Is it necessary to replace incoming services & relocate METERS?

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Are you in the middle of your construction project and all of a sudden you are being asked by your contractor or architect if you’d like to update your incoming services? We must admit it’s a bit late to discuss this but if this is the case you might as well know what they are talking about. It’s common practice to change pipes and wires going into your property when carrying out a refurbishment or a development of any sort. The three major groups are as followed:

  1. Gas supply
  2. Water supply
  3. Electrics

Let’s look at each one of them closer.

So why is it that you might need GAS pipes replaced? This will have to do with the fact that when the house was built, regulations and standards were very much different to today’s norms. Size, material and depth at which they were run don’t match with strict rules nowadays. If you are replacing your central heating system, chances are it will be recommended to replace you incoming gas supply pipe as the pipe size might be inadequate. Having an outbuilding in the garden with gas supply might be another reason, the size would need to be upped according to suggestions from your gas engineer. The number of appliances throughout the house operating on gas will also be of consideration and you need to take a minute to think this through. Changing the layout within the property might force you to relocate the meter for this to free up space and install it somewhere easily accessible but away from the plain view.

Why would you need the WATER mains replaced? As it happens, the water supply may be one of the most crucial parts among services and the reason would be that if something goes wrong related to this and you have for example, a massive leak or even worse, a flood, this would set you back to where you’ve started as everything installed would be ruined. If you are lucky enough to be covered by insurance then good on you, otherwise it’s a complete disaster. Hence why it’s worth researching about this and talking to people who done it already. We’ve established that the first reason to changing this is peace of mind and reassurance. The second one would be upgrading your central heating system and building more bathrooms, kitchens, WC’s, installation of multiple radiations, under floor heating and other outlets which require water supply. Having a system with a hot water cylinder will require better flow and water pressure to operate correctly. The goal here is to have sufficient water pressure throughout the property which would depend on both incoming water supply pipes and system you’d be installing. There is no water meter that you can monitor like Gas or Electric indoors, you normally pay an estimated bill from Thames water and you must make your peace with it, even though you can’t really check this unless you find it under a small metal or plastic cover in your driveway, garden or nearby footpath, and let’s face it no one wants to do this.

What about ELECTRICS? The cable normally stays as it is, and no replacement is necessary. The meter however is similar to gas meter situation, where you might want to relocate it along with the fuse board. Common place to install this would be your utility room, somewhere externally or under the staircase. This requires advice and guidance from energy supplier as they have strict guidelines and rules that you must follow. Here are more reasons as to why you might want to move electrical meter:

  • Transforming a downstairs cupboard into a toilet or shower room
  • Constructing a new door frame
  • Extending a property
  • Renovating a kitchen
  • Building a conservatory
  • Moving it to a more accessible position 

How much this could cost? There is no right answer to this question as it will depend on the current location and where you’d like it moved, construction work necessary to achieve this as well as volatile fees from your energy supplier. If repositioning is within one meter, it’s known to be free of charge or for a fixed fee of £750. Best option is to talk to your contractor and energy supplier to get to the bottom of it and get a final cost.

Hope this helps with getting to understand this complicated subject a bit more, plan ahead and try to keep the meters where they are to save money unless completely impossible. Our recommendation is to definitely change both gas and water mains if you have a chance, as this will benefit you for years to come.

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