In-service installation of automatic meter reading devices on diaphragm gas meters

In accordance with the provisions of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Regulations, diaphragm gas meters are permitted to have their seals broken for the purposes of in-service installation of automatic meter reading (AMR) devices. Where the seal on a natural gas meter has been broken for this purpose, the meter is exempt from the statutory requirement for reverification under condition that:

  1. the meter seal is broken and resealed by an accredited meter verifier; and,
  2. no component other than the meter register has been removed as part of the installation procedure.

Where the AMR device is of a type or design that employs mechanical coupling, consideration should be given to the installation procedure's potential effect on the diaphragm meter's performance accuracy.

Given that, in all cases, gas contractors (e.g. utilities) are responsible for the in-service performance accuracy of the meters they own, and in recognition of the fact that gas meters retrofitted with AMR devices in-service may not be subjected to reverification (i.e. performance accuracy testing) following the installation of the AMR device, meter owners are advised to assure that appropriate risk management practices are followed and implemented diligently, wherever necessary. More specifically, Bulletin G-19 (Policy on in Situ Retrofitting of Diaphragm Meters with an Automatic Meter Reading Device) requires meter owners to demonstrate that performance testing has been conducted to assess the appropriateness of the AMR installation process and procedures. In this regard, Measurement Canada has developed two model procedure documents to assist meter owners in assessing the potential effect of mechanically coupled AMR device installation on meter performance. These documents are entitled P-S-01, Paired Difference Experimental Procedure and P-G-03, Telemetering Device Installation Validation Procedure.

Where a meter owner or meter service organization wishes to become accredited for the purposes of installing AMR devices on in-service gas meters, these entities will, as part of the accreditation process, be expected to provide Measurement Canada with an attestation that the paired difference experiments have been completed and a record of empirically-based results is maintained to support their meter performance conclusions. This record shall be made available to the Agency upon request. It should be noted that Measurement Canada will not be making acceptance decisions in this regard, other than requiring that meter owners have an empirical basis for their conclusion that their AMR device installation procedures are appropriate.

Meter owners are further advised that acquiring accreditation for the purpose of in-service AMR device installation, or utilizing the services of a meter service organization accredited for this purpose, does not relieve a contractor/meter owner from their statutory responsibilities relative to in-service meter performance accuracy. More specifically, meter owners should pay particular attention to the potential effect of AMR installation on future compliance sampling results and their organization's associated liabilities as they relate to meter lots (i.e. populations of retrofitted meters) which fail to receive an extension to their seal period due to nonconforming meter performance quality.

For additional information concerning this Information Bulletin, please contact:

Steve Clyens
Program Officer, Gas
Program Development Directorate
Measurement Canada