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Old 04-19-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default meter lock

this might be a dumb question but how do i remove the power company lock from the meter without breaking it. the last couple i worked on i ended up breaking the darn things and got bitched at by the power company. i told them some kids must have been messing with it.

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
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ask the power company ?

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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why do you need to take it off?
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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If you don't have the key to the lock you probably are going to break it, that is, if you don't call the poco to have them remove it.
Which is what I would recommend.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:13 PM   #5
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why do you need to take it off?
to change the meter box. replacing an old 100 amp service to a 200 amp. i have to replace up to the weather head. and those locks dont have keys
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
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to change the meter box. replacing an old 100 amp service to a 200 amp. i have to replace up to the weather head. and those locks dont have keys
I'm assuming you're doing this without inspection? Either that or you don't want to wait for poco to come out and unlock?
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:19 PM   #7
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to change the meter box. replacing an old 100 amp service to a 200 amp. i have to replace up to the weather head. and those locks dont have keys
Are you talking about the tag that looks like a little lock? If so, use your dykes to pull up on the wire, it will slide out a bit. Cut it as low as possible, when you put the new meter pan up you can reinsert that wire and it will go far enough inside to stay there and look kosher.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:21 PM   #8
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I know this has been talked about before. But waiting for the POCO is not the answer. Last panel change I did, had it set up for Monday to have POCO unlock the meter, they showed up Thursday. This was after numerous calls to their office. Glad I had a patient customer. Does anyone know where you can get the key? I know about using a dremel tool, or grinder.

Here's a video

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:48 PM   #9
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I know this has been talked about before. But waiting for the POCO is not the answer. Last panel change I did, had it set up for Monday to have POCO unlock the meter, they showed up Thursday. This was after numerous calls to their office. Glad I had a patient customer. Does anyone know where you can get the key? I know about using a dremel tool, or grinder.

Here's a video

I know the feeling. You can be charged for the ring though. A grinder works but you can use a sawzall if you had to.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
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So far I have never been charged for one. Demerals work best. Trouble with Sawalls its hard not to bang the blade against the box or meter. The last call I made to them I threaten to cut it. Lady told me there "might" be a fee, I told her there was going to be a fee from me if they don't get out there. Southern California Edison Sucks!
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:47 AM   #11
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I know this has been talked about before. But waiting for the POCO is not the answer. Last panel change I did, had it set up for Monday to have POCO unlock the meter, they showed up Thursday. This was after numerous calls to their office. Glad I had a patient customer. Does anyone know where you can get the key? I know about using a dremel tool, or grinder.

Here's a video

Well, in most places it IS the answer. California is (thankfully) not the rest of the country. In most places removing the meter without approval/authorization is NOT a good thing to do. And destroying a barrel lock ring is even worse.

I reaize So Cal sucks, but that does not mean every place is.

To Mark, your answer is wait for the POCO, or get on an approved list (if they have one) to remove and replace the meter yourself legally.
I certainly realize that sometimes you have to do what you have to do, but a simple panel/service change is not an emergency and no reason to circumvent the rules.


BTW, that video is a joke. The guy is a f-ing hack. Who removes a meter under load and video tapes himself doing it. Sure, he used gloves and tested it....afterwards, but come on. What country is that from anyway? Oh yeah, I forgot. California.
Are those keys OK to have in So Cal? I suspect not.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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Are those keys OK to have in So Cal? I suspect not.
They don't just hand them out that's for sure. I did meter pan and socket jaw repairs with my old company for awhile for the Smart meter program and even then they wouldn't give us a key. But PG&E were pretty on top of it, I usually had a guy unlock within an hour.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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They use a cheap lock here we cut with dykes. When they come to read the meter they will pop a new one on if it has been damaged. If I have a service to uppgrade I pull the meter and reinstall it. Poco only comes out if we do a new riser. If they are late I 'll cut it myself let them do the reconnect.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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This is not legal, you need to see about getting on a list with your poco.

http://www.brooksutility.com/catalog...mary.asp?Ind=5
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:50 PM   #15
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Looking for Barrel Lock Key
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:39 PM   #16
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What we do is cut the service drop, demo riser and load side of meter. Place the locked meter and socket on the ground. Finish the service, and if the power company still has not come, install jumpers in the can (leaving the cardboard intact).

When the utility comes they remove jumpers, remake service drop, install meter and lock.

This is what we were advised to do by the AHJ.
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:59 PM   #17
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What we do is cut the service drop, demo riser and load side of meter. Place the locked meter and socket on the ground. Finish the service, and if the power company still has not come, install jumpers in the can (leaving the cardboard intact).

When the utility comes they remove jumpers, remake service drop, install meter and lock.

This is what we were advised to do by the AHJ.
Thats exactly what happened. Funny when the meter reader came by and couldn't find the meter, had to point it out to him. I think the POCO would be more upset for borrowing power than unlocking their meter.

On this job I had it set up for Monday to unlock the meter. I went ahead and cut the overhead removed the panel, installed the new one. All ready to go in a few hours but no meter un-locker. Both me and my customer were calling in, still no show. So for 4 days we borrowerd some power. SCE's customer non-service seems to be getting worse and worse. Years ago I called them when I lost one leg of power to my house,. They were out there at 11 at night in a snow storm changing out the transformer on the pole, I was very impressed.

Thats why I want a key. This way I'm not stealing power or damaging their equipment. I seen one on Ebay some time back for something like $300, but didn't know if it was the right one.

Yea, that video is a bit scary. The knunkhead didn't cover the meter #, so SCE knows exactly where to go. Have no idea why he was doing it.

Oh well, I'll find one somewhere. Its gotten to the point where I have to have one.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #18
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Thats exactly what happened. Funny when the meter reader came by and couldn't find the meter, had to point it out to him. I think the POCO would be more upset for borrowing power than unlocking their meter.

On this job I had it set up for Monday to unlock the meter. I went ahead and cut the overhead removed the panel, installed the new one. All ready to go in a few hours but no meter un-locker. Both me and my customer were calling in, still no show. So for 4 days we borrowerd some power. SCE's customer non-service seems to be getting worse and worse. Years ago I called them when I lost one leg of power to my house,. They were out there at 11 at night in a snow storm changing out the transformer on the pole, I was very impressed.

Thats why I want a key. This way I'm not stealing power or damaging their equipment. I seen one on Ebay some time back for something like $300, but didn't know if it was the right one.

Yea, that video is a bit scary. The knunkhead didn't cover the meter #, so SCE knows exactly where to go. Have no idea why he was doing it.

Oh well, I'll find one somewhere. Its gotten to the point where I have to have one.
Problem is, you're not supposed to have one at all. Your poco wouldn't be happy about you unlocking their meters willy nilly.
That's the whole point of the locks, so people don't steal power.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:23 PM   #19
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Problem is, you're not supposed to have one at all. Your poco wouldn't be happy about you unlocking their meters willy nilly.
That's the whole point of the locks, so people don't steal power.
You know a lock is not going to stop anyone determined on stealing power. An inspector I know was telling me they have had a rash of people cutting into the underground service riser and tapping off there. Most the panels here on the outside of a garage wall, simple thing to cut into PVC from the inside. Meter reader would never see it. Especially popular with the grow houses.

If Edison would come out in a reasonable amount of time, no problem. I would just as soon not touch their stuff.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:33 PM   #20
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You know a lock is not going to stop anyone determined on stealing power. An inspector I know was telling me they have had a rash of people cutting into the underground service riser and tapping off there. Most the panels here on the outside of a garage wall, simple thing to cut into PVC from the inside. Meter reader would never see it. Especially popular with the grow houses.

If Edison would come out in a reasonable amount of time, no problem. I would just as soon not touch their stuff.
Well, yeah. I do think they probably do cut down on a lot of theft. Average douche cant simply jumper their socket jaws.
But I feel your pain with the poco. Just getting them to make new drops after fire damages is a pita.

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