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Electricity meter looks old

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frediaz

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:53 am Reply with quote

I bought a house in bad conidtion and a builder has told me that the existing electricity meter does not comply with current regulations (cables not thick enough). I also see that it has the old cable colours and I seem to remember that new meter installations have a switch to cut the power off, before the CU, which I do not see in this one.

Does it look like the meter needs replacing or the module with switch added? Should they not have replaced all the old meters with the new electronic ones by now?

Thanks

BTW, that old fuse box will be replaced with a CU with RCDs.

Here is a picture of the meter
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PrenticeBoyofDerry

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:44 am Reply with quote

The meter tails are on the small side but not unusual to come across them.
The tails will be relative to the size of the main fuse (do you know the rating of this?)
Isolators are not always fitted with the new meter, your best option would be to call your local distribution network operator (DNO) and talk to them about an upgrade and mention having a isolator fitted and the earth conductor replaced by 16mm CSA one.
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frediaz

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:52 am Reply with quote

Thanks, I do not know the rating, I need to check. It is a small house.

Am I entitled to a meter upgrade? or are they likely to give me trouble? Also, I take it they should not charge for the upgrade.

Oh yes that's right I have just noticed that meagre earth conductor. That would not be any good in the new CU.
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Taylortwocities

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:57 pm Reply with quote

Looking at the photo.

It seems to me that the thin meter tails just go to the single switch/fuse (bottom right).

The larger tail goes to the bigger cream-coloured switch/fuse and there are feeds going off to - where???? I would guess that there is at least another consumer unit in the property, maybe two?

Did this property used to be split into separate dwellings/apartments?
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Spark123

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:58 pm Reply with quote

What is wrong with the meter, is it damaged? Do you think you are being overcharged? If not then nothing to wory about, I still have an old meter like that.
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westie101

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:28 pm Reply with quote

looks like a 16mm CNE so possibly an 80A fuse, a 10mm earth is perfectly Ok for this size of cable (min of 50% of neutral size).

It does need a tidy up with some blocks fitted as well so that there are only on set of tails in the meter.
The smaller tail sizes could be an issue so a ne CU would do no harm of a single switch fuse as a main switch with all the array of CUs fed from that!
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frediaz

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:26 pm Reply with quote

I spoke to the DNO and they told me that the tail gauges were fine, that larger gauges are only needed for 3 phase installations. They said that some people are saying that because there was once a panic about the current carrying capacity of the tails.

About the earth conductor, they offered me to find out if there is PME in my area and give me the connection. But they say they would charge me which I do not like. I think it should be their responsibility to modernise their installations.

The thing about the switch box in the picture is weird, there cannot be another CU or there would not be all these cables coming out of it. I guess I could tell the electrician to install the new CU using this 'fuse box' as an isolator switch -as I think westie101 is suggesting-; right now I just cannot see where you can cut off the electricity to replace the fuse box!

It has always been a single dwelling so I see no reason why there would be a number of cables coming out to individual CUs, they just go directly to the circuits. Also they have not done anything for the property for decades so I think they have never installed a CU here.
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PrenticeBoyofDerry

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:41 pm Reply with quote

frediaz wrote:
I spoke to the DNO and they told me that the tail gauges were fine, that larger gauges are only needed for 3 phase installations. They said that some people are saying that because there was once a panic about the current carrying capacity of the tails.

the reason behind the fuse rating question

frediaz wrote:

About the earth conductor, they offered me to find out if there is PME in my area and give me the connection. But they say they would charge me which I do not like. I think it should be their responsibility to modernise their installations.

The earth is not really considered the DNOs responsibililty but if one is being provided, I would consider it good manors for the DNO to uprgrade if needed. (mine do)
frediaz wrote:

The thing about the switch box in the picture is weird, there cannot be another CU or there would not be all these cables coming out of it. I guess I could tell the electrician to install the new CU using this 'fuse box' as an isolator switch


Ask him to put an isolator in for you.
frediaz wrote:
right now I just cannot see where you can cut off the electricity to replace the fuse box!
Your electrician will
frediaz wrote:

It has always been a single dwelling so I see no reason why there would be a number of cables coming out to individual CUs, they just go directly to the circuits. Also they have not done anything for the property for decades so I think they have never installed a CU here.

So where do you change your fuses?
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frediaz

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:01 pm Reply with quote

"So where do you change your fuses?"

Exactly! I thought maybe it was one of 2 things: either there is a fuse in the large switch box or maybe the smaller box to the right is like a separate switch box with that cable coming from the larger box. But I think that is an addition of power going to the garage.

The thing is I do not dare open the larger box, to see, without being able to cut off the power to it. This installation is weird!
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PrenticeBoyofDerry

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:07 pm Reply with quote

The small one defo has fuse in, as I also guess the larger one will have.
Throwing the switch in the larger box will isolate the circuits from that box and will be relatively safe to have a look inside, just don't go poking about!
Likely to have four fuses in. Not come across the white plastic types but Bill Crown used to do something the same, in metal, with re-wirable, asbestos insulated fuses.
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frediaz

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:20 pm Reply with quote

PrenticeBoyofDerry wrote:
The small one defo has fuse in, as I also guess the larger one will have.
Throwing the switch in the larger box will isolate the circuits from that box and will be relatively safe to have a look inside, just don't go poking about!


Yes, but to be argumentative, how would the electrician be able to replace that fuse box with a CU, without cutting off the power to it?
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westie101

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:41 pm Reply with quote

You obviously have an earth from the DNO (I actually suspect it is PME) but why would you want to change from T-NS to T-NCS both are perfectly safe and sound.

If you are changing the CUs the DNO or supplier will on request remove the main fuse and disconnect your tails from the meter to allow this work to be done safely.
Actually the easiest way is to fit your new switchgear with tails, ask them to attend to change the tails over then circuits can be transferred at your leisure
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frediaz (1 Jun 2012)
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kai

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:31 pm Reply with quote

You appear to have a PME type of supply - your bonding will need to be up to scratch - min of 10sq.mm bonding cables between incomer, gas and water supplies.
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frediaz

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:28 pm Reply with quote

kai wrote:
You appear to have a PME type of supply - your bonding will need to be up to scratch - min of 10sq.mm bonding cables between incomer, gas and water supplies.


Yes, I would not bother to ask for the change to PME if I did not have it already, I only wanted a good earth wire from the supply and an isolator switch
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:00 pm Reply with quote

frediaz wrote:
I bought a house in bad conidtion and a builder has told me that the existing electricity meter does not comply with current regulations (cables not thick enough)....BTW, that old fuse box will be replaced with a CU with RCDs.

Don't have that builder do it himself - ask him to use, or you get, a proper electrician who knows what he's talking about.
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