Maintaining Gas Equipment
Clear Snow from Meters and Vents
We want you to be safe when the snow piles up. That’s why we recommend you keep the area around gas meter equipment clear of snow and ice. Be sure to carefully remove heavy snow and ice, by hand, to avoid damage to the meter.
Blocked vents can cause furnaces and water heaters to shut down, potentially leading to a build-up of carbon monoxide or a costly service call. Use a long screwdriver to carefully clear snow and ice from the end of the pipes.
Flexible gas connectors are corrugated metal tubes most often used to attach natural gas appliances such as a gas range or clothes dryer to a home or building's natural gas supply pipes. Older, uncoated brass flexible gas connectors can corrode or break and cause a serious gas leak, fire or explosion.
Any flexible appliance connector made of bare brass should be replaced immediately with a new stainless steel connector or a plastic coated brass connector certified by the American Gas Association.
Warning: DO NOT attempt to check the connections yourself. Moving an appliance to check the gas connector may cause the connector to break, resulting in a gas leak, fire or explosion. Instead, have a qualified person, such as a professional plumber or HVAC or appliance repair contractor, inspect the appliance connector for you and replace it if necessary.
If you have a natural gas appliance that is more than 20 years old, it is a good idea to have the gas connector replaced. Connectors should always be replaced whenever the appliance is replaced or moved from its location.
Clothes Dryer Vents
Replace plastic with metal vent pipe.
Flexible white plastic dryer vent hoses are unsafe because the ribbed surface restricts airflow and lint can build up in the vent and dryer. This build up can cause overheating and dryer fires and the plastic hose can burn, spreading the fire.
To avoid dangers, be sure to:
- Clean lint filter with every load.
- Replace white plastic vent hose with metallic vent pipe.
- Buy packaged duct only with UL listing.
- Connect duct with solid metal elbows at the dryer and vent cap.
- If you already have a metal vent, clean it out at least once a year.
- Clean lint from vent where it exits the wall.
- Check that the outside flap opens when dryer is running.
If you suspect a gas leak inside or outside your home, leave the area immediately and call MGE at (608) 252-1111 day or night.