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Smart meter installer - install isolator too?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by 1974stephen, 7 Jun 2020.

  1. 1974stephen

    1974stephen

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    We're just about to change energy supplier and as we have an original first-generation smart meter they're likely to want to change the meter again, as our last supplier has been constantly asking us to do, for which I've resisted.

    The question is, assuming we do this, what are the chances of the person who comes to swap the meter also installing something like a Wylex 100A two pole isolator between the new meter and CU (which I'd supply) if I asked?

    I'm thinking about a possible CU upgrade in the near future and thought this might be a good time to easily get an isolator installer. What do you think the chances of doing it this way are?

    Is there normally a charge from the supplier for having an isolator fitted, or am I thinking about doing it in a way which is actually more costly to me, as I'm paying for the isolator and maybe bunging the guy £20 for his trouble rather than just ringing up the supplier and saying, I'm having a new CU fitted and my electrician has asked if you can fit an isolator first?
     
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  3. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I know it caused my son problems, he was fitting a new consumer unit in a new location, and there was a problem so he had fitted a new isolator with the idea new supply would go to isolator then he could do the last bit of work before turning on the supply and he would not need to be at the house at the same time as the supply company, however they did not arrive on even the day agreed and then wanted him in attendance before they would do the work, they wanted him to drop everything and do their bidding.

    His only way around the problem was to call me to finish the job he was on.

    Yet other times they have been helpful. So it seems it's in the lap of the gods what they will do.

    And I have still not worked out why I or anyone else would want a smart meter? It seems with a smart meter they can switch off your supply remotely, but I don't want them to switch off my supply remotely, it is just too easy to switch off the wrong persons supply. I can monitor the power I am using without a smart meter, I have not found any reason why I would want one fitted, I can see why the supply company wants one fitted, but no gain for me.
     
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  4. mattylad

    mattylad

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    I have an isolator ready and waiting for the day a smart meter actually gets fitted here.
    Then there will be no excuse for them, if will be on the board ready and waiting for the installer.
     
  5. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    In my limited experience, at least some suppliers will come out and fit an isolator FOC - they did for me. So as long as you request it up front (so the guy can have one on the van) I see no reason why not.
    It saves them hassle down the line - no dealing with customers wanting the fuse pulled/replaced, no excuse for sparkys cutting seals and doing it themselves, ...
     
  6. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Of course one other way around it, completely within the rules, would be to mount your isolator in advance - then when teh meter fitter comes, just ask his to put the new tails that you have sticking out of the isolator into the meter instead of the old tails from the CU. Absolutely no argument there - his job is to swap the meter and connect your tails into it, done.
     
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  7. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    That's what I did on a single to 3ph conversion and much to my surprise he asked how I wanted the load side connected [to 4 CU's and a fused switch].(y)




    BUT I didn't get the same co-operation at another hall with the same meter company, the cheeky so 'n so even asked me where the extra tails are.(n)
     
  8. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    I guess it depends a lot on the individual engineer, where they feel their loyalties lie (to customer service at one end of the spectrum, or to not a penny more than the company should be paying for at the other end), and what they remember of the rules they were taught and how those rules are interpreted. And also on how busy they are - less likely to be helpful if they have been given a long list of difficult jobs to get done that day vs short list of easy jobs.
     
  9. ajohn

    ajohn

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    Around here, B'ham they are fitting an isolator when the smart meter is fitted. Reason given - so electricians can work on the CU without calling them out to remove and later replace the main fuse. This is what they fitted - some one was curious on another forum

    DnoIsolatorS.jpg

    :( Going to be great fun if the back board needs replacing.
     
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  11. Bendo

    Bendo

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    It's unlikely your new supplier will want to change it. The majority have agreed to wait until the SMETS1 meters are adopted by the DCC and become smart again, which for most of them should be at the end of this month.
     
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As has been said, the answer to that will vary between suppliers, and probably also between individual meter-changing individuals.

    For what it's worth when, two or three years ago, I had a 'routine' (non-'smart' to non-'smart') meter change, I asked my then supplier (E.ON) if an isolator could be fitted when this was done - and they agreed without any argument. I offered to provide an isolator and/or to pay for one, but they said that neither was necessary - and a 4P isolator was fitted without any charge.

    However, your mileage could definitely vary on this one. E.ON (no longer my supplier!) appear to currently be charging so much for their electricity that they probably can afford to fit isolators for nothing :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
  13. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Only some SMETS1 meters will be adoptable, many do not have the secure comms ability or the ability to be upgraded. I suspect a significant factor is whether the comms module is integral to the meter or a separate module - the latter allowing the module to be replaced.
     
  14. 1974stephen

    1974stephen

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    Cheers or your replies. I'm currently with EON, but the contract expires in a couple of weeks. It think for less than £15 at Toolstaiton, I'll chance it when the time comes and buy one and stick it on the wall and hope for the best when the meter installed arrive!
     
  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Beware. As I said, when E.ON (or their meter operative) installed an isolator for me, without charge, when they did a routine meter change, I had asked them if I could supply a suitable isolator. They not only told me that such was not necessary, but also that, even if I did supply one, they would not use it!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  16. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    I could understand that - if they are "installing an isolator" then they'd want to know the provenance of what they are installing. But if they are swapping a meter, then in principle it should not matter what is attached to the other end of the customer supplied tails - i.e. if the customer fits tails into the isolator and moves his original tails to the load side of it, then it should make no difference to the fitter.
     
  17. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I just pulled the cut-out fuse and fitted my own, before my most recent of three smart meters were changed, all SMETS 1. Plenty of room in the outdoor meter cupboard, with just the cut-out, meter and tails in there, so I fitted the isolator in the middle of the existing route of the tails. Height of the isolator, distance between terminals, meant I was just able to cut the tails without needing to replace them. I am planning to fit a new dis-board at some stage, with more ways, so wanted to be able to isolate easily when I got a round tuit.

    Third meter installer just sealed up the cut-out fuse, his new meter and my isolator without a word of complaint. I did wonder about his need to seal up >MY< isolator, but I suppose because there were permanent live tail in the bottom(?).

    I have changed suppliers annually since the smarts came out, so each time they have had to fit new meters to be compatible with their system, though now I think they have at last given up that silly game. I moved to EON 18 month ago, they promised yet another meter for around June last year, but I moved again (November), before they got around to it, suggesting the delay was due to the wait for SMETS2.
     
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