Can an Electrician Cut Meter Seals?
Depending on the local laws, the consequences of cutting seals on electric meters can range from losing service, to felony charges and fines. Before you start a project that involves cutting meter seals, it is important to understand the consequences of doing so.
First, you must obtain a permit. Some utilities require permits for any person to pull or cut a meter seal. Some cities and towns only give permits to master electricians. If you are not a licensed electrician, you will not be able to pull the meter without a permit. The power company can also sue you. The fines for power theft can be exorbitant, and you may face additional lawsuits from other people who have had their power stolen. If you are convicted of power theft, you could be sentenced to up to three years in prison. Learn more about electrical contractors here
If you are an electrician, you can cut meter seals, but you must get a permit before you do. This will ensure that you do not do anything that could harm you or others. You should always call your DNO (electrical distribution company) before doing any work. Some DNOs will respond immediately, while others require a wait.
In some areas, you will need to take an oral examination to prove that you know what you are doing. Once you have received the Part-P test sheet from the certifying authority, you should store it properly. This will allow you to check readings against past bills.
Some utilities allow the electrician to cut meter seals to remove the meter for emergency work. These utilities will come out and reseal the meter once the work is completed. Some DNOs will allow you to cut meter seals to disconnect the main fuse, but you may have to explain your reason to the DNO.
If you are an electrician, you should never assume that a DNO has permission to cut a meter seal. Some DNOs are helpful and will respond quickly, while others will require you to wait.
If you are a member of an electric cooperative, you should be aware that it is not illegal to cut meter seals. However, you will be required to pay a tampering fee. The cost of the tampering fee varies by service provider, but can range from $150 to $500.
You may also be charged a tampering fee if you remove the meter seal yourself. Many electric cooperatives discourage this practice. They want to make sure that people don’t pull the meter themselves. The main reason for this is that people can hurt themselves or others when they pull the meter. Taking out a meter can be dangerous because the socket is prone to shock and arcs. If you are going to be doing this type of work, be sure to wear fire-resistant clothing, rubber gloves, and a insulating mat under your feet.
The meter flange is generally gray or silver. The meter is attached to the base flange with a small wire ring that has a plastic lock. If the flange is damaged or cracked, the service can be disconnected. More information