readiescards

Indoor meter boxes - any regs applicable?

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readiescards    57

Presumably I can't staple an old shoe box to a wall and tell my electric supply company to stick the cable and meters in it, so are there specific regs to adhere - some of the regular meter boxes I've seen are just tooo ugly to have inside....

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Onoff    730

One of these must be handy for you. Go see if you can as some of the cheaper ones are made from cheaper, thinner plastic than the plastic tray in biscuit tins at Christmas:

 

https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Boxes_and_Enclosures_Index/Mitras_Meter_Box/index.html

 

http://fascias.com/Meter-Boxes

 

https://www.meterboxesdirect.co.uk/

 

http://www.jewson.co.uk/electricals-plumbing-heating/electricals/meter-boxes/

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ProDave    660

Am internal meter box can be anything. Does not even need to be a "box" A bit of chipboard, mdf pr ply on the wall seems to be accepted (at least by the Scottish bit of SSE)

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Crofter    251

Oh. I'm planning on putting my meter inside and had assumed it could just sit near the CU, on a board, inside a cupboard. Is this incorrect?

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Onoff    730

Sorry, my mistake. Just read meter box and went mad on the links. Inside, on / below something fire retardent is always good. CEF do "approved" meter boards AND spacers for them to mount off the wall.

 

http://www.cef.co.uk/catalogue/categories/industrial-control-automation-meter-boards-boxes

 

Careful with CEF as it's down to the branch how helpful they are. My local is "No problem, how many?" even if it needs to be ordered from their warehouse. Others have had "Nah, mate don't do 'em".

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ragg987    43

It depends on the DNO.

 

Our supplier (UKPN) stipulates that all new supplies can only be connected to an external meter point, not inside the house, and require a regulations box (horrible grey fibre-thingy which I did not want on my shiny new render exterior)). I argued that ours was not a new supply but a move of an existing one based on demolition and construction, they conceded after a lengthy discussion and an appeal to a manager, and installed it indoors provided I gave space for maintenance at the supply point.

 

Interestingly, they did not require a meter box and just wanted a bit of board to mount their bits on. Our supply is open in the utility room.

 

From left to right:

  • PV stuff: Immersun, inverter, isolators and meter
  • Incoming mains stuff: termination, fuse, meter, isolator (note cable coming up through the screed from the basement, we came into the basement underground and used waterproof cement to close off and make it airtight)
  • sub-meter for ASHP measurement purposes
  • DB (Hager 3-phase unit but used for a single phase - this confused the DNO as they expected to fit single phase supply and saw a 3-phase box on site)
  • controller for movement sensor lighting.

Untitled.jpg

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Crofter    251

Ok, so I have SSE coming this week to install the supply (but not meter). I presume I will need to put something on the wall above where the duct comes out.

Just reinforce it to take their own board?

Or fix my own board, and if so would a piece of P5 chipboard be OK?

Or fix my bit of chipboard to the wall, and then they can screw their board into that if they like?

 

(I'm sure they must have told me this but there's been so many emails back and forth that I can't find it again!)

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Crofter    251

Bumpety bump...

I did find the email from SSE and it just says I have to supply the meter board, they gave dimensions, but not what it should be made of.

Any suggestions ( @ProDave ?) , before I screw a piece of 22mm chipboard to the wall? They're coming tomorrow so need to do something...

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jack    417

SSE was happy to mount our internal meter on chipboard (not 22mm - more like 10 or 12, I think).

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Crofter    251
22 minutes ago, jack said:

SSE was happy to mount our internal meter on chipboard (not 22mm - more like 10 or 12, I think).

Thanks :)

I can't see why 22mm would be a problem in any way?

And I've come across references to having the board spaced off the wall, not sure what that's about and I didn't see anything the bumph that SSE sent me.

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JSHarris    869

Traditionally boards were spaced off the wall on four ceramic or bakelite spacers.  The only reason I can think of for doing this was to help keep the board free from damp.  We've lived in old stone cottages with old meter boards mounted like this, and damp from the wall behind seems the most likely reason for having spaced it away. 

 

I've not seen a modern board spaced off a wall like this, and am guessing this is because we no longer build houses where damp walls are likely to be a problem.

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Crofter    251

Ah that makes sense, yes. Well it's going on a PB wall which is itself spaced off the frame since there is a service void.

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Crofter    251

Having sorted through my pile of offcuts, I don't actually have a big enough piece of chipboard after all... I could put two smaller bits side by side? Or use 11mm osb? Or 9mm ply??

 

(Sometimes it sucks leaving things till the last minute when you are on site on your own and have no car- can't just nip into the BM for silly little things like this!)

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jack    417

Ours is spaced off the wall (house is 18 months old), but I don't know whether SSE or the electrician installed it.

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Mr Punter    37

If you have consent for an internal meter, UKPN come and mount a service head onto a small piece of 10mm chipboard that they supply.  Once you have at least 2 circuits wired and tested you can then get your electricity supplier to install a meter and liven the fuse board.

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ProDave    660

I have used chipboard and MDF in the past.  As long as they can drive a wood screw into it I don't think they care.  The standard meter boxes have a piece of very cheap feeling thin chipboard. An offcut of chipboard flooring would be miles better.

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Crofter    251

Thanks all. In case you're wondering why I'm being so pedantic about this, I'm now rather wary after my experiences with Scottish Water, who had me jumping through hoops trying to meet their unpublished spec and threatening to charge me for aborted site visits if everything wasn't quite right. This included buying a check valve that one manager insisted I had to have, which the guys never actually installed (anybody want it?) and telling me that my boundary box was not the correct type, despite them failing to issue me any specs beyond the words 'boundary box'.

 

Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you...

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ProDave    660

You must have had the same SW guy I had. The check valve built into their own toby is no good. The check valve built into my own toby is no good. The check valve built into the stoptap on the standpipe is no good. That's why I have a 4th check valve, an in line double check valve in the pipe up to the stoptap.

 

I think I might have ranted about that before.

 

SSE are much better, the ONLY time I have know them refuse a connection, was when one customer thought it was a good idea to bury a spare bit of blue mdpe water pipe into the foundations for them to feed the electric cable through. They flatly refused and would only feed their cable through a black duct.

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Crofter    251

My duct is 63mm rigicoil or whatever it's called- in black. The spec did say 32mm but I figured that I would hopefully get away with it, since it's what I had on site. I'll find out tomorrow...

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ProDave    660

Should be fine, that's what I used. I seem to recall the spec they gave me said 150mm black duct which is quite ridiculous

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Crofter    251

Just to update, SSE came round and were quite happy with what they found. They did stick their own bit of board over my double layer of OSB. Sorry for poor photo- it's on a cupboard with no lighting.

They did say I ought to shield the cable with something, but it's just PB behind it so I can't just stick on any old thing. They mentioned there was some sort of self adhesive guarding available.

Now I have my MPAN, so any tips on choosing a supplier? I want to have E7 if that makes any difference.

image.jpeg

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PeterW    676

You'll need to chose a supplier who installs meters - SSE for example. 

 

Get the meter and a basic no contract deal then start looking for the best fixed deal you can find. Will probably be with one of the smaller suppliers but they can rarely install meters. 

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