What Size Gas Meter Do I Need?

2nd April 2013 written by Richard Hearne in the category Gas Articles

Unlike electricity, where a small number of meters will accommodate most users’ power consumption needs, there are many different makes, models, and sizes of gas meter specifically designed for the maximum usage a customer requires.


How to determine gas meter size

To establish the size of meter you require depends on two main factors:


  • The first is the pressure in the gas mains (low or medium).


  • The second is the peak demand of gas you require at any given moment. This is also known as a gas load or maximum capacity (in kilowatts, cubic metres/feet per hour, and occasionally Therms or BTUs (British Thermal Units).


Most sites in the UK have a low or medium pressure. If a new gas connection is being laid soon or has recently been installed, the quote paperwork from the works provider should confirm the mains pressure.


If you are unsure about this or the pipe was laid some time ago, 1Gas can arrange a free check, also known as a GT1.


More information about a GT1


Gas meter size calculation

To calculate what size gas meter you require will depend on two things. You may however need to find a Gas Safe engineer in your area who can help with this.


  • First, the distance from the gas meter to appliances may have a bearing on whether you need a bigger meter, because gas pressure drops over distance travelled.


  • Also, the number and type of appliances fitted at a property that use gas will need to be taken into account. All gas using equipment needs to be added together to create a total demand for a property, which allows checks to be made that the pipe and meter are sufficient in size.


Typical household estimates

A typical household may require 30 kilowatts (kW) as a maximum peak demand. A typical condensing boiler for hot water and central heating may use 20 kW, a gas fire may use 5 kW, and a gas hob (and/or oven) may use another 5 kW.


The size of house, number of bedrooms, and number of radiators vary from property to property, so it’s important to get it right.


Typical commercial calculations

A commercial, or non-domestic, building could use much more gas. A small office or shop may have a similar gas load requirement to a house, if just heating and hot water are used.


A fast food outlet or takeaway could use anywhere between 70 kW and 150 kW, and this is usually similar for a restaurant. Schools and nursing homes could use up to 1000 kilowatts at any given time or more. A factory may use many thousands of kilowatts extra. No two sites are the same.


In summary, there isn’t one size of meter that fits all, so it’s important to check with the help of a Gas Safe engineer that your gas pipe connection and meter can pass through the volume of gas you require. If a mistake is made, it could be costly and time consuming to put right.


If you have any questions about gas pipe and meter connections, please contact our team today.


Greg Kitchen says:

hi I have a b&b so have a normal size gas meter I am thinking of upgrading my home oven to a commercial oven which would require 72kw and a 3/4 inch pipe would it be possible

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