Operational Excellence
February 21, 2020

Keeping your gas meter safe and clear of ice and snow

Helpful tips & a printable winter safety sheet

Snow and ice can be a big bother during wintertime, especially if you have a driveway and walkways to keep clear. They can become a big problem if they build up on your natural gas meter and external appliance vents.

Icy build-up can dangerously interfere with the flow of natural gas to and from your meter, and accumulated snow can prevent the meter from operating properly by stopping the flow of natural gas. A snow-covered meter could also lead to a loss of service and freezing of inside pipes as a result of lost heat.

Exhaust vents for natural gas appliances, such as water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces, should also be cleared of snow and ice. Exhaust gases need a clear opening to vent to the outside and prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas.

Below are some tips you can follow to help keep you and your family safe during winter and summer months.

  • Gently remove snow or ice from the natural gas meter, any associated piping and external appliance vents, preferably with a brush
  • Carefully shovel around a meter and move snow away from it
  • Avoid using a snow blower near a meter
  • Always keep a clear path to your gas meter to allow quick access in an emergency

If you notice ice on your meter or are concerned that the meter's regulator vent may be blocked, contact us at 800-895-2999. Should a natural gas outage occur this winter, please don’t try to relight gas appliances yourself. Xcel Energy will check your gas meter, service lines and appliances and relight them for you free of charge.

If you have guests or renters in your home this winter, please help them stay safe too by printing this Winter Safety Guide (PDF) and putting it in a visible spot.