New Consumer Unit - Smart Meter - No Isolator

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Hi Guys,

Need a new consumer unit installed. I have a smart meter and my electrician said he cannot do this as there is no isolator between the meter and the current consumer unit.

Do I need to find a way to install an isolator, or can the consumer unit be replaced without and isolator, even if the electric meter is the smart one?

Thanks,
 
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It is nothing to do with it being Smart or not Smart. An isolator is needed so the consumer unit can be completely isolated from the supply.

I have heard some energy suppliers will fit one for free, or at least connect up one you supply for free. Worth talking to them.
 
Your electrician can fit the isolator himself, but it is not essential, though it is a good idea. Either way, he or you need to coordinate with the DNO to have them remove the main fuse for him to do the CU replacement and install an isolator if you want one, and replace the main fuse afterwards.

Either your electrician is incompetent or he doesn't want the job. Find a different one!
 
If a Smart meter is fitted when the Cut out / DNO fuse is removed they can get a notification when it happens, so maybe he's unwilling to remove the fuse himself and find himself in hot water if they turn up asking questions - it has been known by some electricians for this to happen in recent times.
 
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An electrician has never been allowed to remove the DNO fuse, and the DNO should have provided an isolator, so many electricians have removed the DNO fuse with the idea it's their fault for not providing an isolator, but two wrongs don't make a right. Although the DNO in one area may turn a blind eye, that does not mean they do in all areas, if they know an area is know for stealing electric then they are less likely to turn a blind eye in that area.

The HSE rules say you should isolate else where, so without an isolator in theory thought never seen in practice, you can't take the cover off the consumer unit without isolating else where first which would often mean drawing the DNO fuse, after turning off the isolator in the consumer unit so no current flowing.

But if you see the PPE that should be worn before drawing a fuse, it all starts to get a bit silly.

The objection to smart meters is they can be turned off remotely. The worry is they get the address wrong and turn off wrong meter, so Fred up the road does not pay his bill and you get cut off, the energy companies say they will not use the feature, so big question is why build it into the smart meter?

My father-in-law had one fitted, we thought great we can monitor his electric use, so we can see when he boils a kettle and switches on a light, so if the usage varies we know he is OK and pottering about, but we never did get access to his smart meter, so only method to see if OK was to phone of visit. So the smart meter did nothing that the old meter didn't do. The meter was in a meter cupboard outside so never had to let the meter reader in, and the clamp-on ammeter supplied by Scottish power that connected to internet resulted in bills being within £5 of the true reading anyway, so why fit smart meters?
 
The objection to smart meters is they can be turned off remotely. The worry is they get the address wrong and turn off wrong meter, so Fred up the road does not pay his bill and you get cut off, the energy companies say they will not use the feature,
Right now they are in the phase of trying to convince people to get smart meters, so they will obviously downplay any disadvantages for the customer.

so big question is why build it into the smart meter?
I can think of a couple of reasons.

1. To allow load disconnection with greater precision in the event of electricity shortages. Right now all they have is the blunt instrument of disconnecting whole areas at once, they have no way to exempt some users or to ration electicity but if most people have meters with disconnect contactors that would change.
2. To allow people to be moved from post-pay to pre-pay tarriffs and vice-versa without physicall replacing the meter.
 
1. To allow load disconnection with greater precision in the event of electricity shortages. Right now all they have is the blunt instrument of disconnecting whole areas at once, they have no way to exempt some users or to ration electicity but if most people have meters with disconnect contactors that would change.

A very important part of the Smart meter. In the rare times we do have outages, our supplier (well the DNO) rings me to update me on progress. Planned, but urgent interruptions, they ring me to advise me of a power cut and an estimate of how long.

How much more sensible if their are unavoidable power shortages, that they should be able to selectively disconnect non-essential customers, that more essenstial ones like hospitals, fire stations, police stations and the elderly and at risk.
 
Switching off is easy, but switching back on is the problem. I have seen this with a simple 110 volt supply, grinder stopped working and it was put down to investigate then restarted again, it should not auto restart, but it seems there was a latch option which was activated.

Be it an oven or a drill there is a danger involved which a house is re-energised without notice.
 
Be it an oven or a drill there is a danger involved which a house is re-energised without notice.
Surely that applies as much to blackouts of whole areas as it does to individual disconnections though.
 
Switching off is easy, but switching back on is the problem. I have seen this with a simple 110 volt supply, grinder stopped working and it was put down to investigate then restarted again, it should not auto restart, but it seems there was a latch option which was activated.

That applies to lots of equipment which uses mechanical latches. I have three grinders and a couple of drills, the same applies to all of them.
 
Surely that applies as much to blackouts of whole areas as it does to individual disconnections though.
Yes it does, but to fit the disconnection unit means it is designed to fail, not an accident. If "Smart" meters were in two sections essential supply and non essential supply so house could be split, non essential to charge the electric car for example it would have some sense, but in this house like many houses in the country no electric means no heat, so you want boiler supply and lighting supply to be unaffected when supply turned off, and EV chargers are now designed so they can be remotely switched.

But the switch inside the smart meter is rather useless as it stands, once turned off, some one has to attend before turned on again. I can do without power to most things in my house, but freezers, boilers, and lights can't be simply switched off to save power, to do that the meter would need re-designing so they are simply not fit for the job, and a waste of money.
 

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