Gas meters can be broken down into two main categories; standard and non-standard. Which category a meter falls into depends on two things: the service pressure of the gas in the mains and the maximum gas load required by a customer. We have experienced installers that can complete an installation of both styles of gas meter.
Metering which falls under the scope of 'standard' is always low pressure and can be defined as off the-shelf and very readily available. Standard gas meters can deliver a maximum of around 1680 kW/h." These standard meters are manufactured by a number or companies, including Actaris, and therefore vary slightly. Models that can be fitted by our gas meter installers are U6, U16, U25, U40, U65, U100 and U160.
You will require a non-standard gas meter if you have a service pressure which is medium, intermediate, or high. A non-standard meter is also necessary if you have a gas load greater than approximately 1680 kW/h. Many non-standard meters are subject to longer lead times because they are often designed to order from new and subsequently produced on receipt of an order.
A gas meter is required at the termination point of any gas connection to obtain gas. This is for two principal reasons: to regulate the pressure leaving the meter to 21mb under normal operating circumstances, and to act as a tool to measure the amount of gas a customer consumes from the network, so that an appropriate bill can be issued by the supplier.
Industry regulations state that a gas meter should provide an operating pressure of 21mbar, in other words, when the meter is in use and appliances are working. On occasion, if a customer needs greater pressure and the service pressure in the mains can support it, then the outlet pressure can be increased with the agreement of the owner. Meters are in effect rented and paid for through gas bills.
It is necessary in the first instance to liaise with a Gas Safe (previously known as CORGI) engineer prior to the installation of a gas meter. This is essential to confirm that a proposed meter location and gas connection termination point is practical, legal and safe, and has adequate ventilation. A low pressure meter can be situated internally within a certain proximity to an external wall, but any other gas meter on a medium, intermediate or high pressure connection will require the meter to be situated externally in a suitable housing (also known as a kiosk). A concrete base is also sometimes required if the meter will be free-standing.
The reason for the external siting of higher-pressure meters is the threat of a gas build-up and explosion. Types of housing include: free standing, bolt on (a box which sits on an external wall), built in (a box which half sits in the cavity wall of a building and half on the outside), and semi-concealed boxes which lie half underground and half above, next to a wall.