More and more states are starting to use digital meters, also known as smart meters. There are several reasons why utility companies are installing these meters. Some of these include meter readings and service disruptions can efficiently be done remotely, and consumption of electricity can be matched with grid demands in real time. Detection for power outages will be faster, therefore restoring power to businesses and homes will be quicker. Energy usage will be decreased with their use.
Digital Meter Bases
Some people get the meter base and panel confused. The meter base is what encloses the digital meter. Most of the time they are mounted onto the side of the business or home. This is a grey box that is metal, and encloses the digital meter to keep all electrical wires and connections inside dry and to protect them everything the weather throws out.
The digital meter base has grounded backplate that holds mounting lugs for your digital meter. There are two sets of lugs, one connecting to electric utility mains and the other connecting to the wiring on your property. Electricity needs to pass starting at electrical utility main line, then the digital meter, lastly though the property lines.
Reasons You Might Possibly Have to Replace or Repair the Digital Meter Base
There are several different reasons a digital meter base needs to be replaced or repaired, including:
A digital meter base might need to be replaced or repaired if wires become overloaded due to lugs burning up from becoming loose.
If a digital meter base is outdated and old, it most likely does not meet requirement changes from the utility company, and will need to be replaced. There may be repairs needed before the installation of the digital meter.
You might be required due to changes of the National Electric Code (NEC) or building codes in your municipality to replace any meter bases that already exist, to have the ability of obtaining a permit when doing specific renovations of your home.
A new digital meter base may be needed when your electrical panel is replaced.
When upgrading the electrical system in your home for capacity increase, the base might need to be replaced.
Most cases, the utility company has the responsibility of repairing any electric service until it reaches the connection in your digital meter base. From the digital meter base into your property is your responsibility to repair.
Hiring an Electrician for Repairs or Replacement of the Digital Meter Base
Repairs or replacement should never be done by an inexperienced person. A licensed electrician needs to be called to complete this work, to ensure the safety of your home and family. There are questions that need to be asked prior to hiring an electrician:
Will a licensed electrician be performing all the work?
What license does he maintain? Journeyman, Maintenance, Master, Residential, etc.
Ask for the number of the license so you can verify the status.
Have them supply you with a copy of their insurance policy.
Call a couple different electricians before settling on one. Be sure to ask for references.