Load side on top of the Residential Meter base

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Buck Parrish

Senior Member
Location
NC & IN
I am installing a new service including a meter next to an old meter combo zinsco panel fed from under ground.

So I figured I would do the power company a favor. So their cables would reach the lugs, I put my cables, the load on top.

In this situation this would work better because the existing buried power companies cables would not be long enough to reach the top.
The inspector says "the load is suppose to be on the bottom" I say , " yeah that's how I always do them, but they sure would work better on top in this case" he say's "hmmmm, I'm perplexed"
What say you all?


PS I haven't heard from the poco yet. They will have the last say.

But, I have removed hundreds of meters and I never assume the bottom is not hot. I learned a long time ago not to make assumptions.
 
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ceb58

Senior Member
Location
Raeford, NC
I was turned down once for the same thing.I bought a new UG service pole from a retired contractor. I installed it not paying much attention to it. The inspector called saying he was failing the temp. I ask why and the reason was the line and load wires were switched. Didn't argue just changed them.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
So I figured I would do the power company a favor. So their cables would reach the lugs, I put my cables, the load on top.


It should work but I doubt they will go for it. Switching line and load you would also need to turn the meter bottom side up and that would be hard to read.

I hope no one else has thought of this, I might forget and assume something.:eek:
 

Buck Parrish

Senior Member
Location
NC & IN
I hadn't thought about the meter may not work correctly, but your right.

As per code . It's not marked Line side or Load side. Is thier an NEC reference to top lugs vs bottom.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
As per code . It's not marked Line side or Load side. Is thier an NEC reference to top lugs vs bottom.
I don't think there is anything code wise. The meter base is actually the property of the power company even though they make the customer install and maintain it.

It's the power company that I think would want it all right side up. Their guys service this stuff at all hours and in all kinds of weather and they are probably used to the line side being on the top and putting it on the bottom could be confusing. Sooner or later someone will install the meter in the wrong direction, you know, just not thinking.

Check the white book for your utilities company and see if they have any information as to meter placement.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I hadn't thought about the meter may not work correctly, but your right.

As per code . It's not marked Line side or Load side. Is thier an NEC reference to top lugs vs bottom.
No, not the NEC.

But the power company should refuse it and I bet you can find the rule in their terms of service agreement.

An older meter would run backwards, not sure what a newer smart meter would do.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I am installing a new service including a meter next to an old meter combo zinsco panel fed from under ground.

So I figured I would do the power company a favor. So their cables would reach the lugs, I put my cables, the load on top.

In this situation this would work better because the existing buried power companies cables would not be long enough to reach the top.
The inspector says "the load is suppose to be on the bottom" I say , " yeah that's how I always do them, but they sure would work better on top in this case" he say's "hmmmm, I'm perplexed"
What say you all?


PS I haven't heard from the poco yet. They will have the last say.

But, I have removed hundreds of meters and I never assume the bottom is not hot. I learned a long time ago not to make assumptions.
I will bet this will be a big no go. The power company can use barrel splices to extend their wires to the top.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
I don't think there is anything code wise. The meter base is actually the property of the power company even though they make the customer install and maintain it.

It's the power company that I think would want it all right side up. Their guys service this stuff at all hours and in all kinds of weather and they are probably used to the line side being on the top and putting it on the bottom could be confusing. Sooner or later someone will install the meter in the wrong direction, you know, just not thinking.

Check the white book for your utilities company and see if they have any information as to meter placement.
Being in Atlanta, I know your used to Georgia power, because they supply the meter bases, but with the EMC's outside Georgia Powers area, the meter bases are customer owned. The EMC'S up from where I'm from would only accept Milbank meter bases only, until they were sued. (they can't legally require a specific manufacture unless they supply it.)
 
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