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When and why gas meters may need upgrading

Key factors that may necessitate a gas meter upgrade include:

  • Installing new gas appliances - If you are adding any major new gas appliances like a pool heater, stove, or dryer that require increased gas flow, your gas meter may need to be upgraded to a larger capacity model.
  • Inaccurate gas readings - Old mechanical gas metres can wear out over time, resulting in inaccurate gas usage readings. Upgrading to a new electronic smart metre will provide more precise measurements.
  • Mandatory network upgrades - Utility companies may require large-scale replacement of outdated meters due to updated regulations, advances in technology, or improved safety measures.
  • Insufficient gas flow - You may experience issues with insufficient gas flow to appliances if your meter is too small, indicating an upgrade is needed.

Proactive gas meter upgrades can mitigate the risk of future emergencies. Meter specifications and placement often require adjustment to comply with current safety standards. Contact your gas utility provider or a licensed technician to assess whether your meter requires replacement.

Triggers that require a gas meter upgrade

There are a few specific triggers that may indicate your current gas metre needs upgrading:

  • Introducing appliances with high gas demands - Adding any major new natural gas appliances like a pool heater, commercial stove or industrial dryer will significantly increase your gas usage. If your existing metre cannot supply adequate gas flow for these additions, an upgrade is essential.
  • Home renovations or extensions - Expansions or renovations that enlarge living spaces often elevate gas system demand, indicating a possible need for a meter upgrade. Check if your current metre’s capacity meets your new gas requirements.
  • New gas leak alerts - Repeated alerts of leaks coming from your metre may indicate it is wearing out and needs replacing to prevent hazardous gas escapes.
  • Inaccurate billing - If your gas bills seem unusually high or low compared to your usage, your metre may be providing false readings and require an upgrade.

Upgrading an inadequate or obsolete gas meter according to these indicators ensures safe, efficient, and sufficient gas delivery to your appliances. Consult a licensed technician for a meter inspection and advice on upgrade necessity.

The step-by-step process for a gas meter upgrade

A gas meter upgrade involves several steps, requiring coordination between homeowners, gas utilities, and licensed plumbers. Below is an outline of the process:

  1. Contact Ashfield Plumbing for an initial assessment - We will inspect your existing gas setup and appliances to advise if a metre upgrade is recommended or required, and determine the appropriate new metre size.
  2. Apply for a meter upgrade through your gas provider – we’ll help you with all necessary paperwork and applications to get the process started.
  3. Prepare the site – Ensure clear access to the meter’s location and protect nearby vegetation and structures as needed.
  4. Schedule the upgrade - Your gas company will arrange a suitable time with you for the metre installation. Upgrades may involve short outages as the gas supply is switched over.
  5. Installation of the new gas meter - Our certified technicians will replace your old meter with the new one, ensuring proper fittings, conducting pressure checks, and detecting any leaks.
  6. Restore gas supply and relight your appliances - We will turn your gas back on, relight any pilot lights and test that all appliances are functioning properly after the new gas meter is activated.
  7. Conduct post-installation checks and offer maintenance advice - We’ll review your new meter, troubleshoot any issues, and provide tips on regular care and recognising signs of potential problems.

Upgrading your gas meter, whether residential or commercial, entails coordination between multiple parties, access consideration, outage management, and appliance relighting. Contact Ashfield Plumbing to simplify the process for you.

Preparing for a gas meter upgrade

For a smooth gas meter upgrade, we recommend the following preparations:

  • Provide clear access - Ensure the gas meter area is unobstructed, allowing the technician easy access to perform the upgrade. This may require some temporary removal of vegetation, structures or materials.
  • Discuss interruptions - There may be short planned gas supply interruptions as part of the upgrade process which could impact gas appliances. Contact us in advance to discuss how to manage appliance relighting.
  • Alert life support registrations - If you rely on gas appliances for medical reasons, notify your gas provider so additional provisions can be coordinated if required.
  • Prepare for next steps - Have your new gas account details or paperwork handy. Be available on the day for urgent contacts if needed around access or outage issues.

Taking these steps allows for a safe, efficient upgrade process. Let us know if you have any other questions in preparing for your upcoming gas metre installation.

What to expect on the day of the gas meter upgrade

On the day of your gas meter upgrade, you can expect the following:

  • The technician will arrive at the scheduled time and introduce themselves
  • They will give you a brief overview of the work to be carried out and answer any last minute questions
  • The area around the metre will be cleared and prepared
  • Your gas supply will be shut off at the metre while the old metre is removed and the new one installed
  • Installation involves securely fitting the new metre, pressure testing the gas supply and checking for leaks using a gas detector
  • Once the safety checks are complete, your gas will be turned back on and appliances relit as needed with the technician confirming everything is working properly
  • The technician will provide guidance on your new metre, potential warning signs to watch for, and tips on ongoing maintenance
  • Paperwork, warranty details and metre readings will be left with you
  • The technician will ensure you are satisfied with the work before they take their leave

Upgrading the gas meter is a significant undertaking, but the expertise of Ashfield Plumbing’s technicians ensures a seamless process. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Timeframe for completing a gas meter upgrade

The timeframe for completing a standard gas metre upgrade is typically 2-3 weeks from initial contact to installation, however it can vary depending on your provider and individual circumstances.

The overall process includes:

  • 1 week for initial inspection and application
  • Up to 1 week for approval and scheduling
  • 1 day for completion of the physical metre installation

Timeframes can extend if coordination among multiple stakeholders is necessary, such as in body corporate or rental properties. Upgrades can often be expedited for emergency medical reasons.

Although the gas meter upgrade typically takes just one day, the entire process does require careful planning and coordination. Be sure to make contact as soon as an upgrade need is identified, and we can guide you through the expected timeframes.

Cost considerations for a gas meter upgrade

Upgrading your gas metre does involve some costs, which we will break down clearly upfront. Generally, the costs associated with a gas meter upgrade may include:

  • Parts/hardware costs - The actual new gas metre and any necessary pipes, fittings, valves etc. We use only high quality materials from reputable suppliers to ensure reliability and safety.
  • Labour fees - Our licensed gas technicians offer competitive rates that encompass the entire installation.
  • Additional services - Extra services like removing site obstacles/debris or appliance relighting post-upgrade may have supplementary fees.

At Ashfield Plumbing, we provide fully transparent quotes outlining all projected upgrade costs and overheads. As an established local plumbing business, we offer very competitive prices on gas metre installations and regularly run special offers - so you get premium service without premium rates.

In certain cases, some expenses can be offset or covered by government programs, energy retailers, or building insurance policies. Our helpful team can advise what savings could be applicable to make your gas metre upgrade more affordable.

For upfront pricing details tailored to your specific requirements, contact our friendly staff about arranging an obligation-free quote today.

Gas metering regulations and mandated upgrades

Homeowners need to be aware of specific regulations and standards that govern gas meters. In some cases, upgrades are mandated by law when safety standards evolve.

Under Australian gas standards, providers must check, maintain and replace customer gas metres where faults or non-compliance could lead to billing errors or hazardous situations.

For properties in Ashfield, Sydney, our local gas distribution network Jemena may require upgrades in situations like:

  • Recalling older outdated metre models on a large scale
  • New standards making existing metres non-compliant
  • Evidence of systemic metre defects presenting safety risks

Where upgrades are initiated by Jemena for network management reasons and were not requested by the customer, they typically incur no charge. However owners are still responsible for providing access and protecting the new metre.

Stay up to date with any notifications from networks regarding mandated replacements. And contact Ashfield Plumbing if you need assistance understanding when upgrades are required versus recommended, or have concerns about your existing gas metre.

After the upgrade: Relighting appliances and checking for leaks

Once your gas metre upgrade is complete, there are a few important next steps to ensure normal service resumes safety across your appliances and supply lines.

Our technicians will assist with:

  • Relighting appliances - After shutting off the gas, pilot lights on appliances like hot water systems, ovens and gas heaters will need to be manually relit once supply is restored.
  • Leak checks - Thorough leak detection is conducted on all connections and fittings using sensitive gas detectors both during and after the upgrade work.
  • Flow rate tests - We’ll confirm adequate gas volume and pressure is delivered across each appliance with the new metre installed.
  • Briefing homeowners - You’ll be provided documentation on the new metre model along with guidance on metre care and interpreting fault signals.

While rare, any problems like persisting leaks, insufficient pressure levels or appliance operation issues will be addressed promptly before our technicians depart. We want to ensure you are 100% satisfied following your gas metre upgrade.

For help with appliance relighting, additional leak checks, or post-replacement issues, contact Ashfield Plumbing on 1300 349 338.

Frequently asked questions about gas meter upgrades

Some common questions about gas metre upgrades include:

Why does my new metre make a whistling sound?

A soft whistling sound from a new gas metre is normal and indicates it is working correctly. If loud or persisting, contact us to inspect for blockages or leaks.

My hot water takes longer to heat after the upgrade. Why?

Check your pilot light is properly ignited and contact us to test gas pressure. Upgrades can sometimes reveal pre-existing insufficient flow issues.

Who is responsible for restoring landscaping post-installation?

Restoring any affected landscaping, structures, or pathways post-upgrade is the responsibility of the property owner.

My new electronic metre shows higher readings. Is it faulty?

Digital meters provide more precise measurements by accurately detecting flow rates that older mechanical meters may overlook.

If you have more questions about gas meter upgrades, replacements, or troubleshooting, please contact our friendly team at Ashfield Plumbing on 1300 349 338.

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