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Electric Meter Repair and Maintenance

What is a meter?

A device that records the exact amount of electricity being used by a consumer is called an electric meter. This device is also known as a watt-hour meter and gives readings in kilowatt-hours. Power companies install these meters at points where the company’s electricity lines are connected to a consumer’s building. Customers are charged periodically for their power usage based on readings taken from this meter. Listed below are questions answered by electricians on electric meter maintenance and repair related issues.

What do I do if my electric meter has become hot and begun to crackle?

If this happens, it’s important you get in touch with your electric company immediately. This is quite dangerous since there is a possibility that the lugs inside the meter have become loose and are arcing. If this is left unchecked, it could even burn your entire house down.

I am trying to relocate my electrical meter and for this to happen, my electrical company is going to have to shift my aerial supply line as well. With the new setup, I will have 6-8 feet of wire in conduit between the panel and the meter. Would this become a code issue and do I need an additional shut off?

Based on what you have said, there doesn’t seem to be any cause for worry. Very often, inspectors insist that service wires located inside a building, that are unprotected, and that measure over five feet in length, need to have a disconnect on the outside. However, this doesn’t apply to wiring on the outside. The optimal distance is usually decided upon by the inspector who has the final say in the matter. A few of them may have objections to the additional length while others may not.

I need to run wire from my electric meter to 2,200 amp panel boxes that are located on a wall that measures 2 X 6. The meter is fixed on the outside of this wall. My engineer thinks I only need 36’- 40’ of wire to make the connection. How much do I need?

You can determine this by the distance between the meter and the panels. If it’s less than 12” to the panels, your engineer’s estimate is close. If it’s a lot more, then the wire would probably need to measure about six times that distance, lug to lug.

Can I buy a meter socket for a residential power system without a bypass, in North Carolina? My electricity company says that all they require is that the meter socket is rated for 200 amps.

Usually, the standard 200 amp meter socket comes with a bypass. The bypass protects the meter so that there is no arc that might damage the electronics when you remove the meter. If the power company does not insist on the bypass, it may be alright but you could check with the local electrical inspector to ensure that you do not go against the rules.

An electric power meter can help you understand how much energy is consumed by different appliances in your home and can therefore help bring down your power bills. To monitor energy consumption of a specific appliance, there are a few steps you can follow. Start by turning the appliance off. Then remove the plug from its electrical outlet and connect it to the power meter. Thereafter, plug the electric power meter into the electrical outlet. Once you turn the appliance on, check the reading on the power meter to note the number of watts of energy being consumed by it. This will help you to monitor your usage and cut down where necessary.

Ask an Electrician

Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
characters left:
2 Electricians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Electricians are online & ready to help you now

Mike
Master Electrician
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
Jason
Service Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3278
Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Satisfied Customers: 5318
Proven Professional 45 years Experience

Recent Meter Questions

  • GFCI outlet tripped but not breaker switch. Usually breaker

    GFCI outlet tripped but not breaker switch. Usually breaker switch has been tripped but not this time
  • My electrician completed a heavy-up to 200a service and

    My electrician completed a heavy-up to 200a service and passed inspection. However, the power company (Pepco) says they will not energize the meter because it uses the wrong connectors--it uses mechanical connectors instead of compression connectors. I cannot find a replacement meter socket with "compression connectors" anywhere. What does this mean? What should I be looking for? My incorrect meter socket is a 200 amp single phase with main disconnect. Need something similar with "compression connectors." HELP???

    Note that the meter that Pepco will not energize (with "mechanical connectors") is http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UEJY2Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • i have an older sq d 200 amp panel and it has 1 neutral bar

    i have an older sq d 200 amp panel and it has 1 neutral bar on the left and 2 on the right. when they wired this they have both grounds and neutrals on all the bars, is this right?
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