How to clock a gas meter

How to clock a gas meter

How to read or clock a gas meter
How to read or clock a gas meter

You can clock as gas meter by turning on whichever gas appliance you want to measure, going to your meter, and watching the dials spin. One of the dials should move faster than the rest, grab a stopwatch and measure how long it takes that smallest dial to make a complete circle, then use a gas flow chart to determine the gas burned per hour. See the gas flow chart or use our online calculator below.

Gas meter online calculator

Charting for some people can be difficult. If you want, you can avoid all the charting and just use this online gas meter calculator below. You just need to determine which size meter dial you have and then enter how many seconds it took for that dial to make a complete rotation. If you plan on measuring gas meters frequently, download Meter Buddy the Gas Meter Clocking App for android or iOS.

[script for gas buddy]

How to measure a gas meter step by step

If you want to do the measurement the old fashioned way here are the step by step instructions below:

  1. We’ll use a default of 1,050 BTU per cubic foot of natural gas but be aware this will mean some inaccuracy. If you want exact accuracy contact your gas supplier and ask for the actual heat content of your natural gas (BTUH).
  2. Determine if you have a ½ Cu. Ft. Dial, 1 Cu. Ft., 2 Cu. Ft. or 5 Cu. Ft. Dial, you do this by going to your home’s gas meter and finding the smallest scale (figure a).
Figure a: Shows a “Two Feet” and “Half Foot” use whichever is easiest to measure one whole revolution
  1. Fire up however many gas appliances you want to measure, if you’re looking for an accurate gauge to how much energy your burn during your peak usage. If you are just measuring because you think the dial is spinning too fast then continue.
  2. Go to your home’s gas meter and time the number of seconds it takes for the gas meter smallest dial to complete one whole revolution.
  3. Match the number of seconds it took for one whole revolution with the seconds column on the gas meter chart below and use the appropriate division below the chart if the dial on your meter is not 2 cubic foot.

Gas meter clocking chart

Here is a gas flow chart in cubic feet per hour, this is for a 2 cubic foot dial, if your dial size is different, then you’ll need to divide by the appropriate dial size at the bottom of the chart.

[ gas meter chart ]

For 1 Cu. Ft. Dial:

Gas Flow CFH = Chart Flow Reading divided by 2

For ½ Cu. Ft. Dial:

Gas flow CFH = Chart Flow Reading divided by 4

For 5 Cu. Ft. Dial:

Gas Flow CFH = 10X Chart Flow Reading divided by 4

How fast should a gas meter turn

If your dial does not seem to turn that fast don’t worry it’s probably that you are not using much gas at the moment, go start an appliance and double check. If your dial seems to turn no matter what, don’t forget, all your appliances have a pilot light that constantly use a little gas. You can get an accurate idea of what your gas bill should cost by using the online calculator above or the Gas Meter Clocking App can tell you how many therms you are burning.

As of right now, nearly 2019, the average price for a therm is $0.50 USD. Which means if you burn 1 therm an hour, you’ll spend $0.50 an hour or $348 a month. This is an example of how fast a gas meter will turn at 1 therm an hour on a 2 cubic foot dial.

[example dial turn]

How fast a gas meter should turn example
This is an example of what a gas meter looks like up close
How does the gas company read my meter
Gas company reading a gas meter
Measuring a big gas pipeline at the gas company

Most gas companies read your meter electronically now. They have radio controlled devices that talk to the gas meter and the gas meter reports how many times the dial has spun since the last reading. The gas company takes all that information and uses it to calculate your gas bill. Sometimes if you feel your gas bill is too high or if you think your gas meter is faulty you can get a technician to come out and do a manual read. Just ask your local gas provider.

We strongly suggest measuring the meter yourself a few times and keeping track of all the readings so you have a good insight to how much gas you are using. Just bare in mind, you want to measure at different times of the day, week and year. If you measure while your house is always at rest, your readings are going to be off unless you do a cumulative meter reading.

Want to track all your meter readings?

The easiest way to track all your gas meter readings is to download Meter Buddy, the gas meter clocking app that will store all of your gas meter readings by location if you want it to. Whether your a gas professional or natural gas fueled homeowner Meter Buddy lets you easily track your meter readings.