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Bad Electric Meter Socket Causes Power Loss to Home


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

the electrical box outside and one of the main electrical lines in the terminal lug at the electric meter socket jaws was burnt very badly…

Bad Electric Meter Socket Causes Power Loss to Home
Background: Jack, a Homeowner from Frankfort, Illinois

Question: Half our house lost power and the ComEd electrical utility company came out to fix it. He checked the electrical box outside and one of the main electrical lines in the terminal lug at the electric meter  socket jaws was burnt very badly. The meter socket assembly it was on was also blackened. The guy told us that we need to replace the metal “Meter Block” he called it. I can’t find any part with this name. What is the official name of this object. I believe this metal object is connected with power company lines and this metal runs into the circuit breaker.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Jack. The electrical meter socket assembly will need to be identified for the electrical panel that you have and then replaced. These parts are sold to licensed electrical contractors at wholesale electrical distributors. I have provided the following links that lead to fully detailed information on this website that will assist you with your electrical question:

Circuit Breakers
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers

Circuit Wiring
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing

Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
Types of Electrical Testers
Using Electrical Testers

For more information about Circuit Breaker
Circuit Breaker

This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

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2 Responses to “Bad Electric Meter Socket Causes Power Loss to Home”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Wow – sorry to hear of your situation.
    Yes – a permit is needed before any work begins, and depending on where you are located you might not be able to do this yourself. An electric service change is complex in itself, and splitting an electrical service for two units is even more complex and can run into some issues depending on how everything is wired, including the internal circuits that may also need to be split or adjusted in order for them to be on the right meter. I have never seen a multiple meter service panel at Home Depot or Lowes’ but they are available from a wholesale electrical supply.
    Michelle, you have stated that you are renting, and I don’t know the details of your renters agreement, but in my personal experience the landlord has been responsible for situations having to do with the utility services to the dwelling that is being rented, and the renter is only responsible for the monthly charges associated with the utility companies. Typically the renter is not obligated for repairs such as this. You may want to review this with your landlord and the rental agreement. For further assistance you might consult your local agency which represents landlords and renters and regulates tenants rights.
    Dave

  2. michelle says:

    Lost Power May Require Replacing the Electrical Box and The Wire
    We recently had problems with our electric, certain things would blink on and off, but we never totally lost power. The electric service provides power for two homes. Upon checking, we found that the meter itself was blackened and we immediately called the electric company. They showed up a few hours later and ended up pulling the meter, and told us we needed to replace the box he pulled it from, and the wire running up the pole to the power lines, which he also disconnected. We asked about the safety of it servicing two homes and he said that was fine, but we needed to put 200amp wire instead of the 100amp that was there, because it overloaded and that is what caused the problem.
    First question: Can this be changed to a two meter setup easily so that each home has its own bill?
    The guy from electric utility company said we could get everything we needed from Home Depot and do it ourselves, then call them back and they would come hook power back up, and then we had 10 days to get it inspected or they would come turn it back off. I ask about the two meter setup because the people we rent from have said they would like it to be a two meter service, but we are thinking about cost.
    Second question: Is a permit required to do this and if so is it needed before we do the work or just before inspection is done.
    Basically, we have been without power for a week, and I just want it done. We can easily purchase what we need and get this done, but need to know how much more difficult it will be to switch to two meters?
    Thanks for your help.