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What's Hiding Behind An Electric Meter?

Electrical Service Componets

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Electric Meter Photo

Electric Meter Photo

Photo: Timothy Thiele

Have you ever wondered what is behind an electric meter and how it is wired? It houses a center neutral buss bar and two hot wire connection points for the incoming and outgoing electric meter connections.

The incoming overhead feeder wires connect to the top (line connection)two hot connection points via terminal lug connections. In a typical 100-amp service connection these wires will likely be #2 THHN. The center post is for connectiong the incoming neutral/ground connection from the utility company feed.

The outgoing connection points are the load connection points. This is the portion of the meter that feeds the service panel or the electrical disconnect. As with the line connection, the load connection has the two hot feeds and the center is the neutral connection. There is also a #6 ground wire that connects to the neutral/ground connection on the meter and also connects to the ground rod. Do you know how to wire an electric meter.

The electric meter is pressed into place when the electrical connections are installed properly. However, this connection is the responsibilty of the utility company. The electric meter is covered by a metal coverplate that makes the connections weatherproof and allow the utility company to lock the meter enclosure via a locking tab. The idea is to keep the public out of harms way and allow the utility company to know if someone has been tampering with their equipment. If the locking seal is broken on one of their visits and you have been tampering or altering their equipment, you may be subject to a fine or even disconnection.

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