What should I do if my gas meter box full of water and I can't read it?

  • 4 January 2020
  • 37 replies

  • Carbon Cutter***
  • 5 replies

Our gas meter box has flooded. I have removed as much water as I can but the condensation covering the dial make it impossible to read.



Best answer by SR3 7 January 2020, 09:09

View original

37 replies

Userlevel 3

Updated on 13/07/23 by Abby_OVO:


Eeek! This doesn’t look too great. First things first, it’s worth making sure the reason for the meter box flood is sorted before we arrange a replacement meter. Your meter box should be water-tight so looks like this needs to be repaired first. Check out the advice below on getting this fixed:

Broken meter box

The meter box is normally installed by the transporter following either the installation of a new supply or alteration of an existing one. Once the work is completed the meter box is classified as being the responsibility of the property owner. We’d advise contacting your transporter (find out who that is here). They can provide (at a cost) a service to maintain your meter box. We’d need to make sure the box’s fixed as most engineers will not install a meter in a meter box that’s missing a door, unsafe or in bad condition. 


Faulty Meters

A meter which can’t be read - due to a broken meter screen or in your case, condensation covering the reading - would count as a faulty meter which we’d need to replace (this will be free!). As you haven’t already upgraded to smart meters this is the perfect time to make a smart upgrade. You can book a smart meter appointment through your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS) or by reaching out to our Support Team.

OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!


Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!


Thanks, OVO are sending an engineer out.  The box is below ground level but it hasn’t flooded before in the time we have lived there (11 years), although we have had a lot of rain.  I have resisted smart meters because I doubt it will be able to ping readings anywhere from that position (plus I am waiting for all the problems everyone else seems to be having to be resolved).

Userlevel 3

@LAM that's excellent that you have managed to get it sorted with OVO. Might be worth asking the engineer what the final reading on your meter is when he removes it, if he can see it.

@SR3 Good point - will do.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

If you tap the window fairly hard with your finger, it should dislodge some condensation to enable you to read the meter, if that doesn’t work, wait for the OVO man to come.


if they install a new meter, make sure there’s a hole in the bottom of the box for the water to drain out

Thanks Peter, Ovo suggested warm water and a hairdryer but neither worked. The meter is not in a great place - under ground level in a border - but this is the first time this has happened.

Userlevel 3

@LAM if you speak to your regional gas supplier they may be able to move the meter, but there may be a cost for this

Who do I contact to get a meter changed as my gas meter is unreadable due to installation position and condensation.


Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi David, a picture would make it easier for us to comment.


Userlevel 5

Are you experiencing the same issue as @LAM, @David green? If you are, take a look at the best answer for more help with this. 

@Eva_OVO@David green, contact Ovo, send photos and they will book an engineer visit to replace the meter. I also contacted National Grid gas to find out who is responsible for my gas supply (ring 0800 111 999) and rang the supplier in my area. They are also coming out with a view to moving the meter. Appts are this week and next so will update once they have been.

Update:  The SMS (smart metering service) engineer (arranged through Ovo) came out this morning and said he could not replace the meter until the box had been moved.  I will relay this to the National Grid gas, who are coming out to (hopefully) move the meter next week.  I just hope that they do not say they can’t move the meter until it has been replaced…...


Userlevel 5

Hi @LAM 

Where is the meter going, and will it need a box in it’s new location? Normally the relocation would have to be first, so you should be fine!


Userlevel 7
Badge +2

May I just bring some clarity here?

Before requesting that work be done, it’s important to understand which party has responsibility for what.

No consumer should ever need to contact the National Gas Grid. They are solely responsible for the high-pressure mains that traverse the country.

There are five companies who manage the Gas Distribution Network (GDN). Here’s the current map from Ofgem’s website:


Your local GDN is responsible for the pipework to your house up to, and including, the Isolation Valve:



The Meter is the responsibility of your current Energy Supplier - OVO in this case. If you switch Supplier, then they take over that responsibility regardless of which company originally fitted the meter.

The gas pipework inside your house is your responsibility, but can only be worked on by an engineer who is Gas-Safe registered.

The plastic Meter Box is the house-owners responsibility. If a new hinge or door needs fitting, for example, then you can do this yourself.

If you want a meter relocated then you can buy an appropriate box and have it fitted in advance of your GDN engineer arriving on site. This would be most appropriate if you decided to have a new meter box embedded within the wall by a local builder.

Here is an inbuilt gas meter box and associated components available from the UK company BES for £33 +VAT.

I hope this clarifies who you need to turn to for different parts of the process.

Userlevel 1

Hello, I’m hoping you may be able to advise me…

My gas meter is sitting in water and the display is unreadable due to condensation.

I have spoken to my supplier - Pure Planet -who have told me that I need to remove the water before they will send an engineer.

Is removing the water my responsibility? I don’t fancy messing around with a gas meter myself.

Thank you for your time,



Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi there @robbie74 !

I can certainly try to offer some advice here. Just so you know, I’m not familiar with the policies or processes of Pure Planet, but generally it’s pretty similar across the board. You’ve definitely come to the right place for advice though!

Firstly, I definitely agree with you about not messing with the meters. I think it’s technically your responsibility, but I would also argue that the only people who should break out the toolkits are trained engineers who know how to fix these things.

Even if it is a quick fix to get rid of that water, it’s probably not a bad idea to get help to get things checked over and I suspect there’ll be two stages to this fix. If you’re able to, could you snap a few photos of your gas meter and the area around it and pop those in your next reply? Once we’re able to see what’s happened, it might help us to figure out what to do.

As for who to contact… I’d recommend reaching out to your local gas transporter network in the first instance. You can find a map on the Ofgem website for this. They might be able to send out one of their own engineers to see if the water can be drained out and hopefully stop it coming back.

After that’s done, you should be able to get your current supplier to replace the meter for you. They’ll try to sort out the readings and fix the bill as best they can as part of the meter exchange.

If you get stumped, feel free to give us a shout and we’ll see what we can do.

Userlevel 7

This is an interesting one, @robbie74.


It’s true that the meter box is the responsibility of the home owner. And if the meter box is damaged so that it has become flooded, you will need to source a new one. 


It makes sense that the engineer won’t attend to fit a new meter if there’s still water there. @Steveo and @PeterR1947 were recently involved in a discussion about condensation in the meter. Steveo can you advise of any other actions you had to take prior to the engineer visit? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

@robbie74 Hi Robbie, as @Tim_OVO says, the meter box is your responsibility.  As it is full of water, I guess it’s the sort that is half buried/buried in the ground, is that correct?

There should be a drain hole in the bottom of the box but invariable these get blocked.  I suggest you remove as much, if not all of the water as you can with a jug; if you have a bike pump you can suck up the last dregs with it, then check for a drain hole.  You may need to carefully dig under part of the box where the hole is and put gravel underneath it to aid with drainage.

Once it’s clear you may find that the condensation will eventually clear and you’ll be able to read the meter if it hasn’t been damaged; this, however, could take a few months.  Also look at the link that Tim sent with my bit about tapping on the meter window.


Userlevel 1


Userlevel 1

Thank you for your reply. I’m concerned about the rust appearing on the pipe and the condensation preventing me from reading the meter.

The box looks intact.


Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Thanks @robbie74 !

As we suspected, that’s definitely a semi-concealed meter and meter box. I have to admit that it doesn’t look all that healthy either. I’m also pretty sure this is going to take more than just a bike pump, drain hole or jug to fix the problem, and I have a gut feeling that clearing out the water is only the start.

Given that this one looks to be in even worse shape than I was expecting, I’d definitely recommend asking your local gas transporter for help. You made the right call here in not attempting this yourself, just in case there’s even more nasty surprises lurking. At very least, they should be able to offer advice, but it’s looking like you might need quite a lot of hardware upgrades there!

Userlevel 1

Frankly, I was quite surprised when my gas supplier told me to start messing with it.

I’ll give the local transporter a call.

Thank you for your advice :blush:  

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

You’re welcome @robbie74 . Glad we could help. :hugging:

Could you let us know how you get on as well, especially how you manage to get this resolved? One of the things we love using this forum for, is sharing knowledge and advice that anyone can use in the future. Tricky puzzles like this one make for great examples!

If you ever get stuck again, we’ll definitely be here for you. Hopefully we’ll see you again soon!

Userlevel 7

What did the transporter advise, @robbie74?

Userlevel 1

They told me to go see if I can drain some water but that I should tell my supplier that Ive spoken to them.

Ill get back in touch with Pure Planet and update here with the outcome