electrical meter box tampering

cissy0598March 4, 2008

ok so i know you can illegally connect power and turn the meter back to reduce your bill. My question is can you turn it up to show that you have used more power than you actually have? The reason being, I have a horrible neighbor whom is an electrition and very vindictive whom i wouldn't put past if he did do this to me. Plus my power bill jumped up $250.00. Just curious and doing my homework before i confront him.

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billhart

It seems unlikely. More so if these are separate houses and not a duplex or apartment building.

There is no easy way anyone could have done anything in the meter or its box to drastically change how fast the meter runs. I suppose someone could break the seal on the cover (if it was in place and not broken already), disassemble the meter, and change the present dial reading. That is a lot of work to go to just to cause trouble for someone.

If the two residences have their meters close together, then perhaps someone could draw their power off your metered wires. That would also be hard to do without obvious changes to the wires.

Have you been using an unusual amount of space heater power this winter? About 3 heaters running full time would account for the increased bill.

If you really haven't added anything to increase your power usage, call the power company and tell them you think there is a problem with their meter. They will come out and replace it with a known good one, and while they are doing that they would notice if anyone has changed the wiring to steal your power.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 3:19PM
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hendricus

Check the previous bill and see if it was estimated or, maybe, this one.
Our bills have been estimated every other time because of the snow in SW Mich which now is gone in three days.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 4:19PM
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bus_driver

I know of no practical way to accelerate, or decrease, meter readings UNDETECTED. In fact, any tampering with your meter would interrupt the power- your microwave clock would flash and need resetting. And such tampering could not be done quickly. Consider that your suspicions probably are unfounded.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:43PM
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wayne440

I guess someone could plug a space heater into a handy outdoor receptacle and draw some power, but that is a pretty farfetched idea. It would be difficult (or near impossible) to make an increase of the magnitude you cite with this method.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 6:52AM
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jimisham

The meter could have been misread by the power company also.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:28AM
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davidandkasie

if the guy is real spitefull he could plug up some high current devices in your outdoor outlets when you are not home and run them for a while. but that would take so much dedication that he would probably quickly tire of doing it. find the breakers for your outdoor outlets and turn them off. that is about all you can do.

have you checked your KWH usage against past bills? fuel adjustments and other rate changes can make a bill jump pretty drastically, especially if they have been estimating and now actually read it. i had a friend that the POCO estimated her bill for 6 or 7 months before they actually read the meter. when they did they sent her a bill for almost 1500.00 due to them not estimating high enough. on the flip side of that i have seen them estimate high for a few months and then you not owe a bill at all when they read, happened to me and i did not have a bill for 2 months!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:57AM
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mikie_gw

Maybe he trenched in some wire for his a/c.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:01PM
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wayne440

It happens. I went to a friend's store when she noted a huge jump in the summertime power bill. Shut off everything we could in the store and the meter was still spinning like a top. When the POCO pulled the meter, two large AC units in the store next door quit. We went inside and found it was about 68 degrees. The resulting "discussion" is not suitable to post here...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 6:34PM
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hookoodooku

The resulting "discussion" is not suitable to post here...

What a tease. I want to hear the rest of that story.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 1:52PM
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billhart

What I want to hear is how they hid the connection and wiring to the other store.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 2:42PM
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davidandkasie

our building used to be 4 different stores with 4 meters out back in a common apartment style multi-meter box. since we have 2 companies(both owned by us) in the same building we kept 2 meters so each company could pay each bill on it's own. a few years ago we decided to just go to 1 meter. when we did we found out that some of the wires were crossed and certain panels were fed from 1 meter while the panel next to it was fed from another.

so yes, i can see 2 side by side stores having a meter base that would allow for someone to easily steal power from an adjacent meter.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 3:13PM
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wayne440

The 1940's era building is a large store that was subsequently divided into 3 smaller spaces. All of the panels (some old, some new, some in between) are in a common equipment room at the rear. The two package AC units had been "accidently" wired in to the adjacent store's panel. Missing tabs in the cover of the correct box was cause for much speculation/name calling/etc.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 7:57PM
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