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tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
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reply to jchambers28

Re: [Electrical] Smartmeter dead by power surge.

Interesting: complex electronic meters are more vulnerable to lightning then old style mechanical meters. We took a direct lightning hit many years ago and both mechanical meters (power and hot water) came through fine.

Wonder how often that sort of failure occurs? That represents big bucks to the utility, lost usage reporting and the cost of a truck roll to replace the meter.

Our utility is in the process of upgrading to electronic meters. But due to citizen resistance they are not calling them smart meters but AMR - automatic meter reading. Bottom line they have the same measurement electronics the only difference is how the information is accessed.

/tom


jchambers28

join:2007-05-12
Alma, AR
Reviews:
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My friend Mike who works for them said "we replaced your $30 meter with a $300 smart meter IMO they cost us more money that what it's worth". One time a meter reported a power outage from a electrician upgrading the electric service and they had to drive 45 minutes away to see what caused the outage. He did not call the POCO to say work was being done. They lost some money that day.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:2
reply to tschmidt
said by tschmidt:

Wonder how often that sort of failure occurs?

I looked at the PCB guts of several smart meters. They had basic surge protection only for the AC terminals.

Many meter enclosures are plastic, with no shielding around the smart circuitry. That could allow lightning induced current directly on the PCB tracks.


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

1 recommendation

reply to jchambers28
This might be why Firstenergy still does't use smart meters.

kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL
reply to jchambers28
Around here they'll hang you by your balls if an individual/electrician pulls a meter. They unplug'em and plug'em back in, unless it's an emergency.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to tschmidt
Our utility (Western Mass Electric/ Northeast Utilities) has been using AMR since the mid '90s.

Difference is AMR is like an old fashioned meter but the total usage is read by driving by in a truck as opposed to a meter reader entering the yard to read the meter. Smart meters are online meters that are either connected by either a mesh network/Wi-Max/Cellular that report much more than total usage and they report things like load/demand/and minute by minute usage. Grandma's utility has smart meters and I have her house set up for the online management tool and watching the usage hour by hour is kind of cool, but some people don't like the concept. When I turn on the lamp by the WeMo switch I have set up I can see the jump in usage.

As for the OPs concern, I'd say the meter is cooked. Lightning can do a number on household appliances. He'd be lucky if his electronics still worked. One of the personalities on the Weather Channel said if your house takes a direct lightning hit, you can kiss your electronics goodbye no matter how good the surge protectors you have on them.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
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said by IowaCowboy:

One of the personalities on the Weather Channel said if your house takes a direct lightning hit, you can kiss your electronics goodbye no matter how good the surge protectors you have on them.

That was an accurate statement. Nothing can protect electronics or just about everything else from a direct lightning strike. Most of us don't have a lightning protection system on our homes with air terminals that are properly grounded.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to jchambers28
I have to call the power company and tell them I'm pulling a meter. In St. Louis, I can pull them myself. In the St. Charles area, they send a guy out.
They do roll on "unresponsive" meters. AFA they know, it's an outage. It's a good way to catch "electricians" who we refer to as "meter poppers". They pop the meter and try to swap the panel without a permit. The power company arrives shuts off the service and won't restore until it's stickered (passed inspection). I've had quite a few of these "electricians" call me in a panic because they got busted. I use the term "electrician" loosely. Most of these chumps are unlicensed handymen or unlicensed moonlighters who have no business changing out services.
--
...or the sheriff will grab ya and the boys will bring you down. The next thing you know, boy - oh you're prison bound...

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:2
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

said by IowaCowboy:

One of the personalities on the Weather Channel said if your house takes a direct lightning hit, you can kiss your electronics goodbye no matter how good the surge protectors you have on them.

That was an accurate statement. Nothing can protect electronics or just about everything else from a direct lightning strike. Most of us don't have a lightning protection system on our homes with air terminals that are properly grounded.

It is certainly possible to protect ALL indoor electronics from a direct lightning strike to an improperly grounded home, a totally ungrounded home, a home floating in water, or even the flying home in the movie UP.

Some of the technical aspects, which usually confound typical electricians, have been described in various threads in that WISP forum FAQ.


pjsutton

join:2013-06-25
Kempton, PA
Reviews:
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reply to chip89
said by chip89:

This might be why Firstenergy still does't use smart meters.

I have First Energy (Met-Ed) in PA and the PA PUC requires them to charge us "smart meter fees" in order to one day be able to provide everyone with a smart meter. So we are paying for it now and don't even have one yet!

Met-Ed estimates readings every other month.


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

1 recommendation

Ouch I don't I do. As far I know FirstEnergy does't have any plans to put smart maters in anytime soon.... (Probably because power is so cheap here.)

Hellrazor
Bah Humbug

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
Reviews:
·Service Electric..
reply to pjsutton
said by pjsutton:

I have First Energy (Met-Ed) in PA and the PA PUC requires them to charge us "smart meter fees" in order to one day be able to provide everyone with a smart meter. So we are paying for it now and don't even have one yet!

Yup, it is great isn't it. The big companies can't afford them and the little electric coop at my cabin has them installed for years. Figure that out...


Montana48

@166.147.104.x
Doesn't make sense. The coop here started offering "Turtle Meters" back in the early 90's for no extra charge as a convenience so members didn't have to self read and either mail in the bill card or call the reading in. They've since upgraded the SCADA system to TWACS, added the ability to monitor daily usage, pulling readings on-demand via the coop website, system status and reliability monitoring, remote disconnect/reconnect and prepay service for those who have trouble paying their bill. Here again, no extra charges. Here they retrofitted most of the single-phase mechanical spinner meters with modules for AMR. Aside from the module, my meter is the same one that was installed in 1984 before the coop did any sort of AMR.


LadyL
Premium
join:2002-09-18
Lorain, OH
reply to chip89


Boooost

@76.65.143.x

1 recommendation

reply to chip89
quote:
Low-tech but highly reliable: NJ meter readers still make the rounds

And a necessity in New Jersey, where most electric, gas and water meters still require people to visit the locations and enter updated usage numbers to calculate monthly bills. It is a model that has remained relatively unchanged for more than a century.

The alternative, two-way smart meters, can remotely calculate individual gas, water and electric usage, send a signal when a customer’s power goes out, and in some cases, help cut energy consumption and manage peak demand.

But the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the state’s ratepayer advocate haven’t supported the technology, whose system-wide installation would run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, a cost that would get passed on to customers.

The state Division of Rate Counsel, which represents consumers in utility rate cases, maintains that human meter readers are still cheaper and more effective than their high-tech counterparts.

“Meter readers serve an important function,” said Stefanie Brand, Rate Counsel director. “They are not obsolete.”

Because utilities don’t yet have smart grid technology that would allow for system-wide communication, many of the potential smart meter benefits would go unrealized, she said.
More - »www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/20 ··· nds.html


dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
reply to pjsutton
you dont want one unless you like the idea of paying double plus what you're paying now.
--
Despises any post with strings.


NS4683

join:2000-08-25
South Amboy, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Why would you be paying double?


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to Boooost
Yeah First Energy really does't have plans for a big smart meter deployment. ( even the test is small it's 50-100 people that's it)


dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
reply to NS4683
ever since i got one my bill went up 240% with no change in usage patterns.
--
Despises any post with strings.


NS4683

join:2000-08-25
South Amboy, NJ
kudos:1
So your bill just magically went up? There was no increase in kilowatt hours?