Moving Gas Supply Pipe

28 Aug 2008
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United Kingdom
Just a quick(ish) post to get some advice.

This involves moving the gas meter and gas supply pipe (pipe from mains to ECV & Meter) so not 100% sure this is correct part of forum?

Anyway my gas transporter (SGN) are currently renewing mains and supply pipes where I live. I didn't think it would overly affect me as the supply pipe into my property is yellow and I assumed fairly modern. However I received a card through the door yesterday that mentioned changing the supply pipe and the meter, the meter bit was definitately news to me and hadn't been mentioned in any of the previous letters.

I spoke to a foreman on site who said that the part of the supply pipe that enters the house footprint needs replacing, but as my meter is under the stairs and there is a bend in the pipe (under the garage floor) he said a new meter would be needed.

He said the solution would be to excavate my fairly new block paving about a metre back from the garage doors, connect new pipe to existing pipe, run new pipe in a trench under small area of garage floor, then up the wall to connect to a new meter just inside the garage doors. They would then run a copper pipe along inside of garage wall, through wall to under stairs and connect to existing pipework.

After he had left I had some doubts. Firstly this new pipe would breach the DPM under my garage floor and secondly I can't see how they would lift my block paving and then put it back exactly as it was. I know that it's notoriously difficult to remove block paving without breaking at least one block? He assured me that they would restore both the block paving and the small area of excavated garage floor to its original condition but I am not convinced.

I came up with a solution of running a new gas supply pipe from the mains on the other side of my property (left hand side as opposed to the right about 6 metres between new and old pipe), putting a meter in a floor level brown box on corner of the house then running a wall mounted external pipe down the side of the house, through the wall (under floorboard level) and into the under stairs area (a straight run) to connect to existing pipes.

My questions after this lengthy explanation (apologies) are -

How much say would I have in persuading them to take this second option. The trench, apart from the pavement is all in soil/grass which I know has to be 450mm deep, the length of the trench would be about 12metres on my property plus the pavement and then some part of the road, 14 metres overall would be a good estimate. But it does involve less restoration work overall and the meter is outside which I know they prefer.
I have checked the SGN website and OFGEM but none of them refer to this type of situation or anything similar.

Secondly if the alternate pipe run is a no go how good are they likely to be when it comes to restoring their excavations

And finally is there a technique to deal with a pipe breaching a DPM so that it is still protected against damp.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
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I would inclined to take their advice.

Most of the work I've seen them do in Surrey on our jobs has been very good. Did a fantastic job in Woldingham earlier this year where it was moled 90% across a lovely garden, you wouldn't even know they had been there. This was an oil to gas changeover.

Similarly in Bickley, Kent, they reinstated a block paved and tarmaced area perfectly. Looked better than the original.

SGN usually use subbies and if they're not happy, no one gets paid.

A cheaper way is to come up outside and then go through the wall above ground, I assume this was ruled out on aesthetic grounds.
Sometimes the people doing these jobs have a rather blinkered viewpoint.

If you would prefer your arrangement I suggest you suggest it to the foreman.

Be aware a longer pipe in/around your property would need to be in larger copper pipe from the meter and that could be quite expensive/prominent.

I cant understand why your meter would need changing because the service is being moved. Unless its over 25 years old, it doesnt really need to be exchanged (25 years is legal limit for a meter)

Most people have to pay 700-1000 quid to have their meter moved.

If you want your option doing, you may have to pay for it, or at least some of it.
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Simond - Thanks for your reassurance. By what you're saying either option would work. I don't live too far from Woldingham so it would be similar soil for them to tunnel through.

Agile - I will speak to the foreman again or preferably the rep from SGN who is sometimes on site. The run of copper pipe from the ouside meter option round the side of the house is not really an issue as it won't be seen by anyone and the run is only a little bit longer than the run they are proposing (about 2-3m more)

BGSMJack - I asked that question as well and I didn't really get an answer that I understood! I think it's not so much that the meter needs replacing just that it would be prohibitively expensive and difficult to run new pipe to the existing meter - I think.
I appreciate from other posts that moving meters can be expensive if it's not the gas transporter initiating it.
From your experience do you know how much say I have in how they do this work and are there any regs that say what can and cannot be done?

Thanks again for your replies
Well where ever they move it to has to be within the regs, and the reconnection also has to be within the regs.

Im really not sure where you stand with this.

You really do need to talk to someone at SGN higher up than the foreman. This is likely to **** him off as you went above his head, but its your house and if they want to move it. You want to be happy with where it is.

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