I’ve begun to suspect that I have a gas meter phone interference problem.
I got a new outdoor meter last week as part of an upgrade by the network provider.
The installation was fast and friendly and everything was okay at first. The installer checked that the boiler was working and showed me how to take a meter reading myself if I should ever need to.
My boiler comes on twice a day — once in the morning and then again around 7pm in the evening. It’s always worked fine and it’s regularly serviced.
The day after I got the new meter, I was on the phone just before 7pm. The phone is a cordless BT 4500 with twin handsets.
As soon as the boiler came on, the phone clicked a few times and then the line went dead.
At first I thought the problem was the phone line. I checked that the base station was plugged in and working and it seemed okay.
Then I checked the phone line by plugging in an old handset where the phone line comes into the house. I immediately got a dial tone and so I knew that the phone was working.
I connected everything back up and then redialled to pick up the abandoned phone conversation. When the boiler came on again, the same thing happened.
I fixed the problem by plugging out the phone nearest to the gas meter. I now charge the handsets separately from the phone’s base station which is on another floor.
Gas meter phone interference?
When I mentioned this to the service engineer that looks after the boiler, he suggested that the meter could potentially cause some interference. Apparently it has some kind of electronic component in it that allows the meter reader to take a reading without having to physically examine the meter. He said that when the boiler starts up, the meter outside also starts so that it can record the gas usage. So, it’s possible that if the meter’s electronic signal is somehow causing wireless interference.
Of course it’s entirely possible that I’m barking up the wrong tree with this diagnosis. But, if you have a cordless phone and are wondering about gas meter phone interference, I hope that this short post may give you a few ideas to try to resolve the problem.