electric meter

snuffycuts99February 27, 2014

Where is yours located on your house? Builder is thinking about placing it on the front of the house. He said we could camoflauge it somewhat by placing shrubs in front of it and what-not. Wondering how high they are required to be?

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Overhead wires or underground? Remotely read meter or requires a meter reader to come by?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:45AM
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The location is often dictated by the local utility. But, as pointed out above, may be affected by other options. Where I am, for instance, meters are read using wireless technology.

Builders may put the meters on wherever they're used to with no thought given to aesthetics. Check out alternative locations with the supplier if you're unhappy with the one suggested by the builder.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:06PM
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In our situation we really didn't have any options. We have an underground service and the wires had to come in on the south side. We have a side entry garage so the meter had to be on the front so they could read it using wireless. We were able to tuck it in the jog between the garage and house so we don't see it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:52PM
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The wires will be underground and I think they need to check it in person. Our builder also wants to try and tuck it in the jog between the house and garage so it's as less noticeable as possible.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Our meter is read in person. Our electrician suggested putting it on a separate structure, such as a small faux dog house (we don't have a dog). We wound up mounting it on our wood shed, which is about 50 feet from our house and has electricity...this was important since none of the crew was willing to put it on our actual house due to the appearance and the difficulty of putting the wiring into our logs (log house).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Our main meter is about 250 feet from our house, but we also have another meter in our basement for our appliances and geo-thermal (they get a reduced rate).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 3:31PM
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Check with your utility. I work for a utility and we will not allow a meter socket to be attached to the house. This is done to reduce liability. If the meter is on the house, and there is an electrical fire, insurance carriers always seem to point to the utility... I'm thinking it has something to do with deep pockets???

Also, if you plant in front of your service entrance it may be difficult for firefighters to locate your service entrance in case of a fire. You should try to locate the service entrance and your meter socket in an area where it will remain serviceable and accessible. Nobody likes to look at any type of utility equipment but after a very short while it blends in and nobody hardly pays any attention. I'm not talking about transmission lines or poles, just the boxes that come with underground services...

Good luck.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:07PM
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We have underground utilities as well. The plans showed the meter on the front of the garage; however, we did think we would like the way it would look so we moved it to the back of the garage. It is bigger than we thought it would be so I am very happy that we moved it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:11AM
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Hi tallytomatoe,

Is your panel in the garage? We were planning on putting our meter on the back of the garage, but the electric service provider needs it either on the side of the house or front (so they can do drive by scans). If we do it on the side, the service would come into the garage, which is 30 ft (width of garage) from the first access point into the basement (where it makes sense for the panel to be).

I've never seen a full electric panel in the garage. It just doesn't sound right for the panel to be in the garage, although my electrician says its 'fine'.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:20AM
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My meter is on the electrical pole about 50' away from the house..went underground from the meter to the main panel in the house and also underground to my out building/shop which is about 250' from the pole.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:34AM
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That's interesting. Never heard of the meter so far away from the panel. Was there extra cost involved in that type of setup? I thought the meter needs to be close to the panel so firemen know where the shut off is in case of a fire.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:53AM
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we have underground service, remote reading, and the meter base must be attached to the house. But where is up to us. we put ours on the back of the attached garage so no one can see it.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:49AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Considering that a house has at least 4 sides, I sure wouldn't put it on the front...that'd be the last place I'd put it.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:56PM
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nepool...Lots of places around here have meters at the pole and then go underground or overhead to the home. My electric service goes underground to the house and then through a sleeve in the crawlspace foundation then comes up inside a wall in my utility room. No meter, conduit, or mast outside at all and with geothermal HVAC I have no compressor outside so nothing to see or hear.
I dug the line and put the conduit in too for the electrician and I think my cost was about $2.00 a foot for the main service line wire and my electrician pulled in in pretty quickly.
The fire department can disconnect the electricity at the meter base on the pole.

This post was edited by LOTO on Mon, May 5, 14 at 21:10

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Same here LOTO. Our meter is on a pole that's away from the house.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:52PM
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They offered for me to place the meter on the pole 200' away too, except...we get TONS of snow and are self-read...not trudging through that much snow to read the meter so I opted to have it tucked around the side of the house. Blends in pretty well and not visible from the main entrance.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:49AM
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As both an electrician and a also having just gone through a new service in our new home u can offer a little info. You can mount your meter on a pedestal if you don't want to put on your house but the location will have to be approved by utility company. Doing so has both pros and cons, you will be responsible for the cost of both labor and materials to construct the pedestal, you should also install a main disconnect that would allow you to break power from the pedestal to your main panel inside (which also has a main shutoff). As an extra bonus you could install a transfer switch at the pedestal that would allow you to safely plug in a generator during a power outage, chain the generator to the pedestal and enjoy a quieter experience because the generator isn't right outside your window. The last consideration is that you will be responsible for any of the cost associated with the underground conduit and wire between the pedestal and the house, depending on how far away from the utility company connection you may also have to incur additional cost for wiring and conduit. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Thank you.

To be clear, I don't have an issue with attaching the meter to the house, it was more the location of the meter. The closest side of the house to the electric service is taken up by our 3 car garage. My concern was putting the panel in the garage- since its not very common to see that here (most people have their panels in the basement). However, after speaking to various electricians and others (including here) there is really no concern with having the panel in the garage- so we are going with attaching the meter to the side of the garage, and putting the panel in the garage.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:28PM
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