How Far a Generator Should Be From the Gas Meter

Emergencies come when you least expect them. You never know when a freak weather event will destroy your home or business power. Luckily backup generators are here to save the day.

But backup generators come with safety concerns. They must be far from home and have a gas meter to avoid harm. What is that distance? How far should a generator be from the gas meter?

The government has regulations on where people can put gas meters and what conditions they can be kept in. If a gas meter or service connection gets damaged, there could be a hazardous health gas leak.

In this article, we will be looking at all things gas meter and generator related, including key topics like:

  • Gas meter clearance code
  • Gas meter location regulations
  • Gas meter clearance to windows
  • How far should a generator be from the gas meter?

Do you want to install a generator for your home or business? Are you curious about the regulations that exist regarding gas meters and generators? Keep reading to find out more!

Pipes and gas meter on orange wall

How Far Should a Generator Be From the Gas Meter

A generator should have three feet of clearance in all directions away from a gas meter. Depending on where you live, some local laws might be different. In California, the regulation statute says 3 feet of clearance is necessary, which is the standard in most places.

When in doubt, consult your generator manual or contact the company that makes your generator and ask them where the proper place to put your generator is.

You should place your generator in open areas where the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is low and away from gas meters that can cause electrical disturbances.

Gas Meters Are Sensitive Devices

Gas meters are sensitive devices that need to be accessible for reading, emergencies, and periodic maintenance. Many safety concerns surrounding gas meters make it easy to understand why generators need to be as isolated from them as possible.

Dirt and debris that collects around or under a gas meter can cause the meter to corrode and leak. If debris covers the emergency shut-off valve, you are at a higher risk of a gas leak.

Plants like bushes and shrubs can obstruct the meter and make readings difficult. Often, gas meters need to be read in an emergency, and cutting off access to a gas meter reading can waste valuable time.

Metallic objects can cause hazardous conditions, so be sure not to leave ladders or pipes nearby.

Big Backup Natural Gas Generator for House Building Outdoor

Clearance Around Gas Meter

Gas meters need clearance from buildings and environmental hazards. A common problem in the wintertime is that gas meters near houses’ gutters can start to accumulate ice and snow, resulting in a gas leak. Gas meters must have 3 feet of clearance from all sides, including top and bottom.

Gas Meter Clearance Code

Electrical equipment can serve as a primary source of ignition. A generator producing electricity has a chance of causing a spark or ark that could cause a gas meter to start a fire.

There are gas meter clearance codes called the National Fuel Gas Codes that dictate at least 3 feet of clearance for indoor and outdoor premises with gas meters.

Gas Meter Location Regulations

People have to place gas meters by local regulations. Typically gas meters have to be located in the front corner of a home or within 10 feet of the front corner of the house.

The 3 feet rule applies to any windows, doors, sources of ignition, sources of heat, and any ventilation.

It is also prudent to make sure the gas meter is away from any gutters or trees that could drop debris down on the gas meter.

Generator Placement Codes

Like gas meters, generators also have strict placement codes that protect the safety of the people using them.

You should place your generator at least 18 inches away from a house and at least 5 feet away from any windows, doors, and fresh air intakes.

If your generator is in a servicing room, it must have a clearance space of at least 3 feet, and the service room must be well ventilated to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Generac Generator Distance From Gas Meter

Generac generators must be at least 3 feet away from a gas meter like all generators.

Experts recommend that you install your Generac family house generators in a remote location where the risk of ignition and gas poisoning is low.

Gas Meter Clearance to Window

A gas meter needs to maintain a minimum of 18 inches of vertical clearance, and any opening where air can grow through like a window will require an extra 6 feet of vertical distance away from a gas meter.

Gas meters can malfunction and leak harmful gases, so people should locate their gas meters as far away from windows as possible.

Propane generator outside a house

Generator Distances FAQ

How Far Can a Standby Generator Be From the House?

A standby generator should be at least 18 inches from your house and a minimum of 5 feet away from doors and windows. The maximum recommended distance that a standby generator should be from a house is 20 feet. Care should ensure any exhaust is directed away from house windows or doors.

Where Should a Whole House Generator Be Located?

You should locate your whole house generator in an open, well-ventilated space at a maximum of 20 feet away from home. The generator should be located in a place where exhaust fumes and gas leaks will not cause harm to others.

How Far from the House Should a Whole House Generator Be Placed?

A whole house generator should be placed at a distance of 18 inches to 20 feet. The distance will depend on the proximity of doors, windows, and other flammable devices.

How Much Clearance Does a Generator Need?

A generator needs 3 feet of clearance in its front and 5 feet or more from doors and windows. A generator should be located at least 18 inches away from a house.

How Far Away From Windows Should a Generator Be?

Experts suggest that you should locate a generator at least 5 feet away from any windows. Windows are common areas where air can transfer into the house, so care should be taken to locate any devices that release fumes away from these areas.

Where Do You Put a Generator in a Storm?

People should keep their generators in a dry, adequately covered place with a minimum of 3 feet of clearance on all sides. In the case of a heavy storm, people should ensure that the covering is waterproof to avoid any generator malfunctions.

How Far Does Generator Need To Be From AC Unit?

Homeowners should place a generator at least ten feet away from AC units. Generators are capable of producing sparks and can leak exhaust fumes that can contaminate or damage air conditioning units.


Read More ...