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Replacing battens behind electricity meter

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Soane, 22 Jan 2021.

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  1. Soane

    Soane

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    Hi

    Our electricity meter is under the stairs, secured to a board which is mounted on battens fixed to separate battens on a plastered wall (see photo). To make better use of the space and make it look tidier with more shelves, I'd like to line the cupboard with plywood.


    The question is; would I be permitted to unscrew the backboard from the battens - definitely not touching or interfering with meter or the tails - pull it away from the wall by a couple of inches and then slide in the plywood and re-fix the backboard to the plywood?

    Also, we're looking at getting a smart meter fitted so would this be better done before or after this?

    I'm well aware of the potentially major implications of messing with a meter but not sure if the supplier needs to send someone for this?

    I'm not touching the consumer unit - I'll just do a cut out for that one.

    Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2021
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  3. winston1

    winston1

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    Don't get a smart meter. They are for the suppliers benefit, not yours.

    As for what you want to do I would be very careful. You could easily dislodge a poor connection.
     
  4. flameport

    flameport

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    Absolutely NOT.
    Doing so has a risk of damaging that ancient lead cable that supplies the electricity to your house, and if damaged, the result will be a loud explosion and a large fire.

    here is the picture you forgot to include:
    https://www.diynot.com/diy/media/img_0044.105927/
     
  5. jacko555

    jacko555

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    During. Have everything ready to go an offer the installer "a cup of tea" / bung of £50 if he'll swap the board while there.
     
  6. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Offer the tea first...
     
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  7. Guitarguy

    Guitarguy

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    Don’t move it, it’s a really old cast iron troughed cutout and the lead cable sheath is liable to break when moved about. Plus a smart meter installer will have a panic attack because it isn’t all shiny an new
     
  8. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    I cant tell whats going on there, looks like a plastic 60 amp fuse on the side wall and just a Henley block and a meter on the Wooden board
     
  9. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Are not that 60A fuse holder and the adjacent Henley-like neutral block attached to the top of a cast iron 'cutout' housing (with the incoming supply cable coming out of the bottom of that cutout)?

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  11. Soane

    Soane

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    Thank you for the excellent feedback. Message clear: I'm not going to touch it. The supplier says that they'll move it less than 15 centimetres for free so plan B was to do the wood lining at the back around the consumer unit and then ask them to move it to the gap between the unit and the wall. Does this sound feasible? Is there a minimum separation distance between the unit and the meter?

    Thank you again for your help.
     
  12. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    As said I cannot tell, looks like maybe 3 phase fuses, but fitted at a right angle, seems weird
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    ..and a Smart Meter installer will only usually have very limited job training, to pull the cut-out fuse, connect the meter and run. Moving the cut-out especially with an old lead cable will be well outside his/her expertise and extremely risky.
     
  14. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Nope, it is single phase just one single fuse, with cable entries to the right of the cut-out fuse.
     
  15. mattylad

    mattylad

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    Soane, work around the board - do NOT try and remove it from the wall or move it so that the thick cable gets moved AT ALL.
    The dangers of doing this are great and the risk is not worth it.
    When doing what your doing consider not making it harder for someone to access and maintain the equipment, also those hooks - I hope that coats are not hung on them because if something does go wrong they will allow a fire to spread.

    A photo from/of the front the board may help the further discussion about it.
     
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  16. Soane

    Soane

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    Thanks to you and everyone who has replied. The house is a standard 1930s semi and I had the consumer unit replaced when we bought the house in 2015. The meter and mains cable are unchanged since then. I've attached a couple of photos which hopefully show it a bit more clearly. (The hooks usually have a bag of plastic bags hanging from it - which, in light of your comment, I think it would be best to move).

    There are some old metal pipes below the consumer unit by they are redundant and don't connect to anything. The aim was to improve the storage so that it would be easier to access but I completely agree that it'll be better to work around it.

    Thank you again

    IMG_0045.jpg IMG_0046.jpg
     
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