Meter box wiring is one of the very important tasks that you perform in house wiring. For electrical power to enter a house, it first passes through the meter box then it goes to the distribution board. It is in the distribution board that’s where electrical power is distributed throughout the house.
- Types of meter boxes.
- How to install a meter box.
- Wiring a meter box
- how to ground meter box.
- Electric wire from pole to house.
- Summary of meter box wiring.
Types of meter boxes.
There are basically two types of meter boxes. These are the flush-mounted meter box and surface mounted meter box.
What is the difference between these types of meter boxes? Well, a flush-mounted meter box is one that is used in concealed wiring. While a surface mounted meter box is the one used in surface wiring.
I know you may be asking what is concealed wiring? and what is surface or open wiring?
Concealed wiring is a wiring system where conduit pipes and electric cables are concealed in the walls of the building. Whereas in open or surface wiring, conduit pipes and cables are installed on the surface of the walls.
How to install a meter box.
Before you can know how to wire a meter box , you must install it first. Therefore I think it important for me to show you how to install a meter box before I go ahead and show you how to wire it.
The method I am showing you is specifically for flush-mounted meter boxes. Below is a step by step guide on how to install a meter box .
- Chase the wall this is the first step.Before chasing the wall,mark the position on the wall where you want to install the meter box.Here I must mention that you dont take the exact mesurement of the meter box.Iwould recommend that you add extra 2cm to provide for working room when installing the meter box.
- The second step is to put mortor on the chased wall this ensures that the meter box is fixed firmly in the wall.
- The third step is to put the meter box on the chased wall.You do this by placing the meter box on the mortor that you did put earlier.
- The fourth step you continue putting mortor in all the side of the meter box untill your are satisified that it is properly done.
- The next step is for you to use a spirit level,this practice ensures that the meter box is striaght well alinged.When you look at the meter box with your nakad eyes, the meter box should not tilt either on you left or right side it should be level.
Wiring a meter box
Wiring a meter box is an easy task. For you to do proper meter box wiring, you must know the components that are found in a meter box.
Meter box components.
In a typical meter box, you should have the following components.
- Main circuit breaker
- Lightning arrestor
- Energy meter
- Earth bar
- Neutral bar
Main circuit breaker.
The main circuit breaker or incomer is a circuit breaker that receives power from the electricity supply utility company through a service cable. A service cable is a cable that connects your house to the utility company. or in simple term, a cable that your power utility company use to supply electricity to your home.
This is an electrical device that is used to enhance safety in your home. How does it do this? When lightning strikes your house, excess currents and voltages are introduced in the house.
It is the work of a lightning arrestor to capture these excess currents and voltages and drives them into the ground. Hence protecting you from electric shocks and protecting your home appliances from being damaged.
This is an electrical device that monitors and records how much electrical energy you use in your house.
There are two types of energy meters. These are digital and analogue energy meters. Digital meters are more widely used nowadays than analogue energy meters.
I must mention that digital prepaid meters are commonly used today. In most domestic or residential applications, you find that the meters are not located in the meter box but either mounted on a pole or in the house beside the distribution board.
Let it be known that electricity passes through the energy meter before it goes to the distribution board.
The energy meter is a property of your electricity supply utility company. And it is usually installed by the utility company at the time when they supply electricity to your home.
Earth and Neutral bars.
These are the bars that you put in the meter box for the sole purpose of terminating the earth and neutral wires or cables.
How to wire electric meter box.
The first thing that you do is to mount all the above-mentioned components in the meter box.
Thereafter, you proceed to terminate the wires. What wires are found in the box?
Well the service cable supplied by a utility company, comes with two wires. The two wires are The live wire and the neutral wire.
Then you introduce a third wire, the earth wire from the local earthing system that you make.
You terminate the live wire from the utility company in the main circuit breaker.
Then the output wire that comes from the main circuit breaker feeds the input of the energy meter.
The output from the energy meter feeds the main breaker in the distribution board.
As I have already mentioned in some systems, the energy meter is put on the pole. In this system, the wires from the output of the main circuit breaker feed the main breaker in the distribution board.
The neutral wire from the utility company is terminated into the neutral bar from the neutral bar another cable goes to the neutral bar in the distribution board.
The earth wire is terminated in the earth bar then another cable goes from the earth bar to the earth bar in the distribution bard.
How do you wire the lightning arrestor? You put a jumper from the main circuit breaker the terminal that is labelled line on the lightning arrestor.
You connect the earth wire on the terminal labelled earth on the lightning arrestor.
how to ground meter box.
What does it mean to ground a meter box? This is simply providing earthing to the meter box. What is the importance of grounding the meter box?
From time to time you or another person may open the meter box. To prevent you from experiencing an electric shock, a meter box must be earthed.
Grounding a meter box is a safety feature in electrical house wiring. How do you ground a meter box?
As already stated this is a simple task. You terminate a cable from the earth bar then at the other end of the wire you put a cable lug.
Using the correct fastening accessories, you attach the earth wire with a cable lug to the body of the meter box that’s it you have earthed the meter box.
Electric wire from pole to house.
What is this wire? This is the service cable. You can compare this to a water pipe connecting your house to the water utility company.
A service cable is a cable that connects your house to the electric supply utility company.
In the recent past, the recommended wire size for the service cable for a single-phase electrical supply used to be 16mm squared . But Nowadays, most utility companies use 10mm squared in a single-phase supply.
Summary of meter box wiring.
Well,meter box wiring is simply connecting the cables, circuit breakers and lightning arrestors in the meter box to ensure that electricity is supplied to a house with safety in mind.
What is your experience wiring meter boxes? How do you wire meter boxes? Feel free to comment and share your experiences with me in the comments section below.