Is this a gas leak detector on the side of my house?
May 18, 2020 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Planning on repainting in a few months and I’m trying to identify and label a few random devices outside to make sure we know what they are beforehand. Is this a gas leak detector - Photos here (imgur link)? It’s right above the main gas meter and the cabling appears to run under where our gas furnace is. The cover, with the word Orion on it, has a hole beneath that looks like there is a sensor of some type inside.

I could take the cover off but really don’t want to mess with it and have to get a tradesperson out to fix it if my furnace switches off. There is nothing else obvious I can think it would be. We’d look to cover it when painting, but if it is a gas detector would it potentially pick up paint fumes as a gas?
posted by inflatablekiwi to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Sorry link to all photos is this one
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:11 AM on May 18, 2020

Does the wiring run to your water meter? It looks more like a "sender" so the meter reader can just walk past your house and not need to go inside to read the meter. Maybe this?
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:22 AM on May 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

+1 on AzraelBrown's answer, Orion is a brand of water meter. (edit, I now see that AzraelBrown linked to the brand, oops)
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 11:24 AM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Huh. Could well be - I hadn't thought about that at all! I went inside the garage and did a better job tracing the wire this time. It does go right up underneath the gas furnace, which made me think it was gas related, but moving a cut-out panel I can see it then takes a sharp left turn and then goes all the way over to where the water meter is on the other side of the garage.........where the wire has been cut and is dangling. Presumably its been this way since we purchased the house 8 months ago - we've still been getting metered water readings and they seemed right...but we have a small water company - our customer account numbers are only 4 digits long - so I guess possible it hasn't been metered right. The cut looks like it was deliberate - it's a clean cut and there is no "other end" attached to the meter. Possible the water company changed their meter readers at some stage and the external unit is no longer needed.

I'll check with the water company, but I think that's exactly what it is! Thanks AzraelBrown.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:57 AM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Confirmed - water company confirmed that they replaced the external transmitters for a new meter technology 3-4 years back, so the external transmitter can be removed. And I got access to our daily water statistics and our meter is reporting daily - so looks like I can just remove it, patch the penetration hole, and have one less mystery box and dangling cable to worry about.....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:57 PM on May 18, 2020 [9 favorites]

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