Smart Meter Install - fit new isolator before?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by sub2hours, 16 Nov 2021.

  1. sub2hours

    sub2hours

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    We're having a SMET2 smart meter fitted at the start of December. The existing Siemens meter has a built in rotary isolator and I'm keen to ensure I can continue to isolate the CU after the install. I've heard about people buying a suitable isolater and offering beer tokens for the installer to fit it but what if he/she says no? I'm then stuck.

    I consider myself a competent DIY'er that has done a fair bit of basic electrical work - fused spurs, nest install, external sockets etc. With the existing isolator switched off, and multiple tests to ensure it really is off, is there any problem with me fitting the new external isolator? I would fit a Wylex 100A from screwfix/Toolstation.

    My only real concern is the existing isolator appears to be single pole.

    Iso 1.jpg isolator.jpg
     
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  3. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Buy the isolator and ask meter fitter to fit it. only 3 possible answers:
    1/ Yes.
    2/ No.
    3/ I'm not permitted to fit yours but I can fit one from the van.

    2 out of 3 aint bad.

    If the answer is No he may let you fit it while the power is off.

    2½ out of 3 is better than 2.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    From personal experience, and what I've heard from others, I think that (3), or a variant thereof, is by far the most likely.

    Unfortunately, the variant of (3) that I've most often heard is "I'm not permitted to fit yours but I could fit one from the van, but unfortunately I don't have one in my van today", often followed by "... it's a pity you did not make this request before I came" - and that suggests what is probably the course most likely to work.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  5. winston1

    winston1

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    You still have time to cancel the smart meter install. They are for the benefit of the electricity suppliers not you. Plenty of threads on these forums explaining why you should not have one. By the way they are NOT free, they do NOT save you money. We all pay for them through increased bills.

    Going back to your question you cannot fit the isolator yourself as you would be working on a live feed.
     
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  6. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    ... which is why some argue that, if one is going to have to pay for one anyway, one might as well have one.
    Not if, as I think the OP was implying, it were done at the appropriate point in time during the meter change.
     
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  7. Colin Brenton

    Colin Brenton

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    If you've got an isolator fitted into your present meter, why not fit the new one today? That way it doesn't matter if the new meter has one or not.
     
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  8. winston1

    winston1

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    For everyone that is installed we all pay a little more. Plenty of reasons not to have one as I have already said.
     
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  9. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    No, everyone is charged - on government orders - for a meter whether they have one or not.

    Obviously they will be compulsory at some time.
     
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  11. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    That is probably true but, as EFLI has said, we are approaching the stage at which it will probably (literally or effectively) be 'compulsory', when everyone will be paying for everyone having one - so the most that 'decliners' can achieve is a little delaying of 'the inevitable'.
     
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  12. sub2hours

    sub2hours

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    Thanks All for the replies.

    John, I will ask if they intend to fit an isolator as part of the install - this is my preferred option

    Winston, I realise that we all pay for the smart meters but I'll still pay for others even if I don't have one. I also realise it won't save me money but it shouldn't cost me money either. I'm not too worried about being cut off although I am slightly concerned about the possibility of a faulty meter. The main benefit I see is not having to nip outside once a month to take photos of the meter to then upload via a website - first world problems.

    Colin, that is what I was getting at. I already have an isolator in my meter. If I use this to isolate the supply, can I fit the new isolator between the existing meter and the CU before the installation of the smart meter? It seems I could as it wouldn't then be live. My concern was the single pole isolator - i've read that there can still be a problem with having the neutral connected. I'm not sure why a single pole isolator would have been added to the original meter if it didn't adequately 'isolate' the supply?
     
  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Provided that (as you said you would) you are very careful to robustly 'test for dead' before you touch anything (after the meter's isolator has been switched off), if you are comfortable to do it (and confident that you can do it 'competently'), then I see no reason why you should not do as you suggest - even if such an idea might upset some people here!

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  14. BS3036

    BS3036

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    I know what I would do - and I've done worse! (with extreme care).
     
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  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Same here - in fact, 'far worse', in the relatively distant past, but there's absolutely no way in which I am going to discuss that here :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
  16. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Ditto and definitley no explanation.
     
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  17. sub2hours

    sub2hours

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    Quick update. Just spoke to Octopus and the installation of an isolator has been added to the job sheet for smart meter install on Monday. Will post back once done.
     
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