How to Replace an Electrical Meter Box

Written by allen teal
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How to Replace an Electrical Meter Box
Most utility companies require users to install their own meter boxes. (electricity meter image by Charles Jacques from Fotolia.com)

When the electrical power entering a building needs to be increased, it usually means that the meter box must be replaced with one designed to accept the electric meter for that amount of current. Electrical meter boxes are simple devices. Current enters at one end of the box and exits on the other end. The meter rests in between; it measures the power usage of the building.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Cordless electric screwdriver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use wire snips to clip the wire seal on the cover of the meter box. Lift the cover; pull the meter forward to unplug it from the meter box.

  2. 2

    Loosen the two lugs at the top and two lugs at the bottom of the meter box with a wrench. Pull the four wires loose from the lugs. Loosen the two lugs in the middle of the meter box and pull the two wires loose. If they are not marked, wrap a piece of white tape around these wires to indicate that they are the ground wires. Pull all of the wires out of the meter box.

  3. 3

    Remove all of the screws that hold the meter box in place with a cordless electric screwdriver. Pull the box off of the wall or pole and set it aside. Lift the new meter box into position and install the screws to hold it secure. Push the three wires into the top and the three wires into the bottom of the box.

  4. 4

    Insert the two hot wires from the utility into the lugs in the top of the box. Repeat the process with the two wires that run from the meter box into the circuit panel. Tighten the lugs with the wrench. Insert the two ground wires into the lugs in the centre of the meter box and tighten the lugs.

  5. 5

    Plug the meter into the meter box. Close the lid. Call the utility company to have power restored.

Tips and warnings

  • Call the utility company and have the electricity disconnected from the building before beginning work.
  • If you are not an experienced electrician, never open a meter box with the electricity hooked to it.

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