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pauldreed

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Had solar panels fitted today, and was surprised to see that they fitted the isolator switch & a 1 gang consumer unit inside the external meter box.
A short time later, a Meter Plus inspector arrived and went berserk at the sight of 'other equipment' being fitted on the back-board, taking photos & reporting it to his manager.

Is this normal practice to fit solar stuff in the meter box?
 
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finchy

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Is the existing CU in the same box ?

We install Two AC isolators one next to the CU whether it be inside the house our external box and the other next to the Inverter along with the DC isolator.
 
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pauldreed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
The main CU is in the kitchen.
But do you ever fit a CU and AC isolator in the customers electric box next to the supply meter.
 
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screwdriver

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
No, as we have all had experience of the meter reader getting stroppy about even a Henley block being fitted to the back board!!! We generally fit the gen meter in the meter cupboard and then run the tails to an externally ip rated consumer unit and ac isolator, assuming it isn't a meter cabinet that is facing onto the pavement!
 
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sedgy34

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
the meter plus guy was probably crying cause if hes got to fit a new meter theres no room left for him and it would require a spark to get it all to fit and meter plus guy isnt a spark


im guessing the installer has split the tails for the new DB
 
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pauldreed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
The back board is my property - not Meter-Plus's, so shouldn't I be the one that say's what goes where??
 
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screwdriver

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! :jester:
 
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sedgy34

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
theres no issue here, meter guy wasnt shown how to install meters with other things in the same box. hes just after an easy life IMO
 
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Guest111

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  • #9
years ago the backboards used to have FOR SUPPLIERS EQUIPMENT ONLY stamped in big black letters on them.
 

jason121

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Arms
neat job
 

cbw

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I got a bit carried away with the expanding foam.....Dont think I have ever done a neat job with the stuff!!!
 

edexlab

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Arms
I've also done this on one job as the CU was positioned behind kitchen cupboards and impossible to access and there were difficulties in obtaining an Mcb to suit assuming I could get the cover off which turned out to be no go

So after discussing it with the client who wanted it in the meter cupboard I made enquiries with the Dno and meter operator and was told the meter cupboard belongs to the property and technically I could fit a CU or similar equipment in it within reason as long as it does'nt interfere with their equipment and access to terminations or cause any other adverse effect.

The people I spoke to said to think about ensuring that there is enough room for a smart meter which is a good idea as the meter operator can insist that the customer makes room for it which can result if further costs ,hassle changes of tarriff etc however I don't know all the details of this and whether this is accurate or not

so I would suggest make the enquiries yourself and try and find an alternative location and use this method as a last resort
 
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pauldreed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
...just how big are the smart meters?
'Meter Plus' told me the same thing too.
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Makes me smile that the meter housing belongs to the home owner, hence if the door blows off or breaks its the home owners responsibility to replace it, probably at great expense. How the dno claim the back board only from this is beyond me, anyone know??
 
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Guest111

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Its one of those things with suppliers,they want you to allocate a place for their equipmet however you cannot put anything in the same space even though its your property,all utility companies seem to do this I think its something to do with keeping their kit seperate from everyone else,s ,probably from years ago like when they didn,t supply an earth and although they were giving you a supply you had to provide an earth to their satisfaction or you didn,t get the electric.Maybe it,s just their way of holding on to a bit of power.
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
"holding on to a bit of power" sounds about right. Im trying to think of other circumstances where it is the home owners obligation to protect a someone elses kit......... maybe im wrong and it doesnt have to be protected!? Theres one round the corner from me thats not had a door for ages!!
 
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Guest111

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
"holding on to a bit of power" sounds about right. Im trying to think of other circumstances where it is the home owners obligation to protect a someone elses kit......... maybe im wrong and it doesnt have to be protected!? Theres one round the corner from me thats not had a door for ages!!
Yes its a classic case of we know you need it so its our way or no way.Reminds me of a place i worked at and the question arose about what would happen if we needed more power,we were told by networks that in that case they would have to install a substation,but the problem for them was it would have to be on our land and they were not happy as it would mean they would not have 24hr access due to premises being locked at night.Heres where it got interesting,when we informed them that the boss lived on site and since the sub was only feeding our plant it would not be a problem,also that any incident causing total loss of supply would require myself as works engineer to attend they asked what would happen if he was on holiday? my answer was that they could have my mobile number and that if he was away then someone else would be on site.ultimately what I think they wanted was a key to the site,a classic case of if we don,t play my way I,m taking my ball and going home.
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
cbw........ did the meter spin backwards on that job?
 

cbw

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YEP!

Have a video of it for fun!!!

Will try to post it later when not working.......
 
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moggy1968

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #22
we've done this on lots of installs. IT was cleared by the DNO on the first, after that I didn't bother. One was also for my annual inspection and didn't raise an eyebrow then either.
As is said elsweher, if your meter is in your house, what then? If it's in your garage, what then? It's no different with the meter box, it doesn't belong to the DNO so you can stick what you like in there as long as it doesn't interfere with their kit.
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
Cbw's photo shows an Rcd, is this as standard for the type of install?
 

Worcester

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Mentor
Arms
Yes / No / Maybe - there are extensive other threads on RCB's ... TL inverters TT / PME systems ...... :13:
 

cbw

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With this one the AC 6mm T+E is running in wall chase in kitchen.

Needs 30ma RCD to comply with regs.

If you can get away with just a main switch and MCB this would be preferable.
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #26
If it was out the bottom of meter housing, up the gable end, into loft and into isolator, all in SWA. An RCD wouldnt really be needed would it?
 

cbw

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No it wouldnt.

I am not too keen on cables on show, just being fussy I guess!

If the customer had let me put the cable in surface trunking I could also have ommited the RCD.
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #28
thanks, i think it would be a good idea to have a thread on RCD's as a sticky
 
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IronLiver

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #29
We recently fitted a system with the CU + Gen meter in the meter box as it was next to the front door of the property. Running the cabling internally was not an option as the building was only 2 years old and the disruption internally would have been too great (limited access above main CU in house in airing cupboard with massive hot water cylinder sat on top of tongue and groove chip board) nowhere inconspicuous to site a sub-board in the hall or nearby.

We ran SWA from the meter box round the outside of the house and located the inverter behind the property on a north facing wall. DC cabling and 10mm G/Y run in 25mm black PVC tube up the wall to the soffit, 25mm copex through roof space to a roof vent; Tidy.

I don't have a picture of the inside of the meter cupboard after the installation, but I was really pleased how it turned out. Not sure how a smart meter would fit into the equation as I do not know what the dimensions are; I must admit that I had not thought about it at the time, but there is some clearance in there. The rotary isolator is adjacent to the inverter at the rear of the house so just gen meter and small CU in meter box along with DNOs cut out.

Monty

IMG_0948.jpg
 
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matt25

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30
I thought you'd have made an effort to get the panels running level with the ridge?? JOKE! looks very neat, top job!
 
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