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Forum staff reports, Published February 16 2013

Xcel Energy: Clear snow, ice from meters

FARGO – Xcel Energy officials recommend that natural gas customers keep gas meters free of ice and snow to prevent dangerous natural gas pressure buildup.

Snow and ice on roofs and in trees can melt and drip on meters, then refreeze, increasing the potential of the meter to malfunction. Xcel also recommends that appliance vents, often located on a home’s roof, be kept clear in order to operate properly.

The natural gas meter’s regulator vent is especially vulnerable to plugging any time there is a combination of snow and ice buildup and fluctuating temperatures.

A plugged vent can adversely affect the operation of the gas pressure regulator, resulting in a potentially hazardous condition by preventing the flow of natural gas.

It also is recommended that customers maintain a clean path to and from the meter to allow easy access in the event of an emergency.