Where a gas meter is required and in an external location, a meter housing (also known as a box or kiosk) is required. This is for two primary reasons, to protect the gas meter from the weather and to help secure it from being tampered with or damaged.
There are a range of different gas meter housings on the market which vary dependant on pressure in the gas mains, the location, and the size of the meter.
The different models available include: semi-concealed (also known as semi-buried or ground box), surface mounted (also known as wall mounted or bolt-on), built in (also known as recessed or cavity box), and freestanding (also known as wall adjacent).
Most meter housings are made from plastic which doesn’t rot or corrode and is very weather resistant. Some models are also made from glass-reinforced plastic. We talk about the specific meter boxes in more detail below:
Designed to be discrete, the semi-concealed meter housing is usually brown in colour and can be installed at the base of a wall or building and has a tapered lid.
It is not suitable where the top of the box could be an obstruction, trip hazard, or exposed to damage by vehicles.
As the name suggests, it is to a large part concealed by being buried below ground, with the lid above ground with potentially as little as 100mm of the box visible depending on how deep it is fitted.
The gas meter may require the reading dials to be visible from a vertical position rather than horizontal. Only a domestic size U6 gas meter is suitable for this type of installation. A U6 meter is required in most houses or small commercial sites.
Usually green, white or brown coloured, the back plate of this box is bolted to the wall of a property and mounted on the bracket.
It is popular for converted properties or buildings which don’t have a cavity wall. The whole of the housing is external to the wall. This installation can accommodate three sizes of gas meter: U6, U16 and U25.
Usually white in colour, these boxes must be fitted by a builder at time of constructing a property or later by removing bricks.
The house is fitted into the cavity wall with a small amount exposed from the wall of abuilding. They usually only accommodate a U6 gas meter.
Siting of the box must be between 50 cm and 100 cm above ground level and also above any damp course. It’s also important that the box will not be in danger of being knocked by vehicles which could cause a gas leak.
No additional holes should be made through the plastic and any signs of damage should ensure a replacement product is sourced.
Free standing meter housings come in many different shapes and sizes.
The two most common reasons for requiring a stand alone meter kiosk is for large gas using sites (and the subsequent large meter) which would not be suitable on a wall.
The other reason is where a medium pressure gas main exists rather than low pressure. Medium pressure gas is more dangerous.
In case of explosion, it is safe to have some distance of more than a metre between the box and a property.
Green and brown are the most common colours, but sometimes bespoke colours can be manufactured such as grey.
Larger meter boxes may have to be bespoke made due to the size and site requirements.