Common Issues of a Faulty Electric Meter
We all know when something goes haywire with our electricity. During a power cut, our homes go dark. Also, we can tell straight away if the light is flickering or something is tripping the fuses. However, what about electric meter problems?
Often your first inkling that there is something wrong with your electricity connection meter is when you see fluctuations in your bill, or when the electricity shuts off.
Before we start to get into some of the common issues, we need to ask, “How does an electric meter work?” The answer is that it is a fairly simple device. It keeps a record of how many watts of electricity you use over a specific period.
Here’s the bad news — there is not a lot that can go wrong here, so if your bill has suddenly shot up, you might need to look elsewhere for the problem. The digital models have more potential for going a little wonky, but they will also usually display an error message if there is a problem.
The following may be indications that you have electric meter issues:
- A higher bill than usual, or a bill that seems to fluctuate. Even a bill that drops suddenly could be an indication that something is amiss.
- An unexplained power cut. If the lights go off for seemingly no reason, it could be your meter.
- Your digital meter is showing an error message.
- A leaking meter. This is rare so don’t fiddle. Get the utility provider to send someone to check it out.
What to do if there is a problem with your meter?
First and foremost, you need to figure out where the meter actually is. It will normally be out of the way, perhaps on an outer wall. Older homes might have a utility cupboard, or they might be in the basement. If you live in a flat, the meters will typically all be in one area.
The first thing to check is whether or not the meter is actually still working. On a digital model, this will be relatively simple. You will see on the display if there is an error listed. If the display is dead, you have a problem and should phone the electricity provider.
If you have a manual model, take a reading and check again later. Has it moved at all? If not, it is broken.
Aside from that, the only way to know for sure if something is wrong with the meter is to have someone come out and look at it. A certified electrician or a representative from your electricity provider should be able to clear it up for you. Whatever you do, do NOT try to open it up and fiddle with it.
Is there any way to guard against problems in the future? The surest way is to keep track of your energy usage by taking regular meetings. That way, you will know whether or not the readings are right. If the problem arises, contact your electricity connection provider right away.