enhance your homes safety and efficiency
  • January 13, 2024
  • Effective Building
  • 0
A meter box upgrade can significantly improve the electrical safety and efficiency of your home. If you’ve been stalling your meter box upgrade, this is the sign you need that it’s about time to call an electrician. Let’s find out some reasons why you won’t regret getting an upgrade.

Benefits of Upgrading a Meter Box

Here are some reasons why you need to have your meter box upgraded:

  • Compatibility with new panels – If you want to upgrade your electrical panels to higher amperage, your meter box will need to be upgraded as well.
  • Power company requirements – Your energy provider will likely require you to upgrade your meter and may even shut off your power if you don’t comply.
  • Less overheating risk for lines – A common sign of an inefficient energy flow, hot wiring is a fire hazard and can increase chances of electrocution.
  • Support for modern appliances – Dishwashers, microwaves, and laundry machines require a lot of energy which an upgraded meter box can provide.
  • Smarter power distribution – Old and faulty meter boxes don’t spread energy efficiently, leading to overloaded circuits and broken appliances.

Process of Upgrading a Meter Box

If your utility company requires you to get a meter box upgrade, it can possibly be free of charge (depending on where you live and the specific company). You can also get a meter box upgrade by contacting an electrician. 

The electrician (possibly hired by you or sent by the company) will take a look at your electrical system and may ask questions about your energy usage. They’ll give you a quote if it isn’t free.

You can contact another electrician to take a look if you’re not happy with the quote. However, you’ll still likely end up needing to have your meter box upgraded either way. When the electrician arrives, you’ll have to switch off your power while they upgrade your meter box. Fortunately, this won’t take more than a half a day usually.

After the meter box upgrade, call your power company and inform them that you have had your meter box upgraded. You may want to request to stay on your current billing/meter reading structure. This can help you avoid accidentally getting higher energy bills later on.

Why People Upgrade Their Meter Boxes

A couple of stories from people on the r/electrical subreddit sharing why they wanted a meter box upgrade:

  • First story is about upgrading a “janky meter setup” to accommodate a new 200-ampere 42-slot electrical panel for an 80+ year old house. While this person did the upgrade themself, you should definitely have a qualified electrician to do it for you if you aren’t one.
  • Second story is about a “meter box mess” that the person wants to fix because the cables can barely reach the lugs connecting to the meter socket. The top comment on this post suggests hiring an electrician and adding bushing (an insulator for enhanced safety).
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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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