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Is there a cutoff in the electric meter for working on the panel?

cpanther95
13 years ago

I need to slip a 1" piece of plywood behind my panel to bring it out to the proper depth for drywall, but I'd rather not mess with anything more significant than breakers with the hot feeds coming into the top of the panel. Is there typically a shut off inside the meter box that cuts power to the entire panel?

Comments (64)

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Sorry, Brick', but that section of the Va Code does nothing to support the proposition that it is OK for an unlicensed person to break a seal and pull a meter with absolute impunity."

    That is the ONLY Virgina code section dealing with electric utility metering,.

    There are NO others.

    The statute says it is ONLY a crime if you are stealing services to 'tamper' with a meter.

    You are never going to find a statute that gives permission.

    That which is not prohibited is allowed.
    Even nioticed there are no 'parking' signs?

    Just 'no parking' signs.

  • lbpod
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I worked for a POCO for many years, and back in the good old days the phone was answered by local people that were well versed in all of the rules. Then came DEREGULATION and DOWNSIZING. Now, when you call the POCO, you are talking to someone in a 'call-center'. These call-centers are staffed by hundreds of people that don't have a clue. The pay is low and the turnover is tremendous and they will hire anyone off the street and put them to work answering the phone, and give them next to zero training.
    So, what I am trying to tell you is that calling the
    POCO with a question about cutting your seal is like
    pi$$ing in the wind.

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  • terribletom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "That which is not prohibited is allowed.
    Even nioticed there are no 'parking' signs?

    Just 'no parking' signs."

    Clever. But utter and complete nonsense.

    In the first place, there are "parking" signs. Lots and lots of them. Some are designed to help prospective customers find parking in downtown areas. Others are specifically permissive (e.g., "parking from 9 am to 4 pm" or "truck and trailer parking").

    But more to the point, there may not be a "no parking" sign in front of a fire hydrant or smack in the middle of someone's front yard. Just because you don't see a no parking sign does not mean you are free to park there.

    Oh, and about parking in someone's front yard: You probably won't find that under "parking ordinances" but it is actionable as a trespass and has been for 900 years.

    Ditto with meter seals (although not necessarily for 900 years). Assuming the POCO owns the sealed meter, unauthorized breaking of a seal could quite easily be interpreted as a property crime (e.g., destruction of private property, misdemeanor trespass, malicious mischief, etc.). After all, it costs the utility money to take this security measure and it costs them money to inspect their property and detect tampering. The seal belongs to them.

    If you break a lock but don't go in and don't steal anything, you're still on the hook for breaking the lock.

    When it comes to other people's private property, your general proposition, brick', is turned on its head: that which is not allowed is prohibited.

    Look, I'm not suggesting that anyone's likely to be convicted of a crime for breaking a meter seal with no intent to steal power. But I'd say the same thing about most of the egregious NEC code violations we hear about in this forum.

    Oh, and by the way, in some jurisdictions, breaking a seal is unlawful per se. Consider, for example, Florida Code Sec. 812.14 ("Trespass and larceny with relation to utility fixtures; theft of utility services"):

    (2) It is unlawful to:

    (a) Willfully alter, tamper with, injure, or knowingly suffer to be injured any meter, meter seal, pipe, conduit, wire, line, cable, transformer, amplifier, or other apparatus or device belonging to a utility line service in such a manner as to cause loss or damage or to prevent any meter installed for registering electricity, gas, or water from registering the quantity which otherwise would pass through the same; to alter the index or break the seal of any such meter;

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Clever. But utter and complete nonsense.

    In the first place, there are "parking" signs. Lots and lots of them. Some are designed to help prospective customers find parking in downtown areas."

    You have state regulatory signs that say were you CAN park?

    Not to tell you were the garage is.

    That is how the law works.

    That which is not prohibited is allowed.

    " in such a manner as to cause loss or damage or to prevent any meter installed for registering electricity, gas, or water from registering the quantity which otherwise would pass through the same; to alter the index or break the seal of any such meter; electricity, gas, or water from registering the quantity which otherwise would pass through the same; to alter the index or break the seal of any such meter; "

    Better go back to reading carefully.

    Note the " in such a manner as to cause loss or damage or to prevent any meter installed for registering ..."

    The the other seal they are referring to is the meter itself, not the box seal.

    They are also sealed, and there is no reason for anyone but the POCO to be messing around inside the meter enclosure itself.

    There is nothing in that law that prevents you from pulling your meter for maintenance.

  • tom_p_pa
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    NO utility is going to go after you for pulling a meter to do work. That is a guarantee. They will come after you for non payment on your bill or if they suspect theft (ie - the meter reader sees a wire connected at the service hook running into a small hole in the facia board which bypasses the meter).

  • countryboymo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here is a good explanation from Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative.

    "I need to perform electrical work that I, the member, am responsible for and need to have my meter pulled to turn the power off. Is this okay?
    It is not okay for either you or your electrician to pull your meter. First, the power cannot always be turned off by just pulling the meter. In addition, only trained and qualified Polk-Burnett employees are allowed to perform this type of work. The meter is not considered a point of disconnect. There is always a potential for injury due to fault current created when pulling the meter if something were to be defective in the meter socket. The potential for arc flash requires special tools and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn to complete this task. Therefore, it is required that the member call Polk-Burnett, with a minimum 24 hours advance notice, to schedule a meter disconnect. Trip charges will be applied to the members bill to complete this work.

    If the meter is pulled, the location will be reported to our office as an outage and if we dont know that the meter has been pulled, a crew may be dispatched to your location and the member would then be assessed the full cost of the unnecessary trip."

    With the majority of meters now being 'smart' in one sense or another as soon as you pull it without contacting the utility a toubleman will be dispatched anyway and they will charge for the appearance. If you call them they will pull the meter for free. Some utilities also disconnect the wire at the transformer so there is no power at the meter can.

    Save some possible expense and headache and remote chance of injury or property damage, call the utility. If you already know how your utility works and do this type of work.. go ahead but be cautious because an arc flash that close can be devastating.

  • petey_racer
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    tom_p_pa, you can tell yourself this all you want. DO NOT however tell others the same thing. There are plenty of places that will get quite upset for pulling a meter, ESPECIALLY if a homeowner does it.

  • mikie_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So when I pull my newer electronic radio controlled self reading/transmitting digital meter - no human meter reader eyeball required... think it might somehow screw up the watt hour consumed memory?

    Power company here simply has resealed meters in the past when pulled after the meter reader notices no or broken seal.

    fwiw... Power Company lineman told me when load testing a pole transformer replacement from my meter he is required to wear safety glasses (and maybe hardhat) when pulling/plugging in a meter as they can flash or explode and it has been known to happen.

  • lbpod
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Electronic meters have a lithium battery in them.
    And besides that, the memory is not-volatile.

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "It is not okay for either you or your electrician to pull your meter."

    Good thing POCO policy does not have the force of law.

    The rest is the usual scare tactics.
    While a residential meter is not designed as a disconnect that safely opens under load with no load (main disconnect off) there is no load on the meter and there will be no flash of any type (beyond the very low power the meter pulls, thing less than a wall wart for your cell phone).

    I would suggest calling them about and telling them when work will commence, and if they have not shown up by that time and shut you down unload the meter and pull.
    Unless you want to be paying an electrician to stand around and wait.

    "think it might somehow screw up the watt hour consumed memory?"

    Do you think a power failure would screw up the meters memory? Same thing.

    Between the batteries and the non-volatile memory they work just fine through an outage.
    A POCO is not going to put its billing in doubt.

    "Power Company lineman told me when load testing a pole transformer replacement from my meter he is required to wear safety glasses (and maybe hardhat) when pulling/plugging in a meter as they can flash or explode and it has been known to happen."

    He needs more than just safety glasses.
    A full face shield and HV full arm gloves if they are really worried about a flash.
    Of course unless he turned off your main he has no way of knowing what loads are present.
    A far different position than opening the main disconnect and removing a meter with no load.

  • bus_driver
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In NC, the State board licensing electrical contractors has on some occasions listed in disciplinary actions the charge of breaking a meter seal without permission.

  • pete_p_ny
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thousands of homes are disconnected each day when the utility yanks the meter from your meter pan and installs boots on it. And yes, they are pulled under load by collection agents (one of the lowest skilled classification in the utility). PPE required are safety glasses with side shields, low voltage dielectric rubber gloves, and a flame retardent shirt. Process..remove seal, remove meter cover, pull meter out from top on angle so top blades unseat from jaws disconnecting power, remove meter, boot blades, reinstall meter, install meter cover, install red seal (red = disconnect non payment). Oh and by the way, the collection agent does NOT knock on your door and say, "can you please shut off your main so I do not have to pull the meter under load."

    Agreed, NO utility has the resources to go after the "criminal" pulling his meter to do work in his home. It is down right inpractical and would cost too much for no return. All that quoted text is jibberish, but what is enforced is another thing.

  • petey_racer
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pete, pulling a meter to do work is typically not legal, but true, rarely will anyone get prosecuted for doing it.
    That said, IMO it is flat out stupid to suggest (or worse give detailed instructions) that ANYONE but a qualified electrician or POCO worker pull a meter.

    What do you do for a living?
    Have YOU ever seen a meter lug break? Have YOU ever seen an arc flash from pulling a meter under load?
    I HAVE, and the utility workers were GLAD to have their PPE on.

  • countryboymo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I can tell what is not jibberish. SOME utilities will dispatch a troubleman out when you pull the meter if the utility does not have it in the computer to go offline. Some are adding fees for such service calls also to your monthly bill. Its not criminal.. but my cooperative practices this and I am all about making a 10 minute phone call to save 30 bucks.

  • kalining
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Just a small comment on this. If it was fine for the home owner to pull the meter why is there a seal on it ? Our
    electrical and gas codes are the strictest in north america. We are that way because we moniter your code related accident rate. When 3 or more of you nut balls down there get killed ( no offence to anyone, just couldn't find other words ) by using garden hose for gas pipe ( yes i've heard of it )or a home owner pulls his meter and gets 2 fingers blown off, we change our codes respectively. For non payment of bill hydro NEVER enters the home owners propery. They pull the switch on the pole.
    If they send collection people to pull meters for non payment those people are brain dead. Do you have any idea of the liability claims if a collection person gets their
    hands or feet blown off buy a flash over ? Actually i find that practice very hard to believe. Where i live, If the seal is broken on the meter you will get away with it only
    once, sometimes.. Do it again and you WILL be prosecuted.
    Called tampering with utility property and yes you pay all
    labour and hourly charges and court costs if it gets that far. Just how things work up here. Again no offence to any one.

  • lbpod
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Countyboymo,
    More often then not, it is a trouble 'woman' that comes
    out to shut you off for non-payment, (or for any other reason that you have to be shut off. And try as I might,
    most of these women only have the job because they are women, and not because they have the least bit of electrical qualifications,
    (I'm really, really trying to be politcally correct and not
    offend any women that are reading this thread).
    All that being said, do WHATEVER it takes to do your
    job SAFELY, because you never know who was there before
    you were.
    And YES, there are many, many unqualified MEN that
    are sent out to do these jobs, but more often than not,
    they are women.

  • pharkus
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I know how things are done around here - and I haven't checked Maine's statutes regarding any of it, so it may very well just be "custom".

    Despite knowing my area, this thread remains quite informative - but to one fact only: laws and customs DO vary from state to state. Whatever you decide to do, and no matter which direction in which you choose to err, call first and know who you are speaking to and what their qualifications are.

    I will continue, in my area, cutting seals and pulling meters as needed. I used to call the poco first and tell them I was doing so (and will return to this habit if I note any fancy electronic reporting meters), but the last several times was given a "why are you even calling?" tone. If I do anything outside of this area, however, you best believe I'll be calling and asking and doing what I'm told.


    The seal is not there to keep you out, but rather, as a mechanism to inform the poco that you have entered. Around here, this just tells the poco to stop and look and see if there's any evidence of tampering. More often than not they don't even do this, just re-seal it. A couple have pulled the meter themselves and looked behind it for jumpers. Only once I've been asked, and he had no problem with it when answered.

    The last work I did was replacing a seperate meter/disconnect for a mobile home. Someone was dispatched to disconnect at the pole, but upon his arrival I already had the old disconnect disassembled, meter pulled. He said nothing - entire conversation consisted of his inquiring about my decision to stay with seperate units rather than a 'meter main'. "Is it really cheaper to do that?" Yes, in my area, if you're buying materials locally, it actually is.


    The "arc flash" danger is barely relevant to removing/reinserting the meter under load. Don't do that, although the poco most certainly does at times. The danger is in the equipment itself physically failing. It takes a fair bit of force to pull the meter sometimes, just imagine if the meter base terminals were weakened for some reason (let's say overheating, age, or just being partially defective from the factory - it DOES happen) and one were to break loose from the can rather than the meter. Probably not an unmanageable disaster if it's on the load side, but what if it's not?

    I think many here are spoiled by working in areas where modern/maintained/safe equipment is the norm. The next service I'm intending to replace still has this style of meter:

    (although the one I'm working on is NEATLY hooked up with SE, not the jumble of wires in the pic). The entire house, with exception of a couple recently-added circuits, is knob & tube, and there is an open knife switch attached to a beam in the basement which turns off the barn!


    I also don't know how the legal system is structured in other states, but here, nothing is a crime until a statute exists saying so.

    Again, I haven't looked for one regarding utility meters, but if there's a statute saying "A person is guilty of if he tampers with with the intent to ", and someone is to be charged with violating this statute, the district attorney needs to be prepared to prove intent, as simply tampering with does not constitute a crime without it.


    Once again, my only official claim and assertion in this thread is, YMMV. It's apparently different everywhere. Ask.

  • wayne440
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well said, "pharkus". I have seen exactly one meter base like that picture in my life. As far as I know, it is still in service.

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "pulling a meter to do work is typically not legal"

    Still waiting for the statute that says this.

    Everyone seems to assume it is the law, when in fact it almost never is.

    The meter base is sealed as a tamper indication, and to at least limit the idiots that would try to install shorting bars in place of the meter.

    Just about every POCO has someone who has tried to bypass the meter and steal power.

    Some older meter designs could actually be reversed and made to run backwards.

  • pete_p_ny
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pulling residential meters under load is the norm for utilites (particular in large populated areas where 1000s of accounts get turned off each day). I have been working at a utility for 24 over years. 1000's of meters get pulled each day under load. The only shut offs that take place at the pole are accounts that are actually reconnecting themselves (pulling meter and removing boots, jumping out the meter, tampering, stealing, etc). The other shut off at the pole are for commercial accounts (will open the secondary breaker on the pots if they are a secondary voltage customer or a fused cutout is "pulled" for primary voltage customers). Other than that, all done at the meter. The collection agent "pulls boots and runs" in a matter of minutes. As you can imagine, avoiding irate customers is key. Contrary to popular belief, you do not get a violent arc flash. Yes, you get a spit or two when pulling the heavier loads, but incidents are very rare. The more common incidents that take place are related to the meter glass breaking, slips trips and falls, dog bites, confrontations with angry customers, and auto accidents from driving around. More importantly, when reconnecting service, you never do that when no one is home. The large accounts are the more prized possessions of the company, and protected with "more" secure devices such as barrel lock and enclosure keys.

  • kalining
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You guys amaze me. Good entertainment. Try pulling a meter out here. You could be shot. That is why hydro NEVER EVER enters the property. The hydro is shut off at the pole on the road. And YES pulling a meter to do work is NOT LEGAL here. Don't even think it. If you do and there is no permit pulled or you touch hydro's property hydro shuts off your power until THEIR inspectors look at your work. NOBOBY passes the first or second time. Just their deterrent. They make your life a living hell.
    Thank god you don't live here . From what i read on this site over 60 persent of the posters would be in jail if they tried what they do down there up here and the other 10
    percent would be dead. Just another persons opinion. Please
    disregaurd if offensive. As the others say every law is different. Posting code laws on an internet site for every
    state or province is a waste of time. Every town is different. Every code is different. There is no industry
    standard.

  • wayne440
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "kalining" - I agree with you on at least one point, I expect I would land in jail fairly quickly if I were forced some how to live in Canada. How are the meters read assuming there is a significant risk of being shot upon driving up to same in a Hydro truck? Radio? Binoculars/spotting scope? Customer read?

    With regard to getting a meter pulled and/or reset- Does a case of beer work as well to smooth this operation as it usually does down here?

  • parkplaza
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Thank god you don't live here"

    Yes, thank God I live in the USA where you do not get shot for removing a little grey plastic meter seal.

  • kalining
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Forgot to mention one little thing. I live out of the city.
    60 miles. Almost in the bush. well actually i am in the bush. Our meters are customer read. If the meter reading is not phoned in you get an estimated bill. After 3 months of non reading the utility sends a letter telling you they are coming out to read the meter and will be charging for the reading and labour and traveling time. You then have 1
    month after the letter to send in the reading. Most meters
    are changed every three to five years. They run slow after that. They have it figured out. If hydro has to pull power
    on a reservation yes, they have been shot at. About 6 years
    ago hydro shut power off to the entire reservation for lack
    of payment. The chief was pocketing the money. That was
    interesting. Was headlines for a month. As far as the beer is concerned, Sometime. If the inspector knows you and trusts you and can keep your mouth shut usually no problem.
    I have limited E licence and they know that. They don't
    bother me but i still have to pull a permit if i change
    my panel or need a disconnect. Hydro is allowed by law to
    enter your property once a year to kind of " look around "
    Inspection so to say. They do look for broken seals and
    " stuff ". If the inspector is a jerk and he doesn't like you or your work he will make your life a living hell. If no permits were pulled you have 48 hours to pull a permit
    and get it inspected or no hydro untill done. They could
    book you for inspection 2 weeks away if they are jerks.
    These electrical codes are only for my province. Every
    other province has their own codes and can vary. If you are licenced to work in one province you cannot work in the others unless you have an interprovincial licence. Same
    with ALL building codes. Have a good weekend people.
    Canada isn't that bad. I do wish we had your second amendment.

  • wayne440
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "...Canada isn't that bad. I do wish we had your second amendment."

    Unfortunately, it is being abolished a little at a time, soon you may be glad to live where you do.

  • smithy123
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sad, but true. anyway, why dont the idiots writing the code that make tr recs and afci's required require a servics disconnect OUTSIDE the main panel. My neighbor needs her service upgraded, and i told heer a outside disconnect is a must for this very reason. Second of all, your ge panel belongs in the trash. Squared qo is the only thing i will ever use and im only 14. I have another 86 years to go!

  • petey_racer
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Smithy, are you really only 14? Or are you simply a troll?

    If you are only 14 then tell your mom to not let you on the computer message boards any more.
    I have nothing against kids, I have a 15YO myself and I get along great will all her friends, but you have NO PLACE giving electrical advice here! I don't care how much experience you think you might have.

    You told your neighbor that she needs an outside disconnect? Was this on your whim, or does your area have an amendment requiring it?

    GE is trash? This is your opinion, and NOT a very valid one at that. Sure, SqD is quality stuff, but not everyone is in love with them. I HATE the ground/neutral bar setup on QO panels. I will not use them for this very reason. 50 years and they have not changed this abomination.

    Stay in school, then in 4 years immerse yourself in the code. THEN you can come back and give advice along side those of us that have been doing this every day for over 20 years.

    Oh, and STOP digging up old threads!

  • pharkus
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm working on a house right now where the homeowner's 14-year-old son is 'assisting' me. Basically he's drilling holes and pulling cables through them. I gave him a little 'test', wiring up the thermostat (low-voltage) for the furnace... I had to re-do it. Sorry, but if you can't handle two small wires that work just as well in either of the two places they can possibly be attached, then you don't need to be playing around inside anything related to 120/240. I won't make age-related judgements, though. The last person in that age bracket (15) seemed to be quite capable of anything, he was just afraid of it. lol...


    Upon re-reading the smithy post, he's not saying an outside disconnect IS required, but that he told his neighbor he/she should have one in case of situations like this thread. He also called the code-writing panel "idiots", and implied that an outside disconnect SHOULD be required.

    I disagree - if an outside disconnect were required, then, somewhere down the line, somebody would need to move that disconnect (or slip a piece of plywood behind it) and would post in here asking if there's a cutoff behind the meter to enable working on said disconnect... So it wouldn't really solve anything, just increase the amount of equipment needed, and thus cost.


    The smithy situation definitely needs adjustment.

  • countryboymo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sorry Ibpod.. I know trouble"people" who are men and women and in the contract book that line of line work is 'troublemen" I did not mean to step on any toes. Maybe a pair of steel toed boots would help. j/k

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "why dont the idiots writing the code that make tr recs and afci's required require a servics disconnect OUTSIDE the main panel."

    It is a complete waste.

    There is not that much panel work that needs a complete disconnect.

    Even tightening of entry line clamps can be easily accomplished with correctly insulated tools.

    If you cannot work in a main panel with the main on (and you caN turbn the main ioff kleaving the breaker buss cold)) you are not much of an electrician and should not be in the panel in the first place.

    While untrained folks are always told to shut as much off as they can, there are plenty of cases in business and industry that shutting off power would be a MAJOR problem.

    Things slow down heavily when you need to work hot, but with the correct equipment it can be done safely (unless you are stupid enugh to pull off the insulated gloves and touch something).

  • smithy123
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i can and have worked on panels hot. when removing the cover to my crappy ge panel, which i want to replace with qo, the cover fell and hit the main breaker wheere up is on, knocked the power off and my dad came running down to make sure i didnt shock myswelf or something.

  • pharkus
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My current project house has a GE panel. I'm enjoying the layout. "PowerMark Gold Series", 100-amp 20-space (we've got some tandems in there though), neutral/ground bars down each edge, pretty much perfect number of connection points, plenty of space... Pretty easy to work with.

    I like smithy's favorite brand as much as the next guy, but GE - at least the one I'm working on right now - is up-there as well.

  • DavidR
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hmm, I wonder why lately so many threads on this board seem to converge on what brand of panel someone likes. :)

  • Ron Natalie
    13 years ago

    The truth is despite the hysterical arguments both ways on the subject is it's frequently a policy of the local utility. When they have a policy that they pull (or reconnect) meters, even if it's not illegal to do so, it frequently behooves you to not annoy them.

    But irregardless of the law or the power company rules, pulling a meter is NOT a job for the DIYer.

  • DavidR
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    regardless of the law or the power company rules, pulling a meter is NOT a job for the DIYer.

    I'm a pretty cautious DIY. I've never changed a main panel, but I might be willing to do so if I thought I could pull the meter without incurring the wrath of the POCO gods.

    While I'm sure you're right that some (or most) DIYers probably shouldn't pull a meter, I'm pretty confident that I could handle it OK. For one thing, I'd open the main before pulling it.

    But I'm not looking for trouble from my POCO, so I'm unlikely to ever actually do so.

  • ontariojer
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like your quiet correction.

  • smithy123
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    we still wouldnt have this discussion if there was a service disconnect. otoh,ge is close to the bottom of my totem pole, just above crouse hinds. my grandpa had a 4 space put in about 16 years ago and it was all corroded and full of wasp nests and i had to replace it, with qo, of course. 6 space outdoor. 20a gfi, 20a dp gfi, 15a gfi. 2 spaces for 70a gfi for hottub subpanel or other use. wired for 30a, now. if a hottub comes in, we will upgrade to 100a wiring.

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "we still wouldnt have this discussion if there was a service disconnect."

    Since puling is not that hard (and numerouse POCOs could care less as long as you are not trying to steal power) it is one more pieces of expensive equipment that in many places the POCO would have to provide (in many places everything before the meter is distribution equipment and the POCO is resopnsible for maintenance, if not the first installation).

    The NEC also has no say over distribution equipment.

  • Ron Natalie
    13 years ago

    The Power Company will almost certainly pull and reconnect the meter (for a nominal fee). It's done all the time.

    The main breaker in the panel IS the service disconnect in most places. No matter where you put the disconnect there's always going to be some hot conductor ahead of it.

    I actually have a gigantic switch next to my meter because the first thing fed after that is the generator transfer switch.

  • smithy123
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i am probably going to put a service diconnct like ron's in for my grandpa's standby generator when he gets it,.

  • gardenmachinery22
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There should be a switch to shut off power at the meter.I know my power meter has a shut off switch but maybe power meters in your country are diffferent to the power meters in my country of New Zealand cause my meter is configured in a way so it's like power to on/off switch-on/off switch to smartmeter unless i've got it wrong and it's the other way round.

  • k_rider
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I know this is an old thread but you would still need to careful depending on the meter base you have. My meter base is a set up as a current transformer. Pull the meter and you are still connected to the grid.....You have to pull the fuse at the pole to disconnect the house....

  • itsanss
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I can't wait to drink beer in excess to the point of severe inebriation and dehydration and then rip out my utility company's electric meter!!! HA!! HA!! HAAAA!!!

    Just kidding!! But I really am going to remove my meter to rewire the house and install a new load center. Thank goodness for Internet forums and YouTube videos filled with DIY information!! Saves me thousands of dollars a year!!!

    Good luck with ya'lls pissing matches and meter removals. Stay safe!

  • petey_racer
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Thank goodness for Internet forums and YouTube videos filled with DIY information!! Saves me thousands of dollars a year!!! "

    Yup, and there is some seriously scary bu11shit out there as well. With unsuspecting DIYers following some VERY bad advice.
    ALWAYS read the comments of any videos you see, and if comments are turned off, RUN from those videos.

  • bklyndiaz423
    7 years ago

    "Is there a cutoff in the electric meter for working on the panel"?

    I know this a very old thread, but i have been looking and asking with no luck.

    I do have a 4 pole switch underneath my meter, will that cut power to my panel in the house without having to pull the Meter? (I have no Main breaker switch in my panel ( sq. D. QO) I have a 240v 30amp (Dryer) and a 120v 15 amp (washing machine) breakers that i would love to install at the panel.

  • Ron Natalie
    7 years ago

    It looks like that is actually your service disconnect. It's not common but it does happen (a lot of electrical things are regionalisms).

    Actually, with reasonable care, there's usually no reason to pull power to add breakers to a panel. I've never done so.

  • Fred S
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It looks like a 2 meter socket on a duplex/townhouse? It is meant to group the disconnects. Outside disconnects are also common (required) when the breaker panel is not directly behind the meter.

    The correct way to use a switch or breaker as a disconnect for working on the electrical system is to turn it off, AND THEN TEST THE PANEL WITH A METER to make sure everything is off before ASSUMING anything.

    Then you wouldn't have had to ask people to guess from a picture ;D

  • Ron Natalie
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The other key is that if you can't SEE the disconnect, you can't assume it is going to stay disconnected. If you're going to do something that requires you to have the panel disconnected, I might want to lock that disconnect if I can't see it from where I'm working. I can't tell by the poor picture but it looks like there may be a locking tab there.

    Further, if this is not a single family structure, you probably are probably breaking the law with your DIY electrical work.

  • bklyndiaz423
    7 years ago

    Thanks guys for the input and some insights, you are correct this is multi- dwellings apartments, the last tents had a dryer circuit installed I'm guessing like me at their expense. Because when I when to open panel there was a 10/2 wire tied to the panel, when they left they took there circuit and 240v outlet with them.

    I replaced all that was missing and need to wire panel, but would like to do it NOT LIVE.

    My other obstacle is the meter panels are not labeled as to which apartment belongs to which meter, :-)

  • Ron Natalie
    7 years ago

    You have no business opening the panel. Multiunit dwellings are not DIY projects.