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My home is about 8 years old. Despite being painted, my external gas meter has rust at every thread/joint location. The rusting is mainly on the pipe threads. I'm afraid this could eventually lead to leaks.

I have several questions:

  • Is this a significant enough problem to warrant removing the rust and repainting?

  • If "yes" is the answer to the above question, what is the best way to remove the rust and repaint? Based on other posts and my experience, I would wire brush the rust spots then use CLR, Evaporust, or some other rust-removal solution. Then I'd paint with a rust-proof paint.

  • The answer to this post implies the Gas Company is responsible for maintaining the gas meter. Should I just notify them?

  • According to NASA studies, the only prep method that's really effective against rust is media blast. Needle scaling or very aggressive sanding/grinding came up a distant second. Wirebrushing didn't even place. Rust converters were tried and didn't work well (and they don't work for me either) and might attack the pipe dope. This brings it down to "if you can't do it right, it's pointless". corrosion.ksc.nasa.gov – Harper Feb 16 '17 at 18:10
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No. The rust is inconsequential and those pipes will likely outlive the gas meter equipment itself. The reason that the rust is at the threads is because the threads are not painted well on purpose; it prevents a good seal when they're putting the gas meter together.

Depending on your gas company's policies, painting the gas meter could be a violation of your customer agreement with them.

Using evaporust, CLR, TSP, or some other cleaning agent on the threads could dissolve the pipe dope and cause a leak. I would leave it alone.

  • Thanks for the good response. I did call my gas company (NIPSCO), and they said the customer is responsible for the gas meter appearance. I can repaint it if I want to. But, based on this answer and that the meter is hidden behind bushes, I'm not going to do anything right now. – Dean Hill Sep 28 '11 at 22:51
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I work for a natural gas company. Please call the gas company & advise you need your meter inspected for rust and they will clean and paint or replace the meter. It is the gas company's responsibility!!!!

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    The question was 4 years ago, so it's either not a problem, or his house has exploded by now. – paul Mar 27 '15 at 11:56

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