By: Roger White
As spring approaches and temperatures begin fluctuating, SaskEnergy is warning homeowners to be careful of damage to their natural gas meters and rooftop heating equipment.
Crews are called out every year to repair damage to equipment that could have been easily avoided, SaskEnergy Spokesperson Casey MacLeod said.
“Each year, particularly after heavy snowfall like we just had over the weekend, we seem to get calls,” MacLeod said. “It is usually people who may have run into their meter with a snowblower or bobcat.”
MacLeod said some homeowners are unaware of where their natural gas meters are located and pile huge amounts of snow over them.
“Businesses that have rooftop units, or even units that are located on the sides of homes are prone to damage,” she said. “When the snow melts off the roof, it drips down and we have been called out to find meters completely encased in snow and ice.”
MacLeod said all units are equipped with built-in regulators to control pressure within fittings and pipes around the meter. These regulators are designed to open briefly to relieve any excess pressure which ensures the equipment is operating as it should.
“If that regulator freezes over, and cannot perform its function properly, it could cause safety issues,” MacLeod said.
The simplest way to avoid damage to your equipment is to keep an eye on your meters, regulators and shut off valves to make sure they are free of snow, MacLeod said. If snow is surrounding the unit, but not ice, remove the snow by hand to ensure no damage happens.
“If you notice a buildup of ice on your natural gas meters, don’t try to break it off yourself as you could do more damage,” she noted. “If there is buildup, call SaskEnergy and we will send a technician who will do a safety check on the equipment then steam the ice off.”