MASSENA – Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas is warning residents and businesses to keep snow and ice from building up and covering outdoor natural gas meters and pressure regulators, as well as from blocking appliance vents.
“Throughout the winter, and particularly after a storm, it is important that customers check their natural gas meter, pressure regulator and appliance vents to ensure they are clear of snow and ice,” says Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas Assistant General Manager James Ward. “Snow and ice should be gently cleared from natural gas equipment and vents.”
Ward said customers should check their gas meter equipment regularly to ensure there is no build-up of ice or snow. Use a broom to gently clear snow or ice around the meter. Don’t shovel snow up against gas meters or piping, Ward advises, and don’t kick or hit the gas meter, pressure regulator or piping to free snow or ice.
Also, be careful when using shovels, plows or snow blowers near the gas meter equipment.
Melting snow from a roof, drifting snow, freezing rain or water leaking from an eaves trough can cause an icy build-up, which could interrupt your gas service or cause an appliance to malfunction, which in turn could create a hazardous condition.
Ward advises always keeping eaves troughs in good repair and fixing leaky seams in eaves troughs or down spouts. Don’t allow water to drip onto the gas meter equipment.
Vents installed through an outside wall are used to intake air and output exhaust to support the safe operation of natural gas equipment.
Snow and ice can impact the proper functioning of vents. If an exhaust vent is blocked or clogged and unable to vent exhaust, a pressure switch will automatically be activated resulting in the appliance being shut down (i.e. furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters). If snow or ice is blocking your furnace vent or water heater vent, your pressure switch may be activated, resulting in loss of heat.
To ensure proper functioning, vents should be gently cleared of any snow or ice. Do not use sharp objects or apply force as this may disconnect or damage venting, the company warns. Using a broom or a brush to gently remove blockage can ensure that the area remains clear of snow or ice.
If you need assistance clearing vents, you should contact a heating contractor.
If you see ice build-up and suspect it has caused a problem, call Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas immediately at (800) 673-3301, anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Additional information is available from St. Lawrence Gas at the number above or by visiting www.stlawrencegas.com.