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Thread: OT- Gas Meter lock-out
04-17-2008, 10:30 PM #1
OT- Gas Meter lock-out
Does anyone know how these things work? Gas Co. is telling me it will be Monday before they can turn on my gas. I'd whack the thing with a saws-all but they tell me they can charge me an unspecified amount for doing so.
Cylindical do-dad in a padlock type hole on valve, top totates freely, bottom has a small hole up into the body, too small for me to see up.
Would like to remove the thing, and put it back in before they get here.
appears to be some sort of spring loaded plunder "around" the inside of the hole, can push it up with a small allen, but no dice on removing.
e.j. brooks co. patent 3002668, images do not come up when I search the patent.
thanks in advance
04-17-2008, 10:45 PM #2
Don't do it. Most of those things are designed to break if tampered with. If you do, it can result in a whole lot of financial heartack that you really won't want to deal with. You would be better of being a little patient, and wait for them to turn it on.
04-17-2008, 10:56 PM #3
Could be a washer with fingers made of spring steel holding the "top" to the post. Or may be a ball and plunger type arrangement. Push an appropriate rod up the hole and see if you get some spring resistance. It probably cost them 59 cents and they will charge you 100.00$ if you cut it off. And one small thing to consider is .....They very well may have taken a reading when they locked it out, so even if you do "pick it" and replace it, they will note the usage when they come to offically remove it, and still smack you with a penalty.
04-18-2008, 12:00 AM #4
04-18-2008, 02:52 AM #5
I don't know how they do it down there, but up here, they pull the meter, put a sealing disc in both sides of it, and then lock out the valve. Cut the shackle off the lock on the valve, you still don't have hot water.
04-18-2008, 09:58 PM #6
Most all heat and air guys carry the key you need (if it's used in your area). Think real hard for one that owes you a favor.
04-18-2008, 11:14 PM #7
I got one off with a finishing nail once...
04-18-2008, 11:14 PM #8
Patent 3,002,668 is for "Dispenser for dispensing fluffy fibrous material", assigned to Johnson & Johnson
Perhaps a different number would be more applicable to your situation, unless you're crying
You can download any patent in PDF form for free from www.pat2pdf.org (not pat2pdf.com which charges for the same thing).
04-18-2008, 11:53 PM #9
But, maybe not.
Questar Gas (Utah) changed gas meters to RF telemetry types and they did it in a hot tap fashion so the pilots did not have to be relit.
In cold climates, they are not allowed to cut off gas service except for non-payment, and then only with adequate notice.
04-19-2008, 12:00 AM #10
Can't believe this topic has not been locked out .
Next we will be discussing how to rob banks or rip off atm's .
What does this have to do with machining ?
04-19-2008, 12:08 AM #11
What annoys me even more is the thread that got locked!
We can't discuss ads that break the site, but we CAN discuss illegal tampering with the gas company's equipment! WTF?!?!
04-20-2008, 12:53 AM #12
From what I've seen on the "stupid criminal shows", you gets yourself a truck, some chain, lasso your "soon to be your new" ATM and, well, that alarum is still ringing, DRIVE.
Should you not be in a position or locale conducive to stopping and rigging your new ATM onboard, it would be a wise choice to merge with traffic where other people are also draggin ATMs, fridges, washing machines, etc. down the highway. Then you'll blend in. Smmoooothh.
Extra points are awarded if your buddy stands between the ATM and the truck when the whole rig goes into motion. Plus another 5 if he can go the whole 8 seconds. Deducts of 10 for each limb severed by chain/obstacles. Points also may be deducted for dropping your wallet at the scene, making a full face-on speech to the security camera (double deduction here if you're wearing your personalized gold teeth).
Also, in controlled testing, it has been found that one real machinist, or a decent hobby shop guy can pull this stunt off quietly and successfully. However, in test groups totaling 3 or more, success has not been observed as there comes a point when the whole group becomes embroiled in an argument over how the rigging should be done. Reportedly, one group was still arguing top vs. bottom methods of lifting at their own arraignment. Another group that did plan ahead for the lift did bring their own fork truck, but a short while later discovered the distinct disadvantage of multitasking the fork truck as a getaway vehicle. In an effort to cooperate with authorities, they did do a decent job of loading the police flatbed.
04-20-2008, 01:21 AM #13
Gee Whillikers Mr. Wilson...
I did not mean to stir up a pot of s**t. I thought I had corrected the pat. no, it's 3002368 pretty clever little device, looks like it would be easily defeated with an aircraft cleco. I have not done so.
I am always quite impressed with the hotheads here.
#1, I'm paying for the damn gas. How exactly does that equate to "ripping off ATM's" Bob?
#2, it takes them 5 days to get there dead butts out here to remove a lock to access something I'm paying for? So, when does it become morally acceptable, when it takes a month? A year?
#3, what does this have to do with machining? Well, one could make a tool in one's shop. So probably more than many thngs that are discussed here, such as computer printers, or perhaps, Monkey calenders. No objections there I note, Bob.
I do find it quite humerous to get called over an OT post on stealing something I'm paying for by someone who openly advocated downloading copyrighted television programs and making them available for any and all to download.
04-20-2008, 03:04 AM #14
I don't know about purging. I do know that they will come into the house to check your appliances after turn on, will wait while you relight pilots, elderly who can't bend down to relight, the tech is supposed to light at a 40 buck charge.
Electronic or spark ignition, they just say you're good to go and leave.
Hard to believe "hot swap", with gas lines. I don't disbelieve you, just don't know how they can do it. Possibly the same as the water meter they added an external digital readout to in my basement, added a dial with an encoder in place of the old meter dial.
I agree with Rudd. You pay the bill, your service should be turned on. I don't know if his gas was turned off or it is new service. Immaterial. They will sell more gas in those 4 or 5 days, bill will be higher at the end of the month.
BUT, they seem to have gotten some bill passed allowing them to take 3 "business days" to turn on service.
My daughter's electric was turned off, she called me before the battery on her internet phone died, I went over and she used my cell phone to pay the bill with my credit card. They accepted payment and told her it would take 3 days to turn on the power. My kid and her family, my grandkids included, had to stay at my house for 3 nights. That bothered me not at all, they're mine.
I am, however, pissed with the utilities in general. My own power was cut a number of years ago while I was at work on 4 to 12. Called them to complain. They told me they had received my payment at 2 or so in the afternoon, would charge me an "after hours" fee to reconnect, 75 bucks or something like that.
Paid it, guy came out to reconnect, friend of mine, when I was installing panels and doing rewiring, his was the truck to pull the meter so I could change over, would call in before end of shift to find if I had called for reconnect so he could get to me before he knocked off.
Sometimes had problems with the independent inspector getting there to check and sign off, so couldn't call in. If I hadn't called in, he would drive by on the way home,(took his truck home) and if the inspector was on the way, would hang around and BS till he left, would reconnect.
Innyhoo, came up to talk to me, told me the power was cut off at 4:12 in the afternoon. Couple hours after they acknowledged they were in receipt of my payment. BFD, we shut it off, even if the payment was made before it was, and you paid to have it turned back on and screw you.
This pisses me off, but it doesn't affect my health or well being. BUT, they will do the same to older people who maybe cannot do without power, disclaimer on the shutoff notice notwithstanding, if you have a Doctor certify that loss of power would harm your health they will not, etc.
All of them are "just another energy company" and screw you, just as the oil companies are doing today.
Look here, at my today's paper:
Pay attention to this paragraph:
"Thirdly, refinery capacity continues to average well below 84 percent, and has been since January, as refiners artificially hold down refined product to increase the price," Moors said.
That one makes me cheer the Arabs who want to refine their own product and send us just the gas and Diesel, although that will raise the price of tar and Sulphur and all the more volatile hydrocarbons that the US refineries make possibly even more money from than from gas and Diesel.
THEY wind up with all the tar to sell or dispose of in other ways.
Which way would you say it would go if them million barrel boats were carrying just gasoline, or just Diesel, instead of crude that has to be distilled, at US prices, into those products?
Price would go up or price would go down?
Look to Venezuela and Citgo. I think Chavez has offered reduced price oil to some of the people most affected by heating oil cost, North East, for example, and even in Alaska, and some there said they would rather pay 10 bucks a gallon than the subsidized oil from a "Socialist" country like Venezuela.
04-21-2008, 01:23 AM #15
gas meter locks
The gas meter locks used locally could be opened by using the cartridge case fom a 30-30 round.
04-21-2008, 02:40 PM #16
If you ever get to open, be careful! Turning on the gas is a very delicate process I've heard.
Just crack the valve the slightest amount until the line fills, then proceed to fully open the valve. That regulator is very sensitive and you DON"T want to damage it. EXPENSIVE!
This is all hearsay from a plumber.
04-21-2008, 03:30 PM #17
Sounds similar to the lock used to seal a C.T. (current transfer) cabinet.
A spring loaded sleeve presses two balls outward, trapping the lock in the cabinet latch. Retracting the sleeve alloves the ball to fall back into the lock cylinder. "Sometimes" the lazy utility guys don't show up on time when you have work to do inside a cabinet. Think about how a machanical pencil works and you have the basics of the key.
04-22-2008, 12:30 AM #18
You have less than1/2 pound pressure in the line into your house, if you open the valve, you pressurize to that 1/2 pound.
BS. You crack the valve on your Oxy tank regularly, and a full 2200 PSI flows into the regs and doesn't blow anything up 99.9999999999 % of the time.
Next time you have to replace a gas burning appliance, and the plumber friend tells you how delicate it is, and will turn it back on "right" for another hundred bucks or whatever, tell him to pound salt. You will do it yourself. Hard to do, sometimes, you might have to loose the nut on the stopcock to even be able to turn the cock.
You don't wanna, call the gas company.
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04-22-2008, 03:35 AM #19
Rudd, Don't know where you're located, but in areas where the gas co's have been ripped off, it's their practice to open the union downstream of the meter/shutoff, and insert a metal disk, something like the seal on a can of solvent. Before turning on the valve, I'd check for this seal. The main reason they don't want customers turning it on themselves, is liability. They want to check for leaks and light pilots.
04-22-2008, 04:16 AM #20
Theft of Utilities