Gas meter regulator clearances have become somewhat of a regular write-up as of late so I thought I would spend a few minutes discussing that topic today.
As with anything else, regulations and rules change on a regular basis. This is no different, I guess. On many occasions I find that the gas meter regulator is way to close to electrical components like the air conditioning unit, telephone communication box or even electrical receptacles or the meter pedestal. I have also had some discussion with the two main gas companies in our area as to what is “required” and what is “recommended”
So to explain it in terms that are understandable here is what is required:
- Minimum 3 feet radial clearance from any source of ignition. (NFPA 54, Section 126.96.36.199).
- Minimum 5 feet horizontal clearance from a pad mounted transformer.
- Minimum 10 feet radial clearance from all non-combustion powered building air intakes including window or wall-mounted air conditioning units and air exchanger conduits.
So as you can see a minimum of three feet is required to anything electrical but 10 feet is required to air intakes and window air conditioning units. A check with your local gas utility is recommended to see if your gas meter installation is in compliance is a good idea.
There is also a long list of recommendations for this installation. These are only recommendations as of this writing, but are a good idea to follow
Recommended Clearances for Acceptable Meter Set Placement:
- Minimum 3 feet radial clearance from all doors and operable windows.
- Minimum 3 feet radial clearance from communications box.
- Minimum 3 feet radial clearance from electric motors and electrical outlets.
- Minimum 3 feet radial clearance from an electric meter.
- Minimum 3 feet radial clearance from water meter remote readers.
- Minimum 3 feet horizontal clearance from all water spigots.
- Minimum 3 feet horizontal clearance from all combustion air intakes.
- Minimum 3 feet horizontal clearance from openings of all exhaust vents.
- Minimum 3 feet horizontal clearance from sealed central air conditioning or heat pump units (including electric box).
- Minimum 6 feet vertical clearance from decks, porches, balconies, and stairs.
- Minimum 6 feet vertical clearance from soffit vent opening.
So as you can see they are a little fuzzy on what a source of ignition is. Best practice is to follow all of these recommendations. In most cases the gas meter doesn’t need to be relocated, only the vent termination would need to be moved which can be accomplished with PVC or other approved materials.
These requirements are set by the national fuel gas code and the gas supply company and should be verified by the gas company as a matter of safety.
I hope this post was informative. As always, if you have any home related questions, please send them to me via the email address below. I will always help as much as I can.
Aaron M. Zuehlke is the owner and inspector at Zuehlke Inspection Service, LLC, a full-service home inspection company serving Southern Wisconsin. Specializing in Home inspection, Radon Testing, Mold Testing/inspection and Residential Thermal Imaging. He also manages several rental properties through Zuehlke Properties, LLC. He can be reached by email at Aaron@Zuehlkeinspections.com or by calling the office at 608-931-7485.