PS-EG-02—Provisional specifications for the means and methods of physically sealing verified electricity and gas meters

Category: Electricity and gas
Provisional specification: PS-EG-02 (rev. 1)
Document(s):
Issue date:
Effective date:
Supersedes: PS-EG-02, GEN-21


Table of contents


1.0 Purpose

The purpose of these provisional specifications is to establish Measurement Canada's (MC) requirements for the application of verification marks and physical sealing of verified electricity and gas meters.

2.0 Scope

These provisional specifications apply to electricity and gas meters and ancillary devices verified by an inspector or an authorized service provider (ASP) pursuant to the requirements of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (EGIA) and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Regulations (EGIR).

3.0 Authority

These provisional specifications are issued under the authority of section 18 of the EGIR.

4.0 References

4.1 Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (R.S. 1985, c. E-4), s. 28

4.2 Electricity and Gas Inspection Regulations (SOR/86-131), s. 18

4.3 Principles for Sealing Meters and Trade Devices, 1999-07-26 (refer to Appendix)

5.0 Terminology

Authorized service provider
An organization that has been accredited for the verification and/or reverification of meters under the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (an accredited meter verifier).
Conventional seal
A metallic double sleeve crimp-type seal.
Conventional sealing method
The wire-based method used to secure a meter by using a metallic multi-strand or braided wire having a diameter of at least 0.644 mm in conjunction with a conventional seal.
Legally relevant parameter
A parameter of a measuring instrument, electronic device or a sub-assembly subject to legal control. Legally relevant parameters typically form part of the legally relevant functions performed by a device. The following types of legally relevant parameters can be distinguished: type-specific parameters and device-specific parameters. For the purposes of these provisional specifications, legally relevant parameters are those parameters which are, either individually or as part of a function, subject to verification under the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act.
Meter terminal
A wiring connection on an electricity or gas meter which allows for electrical input power and/or measurement inputs and outputs.
Metrological adjustment
Any physical means or method that is designed or intended to be used, or that is used, to alter and/or correct the measurement characteristics of a device or system. This includes altering or replacing the register, components, connections or working parts of a device and the alteration of any required information that is available from the device or any output from the device.
Seal
A physical mechanism that is used to secure access to a meter's metrological adjustments and legally relevant parameters so that access or changes to metrological adjustments and legally relevant parameters will be detectable.
Sealing
An action performed in order to secure a device. Securing a device includes, but is not limited to, sealing a cover to the base of an electricity meter, sealing an enclosure containing a multiple customer metering system, sealing adjustment chamber ports on a gas meter and sealing one meter module to another meter module (such as a temperature compensating module to a rotary meter).
Verification mark
A mark applied at the time of verification to a device that has been found to be in compliance with the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act. A verification mark includes any seal, stamp, tag or label which identifies the verifier and the year in which the verification takes place.

6.0 General

The requirements contained in these provisional specifications have been established in accordance with MC's Principles for Sealing Meters and Trade Devices (refer to the Appendix).

7.0 Requirements for the physical sealing of verified meters

7.1 General

7.1.1 Unless otherwise permitted by the President of MC pursuant to the EGIA, each meter verified for use in trade shall be sealed in accordance with these provisional specifications.

7.1.2 The methods used for the physical sealing of an electricity or gas meter or ancillary device shall:

  1. secure a meter so that access or changes to all working parts, metrological adjustments, legally relevant software and parameters will be detectable (i.e. the seal will be broken); and
  2. incorporate a verification mark providing an indication of the calendar year and organization which verified the device. Where various components of a meter are secured by separate sealing arrangements, each of these arrangements shall incorporate a verification mark.

7.1.3 Seals and/or verification marks shall:

  1. be applied only by an inspector designated under the EGIA or an ASP accredited pursuant to the EGIA;
  2. be applied only after it has been verified that the meter is found to comply with the applicable MC specifications for verification or reverification; and
  3. bear the calendar year in which the meter was verified.

7.1.4 Verification marks are not required to be visible once a verified meter is installed in service or is mated to another verified meter, provided that it is possible for the meter owner or MC inspector to expose and read the verification mark without breaking any physical verification seal(s) on the meter or its register module (if so equipped).

7.1.5 Adhesive labels bearing a verification mark may be applied to a verified meter:

  1. in a clean, flat location that ensures they will remain legible and indelible for the duration of the meter's time in service; and
  2. to supplement the verification mark(s) on one or more physical seals that may not be visible once the meter is installed; or
  3. where permission has been granted in accordance with the EGIA for it to be put into service without sealing.

7.1.6 Except as otherwise provided by or pursuant to the EGIA, no meter whose seal has been broken shall be placed into service or continued in use until it has been reverified and sealed.

7.1.7 In the event that a seal is discovered to have failed (e.g. a seal falls off the meter after being put into service or is otherwise found to be ineffective in performing the functions of a seal — refer to clause 1 of the Appendix), the meter contractor and/or owner shall be responsible for any and all corrective actions required to bring the meters back into compliance through reverification and sealing.

7.1.8 The rendering ineffective of a seal shall be deemed to constitute breaking the seal.

7.2 Alternative physical sealing methods

Electricity and gas meters are evaluated by MC's Approval Services Laboratory (ASL) to ascertain whether or not a meter is constructed with physical sealing provisions that allow for the conventional sealing method. Alternative seal types and sealing methods are not evaluated by the ASL for the purposes of meter approval.

7.2.1 An ASP may use a physical seal type and sealing method other than the MC conventional type and method on condition that the sealing method:

  1. complies with MC's Principles for Sealing Meters and Trade Devices (refer to the Appendix);
  2. is accepted for use by the contractor and/or meter owner; and
  3. is documented and recognized under the ASP's quality program.

7.2.2 Alternative seals and sealing methods are subject to the same requirements as those established in section 7.1. Therefore, in the event that an alternative seal or sealing method is discovered to have failed, the requirement of 7.1.7 applies.

7.2.3 Any alternative sealing methods which are discovered to have failed shall be deemed to not comply with MC's Principles for Sealing Meters and Trade Devices and shall no longer be permitted for use.

7.3 Meter terminals

Where the requirement to seal meter terminals has not been prescribed, terminals may be sealed by meter owners/contractors at their discretion by applying conventional or alternate sealing methodologies and seals, as applicable. The sealing of meter terminals is recommended as a means of increasing the security and integrity of the meter and ancillary device(s) used in a measuring system.

7.4 Batteries (gas meters only)

In the case of electronic gas metering devices, where the requirement to seal one or more battery compartments has not been prescribed, meter owners/contractors may seal these at their discretion by applying conventional or alternate sealing methodologies and seals, as applicable. Any such sealing is recommended as a means of increasing the security and integrity of the meter and ancillary device(s) used in a measuring system.

7.5 Gas meters with interchangeable volume conversion modules

Where the owner of a gas meter that has been approved with an interchangeable volume conversion module opts to have the two components verified and sealed as separate devices, the components may be sealed together by meter owners/contractors at their discretion by applying conventional or alternate sealing methodologies and seals, as applicable. Any such sealing is recommended as a means of increasing the security and integrity of the meter and ancillary device(s) used in a measuring system.

8.0 Revisions

The purpose of this revision is to:

Appendix – Principles for sealing meters and trade devices

Measurement Canada has established the following general principles for sealing meters and other trade measurement devices. These principles have been established to protect all parties to a trade measurement transaction equally and without bias.

  1. The functions of a seal are to:
    1. secure a device so that access or changes to metrological adjustments, legally relevant software and parameters will be detectable;
    2. identify the verification date and organization which verified the device. This information is necessary for the administration and enforcement of legislation, for complaint or dispute investigation purposes, for the determination of the seal expiration date and for compliance sampling (seal extension) purposes; and
    3. act as a deterrent against unauthorized access or changing of metrologically sensitive adjustments and legally relevant parameters.
  2. A seal is required whenever a meter (defined pursuant to the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act [EGIA]) is verified for trade use and it is possible to affect the metrological adjustments or legally relevant parameters of the device.
  3. A seal or verification mark can only be applied by an authorized service provider or an inspector designated under the EGIA.
  4. A seal is a vital component of a credible measurement system which provides confidence in the integrity and accuracy of measurement in the following manner:
    1. An intact seal provides evidence of and confidence in the integrity of the meter and the measurement information it contains. This evidence is independent of either of the parties (purchaser or seller) which have a stake in the veracity of the measurement information, which is especially important in the case of a measurement dispute investigation.
    2. An intact seal provides a level of assurance that the device complies with metrological criteria established by an independent party (MC) under the general direction of federal legislation.
    3. The markings on a seal are used to determine when and by whom the meter was verified, which is one of the key factors in ascertaining whether or not the sealed meter conforms to legislated requirements.
    4. Seals are an important part of the process of determining the validity of sample meters inspected pursuant to seal date extension programs.
  5. A verification mark does not constitute a seal pursuant to the EGIA, but may be included on a tag used for sealing. A verification mark is a mark which is applied, at the time of verification, to a device that has been found to be in compliance with the applicable legislation (i.e. typically on a seal tag or an adhesive sticker). Its primary purpose is to indicate to the public that the device has been officially examined and verified by an MC inspector or an authorized service provider. The use of a verification mark also indicates an MC presence in the marketplace, providing confidence in a device's accuracy and integrity. Finally, a verification mark provides a link to the organization which verified the device. This information is valuable in tracing records relating to the verification of the device.
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