When It's Legally Required
Many natural gas providers, which charge customers based on a meter that measures their gas use, are legally required to replace their meters regularly to ensure that they remain reliable. In Massachusetts, for example, companies must change their meters every seven years.
After an Inspection
While the life expectancy of natural gas meters varies, providers will swap out meters when they stop working. Customers are generally allowed to request an inspection of their gas meter if they believe it is inaccurate. Similarly, if a company believes that a gas meter is reading incorrectly, it will initiate an inspection and, if necessary, replace the meter.
Companies should replace gas meters as often as is required by law and after an inspection determines that the meter has been reading incorrectly. According to Columbia Gas of Ohio, customers may request a test to verify their meter's operation; if the accuracy is "outside accepted tolerances," the company will install a new, working meter at no charge.