell gas, call Montana-Dakota Utilities immediately.
All Emergencies – 24-Hour Response – 800-638-3278
Customer Service number 800-638-3278
7:30 A.M. – 6:30 P.M. | Monday – Friday
Snow Removal Safety
Montana-Dakota Utilities urges homeowners and contractors to be careful when operating snow removal equipment.
- Avoid pad-mounted transformers, meters, regulators and other types of equipment necessary for continuous electric and natural gas service. Damage to energized facilities can be dangerous and even fatal. The loss of services from a single accident can affect hundreds of homes and businesses.
- Be careful when piling snow beneath electric lines where children might reach them. Just a quick look up is all it takes to make sure it is safe.
Anyone operating snow removal equipment needs to be aware of objects buried under the snow, which can include natural gas meters and risers located near buildings. The utility infrastructure is not located on roads, driveways or parking lots but can be found on boulevards and near commercial buildings. Take the time to know your boundaries. There could utility services such as your natural gas meter under the snow not far off a driveway or sidewalk.