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Electric Meter Repair and Maintenance

What is an electric 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.

Here are questions answered by Electricians on JustAnswer regarding electric meter maintenance and repair related issues.

What should be done if an electric meter is hot and crackling?

If this happens, it is important you get in touch with your electric company immediately. Their electricians know how to repair electric meter problems safely. This is highly 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 burn your entire house down.

Is it a code issue if I have 6-8 feet of wire in conduit between the panel and the meter and do I need an additional shut off?

Often, inspectors insist that unprotected service wires located inside a building 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. Some of them may have objections to the additional length, while others may not.

How much wire do I need to run from my electric meter on the outside of my home to amp panel boxes on an inside wall?

You can determine this by measuring the distance between the meter and the panels. If it’s less than 12 inches to the panels, you will only need about 36-40 feet of wire. If it measures well over 12 inches, 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 if my 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 doesn’t insist on the bypass, it may be alright, but check with the local electrical inspector to ensure that you don’t violate code restrictions.

How do I monitor and reduce electricity usage?

An electric power meter can help you understand how much energy is consumed by different appliances in your home. This knowledge may help bring down your power bills. To monitor energy consumption of a specific appliance, follow these steps.

  1. Turn the appliance off.
  2. Remove the plug from its electrical outlet and connect it to the power meter.
  3. Plug the electric power meter into the electrical outlet.
  4. Turn the appliance on and check the reading on the power meter to note the wattage it consumes.

These steps will help you monitor your usage and cut down where necessary.

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