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Where to put the electricity meter


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I need to decide where to put the hockey stick for the electricity meter as the sub floor blockwork plan is being finalised. The diagram below shows where the electricity enters site and the DNO would make the connection. I can see three main options

  • A - On the house elevation nearest pole and most visible from the drive
  • B - On the rear elevation nearest the pole and visible from gthe back garden
  • C - On the utility wall (rear or side) where the plant is located, but not the ASHP
  • D - On the garage which is where the ASHP is to be located

The Air Source Heat Pump is planned to be on the back of the garage so as to hide it visually and acoustically. I have asked ASHP suppliers and they say that run of pipe to the house is fine.

 

What do people think? I am tempted to go with 3 phase as well as the pole supports that (site previously had it).

 

image.png.ab2110630cc665b40edc40acac3463a6.png

 

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E In a kiosk at the bottom of the electricity pole.  Will be a cheaper connection. Can be connected and finished before the house is built so you have a site supply without having to move it later.  No need for a meter box on the outside wall of your house.  Run your own SWA cable from this kiosk to the house when you are ready with no DNO involvement.

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1 minute ago, ProDave said:

E In a kiosk at the bottom of the electricity pole.  Will be a cheaper connection. Can be connected and finished before the house is built so you have a site supply without having to move it later.  No need for a meter box on the outside wall of your house.  Run your own SWA cable from this kiosk to the house when you are ready with no DNO involvement.

 

Interesting thought. I don't have a problem with supply during the build, but this does have its benefits. Is a kiosk not expensive?

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2 minutes ago, dpmiller said:

You also need to find where the DNO *allows* you to put it.  NIE are sticky about that, refused to let us site ours beside the back door...

 

I'll pass it by them. Did they insist it had to be visible from the front elevation then?

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OP: Have you considered internal wiring runs and placement of the master fusebox? The default rule is to keep the meter box to fuse box (CU) cable run to under 3m otherwise extra circuit protection is needed. The internal CU also needs to comply with disability placement and access regs.

 

Final thought, what about drainage trenches? Could there be a later routing clash?

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Isn't it quite unusual to have the meter outside nowadays. I would expect it to be next to your consumer unit. Why put an ugly box outside your house. Very rarely does anyone come to read them and eventually they will all be smart meters despite people's complaints.

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I had mine installed on a temporary outside box on two posts next to where the garage was being built and then swung the box into the garage without having to pay fir a second move ? I put cable from that into the house fir when the house was connected by my sparky  , I did not want an ugly box on my cottage but didn’t mind it on the rear of the garage.

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41 minutes ago, MortarThePoint said:

 

I'll pass it by them. Did they insist it had to be visible from the front elevation then?

Can't find the detail just now but no not necessarily the front elevation. Something like 6ft round the corner was acceptable. They still allow internal meters at a pinch but prefer external.

Check with your own DNO tho, they differ wildly.

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58 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

OP: Have you considered internal wiring runs and placement of the master fusebox? The default rule is to keep the meter box to fuse box (CU) cable run to under 3m otherwise extra circuit protection is needed. The internal CU also needs to comply with disability placement and access regs.

 

Final thought, what about drainage trenches? Could there be a later routing clash?

 

I was mindful of the routing clashes but not the 3m requirement. The 3m requirement rules out A & B.

 

ProDave: does that mean you have the CU in your kiosk?

 

In terms of clashes, can the electricity be routed under drainage pipes?

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1 hour ago, epsilonGreedy said:

The default rule is to keep the meter box to fuse box (CU) cable run to under 3m otherwise extra circuit protection is needed.


mine is about 20mtrs, DNO or sparky didn’t bat an eyelid ?

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4 minutes ago, MortarThePoint said:

 

I was mindful of the routing clashes but not the 3m requirement. The 3m requirement rules out A & B.

 

ProDave: does that mean you have the CU in your kiosk?

 

In terms of clashes, can the electricity be routed under drainage pipes?

The 3 metre rule means you can only rely on the suppliers fuse to protect meter tails up to 3 metres long.

 

you can have any distance you want between your meter and consumer unit, but if longer than 3 metres you need to provide your own circuit protection, commonly in the form of a switch fuse.  I have a switch fuse in my meter box with an 80A fuse in it to discriminate from the suppliers 100A fuse.

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3 minutes ago, ProDave said:

The 3 metre rule means you can only rely on the suppliers fuse to protect meter tails up to 3 metres long.

 

you can have any distance you want between your meter and consumer unit, but if longer than 3 metres you need to provide your own circuit protection, commonly in the form of a switch fuse.  I have a switch fuse in my meter box with an 80A fuse in it to discriminate from the suppliers 100A fuse.

 

OK so it sounds like A & B are back on the cards then. I have emailed UKPN to ask if they allow new connections inside a new house.

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I've added a couple of other options:

  • E - ProDave's suggestion
  • F - On front elevation of utility near where house consumer unit likely to be

I've also added drain routes. I'm hoping it's not an issue to pass under a surface or foul water drain. If not only A, B and options.

 

image.png.736cab2fe083989374f642da2d4c31c3.png

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52 minutes ago, joe90 said:

mine is about 20mtrs, DNO or sparky didn’t bat an eyelid ?

 

 

That is because your sparky knew his job and put in the extra circuit protection.The issue becomes more interesting when the meterbox is wall mounted in the main house and the meter tail route to the CU gets long and complicated. The regs are designed to dissuade people from snaking the incoming meter tail along a complex route through the house internals to the CU.

 

A question for @ProDave, given the situation of a wall mounted meterbox within the main house and a customer who demands a long meter tail through the building to the CU, would you also add an RCD in the meterbox in addition to the 80A fuse mentioned above?

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1 hour ago, MortarThePoint said:

In terms of clashes, can the electricity be routed under drainage pipes?

 

 

I think so. I will know next Monday when my DNO turns up to reconnect me on my own direct mains cable link to the main road.

 

My concern was more about whether the cable would obstruct future digging for drainage. 

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UKPN do not allow internal meter inside a new house. (I checked in 2016 when I was finalising this in my build).

 

However, I managed to get agreement to install it inside our house after speaking to the manager. This was on the basis that the meter would be located on an external wall, in our plant room, and with free access in front of it.

 

Happy I did that, did not want an external box hanging off rendered wall.

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19 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

A question for @ProDave, given the situation of a wall mounted meterbox within the main house and a customer who demands a long meter tail through the building to the CU, would you also add an RCD in the meterbox in addition to the 80A fuse mentioned above?

No you really don't want an up front RCD.

 

Steel wire armoured ran in safe zones or on the surface does not need RCD protection.  Mine just comes into the house right below the CU and straight up to the CU.

 

If the route through the house is complicated, there is nothing to stop you taking the SWA from your switch fuse back out of the house, around the house underground and re entering where you can get a short and easy run to the CU.

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27 minutes ago, ProDave said:

No you really don't want an up front RCD.

 

 

Thanks. Is this because of dampness in the meter box or the hassle of a trip outside in the dark to reset it?

 

27 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Steel wire armoured ran in safe zones or on the surface does not need RCD protection.  Mine just comes into the house right below the CU and straight up to the CU.

 

 

My original plan A was to route about 600mm straight up from the meterbox and into the CU. However I later realized that the swing of a door and its handle would impact the face of the CU.

 

Plan B requires routing the meter tail 1.5m up to ceiling joist height then traversing 1.2m over an internal door threshold or through ceiling joists and then back down an internal wall to the CU. I have yet to study a sparky's facial expression as I propose this route.

 

One concern I have is that when the CU is remote from the meter tail originated from an external wall mounted meterbox there is no visual clue on the internal wall that indicates a safe zone (or danger zone to the future DIYer with a drill). 

Edited by epsilonGreedy
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1 minute ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

Thanks. Is this because of dampness in the meter box or the hassle of a trip outside in the dark to reset it?

 

Arguably a single RCD for the whole house does not comply with BS7671 and in any case is really inconvenient as any fault could trip the whole house.  And you would have to go outside to reset it.

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ours is outside in a cabinet with an 80A consumer side switch / fuse protecting the rest of the circuit.  Takes a few mins to fit by a sparky and DNO didn't mind at all.  Currently just feeds a site supply so also has an earth rod. it wont be moved when we make final connection so no more DNO involvement (unless they are needed to connect the 'proper' earth??)

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9 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Arguably a single RCD for the whole house does not comply with BS7671 and in any case is really inconvenient as any fault could trip the whole house.  And you would have to go outside to reset it.

 

 

Ok.

 

Give the last few posts I feel my original point remains valid. The OP should consider meterbox positioning as part of the whole electrics design. If he finds a convenient spot for an in wall meterbox but later finds that positioning the CU nearby is problematic, that then creates later hassles such as digging a further external supply trench to route a long tail to somewhere better for internal CU placement.

 

CU placement then affects the length of high amp circuits within the house.  

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2 hours ago, ragg987 said:

UKPN do not allow internal meter inside a new house. (I checked in 2016 when I was finalising this in my build).

 

However, I managed to get agreement to install it inside our house after speaking to the manager. This was on the basis that the meter would be located on an external wall, in our plant room, and with free access in front of it.

 

Happy I did that, did not want an external box hanging off rendered wall.

 

I've just received the default answer: "all new build domestic services/meters do now have to be external, either on an external wall in a meter cabinet or an external kiosk." I'll have to decide if I want it inside and if so how important it is to me.

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6 hours ago, dpmiller said:

Can't find the detail just now but no not necessarily the front elevation. Something like 6ft round the corner was acceptable. They still allow internal meters at a pinch but prefer external.

Check with your own DNO tho, they differ wildly.

 

I had many discussions about this. It's normally front elevation, or on side within 2m of the front. Cannot be on a return wall or separate kiosk. Internal consumer unit must be within 2m of the meter. For me, building with ICF, this is a pain in the balls as I'll have to use an ugly surface mounted box, or hack away at my insulation. I might just chance it with the kiosk I built when they come round to make the temporary installation permenant...

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Hi - a little late to this thread but for my two pennies worth, we stuck ours in the car port / garage whatever you wish to call it. See image and or my blog for details. SP Energy supplied up to 50 metres of cable all within the connection costs they charged, which was about £900 job done. We used best part of that 50 metre run to take the cable from the pole into the carport. This was all done ahead of the TF being erected and allowed the Trades to tap into the power supply as and when. The meter is held within a proper approved box and we have had no trouble with it since. It keeps it out of the way and accessible .

Meter box.JPG

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