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Old 10-18-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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I used to live in an apt. where the landlord was illegally charging me for gas & electricity in common areas as well as inside 2 other apts. (the landlord has admitted this). This was not part of any written or oral agreement.

This was in a house that was illegally divided into 3 apts. (only 2 apts. were allowed by law). The house has 3 meters that I know of. A pic of these meters is attached.

My admittedly dumb question is, does anyone know what these meters register? Electric? Gas? Both?

My landlord was showing me 1 gas bill & 1 electric bill every month - he said the bills were for my meter. I could find no other meters inside or outside the house. I especially want to know how gas usage is determined - do gas companies generally check the meter monthly (if that's the case, do the meters pictured measure both gas AND electricity?).

Thank you.
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Where is the gas meter?-img_0990.jpg  
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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Those are electric meters (gas and electric are never combined). If you want to find the gas meter, call the gas company and ask. If you tell them you want to know for emergency planning, they may even come out and show you where it is and how to turn it off. (some even have disposable emergency shut off wrenches they give out free to tenants)

gas meters may look different but they generally look like this:

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Old 10-18-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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Thank you, Pacific Flights! I am learning already. Obviously, I know little about this stuff.

Would you mind looking at the attached picture? Can you determine if these are electric or gas water heaters? I believe they are gas, but can you tell for sure (maybe because of the piping coming out of them or something?)?

Unfortunately, I have moved from this place, so I would not be able to get into wherever the gas meters are. Do you know if the gas meters are generally indoors? When I lived in this subdivided house, I looked all over the place for the gas meters, but I never saw anything like the pictures you posted - not inside or outside. Perhaps the gas meters are in the basement room that the landlord sometimes lived in and kept locked.
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Where is the gas meter?-img_1230.jpg  
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,594 posts, read 23,805,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan8870 View Post
Can you determine if these are electric or gas water heaters? I believe they are gas, but can you tell for sure (maybe because of the piping coming out of them or something?)?
These are electric; not having a flue pipe on top is the tip off.
Well, that and the electric wire in the top.

Quote:
Do you know if the gas meters are generally indoors?
Perhaps the gas meters are in the basement room that the landlord sometimes lived in and kept locked.
Both; but like the electric meters they are often outside (mine is).
With few exceptions though they'll be mounted to the exterior wall (in or out)
that is closest to the street where the pipe they use comes from.
Unless you're on a corner that is usually the front wall.

hth
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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See those thick orange cables coming out of the top of the water heaters? if they were gas that is where the connection to the chimney / flue pipe would be.

Did you have a gas stove? Gas furnace? Generally the costs of using electricity to heat water is much higher than gas. I am sorta surprised that these are electric water heaters if gas was available...
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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Gas meters are normally outside but they have been placed inside. Some gas companies read the meter electronically so they drive by, pick up the signal and never have to get out their car.

the ones in the picture looks to be electric because there is no exhaust flu and there's a large electric cable attached to the top center.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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In my location, at least on new construction, the gas and power meters have to be located somewhere where they can come out and read the meters. Many power and gas companies now have a method of reading remotely, so they don't have to physically come out on site and look at the meter, but I think they still have to be somewhere accessible.

On houses in my area, they typically put the gas meter 4 feet behind the power meter, so they are all together and easy to find. But on apartments, they would be in one big block for the building. But it should be on the outside of the building somewhere.

Calling the gas company could be problematic. In my area, if you don't have service in your name, they won't tell you anything at all. But if you explain your situation to them, telling them that you think you are being charged for the whole building since you can't find the meter (I assume that is your suspicion, anyway), I bet they would at least tell you whether there is one meter or three for your building, and might even come out on site and show you.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Did you have a gas stove? Gas furnace? Generally the costs of using electricity to heat water is much higher than gas. I am sorta surprised that these are electric water heaters if gas was available...
I had a gas stove and a gas furnace. The landlord told me that my hot water was also gas. However, each of the 3 apts. in this house had exactly this same hot water heater setup (same orange cord coming out of the top, etc.).

My former landlord, however, turned out to be a pathological liar with a lot to hide, so I'm not sure he was being truthful when he said my hot water heater was gas (at the same time, I can't figure out why he'd lie about this).

Also, the landlord did everything himself with no permits and no inspections (including installing my gas furnace), and no apparent concern for safety. So maybe those ARE actually gas water heaters and they're just really unsafe? Is it at all feasible that these hot water heaters could be GAS and a disaster just hasn't happened SO FAR? I don't know what the dangers are in having a gas water heater but no flue, etc. This guy had no problem taking chances with safety, I know that.

Thank you, everyone, for your responses so far. Please share more of your thoughts!
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get some money from overpayment, is the LL witholding some of your security deposit, are you just wanting to get even?
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:54 PM
 
8 posts, read 63,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
Calling the gas company could be problematic. In my area, if you don't have service in your name, they won't tell you anything at all. But if you explain your situation to them, telling them that you think you are being charged for the whole building since you can't find the meter (I assume that is your suspicion, anyway), I bet they would at least tell you whether there is one meter or three for your building, and might even come out on site and show you.
This is exactly my problem. The gas company would not tell me anything, since the acct. is not in my name. They also would not allow me to put it in my name, since, as they explained, they already know there is a shared meter (which the landlord has said I was paying for, although I never agreed to pay for other people's gas.). They will not tell me anything. So I am trying to figure things out on my own.
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