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#144794 - 01/18/06 12:35 AM domestic metering in NZ
kiwi Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 347
Loc: christchurch new zealand
Today I talked to a sparky from Auckland who reckoned that he could install a new mains cable in an old house and install a new switchboard with the POCO meter in an adjacent cabinet inside the house.

I thought that if you replace the mains cable and switchboard in a domestic dwelling then the POCO meter had to be in a seperate box which was accessible from outside the house. In short; switchboard inside, meter-box outside. This way the meter reader doesn't have to enter the house to read the meter.

This sparky was quite adamant that he'd done this "plenty of times" which lead me to question wether the indoor meter is allowed by some NZ POCOs.

Can anyone shed some light here ?

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#144795 - 01/18/06 02:13 AM Re: domestic metering in NZ
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Hi, Kiwi.

I have done a fair share of domestic and commercial metering in my time in mostly West Auckland and North Shore period (1991-2001).
In case of mains upgrades and new MCB panels, the meterbox had to be put outside to provide easy access to the meterreader and prefably on the South side of the house.

In cases when only the rewirable fuse panel was replaced with a MCB panel sometimes the inside meter remained or for a charge to the customer (┬▒ NZ 200)a remote dial meter 'was installed, called a 'handy meter 'or remote dial'.

Basically it is a ferraris disc meter, type S200.33 from Sangamo or an electronic meter Y120Ep (enermet) which drives a little dial which can be mounted outside on the wall or fence for easy reading.

These dials run of 12 or 24 volts supply pulses from the meter, so low voltage wiring can be used although its recommended to use screened cable to avoid radio interference.

It pays to check with the customers retailer what they allowe for. In the last couple of years electrical standards, POCO side have dropped, and they may allowe a panel upgrade to be done without meter box change.
_________________________
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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#144796 - 01/18/06 10:38 AM Re: domestic metering in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Guys,
I guess it really just depends on the Lines Company.
Usually here, it's the Inspector that is going to re-fit the meters, that has the say on where they get put.
It's standard company practice at work, to move any existing indoor meters outside when the reticulation system is undergrounded, that much I do know, this usually also entailed a switchboard upgrade.
Ray,
 Quote:
preferably on the South side of the house.

Down here, it's usually the wall of the house that is closest to the pillar box or pole.

Just a note guys, I hope this guy is getting his work inspected as per Regulation 41 (they are still in force, regardless of AS/NZS 3000), this regulation alone would mean that an inspector, (not necessarily a Lines Co one) would have to sign off the job before re-connection.

 Quote:
It pays to check with the customers retailer what they allowed for. In the last couple of years electrical standards, POCO side have dropped, and they may allowed a panel upgrade to be done without meter box change.

Ray,
A thought crosses my mind, who really has the "say" where the meters are "set"?.
I would tend to think that from an operational point of view, it should be the Lines Company, after all it is them that will have to connect them up.
However, I am reminded that the Retailer, needs to be able to access them for reading purposes.
{Rant}
None of this sort of thing occured under the old system, the Power Boards sold the power and "owned" the lines.
Now what we have is a mixed up, wishy-washy system that some of us are still trying to work out.
When the "Free-Market" thing came in, it was hell here for people like the Inspectors at work, because each retailer has thier own meters.
Couple that with some people (consumers) that couldn't work out what they were doing, one guy here locally changed power retailers 5 times in 4 months.
Trying to get anything done by a company at the other end of the country is a worry too.
I'm sick of being asked "Is Ashburton on the north side of Upper Hutt (or some other North Island place)?"
{Rant Over}

Sorry about the soap-box speech, but we have to deal with this sort of incompetence most working days, it makes a job that is normally pretty cool, seem not worth doing at times.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 01-18-2006).]
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#144797 - 01/18/06 07:51 PM Re: domestic metering in NZ
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Mike,
Most meters in Auckland are installed by inspectors from WELL or through Metrix who are independant testhouses and ensure the meters are MARIA compliant and certified.

As far Vector (POCO) is concerned they are only interested up to the point of supply at the pole fuse, or HRC fuse in the pillar.
We (SIEMENS) as contractor do new network services for customers as undergrounding and running cables to new houses. We do not deal with meters anymore and pre wire the meter box and the inspector will fit the meter and liven the site up.

I will confirm this on Monday with one of our in house inspectors.

In the old days it was a one stop shop. Electrician delt with POCO only, who did connections to the supply, hung meters and signed job off as completed.

We still have this nonsense here too with Trustpower owning there own meters and swapping them over if a customer goes to an other retailer and charging for it so the customer may change it's mind and remain with the former.
_________________________
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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#144798 - 01/18/06 11:34 PM Re: domestic metering in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Ray,
It's just all $%#@*&%*!.
It should never have come to this in the first place.
I'm going for my Inspectors Licence in March this year.
I have the old system level of 10 years Electrical experience and having trained several Apprentice Electricians as well as 2 Line Mechanics.
As anyone who is regular here (I'm not talking prunes Kiwi), will know that I fully intend on advancing the Apprentices of our Trade.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#144799 - 01/19/06 02:06 AM Re: domestic metering in NZ
kiwi Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 347
Loc: christchurch new zealand
Today I put this same question to the "Energy Safety Service" and their view is that if a consumer has indoor metering then the POCO cannot force them to change to outdoor metering when the consumer upgrades the switchboard.

This was news to me too. I've never heard of anyone retro-fitting a meter/DB inside a house until today.

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#144800 - 01/19/06 05:33 AM Re: domestic metering in NZ
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
preferably on the South side of the house.


Are they particularly concerned about keeping them out of the sun or something?

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#144801 - 04/09/06 02:58 AM Re: domestic metering in NZ
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Pauluk

 Quote:
Are they particularly concerned about keeping them out of the sun or something?


Yep. We had the GANZ debacle here in Auckland [1988 - 1992]. Many thousands of cheap GANZ GE 24 meters were installed, within a short period brake magnet assemblies distorted in the sunlight and caused the discs to start poleing on the magnet, hence slow running meters or completely stopped meters. Also it interferred with the jumping dials of the latter. These got stuck between 10's, 100's, 1000's or 10000's.
We had also a few problems with GEC C11B2A meters which had the bottom bearing drop lower and poleing discs occurred. {cheap plastic assemblies) to hold floton bearings in place.
Electronic meters Y120 Ep Enermet suffered from capacitors failing on the circuitboard.
In general the south side of the house is in NZ the coolest side and the meter is not exposed to the full sunshine which is quite intense in the summer.
The only meters with full metal geartrains still made are the Email M3 meters from Australia, which are extremely reliable and rated for tropical conditions.
Also the PT coils have extra layering to deal with lightning strikes and powersurges.
_________________________
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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#144802 - 04/10/06 04:59 AM Re: domestic metering in NZ
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I've never heard of any preferred orientation here, but then even when we do get a hot summer it's fairly short-lived, so even a south-facing location probably isn't going to be much of a problem

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