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Electrical Help: I Really Have To Replace My Electrical Meter Base

Last week I was called to a property with a defective meter base. The customer said he had been instructed by his local power utility to replace the box. In case of emergency situations, we arrive at the property as quickly as possible. I arrived within 30 minutes. I inspected the box. I observed a sizzling sound coming from the box. This lead me to believe either there was moisture in the meter base or the buss-bar possessed an electrical arc. He called the power company. They removed their safety ring revealing a decrepit mess. One of the two aluminum buss bars was burned completely apart. This was very alarming. Alphafysiotherapie Pyschosomatische oefeningen The power in your home has over current protection. This is the array of breakers in the load center. If the system is structurally compromised, the breaker trips. The meter base has no over current protection between the utilities transformer and the meter. So, as you can imagine, the energized buss bar could have contacted the other leg of the system. This would cause a rather large explosion.

The customer first noticed that his water heater, stove, and A/C were not working. After checking these units, he realized he didn’t have 240 volts present. He called the power company to investigate. I could not believe that they reinstalled the box. The condition of the meter base was poor at best. These guy’s had created a fire hazard. The outside of this box had been painted recently. I asked my customer if he had painted the base. He informed me he had recently purchased the house. Through further investigation I found rust pockets on the inside of the junction. I believe that continued leaking water had slowly heated up the weak spot in the meter base. Eventually the tension on the 2/0 aluminum conductors broke the bus-bar into. Even though the meter itself secured the broken piece from flopping in the junction, this practice could have been deadly. At best, a fire was not far behind this incident.

Electrical system maintenance is very important. Approximately 50,000 homes burn every year in the United States. The strain caused by poor connections will destroy the induction motors in many appliances in the home. This will not happen over night. Fire’s on the other hand, can strike at any time.

If you choose to replace your service entrance, look for a unit that contains a main breaker and additional places for extra breakers. Be sure that you perform a load calculation on your system before any new installations. A licensed electrician can help you with this.

Last week I was called to a property with a defective meter base. The customer said he had been instructed by his local power utility to replace the box. In case of emergency situations, we arrive at the property as quickly as possible. I arrived within 30 minutes. I inspected the box. I observed a sizzling sound coming from the box. This lead me to believe either there was moisture in the meter base or the buss-bar possessed an electrical arc. He called the power company. They removed their safety ring revealing a decrepit mess. One of the two aluminum buss bars was burned completely apart. This was very alarming. The power in your home has over current protection. This is the array of breakers in the load center. If the system is structurally compromised, the breaker trips. The meter base has no over current protection between the utilities transformer and the meter. So, as you can imagine, the energized buss bar could have contacted the other leg of the system. This would cause a rather large explosion.

The customer first noticed that his water heater, stove, and A/C were not working. After checking these units, he realized he didn’t have 240 volts present. He called the power company to investigate. I could not believe that they reinstalled the box. The condition of the meter base was poor at best. These guy’s had created a fire hazard. The outside of this box had been painted recently. I asked my customer if he had painted the base. He informed me he had recently purchased the house. Through further investigation I found rust pockets on the inside of the junction. I believe that continued leaking water had slowly heated up the weak spot in the meter base. Eventually the tension on the 2/0 aluminum conductors broke the bus-bar into. Even though the meter itself secured the broken piece from flopping in the junction, this practice could have been deadly. At best, a fire was not far behind this incident.

Electrical system maintenance is very important. Approximately 50,000 homes burn every year in the United States. The strain caused by poor connections will destroy the induction motors in many appliances in the home. This will not happen over night. Fire’s on the other hand, can strike at any time.

If you choose to replace your service entrance, look for a unit that contains a main breaker and additional places for extra breakers. Be sure that you perform a load calculation on your system before any new installations. A licensed electrician can help you with this.

 

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