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Gas meter dial sensitivity

Mikar Member Posts: 16
How sensitive is the 1/4 foot dial on a residential gas meter? Does it move with just a pilot light on? How miniscule of a leak could be seen by movement of the dial alone?


  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,428
    A residential gas meter works by alternately filling and emptying a 2 sets of bellows which drive a bellcrank that drives the index so unless the valves that switch between bellows are leaking, it will measure all of the gas that goes through it (of course it measures volume so the actual amount of gas that passes through it is dependent on how closely the regulator regulates the pressure). If it is functioning correctly, a leak of any significance will move the diagnostic dials over a few minutes to a few hours.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,567
    A standard leak test completed by "the gas company" (back in the day) was to charge the gas piping in the building with gas from the meter and place a mark on the meter face indicating the position of the 1/2 foot or the 1/4 foot dial and wait for 15 minutes. If the dial did not move, then there is no leak. Of course, any pilot valves must be shut to conduct this test. SOOOooo. YUP... the pilot gas will show up on a 1/4 foot dial.

    Yours Truly,

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics