Boy, what a setup. It looks to me like the power company has installed a surge suppression unit, which plugs into the meter socket, and then the meter plugs into it. The conduit and box under that unit could either be more surge suppression equipment, or a transfer switch that some power companies are installing now-a-days. These transfer switchs allow a portable generator to be attached to it, to provide emergency power. I havent seen any of these in the field yet, but have seen paperwork on them.
Due to all this extra equipment installed, I would contact the power company to come out to open it all up, then either have them re-screw it , or do it yourself, if you have the experience and knowledge, as well as tools to do it. One word of warning, the top lugs will still be hot, and, wouldn't you know it, there are 2 screw holes right next to those lugs. Be extra carefull!!
One of the dangers in this is that whoever pulled the socket loose, probably just pulled it from the wall. The screws that used to be attached into the wall behind the socket are now loose, and could fall into the hot lugs. Just banging it around to remoive the meter could cause an arc-flash, or worse.
[This message has been edited by rmiell (edited 08-12-2003).]
Re: Topic: >> Insecure Meter Enclosures#115070 08/12/0311:10 AM08/12/0311:10 AM
I think in this case that the screws used on top were too fine a thread and not long enough.
I agree with your words of caution about the screws. I've seen them still hanging out the holes on several occasions and been very careful not to knock them in. I don't think this is a job that just anyone should try, and the Utility might have some strong opinions on that too.
Has anyone seen or heard of any Fires or Injuries that resulted from a situation like this?
Re: Topic: >> Insecure Meter Enclosures#115072 08/12/0312:45 PM08/12/0312:45 PM
Bill: A few years back we experienced a slight variation on this. During a high wind, a tree limb pulled the service raceway, insulators and triplex from the side of a house, leaving the meter can attached to the house. The raceway, no longer in its vertical position, pulled tension on the conductors inside the can, where one of them came loose and grounded inside. FD was called out, and this fireworks display continued until shortly after our arrival when a primary fuse several houses down the street finally put an end to it. It scared hell out of the homeowner and others in the neighborhood, but fortunately resulted in no injuries and moderate property damage.
I have seen siding installers using a cat's paw or crowbar to dislodge meter cans from houses. In one case, they broke the back out of the meter can (this one in particular being made of some type of cast aluminum, I think)...they lived to regret that mistake.
Re: Topic: >> Insecure Meter Enclosures#115073 08/12/0302:41 PM08/12/0302:41 PM
I was called back to a job where I had done a Service change/relocation. The person had added an extension on a slab over the original UG service so it had to be re-routed around it. The contractor had removed the sill plate to put siding on and when he put it back he put a screw through the cable.
When I got there (about 15 min later) it was still shooting sparks and flames every minute or so. I told him I wasn't going near it. When POCO came and disconnected so I could fix it they would not reconnect without inspecting a good portion of the buried cable. They did reconnect, but because of some damage to the transformer some houses on that block only had one leg (120v) for a few days.
The contractor went to the hospital for tests and was released, - a lucky guy!
Re: Topic: >> Insecure Meter Enclosures#115074 08/12/0304:03 PM08/12/0304:03 PM
This is at a popular Timeshare 'resort' or whatever it's called. I was wondering if it was used by Management to turn power on and off. I have the impression it's a busy place and they're usually booked, at least during the warm months. I can't see them turning off the power/heat in the winter if it's unoccupied.