What Is An Emergency Control Valve or ECV?

4th January 2013 written by Richard Hearne in the category Gas Articles

IMG_4206-1An Emergency Control Valve (ECV) is a safety mechanism on a gas service pipe connecting a gas meter to the gas mains. Every gas pipe installation and meter should have one.


The ECV is situated where the gas network or gas transporters pipe meets the gas meter.


Its purpose is to control the flow of gas where it should be switched off in the event of an emergency / gas escape, or where there is no gas meter installation already in place.


Occasionally some, older installations may have a missing or corroded valve. This should be treated as an emergency by ringing 0800 111999 immediately.


In the photo, is an example of a meter-less gas connection pipe and the ECV is the red coloured lever.


In recent years it has been necessary for the ECV to be placed before the meter, so that different companies can carry out works on service pipes connecting to mains.


Legislation states that an ECV wheel or lever should be securely fitted. It also advises that a lever should be parallel to the direction or axis of the gas pipe in the open position so make it clear if the valve is turned on or off.


The ECV is normally positioned within two metres of the gas meters or within visual sight of the meter.


If this is not the case, there is a legal requirement for the next engineer passing gas through the installation to make it clear via labelled instructions where the gas should be turned off in the event of danger.


Where a gas meter is removed, the Emergency Control Valve should be sealed with a suitable device to ensure that gas doesn’t leak.


Contact 1Gas for help and advice


Noel Robinson says:

I had a GasSafe inspection yesterday and he said my ecv was not accessible for easy turn off because it was placed between a washing machine and sink cupboard. As it was British Gas who installed my gas fittings, is it not their responsibility to have positioned it better?

zafadmin says:

Hi Noel
I would call British Gas and let them know. They should have put the ECV in a better position.

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