Wondering what your Meter Socket is?
A meter socket is a type of outdoor electrical socket that connects a watt-hour meter, or electrical meter, to a house. These are the meters outside of your home or commercial building that measure the amount of power used so the our utility company, Alabama Power, knows how much to bill.
A meter socket must be weatherproof, so it can withstand rain, wind, snow and other elements of nature. There are a few differences between various meter sockets, the main difference is the amount of amps they can read safely; generally ranging from 100 amps to 320 amps.
Meter sockets don't have to be replaced very often, but on occasion there are a few reasons why a meter socket may need to be replaced:
- Your meter socket may be old or outdated – possibly not up to city electrical code.
- Your meter socket may not pass NEC (National Electric Code) which means if the home is sold, the new owner will need to request a replacement.
- Fire or melt down hazard from “Loose Jaws” - as an electrician since for many years, I’ve seen it more times than you’d imagine. A smart meter is installed where a meter has been in place for a couple of decades, and the installer (lineman) fails to properly inspect the “jaws” condition.
- Element damage: factors I consider when suggesting a meter replacement for a customer include natural elements (or circumstances caused by the weather). These would include excessive moisture, environmental contaminants, ground settling and storm damage.
- Human intervention of the meter sockets normal “life span” are factors to consider as well: frequent changing of meters, excessive electrical load (overload or short circuit), vandalism, or damage are definitely reasons for meter socket replacement.
As with all electrical components, safety is my number one concern. I can’t stress this enough: NEVER attempt to replace an electrical socket inside or outside of your home. Always contact a professional. Attempting to service your electrical needs yourself is extremely dangerous and could cause fires, electrical shock and death.
At John’s Electric nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees. The employees and contractors who install or replace meter sockets are continuously trained to put safety first and proactively address safety concerns when they’re detected.
If you have any concerns about the safety of your Alabama Power meter socket installation or replacement, or have any questions, please contact us. We love to answer your questions!