Loose electric meter is dangerous (C) Daniel Friedman Inspection of the Electric Meter, Service, & Ground: Safety Procedures for Electrical Inspectors & Home Inspectors

  • ELECTRIC METER & SERVICE ENTRY - CONTENTS: Safety during inspection of the electrical meter, service entry wiring, outdoor ground connections. Standards for Electrical System Inspections. How to use test equipment during electrical inspections at the electrical meter, service entry cables, and grounding electrode & ground conductor wire
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about electrical inspection procedures at the electric meter and service entry cable
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Electrical meter inspection safety advice. This article describes common safety hazards & defects visible at the electric meter and meter pan or panel. .

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Inspection of the Electric Meter and Service Entry Cable

Frayed service entry cable at electric meter (C) Daniel Friedman

Let's start the steps of inspecting a building's electrical service at the meter and SEC cable. What can se see that is important, without touching or testing anything? Quite a lot.

Service entry cable not cauled at wall (C) Daniel FriedmanPay special attention to water entry at the service entry cable, at the top of the electric meter enclosure, and at the wall penetration where the SEC enters the building as these conditions can send water into the electrical panel where corrosion creates unreliable equipment and water is a hazard.


Fatal Shock Hazard Warning: Inspecting electrical components and systems risks death by electrocution as well as serious burns or other injuries to the inspector or to others. Do not attempt these tasks unless you are properly trained and equipped.

See ELECTRIC PANEL RUST for a study of water entry, rust, and corrosion in electrical panels presented at the 1992 IEEE Holm Conference.

Loose electric meter is dangerous (C) Daniel Friedman

If you see that the electrical meter box is loose on the building wall, do not touch it.

A loose mounting screw can fall into the meter box, shorting electrical components there and leading to a house fire. -- Arnold Road Poughkeepsie NY house fire - J. Aronstein & D. Friedman.

See ELECTRIC METERS & METER BASES for procedures used for inspecting these outdoor components.

Handling Immediate Threats to Life and Safety at a Building Inspection

If in the inspector's judgment equipment is an immediate threat to life and property, such as a boiler whose flue connection has fallen off, we recommend that dangerous equipment be shut down and the appropriate people notified.

See Shutting Down Unsafe Equipment. In some cases "appropriate people" includes not only the client and building owner, but also building occupants.

These electrical inspection suggestions are not a complete inventory of all electrical safety procedures nor of all electrical components that should be inspected; these notes focus on identification of conditions that may present special electrical hazards for the electrical inspector.

Readers of this article should also see these other building inspection safety articles:  Safety for Building Inspectors


Continue reading at ELECTRICAL PANEL INSPECTION SAFETY or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



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