Natural gas is one of the safest, most reliable fuels there is. But over time, we need to do maintenance on our system to keep it safe. Avista performs several safety inspections on an annual basis.
Our safety inspections include:
- Leak survey: We check the gas line with highly sensitive equipment that can detect natural gas levels at far below what you can smell.
- Pipeline monitoring: Buried steel pipelines are monitored to ensure that adequate protection measures are in place so that the pipe doesn't deteriorate.
- Meter inspection: We periodically inspect your gas meter to check for corrosion and other safety concerts. We may paint and take a picture of the meter for our records.
- Gas meter change-outs: Meters are taken out of service when they are at the end of their service life. This may require a disruption in your service. If required, we will relight your appliances at a convenient time.
Natural gas meter testing facts:
- Each year about 4,000 natural gas meters are randomly selected for testing.
- In order to conduct the test, natural gas meters must be taken out of service and replaced.
- If your meter is selected for testing, you will be notified in advance because your natural gas service will be temporarily disconnected.
- After your meter is replaced, an Avista service representative will check and relight your appliances.
- An adult, 18 years or older, must be present for the service representative to access the home to check and relight appliances.
- Each meter is tested at the factory by the manufacturer.
- Avista randomly tests meters from each pallet received by the company before putting the meters into service.
- Avista's authorized contractor in Washington to assist with natural gas meter testing is RDI Heating.
To ensure your safety, Avista employees wear photo identification, and authorized contracted representatives also have identification. Whether an Avista employee or contractor inspects your natural gas meter or piping, they should be willing to identify themselves, explain what they are doing and provide you with identification if requested.
Access to your home is usually not needed to perform maintenance for most natural gas meter or piping inspections. However, it may be necessary to relight the natural gas appliances in your home if your meter is changed out. If this happens, our employee or contractor will contact you to arrange a convenient time to relight your appliance. To ensure your safety, do not attempt to relight your natural gas equipment yourself.