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Damaged gas meter box repair

THE PROJECT

Repair of a ground level gas meter box on a new estate being developed by one of Plastic Surgeon’s national housebuilder clients, for whom the cosmetic repair specialist carries out snagging work across the country.

The partly buried box, adjacent to a new house, had been badly damaged by a heavy wheeled all-terrain vehicle. However, while the original box was in pieces, a new one could not be installed without disconnecting the gas supply which has to be done by the supplier rather than the boiler installation company on site.

THE CHALLENGES

The damage to the lid and upper part of the base was so severe that its original shape could only be discerned by comparison with adamaged meter box spare one. The fibre-glass construction was so badly splintered that in places it had disintegrated. Plastic Surgeon’s North Eastern Regional Operations Manager, Mark Johnson told the client the box was “beyond economic repair” – but when the site agent explained that the gas board would charge £900 for facilitating the box’s replacement, and that the time factor would delay handover of the property, it was agreed one of Plastic Surgeon’s senior Finishers would attempt to remedy the situation.

In addition to the challenge of reconstructing the box, its dark caramel- brown colour would also require very careful matching in such a prominent position.

HIGHLIGHTS

The Finisher began by cutting back the splintered parts of the meter box; and then trying to re-assemble the larger fragments, which had been found lying about in the wake of the vehicle.

The jigsaw of parts was stuck back together using Cold Weld Gel which offers a very strong bond, while the Finisher also employed other items from the company’s standard van kit such as timber ‘splints’ and rapid curing adhesive.

The remainder of the holes and surface damage was made good by building up layers of Plastic Surgeon’s Ultra-Premium two pack filler. These being smoothed back either by hand or using an electric sander, depending on the profile of the area.

With the shape of the damaged glass fibre box fully restored and primed, the Finisher then matched the brown colour using pigments from Plastic Surgeon’s System 20 exterior grade paint range and applied three coats. The box was then given a further couple of coats of lacquer to provide long term protection.

KEY OUTCOMES FOR CLIENT

  • The housebuilder’s site manager was delighted not only with the fact the Finisher managed to save what appeared at first to be an irreparably damaged meter box, but that he did so during a day on site where he also effected repairs to several doors, windows and kitchen work-tops.
  • This meant the repair cost around £150 compared to the £900 bill which would have resulted from having the gas company carry out a full replacement.
  • The property was duly handed over to its new owners on schedule.
  • The repair option proved to be the most sustainable one in that it saved the use of a new meter box, plus the additional ‘environmental footprint’ of having other contractors make multiple visits to site.

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