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Does a Smart meter need screwing into a surface?

  • 1 March 2018
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Do SMART gas meters require screwing into the surface on which they are positioned? Our gas meter is on a solid stone antique salting table which would crack if drilled into. Can we still have a SMARTgas meter installed?
(Several year ago we were due to have a SMART gas meter fitted, but we were told that it needs to be screwed into the surface on which it was sat, so installation was not possible.)
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Best answer by Transparent 7 March 2018, 21:03

Hmm. This is a tricky one.

The situation with electricity is easier to understand. Traditionally your 100A incomer fuse and any meter(s) were screwed to a board. These items and the board itself were the property of your DNO (Distributed Network Operator). You obviously mustn't tamper with the fuse or meter(s) because they have a metal seal to prevent you doing so.

Moreover, you're not meant to attach anything else to the board either. I once got into trouble for fixing a pair of anti-surge protectors on Western Power's piece of wood!

I've noticed electricity Meters and Fuses in all sorts of strange places when I've visited old properties. I've even seen one woodworm-riddled board swinging from the ceiling beams in a converted barn because the wall it used to be fixed to had rotted away behind it!

Gas meters are bit more tricky. If they're in a box, then this too is regarded as the property of the relevant network company (Wales & West Utilities where I am). The box might be embedded in a wall or half-buried in the ground. There are different types.

Older gas meters used to just sit on the floor in an under-stairs cupboard or a pantry. But even there, the network company could insist that it was kept clear of clutter and not boxed in because they can enforce having access to their meter.

I've never met a gas meter actually screwed to an antique stone table. But I'd love to see a photo if you'd like to post one here please :)

If an installer insisted that a Smart Meter must be screwed to something, then I'd be tempted to fix a 20mm thick piece of ply to the stone table with four blobs of silicon mastic on the corners. He can then screw into that!

But it still seems odd to me that the gas Smart Meter needs screwing to anything more than is used to fix your existing meter... which I assume stays in place because of the rigid pipes it's connected to?

Give us a bit more description of the existing set-up, preferably with a photo, and I'll try to comment further.
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Hmm. This is a tricky one.

The situation with electricity is easier to understand. Traditionally your 100A incomer fuse and any meter(s) were screwed to a board. These items and the board itself were the property of your DNO (Distributed Network Operator). You obviously mustn't tamper with the fuse or meter(s) because they have a metal seal to prevent you doing so.

Moreover, you're not meant to attach anything else to the board either. I once got into trouble for fixing a pair of anti-surge protectors on Western Power's piece of wood!

I've noticed electricity Meters and Fuses in all sorts of strange places when I've visited old properties. I've even seen one woodworm-riddled board swinging from the ceiling beams in a converted barn because the wall it used to be fixed to had rotted away behind it!

Gas meters are bit more tricky. If they're in a box, then this too is regarded as the property of the relevant network company (Wales & West Utilities where I am). The box might be embedded in a wall or half-buried in the ground. There are different types.

Older gas meters used to just sit on the floor in an under-stairs cupboard or a pantry. But even there, the network company could insist that it was kept clear of clutter and not boxed in because they can enforce having access to their meter.

I've never met a gas meter actually screwed to an antique stone table. But I'd love to see a photo if you'd like to post one here please :)

If an installer insisted that a Smart Meter must be screwed to something, then I'd be tempted to fix a 20mm thick piece of ply to the stone table with four blobs of silicon mastic on the corners. He can then screw into that!

But it still seems odd to me that the gas Smart Meter needs screwing to anything more than is used to fix your existing meter... which I assume stays in place because of the rigid pipes it's connected to?

Give us a bit more description of the existing set-up, preferably with a photo, and I'll try to comment further.
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Hey @superlative,

@Transparent has pretty much got it right. If the existing meter is attached to a meter board, wall or surface, the new meter will need to be secured in the same way. Both the gas and the electriity meters need to be fixed into position to prevent any tension on the incoming and outgoing supplies, and to make sure nothing breaks. If you meter currently stands alone, then the new one would too. We wouldn't add on new fixtures for no reason.

If your meter board or meter positioning is deemed unstable, some work might need doing to make it secure first. This would be done by the DNO for electricity or the Transporter for gas. Once that's done we can go ahead with a smart meter exchange.

If you do want to post some pictures, we'll be able to give some more detailled info!

Hope this helps,
Nancy

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