Checking The Condition Of Metering Equipment
Although I guess you will be feeling quite bored of the external supply equipment inspections by now. In essence, checking the condition of metering equipment is no different.
This inspection, like the rest of the inspections within the 1.* range, is VISUAL ONLY. Again, it is more an inspection to see if there has been any damage more than anything.
The equipment to be inspected here is that of the meter, and anything ancillary to the meter (ie: Eco7 timeclock or smart meter “add-on”).
Ownership of this equipment remains firmly with the electricity supplier. That’s not the DNO (Distribution Network Owner), but the actual energy supplier who is named on the bill.
If you aren’t quite sure how to inspect this, or need to ensure that you are inspecting to the latest standards, our top 18th edition electricians guide to the “condition of metering equipment” will explain everything!
How Do I Check The Condition Of Metering Equipment?
The metering equipment takes a lot of electrical current through it. Not only that, but living alongside the service head means it can be in some pretty unforgiving places.
Particularly on older domestic properties, the metering equipment can be very antiquated. Couple that with being in an area of moisture a d possible knocks/bumps (in cellars or cupboards).
The outcome is damage can often go unnoticed and, because of the live internals, can be particularly dangerous if in a poor condition. That is why it is important to properly check condition of metering equipment
Whilst finding particularly bad damage is rare, we have come across a number of occasions of melted terminals, tenants completing DIY “meter bypassing” and even a crack/piece missing.
You should pay attention to inspecting the following points closely (VISUAL inspection only):
- Physical Damage to the Metering Equipment – Check the outer casing/enclosure. Are there any obvious signs of damage? Cracks, pieces missing or otherwise compromised should be fairly obvious to the inspector.
- Older Metering Equipment – Some really old dial meter types are only suitable for upto 40A load. This is actually clearly marked on the front, however for whatever reason has been totally ignored over the years. We have seen an example where the service head was relatively new. The minimum sized fuse in a modern domestic service head is 60A (most are 80A). The customer actually let us know that the fuse was indeed an 80A in that instance.
- Meter Bypass – We have seen a few attempts at this when working in landlords properties. Particularly dangerous as often done very badly, it can cause serious damage to the meter due to arcing where the “bypass” is either undersized or not connected properly. There is a picture of an example we came across below.
Checking Condition of Metering Equipment
In the Pictures Below are a selection of pictures showing the inspections required when you are checking condition of metering equipment:
Summary & Conclusion
Ultimately this inspection of the metering equipment is one of common sense.
If the metering equipment is damaged or incorrectly installed then this must be recorded on the schedule of inspections.
The classification code to be given really depends on the severity of the issue seen. Any form of bare live connections or physical damage to the metering equipment that exposes live parts would be a C1 – DANGER PRESENT issue.
Older meters which have a low current rating, or other damage to the equipment (which does not expose bare live parts) would generally be coded C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS or C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED depending on how severe the issue is.
We intend to further develop this section and provide a full breakdown of all applicable EICR codes, similar in a way to the the popular codebreaker style books, however with pictures and further insight….Electrical-Assistance
If you need to find the electricity supplier, the customer should be able to give you these details. However, if you are dealing with an empty property, you can check on the following website to check who the supplier is.
Please note that the DNO will not get involved with the metering equipment. If the issue lies anywhere after the service head, then it needs referring to the supplier rather than the distribution network.