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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to DarkLogix

Re: Electrical issue question

said by DarkLogix:

It was ont he side leading to the pole.

it was the top right connector, who's wire went around, down and into the conduit that goes into the ground.

Not x-ray eyes just good hearing, we could hear it arcing when the main breaker was toggled.

and when he came by saturday to lok at it after it was unlocked we saw the blackened connector and whitened plastic around it and over all bad looking on that one connector.

So it was on the line side and not the load side (customer) that he originally said. I realize he could hear arcing but unless he had x-ray vision there was no possible way he could determine which was faulty.

Is this situation you are in a Texas unique to POCO procedures there where they can create damage installing a new meter and transfer the total cost to you? I'm asking because that could never happen here. I think if I were you I would press the POCO to pay for the total repair since they are the ones that caused the damage.

You are lucky. One of my friends had the same situation and it almost burned his house down. Luckily a neighbor saw the flames and called the fire dept. Loose connection on the line side of the underground feeder to the meter base was the cause.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

2 recommendations

reply to Bob4

said by DarkLogix:

said by djrobx:

How long ago did they put that smart meter in?

Not sure I didn't note when they installed it.

Go back to your old electric bills. The bills should show the meter number as well as the beginning and ending meter reading. This should tell you exactly when the meter was replaced. Since this particular meter was made in May 2010 it was installed sometime within the last two years.

said by Bob4:

Claim that they damaged it when they installed the smart meter. Make them pay to fix it and to give you your $50 back, too.

The smart meter replacement is by far the most likely cause for this. What may have started initially as simply a poor contact between meter and jaw in the meter socket was over time getting worse as resistance heat caused additional damage to the socket.

Don't call the utility on the phone to ask for reimbursement. Find out what the proper claims procedure for your utility is (which certainly requires filing a claim in writing and often has a mailing address that is distinct from other utility contacts such as customer support or billing) and follow whatever procedure they require. Be sure to include pictures of the damaged meter socket and the meter itself as well as a copy of the repair estimate from the electrician (this needs to be an estimate that is for replacement of the meter base/socket only and doesn't include the replacement of your main panel; if it is a combined estimate the parts and labor for the meter base/socket replacement needs to be broken out separately).
Also include a copy of the receipt for the $50 safety inspection by your utility and if you got the inspection results in writing include those too.

In your claims letter mention:
- all the problems with your power that you have been mentioning here in the thread. Try to be as specific as you can with regards to when it happened the first time and the frequency with which it was happening (including any increases in frequency that are typical for this kind of issue).
- when and how you contacted the utility about your problems and summarize the outcome of each of those.
- definitely include that you paid $50 for a safety inspection that failed to find a rather obvious issue inside the meter base.
- that you hired an electrician who finally located the cause of the problem in the meter base. (Be sure to include the bill for the electrician if the inspection was a separately invoiced item or shows up as separate line item).
- be sure to mention that the arcing in the meter base was bad enough to be audible with the meter base still closed.
- if during this time you had any electronic/electric items fail (where the failure was likely due to power conditions in your home) list those together with their fair market values (alternatively age and replacement costs).

Conclude the claims letter with your opinion that the problem started as minor damage to the meter socket when the smart meter was installed which over time grew into the current dangerous situation requiring immediate repairs.
Clearly state which expenses you expect them to pay by listing and providing a grand total for:
- entire meter base or just the socket (based on electricians invoice)
- electrician labor for identifying the problem
- labor for meter base/socket replacement
- $50 for failed utility inspection
- fair market value of damaged equipment (if any)

Claims processing is typically slow and there is no guarantee that you will get the full amount you are asking for (especially since there is no way to proof that the problem started with the smart meter install). However it is certain that you will get nothing if you don't file a proper claim. I think it is very unlikely that the claim will be completely denied.
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DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by DarkLogix:

It was ont he side leading to the pole.

it was the top right connector, who's wire went around, down and into the conduit that goes into the ground.

Not x-ray eyes just good hearing, we could hear it arcing when the main breaker was toggled.

and when he came by saturday to lok at it after it was unlocked we saw the blackened connector and whitened plastic around it and over all bad looking on that one connector.

So it was on the line side and not the load side (customer) that he originally said. I realize he could hear arcing but unless he had x-ray vision there was no possible way he could determine which was faulty.

WTF are yout talking about?

The guy said it sounded like it was in the meter can and it was stop making crap up.

When did I claim he said he know which side it was on?


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 edit

WTF are yout talking about?

In your own words:

»Re: Electrical issue question

said by DarkLogix:

Well another came out and this one actually looked over it and thinks it the customer side of the meter connection.

The customer side is the load side.

quote:
so we're calling the power company to get them to unlock it so he can take a look.

The guy said it sounded like it was in the meter can and it was stop making crap up.

re-posting your words is not making CRAP up. you need to remember what you post.

When did I claim he said he know which side it was on?

»Re: Electrical issue question


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to DarkLogix

I can tell you right now, a 125A main will probably cost you more than a new panel.

In fact, when I need new main breakers, I buy a whole new panel, take the main out, and scrap the panel. New panel w/ main breaker = $100. New main breaker alone = $125 - 250. Crazy isn't it? Wasteful too.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to Jack_in_VA

Well we had assumed the power company hadn't lied.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by DarkLogix:

Well we had assumed the power company hadn't lied.

I understand that. We like to be trusting as to when someone tells us something it's factual and not a flat out lie. I would bet they never checked it because if they had pulled the meter and inspected the stabs, connections and voltage test they would have seen the problem. You are lucky that nothing adverse like a fire resulted.

I commented on the x-ray vision because nobody can observe a metal enclosure like that and determine which lugs or stabs are arching with only the audible sound inside. I wonder why he would even make that guess.

I'm waiting until it cools down a little and I'm going to pull my meter and check the connections on the load side and condition of the stabs. While I have the meter pulled I'll check the connections to the main breaker and 100 amp circuit breaker for the garage.

All I have to do is call the POCO and tell them I'm cutting the seal to check connections and after I'm finished call them to replace the seal.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

Well with how bad it looked on mine all you'd have to do is pull the meter and you'd see the overheating damage right away (almost instantly)



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by DarkLogix:

Well with how bad it looked on mine all you'd have to do is pull the meter and you'd see the overheating damage right away (almost instantly)



That's why I think the POCO never checked it like they told you. I also think they owe you $50 back.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

I don't think they did ether so if the $50 service fee is there on the bill we're going to complain.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

As it is now the plan is for the work to be done this Friday.
We've gotten 3 quotes ranging from 1200 to 5000 with the mode median being 1400 (ie I don't know what that one 5k guy was thinking)

We're sticking with 125a.
Meter and panel replaced and ground clamp replaced (seems the clamp that holds the ground wire to the rod fell off)

(the guy that quoted $5000 quoted $5000 for 125a and 10,000 for 200a, was late and took a week to get a quote from)

the one we're going with was early, actually looked and listened and found the issue with the meter can.

the 3rd guy was on time didn't look much and just quoted the panel and without seeing the inside of the can said he could just replace the jaws even though the other guy who had seen the inside said the can we had needed to be replaced. (so just not overly impressed with the 3rd and he quoted higher than the 2nd)

btw +1 for angie's list the one I picked from there is the one we're going to use.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

That's sounds like a good plan. You correct your problem and eliminate your dangerous panel. You should sleep better when the job is completed.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

Ya, I'm looking forward to it.

New panel and Meter can installed and when we tell the power co to lock the meter back we'll tell them to bring a different brand meter.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

You should save that old can (don't give it to anyone) and take extensive closeup photos of the old meter (front and back).

Angie's List has it's good and bad points. When they say "no company can pay to be on Angie's List", they are pretty much liars. As soon as one of my customers put a review on there, AL called me incessantly wanting me to advertise with them. You pay to push your name to the top of the "list". My company has an "A" rating, and I've gotten the "Super Service Award" each year. I don't have many reviews though. I think it's still less than 30.
I did try their advertising and it was HUGE mistake (waste of money). My AL customers dropped from about 1 or 2 per week, to 1 every 60 days (or less!). Right now, I couldn't tell you the last time I had an AL customer.
I think they are kind of scammy; similar to the BBB. They act like they are there to protect consumers, but they are really just there to double-dip the market.
It only takes one nut-job to throw off your rating too. Fortunately, I haven't had any of those.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

That's why I was looking at and reading reviews not just the rating.

I found one with 30+ reviews and several recent ones that were good.

then still got an estimate from the phone book one, the angie's list one, and the one someone at lowes refereed.

I was considering still getting an estimate from a friend of my brother but the one from angie's list has so far been very good (he was the only one that actually tested and looked for the issue)

came back the very next day to see the meter can after we got center point to unlock it, and got us a quote on the day he said he would, and called to schedule after he had some time to look over his list of jobs for the week.

So far I'm quite happy with this one.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

Sounds good. Make sure you try to get the electric company to pay for the meter can replacement and to give you your $50 back.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

Well for the $50 they said they were charging $50 for the service visit but haven't gottent he bill for that yet.

I do plan to try to get them to cough up some money if possible.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to DarkLogix

said by DarkLogix:

(the guy that quoted $5000 quoted $5000 for 125a and 10,000 for 200a, was late and took a week to get a quote from)

Probably had too many high paying contracts and didn't want to try to squeeze you in unless it was for big bucks.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

said by alkizmo:

said by DarkLogix:

(the guy that quoted $5000 quoted $5000 for 125a and 10,000 for 200a, was late and took a week to get a quote from)

Probably had too many high paying contracts and didn't want to try to squeeze you in unless it was for big bucks.

Well Mr5000 was late and late with everything.

so just due to that even if MrLate had given a normal price I don't think we'd be using him just because of it'd be likely that we'd take off work and then he'd be late.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9

1 recommendation

Mr. $5000 is late, because he has too much work and doesn't need any more business right now. He quoted you that price as he knew he wouldn't hear from you; and if by some unusually reason you did hire him; it would be extremely worth it to drop some other customer for a day or two and squeeze you in. You can't call the guy late until you are actually paying him.

This is a very common tactic throughout the contracting industry practiced by most if not all, be they the best or the worst contractors. Its nothing more than supply and demand. You would have been a lot less happy if he gave you a good price and steered you towards his company, knowing that he doesn't have the time or manpower; and then string you along for a few weeks until he does.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

I'd rather he just say sorry full.

or it'll be a month before I can fit you in.

but instead he showed up at 10:30pm when he was to be there from 5-8pm. He took a week to get a quote. he didn't really look at it to find the issue, just assumed the panel was the cause.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

Why bother showing up for a bid if you are overbooked? I guess he had some extra fuel he needed to burn. I just tell people that I'm too booked up to give them the "attention they deserve".

One thing is true: If I get out to a job and the customer is an ass hat, I'll bid it super high. Rarely will I not bid it at all. I did have a bid a few months ago where the guy was such a dick that I told him I wasn't interested in the job.

Judging from what I know of you from this forum, I don't think that would be the case for you.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

for $5K it would be worth it.



49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to nunya

said by nunya:

One thing is true: If I get out to a job and the customer is an ass hat, I'll bid it super high.

In the future do yourself a favor, get your hands on the business cards of an ass-hat contractor (they are everywhere) and politely tell the prospect your business is primarily commercial or if the prospect is commercial flip it the other way and then politely advise the prospect while handing out the other contractors business card “they are your best choice for what you want.”

You do three good things at this point, the prospect walks away remembering you in a positive manner and after the divorce might call you back (tail between the legs) wondering if you can make the other contractor mess meet code and you throw the other guy under the contracting and collecting bus.

Been there and done that…

Wayne
--
Madness takes its toll, please have exact change ready…


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to nunya

BTW Nunya as to your mention about not getting AL referrals how do you know when someone is referred by AL?

Because when I contacted the one from AL I didn't mention where I had heard of him from.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

3 ways.
1) Most people just say it.
2) Conversion tracking.
3) My wife always asks people where they found us.

I need to make sure my advertising money is doing it's job.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

If someone asks me I just say the internet.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

My wife is a very social person. She's a schmoozer and BS'er. She can call you a jackass 10 different ways and make you feel good about it. She's real good at pulling information out of people.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by nunya:

My wife is a very social person. She's a schmoozer and BS'er. She can call you a jackass 10 different ways and make you feel good about it. She's real good at pulling information out of people.

If you're telling us she actually talks to every single one of your customers, I can certainly imagine she is like that.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

She can call you a jackass 10 different ways and make you feel good about it.

I guess you know from experience?