How to wire an electric meter

Written by allen teal
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How to wire an electric meter
Utility companies require a meter box to be installed correctly by homeowners before service can be connected. (electric meter image by palms from Fotolia.com)

Wiring an electric meter is not a difficult task to understand. However, because of the large size of the wire, it can be a bit challenging to execute. Make sure that the wires have not been connected to the utility power lines before starting this project. Essentially, the power comes into one end of the electric meter box and exits from the other to enter the building. The electric meter has a large plug that inserts into a socket inside the meter box to engage the circuit.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Bare neutral wire
  • Black insulated wire
  • Cordless electric screwdriver
  • 2-inch screws
  • Drill
  • 3-inch wood bit
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Raise the cover on the meter box to expose the interior. With a drill and a 3-inch wood bit, drill a hole through the wall of the house to the interior about five feet from the ground. Use a cordless electric screwdriver and 2-inch screws to fasten the box to the outside wall of the building over this hole.

  2. 2

    Cut two pieces of black electrical wire. Use wire cutters to cut pieces long enough to reach from the connections in the meter box to about 3 feet above the top of the weather head. The utility company will make the connections to the wires at the top of the weather head. Using wire strippers, remove about 1 inch of insulation from the ends of the wires inside the meter box. Push these wires under the lugs at the top of the box and tighten the screws with a screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Push a bare neutral wire through the weather head and into the meter box. Push the same wire through the port at the back of the box and into the house. Pull the wire into the main breaker box. Slide the end of the wire under the lug at the end of the neutral bus in the breaker box and tighten the screw. Loosen the screw and washer in the centre of the meter box. Push the wire underneath the washer and tighten the screw to hold it in place.

  4. 4

    Cut two more pieces of black wire long enough to reach from the lower lugs in the meter box to the main breaker in the breaker panel, with about 6 inches to spare. Strip 1 inch of insulation from each end of each of these wires, using the wire strippers.

  5. 5

    Push the ends of the wires in the meter box under the lower lugs and tighten the screws over them. Slip the ends of the wires in the breaker box under the screws on the main breaker and tighten the screws. Lower the cover on the meter box to complete the job. Contact the utility company to come out and verify that the work has been completed correctly.

Tips and warnings

  • Never attempt to install an electric meter box with the utility service connected to the wires.

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