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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In a condo built in 95 we were having electrical problems where 1 of the 110 lines would go blank. We traced the problem to the meterbox where we saw some arcing behind the meter. We removed the round meter face and inspected the 4 prongs and clips that secure the meter inplace.

There are 4 male plugs on the meter and 4 female clips on the box. The upper right female clip, where the arcing is occuring, is loose. It will wiggle and will turn completely around. There doesn't seem to be a way to tighten it.

I used a 2x2 outside the box to lift the meter and push it againt the upper plugs. This keeps the current flowing, but still needs a fix as there is occasional arcing and we cant have a 2x2 there forever.

Are these clips easy to replace? There is no current in the upper clips, so I don't need to turn off elec to the site, but I don't want to get into something I can't do without prof help.

Is it possible to secure the clip with an epoxy or non conductive caulk?

Cant post pics yet, but will email to anyone that can help.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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"No current in the upper clips" means nothing. I can't imagine any meter socket being fed in the bottom, so the potention is still there to make a just blue zot and kill someone.

Messing around with an energized meter socket is something you should not do unless you are trained and have proper PPE (and blue jeans ain't gonna gut it, even if you are wearing Z81 safety glasses).


This sounds like a job for................ an electrician!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, thanks..Ill back off it, then. The box itself is fed from the bottom, which would explain the bottom feed.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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Ok, thanks..Ill back off it, then. The box itself is fed from the bottom, which would explain the bottom feed.
The bottom lugs are what's fed from the utility??? The would be a first.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Not unless it's an underground type of service? In my area the underground service feed the bottom of the meter not the top.
Once again, a first for me as well. I have never heard of this, and I would lay money down that it is wrong in some way.
What if it is an old analog meter? it would run backwards. Feeding it from the bottom is just like installing it upside down if it is fed from the top like it should be.


segreto, stick to carpentry and NEVER EVER remove a meter!!! ;)

Just a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine that is a local utility worker had a lug that was broken off in a meter pan. He did know it at the time and when he pulled the meter to replace with a new digital unit it went BOOM in his hands. Luckily he was wearing his PPE. :thumbsup:
The meter pan did fare as well.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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Not unless it's an underground type of service? In my area the underground service feed the bottom of the meter not the top.

You sure it's not just the lugs that are in the bottom, and bus bars carry the current to the top of the meter?


Keep in mind, when you are working in the typical meter socket, you do not have any over-current protection. We like to say "There's nothing between you and Hoover Dam". So if something shorts out, there's no fuse, no breaker, NOTHING to stop the flow of electrons. The only thing to stop the big flash is when enough material melts or vaporizes and the arc cannot sustain itself.

You'll simply have to stand there and watch the whole thing blow up. Literally. This is typical because you don't have time to react. You just cannot close your eyelids fast enough to prevent watching the arc develop, grow, and envelope your body.

You think this guy had a chance to get out of the way?

 

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Head Grunt
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As said above the service sounds like an underground if being fed from the bottom. Also for the price of the meter socket it isnt worth nor may it be safe to repair it, just replace it. I would recommend you find someone reputable for the replacement.
 

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I used a 2x2 outside the box to lift the meter and push it againt the upper plugs
Can you say "arc flash"?

:clap::w00t::party::jester::eek:

This is work for a professional.
 

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ampman
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i've seen meter bases with the lug on the bottom which feeds via busbar to the top jaws but a professional is your best bet for repair or replace
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had an electrician look at it and the feeds are all wrong... As far as the 2x2, after I set it up, ComEd came out to inspect to see if it was the meter or not, and they put the 2x2 back in place for me..so I guess it was ok to do, at least for them.

The problem ended up being one of the clips that the meter slides into needs to be tightened. The screw is in the back of the box, so I have to wait for ComEd to shut off service. Seems strange to have the screw behind the clip where you cannot access it.

The whole assembly isnt available anymore, so I am hoping that the turning of the screw does the trick. I'd have to buy all new brackets if that doesnt work.

The worst case scenerio is going to be if I need new brackets and they dont fit into the box. It's a condo, and the box holds 4 unit's meters. I would have to get a new box for the whole building. It's like they built the box around the meter without thinking of expansion. It was from the 90's, why would they do such a thing? It could not have been that much cheaper to have a bigger box.

:rolleyes:
 

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An experienced electrician will probably be able to find parts to fit.

I replaced only the jaws on this 70's era meter socket using parts stripped from a new one.



 

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Service & Repairs
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"No current in the upper clips" means nothing. I can't imagine any meter socket being fed in the bottom, so the potention is still there to make a just blue zot and kill someone.

Messing around with an energized meter socket is something you should not do unless you are trained and have proper PPE (and blue jeans ain't gonna gut it, even if you are wearing Z81 safety glasses).


This sounds like a job for................ an electrician!

Ditto :thumbup:
 

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In a condo built in 95 we were having electrical problems where 1 of the 110 lines would go blank. We traced the problem to the meterbox where we saw some arcing behind the meter. We removed the round meter face and inspected the 4 prongs and clips that secure the meter in place.help.
I would get new box and have it upgrade to digital but I'm surprise your local utility don't give you hard time. Over here you can get fine for removing meter strap and meter.
 
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