Non-motoring > Gas board re-laying pipes
Thread Author: smokie Replies: 10

 Gas board re-laying pipes - smokie
We have the dubious pleasure of the gas mains being replaced over the next 5 zillion weeks. It was slated to start yesterday but I only saw one reflective jacket all day, and that was someone walking a dog.

Anyway, the gas board wrote to us all, and they are considering putting external meters in, which may involve disruption to one's front garden, which they will make good. (I can't remember the exact working but can get it if required). The will communicate with is about this with at least 5 days notice.

There are quite a lot of block paved fronts round here, and mine is fully paved but with proper flagstones.

I guess their obligation is just to fill the holes and tarmac over. If I am one of the lucky ones chosen for an outside meter, would I be better to carefully lift the necessary stones myself to avoid breakage, and just tell them to fill the hardcore and I'll re-lay the slabs?

And - next door has one of those moulded coverings that looks like block paving - cost him quite a bit IIRC - what's his position?
 Gas board re-laying pipes - Zero
You dont want outside meters. My sister in law had hers stolen the other week. You can not believe the hastle that causes. Just refuse to have one.
 Gas board re-laying pipes - Iffy
...outside meters...

I thought the latest thing was meters which transmitted the reading over a short distance, enabling 'second gear' drive-by readings.

 Gas board re-laying pipes - rtj70
We had the gas meter and pipe to the property replaced a couple of years ago. For us the approach was big up the pavement in front of the meter. Send one of those mole things to burrow most of the way for the new pipe but dig a small hole (lift flag stones for us) to retrieve it. New pipe connected and new gas meter fitted.

Our old/new meter was in the cellar mind.

I did have to go out and tell them the meter they needed to aim for (so the hole was in the wrong place on the pavement) was about 10 feet the other way. Actually they were looking for the main first.

The but that was poor was that the contractor could not connect the new meter. You had to wait for the busy British Gas engineer to arrive much later.
 Gas board re-laying pipes - smokie
Reminds me that we had the water stop cock in the pavement replaced a few years ago. Separate teams to dig, replace, test then fill. All scheduled about a week apart, in case of delays I suppose. Certainly seemed a long and drawn out affair.
 Gas board re-laying pipes - Hugo
Right, I can comment with some authority here. I have had at least 3 gas mains laid/relaid

They are under an obligation to leave the surface as it was when they arrived. That means if they disturb slabs then they should re instate the same. If they disturb concrete then expect concrete in its place, if they disturb turf then expect that to be reinstated - you get the picture.

My advice to you if you are concerned is to get some photos of your property before they start work, then you can press them to come and repair the damage if they don't without fuss. They will often send tradesmen to come out on their behalf if they need to.

As to outside meters, I assume they will put an ugly white box on the outside wall. The last time we had a gas main laid we asked for a recessed meter box. They free issued a box to me and I installed it myself by cutting a hole in the stonework and cementing it in. Wales and West Utilities just came and attached the meter. It took me about 4 hours in total. All the neighbours have external ones and mine looks far better.

They don't like you making any holes in the back of the box, which means cementing it in or using fixing foam. Having said that the gas fitter mentioned that mine was the first one he'd ever seen fitted correctly, which was quite scary!

If you've got cavity wall or solid wall you need IIRC about 6 inches depth. If you wall is 2ft deep like mine are then you're fine. If it's a modern house then you'll have 4 inches of blockwork/brickwork then a cavity, this should be OK. Houses nowadays are built with them ready to take the gas and electric meters
 Gas board re-laying pipes - smokie
Thanks Hugo. I have no idea what you are talking about with the recessed box thing - can you post a picture? LOL

Actually, that's all v useful info, thanks. I was going to take some pics and number the slabs in the pic and insist that they were numbered as lifted then replaced back in correct order and orientation. To take account of discolouring etc. Would they laugh at me?
 Gas board re-laying pipes - Adverse Camber
They do three different style boxes that I know of. The big external wall mount ones, the big recess into wall ones and the small floor recessed ones - I would want the small brown floor mounted one. Much less ugly.

Have a look at these:

You can see the difference - the cheapest seems to be the huge ugly wall mount ones and I'm guessing that the floor recessed ones are most expensive - just based on their reluctance to fit them. :)
 Gas board re-laying pipes - Fenlander
Been involved in exactly this type of work in a past life. Some good advice above. I never agreed with the policy of going down a victorian terrace street and hanging an ugly white bolt-on box to the front of every one. If the house construction allows a cut-in cavity box somewhere up the side it looks far better.

We have the type of brown box mentioned in the link above... it's the one called the National Grid Transco Semi-buried box. Agree these are the most unobtrusive for many places.
 Gas board re-laying pipes - smokie
Great stuff, really useful info - thanks.
 Gas board re-laying pipes - Haywain
We've had the flush-mounted gas and electricity boxes on the side of our garage since the house was built. We've never had any problems and I can't understand why anyone would want to nick Zero's SiL's meters (see above).

One important point - when the change is made, make sure you record the figures on the old and new meters. Our electricity meter was changed last May and the electricity supplier hadn't taken this into account when I swapped suppliers in September. Fortunately, because I had all the figures to hand, I was able to argue the toss with them and get things moving. I had to explain to all the parties that I didn't trust any of them and that my arithmetic was better than theirs!

In fact, I record gas/electricity/water readings at the beginning of every month - this way I can tell the suppliers what my typical year's useage is without them doing some sort of estimate. I have done this ever since moving into the new house and my neighbour received his first monthly water bill of £350. After denials followed by intense investigation, it was discoved that the builders had put a sharp brick through his water supply pipe when in-filling the trench.
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