Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.
The circular opening that the electric meter plugs into in front of the meter box is known as an electric meter box socket. This socket contains conductors that are in the form of three pairs of clips. If there is a fault with the electric meter socket, it’s not easy to buy spare parts to fix it as there are no user serviceable parts within the socket and electric meter manufacturers don’t sell the parts either. Therefore, if your meter socket is faulty, it’s sensible to get the help of a licensed electrician to examine it.
Listed below are a few questions answered by the experts on issues relating to electric meter sockets.
Case Details: I have an electric meter socket that connects to an electrical circuit breaker box with a 20 AMP breaker that runs to an outlet. Wiring that supports 200 AMP runs to the meter socket. The main breaker is 200 AMP and there is no breaker at the meter apart from the 20 AMP one. Now, I’m building a cabin and want to run a 75 foot long connection, underground, to a service box in the cabin.
According to the code, there should be an electrical disconnect from the point where the cable enters the building so that the cable is safe. Since the socket does not have a breaker now, local code possibly allows this. In the light of this, it seems like you could have cables running from the meter to your cabin, underground. Use 2-2-4 triplex and bury it underground. Use two runs of #2 and one of #4 aluminum if you are using conduit. Alternatively, use copper thin wire to complete the job.
Additional Details: I want to run underground cables from my house to install a 125 AMP load center in the garage. The garage is located away from the house which has 200AMP load center.
Run a feeder from the 200 AMP panel by installing a breaker in the panel. Alternatively, you can purchase a larger meter socket with lugs for 2 sets of conductors and have one run straight to the garage bypassing the house. If you want to try this and you have an overhead service, bigger conductors would need to be installed from the mast to the meter socket. The power company will handle this if the service is underground.
Whatever you choose to do, the panel in the garage would probably need both a service disconnect and a main breaker. The 125 AMP size you have mentioned is not very common as it’s an odd size. Standard sizes like 100 and 200 AMPs are more easily available and competitively priced.
As long as the breaker or the fuse fits the size needed, either one is alright to use. Ensure that it is weatherproof and can be used outdoors. In case the meter has not been purchased yet, buy a square d combination meter socket and disconnect all in one. It’s cheaper to buy and very easy to install.
There are a few simple steps to follow while capping an electric meter socket. To begin with, find the two pairs of copper prongs behind the meter that lie perpendicular to each other. Wipe the matching clips that each of these prongs plugs into, to ensure that they are oil-free and clean. Then stand the electric meter upright in front of the socket. The meter front should face you. Slip the meter into the opening carefully to make sure that the copper prongs are connected to their matching clip inside the socket. Now push the meter in firmly with a bit of pressure to properly engage the prongs into the clips. Try shaking the meter to ensure that it’s fixed tight. Finally, lock the meter in place by screwing the circular clamp around the edge of it before getting the utility company to seal the meter.
If you have further questions about capping meter sockets or other electric meter socket related issues, you can ask an Expert for answers.