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Where to put the electricity meter


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19 minutes ago, Redoctober said:

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 .

 

Looks good and certainly got your money's worth on the connection ?

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  • 2 months later...
On 14/05/2020 at 10:14, joe90 said:


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

 

Please please can someone point me towards any formal document setting in stone the rule re 3m distance between the meter and a consumer unit?

Our house was designed so that we have the meter box at the front elevation of the property, nicely accessible and not too ugly, but the consumer unit is in the utility and at 6.5m direct distance (no bends round the corner etc). The builders did not bat an eyelid. The electrician did not mind. Building Control visited at 1st fix stage and it was impossible not to notice that the huge bunch of cables tails is stuck to the wall in the utility cleary indicating that THIS IS IS, THE PLACE for the consumer unit. BC did not comment on this. 

 

Solar PV people installed the panels and did not mind either. Now at 2nd fix stage all of a sudden the Solar PV people kicked a fuss saying it's all wrong, blah blah 3m, BC won't sign off etc etc.

 

I really need to see something in writing or have some reference. I read Part P and comments to it, did not find anything re 3m. ?

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19 minutes ago, Bored Shopper said:

 

Please please can someone point me towards any formal document setting in stone the rule re 3m distance between the meter and a consumer unit?

Our house was designed so that we have the meter box at the front elevation of the property, nicely accessible and not too ugly, but the consumer unit is in the utility and at 6.5m direct distance (no bends round the corner etc). The builders did not bat an eyelid. The electrician did not mind. Building Control visited at 1st fix stage and it was impossible not to notice that the huge bunch of cables tails is stuck to the wall in the utility cleary indicating that THIS IS IS, THE PLACE for the consumer unit. BC did not comment on this. 

 

Solar PV people installed the panels and did not mind either. Now at 2nd fix stage all of a sudden the Solar PV people kicked a fuss saying it's all wrong, blah blah 3m, BC won't sign off etc etc.

 

I really need to see something in writing or have some reference. I read Part P and comments to it, did not find anything re 3m. ?

 

It stems from BS7671. In the 18th edition it's regulation 433.2.2 (page 90 of the one I have in front of me). 

 

(Don't forget the regs aren't statutory but may be used as a defence in law etc).

 

Put a switched fuse in between the meter and cu if wanting more than 3m.

 

 

Edited by Onoff
"in law" not "on law"
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@Bored Shopper - I can't help regarding the facts but our meter box is a good distance from our CU - In fact it is in the outside carport [ well protected] and the CU is in the utility - the distance between the two is at least 9 metres. The cable runs from the meter box underground, into the house underground and then pops up in the utility room.

 

A no point was this an issue for any tradesman or BCO - I would question the Solar Panel guys and ask on what authority do they say that is the case. Good luck.

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There is no rule saying your consumer unit can only be 3 metres from the supply head.

 

What there is, is a DNO rule that you can only rely on their supply head fuse for cable protection for a run of up to 3 metres from the meter to the consumer unit.  If you want your consumer unit more than 3 metres away, you fit your own switch fuse with an 80A fuse in it, in the meter box, and then your cable can be any length you want it.

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

DNO rule that you can only rely on their supply head fuse for cable protection for a run of up to 3 metres from the meter to the consumer unit.  If you want your consumer unit more than 3 metres away, you fit your own switch fuse with an 80A fuse in it, in the meter box, and then your cable can be any length you want it.


They didn’t do that with mine, if I had known I would have liked the extra protection .

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4 hours ago, ProDave said:

There is no rule saying your consumer unit can only be 3 metres from the supply head.

 

What there is, is a DNO rule that you can only rely on their supply head fuse for cable protection for a run of up to 3 metres from the meter to the consumer unit.  If you want your consumer unit more than 3 metres away, you fit your own switch fuse with an 80A fuse in it, in the meter box, and then your cable can be any length you want it.

 

Presumably, this is what I have here.?

 

DSC00691.JPG

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Just now, ProDave said:

Yes that's a different switch fuse in a metal box.

 

Where do the tails go that exit the centre white cable gland in the bottom of the meter box?

 

They feed into another similar looking box just to the outside of the meter box, which the shed power and lights also run from. 

For completeness her is the overall picture ! 

 

IMG_4152.JPG

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Thank you all for your great analysis, discussion, explanation and references. You have all been a great help. I had this thing at the back of my mind that the fuse board could be a max of 3m even with 25mm^2 tails.

 

Thanks again for the time you have taken to write your posts, it's much appreciated. You all have just solved what I thought was a problem for me! It would have taken me days to figure this out on my own.. and I would have needed a good bit of luck to boot.

 

Gus

 

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
Posted (edited)

This looks like it's going to get a bit tricky unfortunately. I decided on Plan F on the front of the house, but that's about 45m from the pole. I didn't check that with UKPN at the time D'Oh 🙄 UKPN say they have a Small Connections limit of 43m (inc. 3m for pole), so I'm too far and need t go yo the Projects Team, gulp / cha-ching! The price would be £2100 for a 3-phase connection by the Small Connections team plus £17/m for cable, so quite envious of @Redoctober's connection all for £900. Heaven knows what the Project Team cost will look like. [NB: the 3-phase side of it was only adding ~£300].

 

The about 45m is routing along the back of the house and then around the Utility and putting the meter box in the least impactful position and close to the CU. Not going round the Utility (Plan C) would make it around 36m but we'd walk past it every day. Kind have wish I had gone @ProDave 's route in 2019 when I had a 3-phase connection removed for demolition. One question I had on that was voltage drop. Having a log run of SWA on the customer side of the meter means the customer pays for the voltage drop doesn't it? That could put the bill up by up to 5% couldn't it (thinking main load will be ASHP).

Edited by MortarThePoint
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11 minutes ago, Redoctober said:

Hi @MortarThePoint -" , so quite envious of @Redoctober's connection all for £900."  

 

Yes it did wok out well for us as I too thought we would have to go into the "expensive area" due to the distances involved. I hope all works out for you and the increased costs are not too crippling.

 

I mustn't grumble at the £400 I was charged for a brand new 3 phase connection into my green box then really...

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The 43m limit is a real nuisance and wish I'd know it before. I've measured on site more accurately and it works out to be very close to 40m to go along the back of the house and round the end of it. That comes right up against the 43m limit allowing 3m for the pole.

 

I'm wondering about drilling a hole into the sub floor void to route the cable under the end of the house and save about 6m of length. It will be tough to get the height just right and also to feed it through. Any advice? I've shown this adapted route in solid purple below. Would have been easy to have built a 6m length of soil pipe in when the foundation blockwork was being done but that ship has sailed. The ground under the void is 675mm below DPC, so 525mm below ground level. I'll check, but think 450mm would be deep enough below the patio, so 500mm below ground level would be fine.

 

I'd be OK with location C if I can have an internal meter, so I might try my luck there.

 

image.thumb.png.a4393df388a8b990fd41a17f3e7617e2.png

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Some DNOs (NIE) prefer a front corner position for the meter to assist the readers, you'd have to fight pretty hard to get anything other than A unless you go for a kiosk.

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11 hours ago, MortarThePoint said:

I'm wondering about drilling a hole into the sub floor void to route the cable under the end of the house and save about 6m of length.


Unlikely any DNO will let you do this as the cable would be unprotected and they need access to their assets without having to cause undue damage to a property. 
 

As previous - kiosk and then it’s your sparkies issues to resolve. 

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Slight Hijack - 

My design was to put a enclosure on site, around  75 M run, the plan from DNO was terminate at the pole and run mains cable (95mm Wavecon) to around 30M from the cabinet then joint to service cable 35mm Split con then run this to the cabinet. 

Then me run my cable to the house and pods as required. (house run would be around 25M), Pods 55M (only require about 8KW)

 

EUG864_001_20210708_DESIGNDOCUM9022022_REV_Site_Plan_LAND 105M SE OF SUIL NA MARA_A3.pdf

Reading this thread, I'm now thinking putting the cabinet near to the pole at the front of the new track, then running two cables from this to the pods  (30M) house 85M

 

 

The connection is planned for Apr 6

Any thought's on this.

Can anyone point me to a cable calculator for either SWA or split concentric? 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, PeterW said:

Unlikely any DNO will let you do this as the cable would be unprotected and they need access to their assets without having to cause undue damage to a property. 

Yes I wanted to do this but the DNO insisted on an external duct (can’t remember the proper name 🤷‍♂️) entering their meter box, however I built my meter box onto the rear wall of my garage as I did not want an ugly meter box on my nice cottage, then I ran an armoured cable from garage to house fuse board.

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1 hour ago, Jenki said:

Can anyone point me to a cable calculator for either SWA or split concentric? 


Your only choice is SWA as you cannot install split concentric yourself (only allowable by DNO to a fuse head)

 

Also worth looking at the loads on the pods and using a smaller cable to each from an isolator at the meter point as you may find it works out cheaper than one large to each and easier to terminate.
 

You have a WC block on the plan - other option is terminate the SWA there for all services and then spur off to the pods at that point. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, PeterW said:


Your only choice is SWA as you cannot install split concentric yourself (only allowable by DNO to a fuse head)

 

Also worth looking at the loads on the pods and using a smaller cable to each from an isolator at the meter point as you may find it works out cheaper than one large to each and easier to terminate.
 

You have a WC block on the plan - other option is terminate the SWA there for all services and then spur off to the pods at that point. 

 

 

This is the plan, WC block will supply each pod, and act as a plant room.

 

2 hours ago, ProDave said:

The above doesn't go above 16mm2 SWA.  No suitable cables eg. 80M 15KW = 16mm2  15.5KW - no suitable cable.... 

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