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Thread: Pre paid Meter an appliance or not

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    Pre paid Meter an appliance or not

    The regs say all permanent appliances must have an isolater on or adjacent to the appliance.
    Ok there are exceptions re: stove within arms reach of DB etc, but not go into that.

    The prepaid meter now been used has no switch on it. Some homes will have a municipal switch in the outside meter box in the road, and some are just fed of a pole.
    If the main switch in the house burns out, you have to either work on it alive, or pay to have a disconnection/reconnection.
    Anyway a prepaid meter......is it an appliance or not. In my view it is and should have an isolating switch.
    Any thoughts on the matter, even if i am talking rubbish

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    For starters, the regs say the DB must be in the same room to exclude the cooking circuit from having an isolator, not within arms' reach. You are confusing "fixed appliance" requirements with "exceptions".
    The cable coming onto the property should have a CB before going into the meter, prepaid or credit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELECT 1 View Post
    The regs say all permanent appliances must have an isolater on or adjacent to the appliance.
    Ok there are exceptions re: stove within arms reach of DB etc, but not go into that.

    The prepaid meter now been used has no switch on it. Some homes will have a municipal switch in the outside meter box in the road, and some are just fed of a pole.
    If the main switch in the house burns out, you have to either work on it alive, or pay to have a disconnection/reconnection.
    Anyway a prepaid meter......is it an appliance or not. In my view it is and should have an isolating switch.
    Any thoughts on the matter, even if i am talking rubbish
    I am not sure if your prepaid meter is feeding the mains supply onto the premises. If it is then the meter is situated before the "Point of Supply" and is not regarded as part of the installation.
    If it is a sub meter then it will be isolated by the mains isolator in the db in which it is situated.
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    If it's the billing meter for the electricity supplier (Eskom) then as Leecatt says it's not classed as an appliance and it will only have isolation available to Eskom and not the customer. Problem is if you install an isolator in an accessible location you may as well hang a sign over the meter saying 'Please Bypass Me'.
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    Actually its supplied from the City Of Cape town.
    The contractor that does this, removes the existing 220v 16mm live and neutral mains that enter the DB, fits ferrules and heat shrink to the two wires so as to extend them into the ED meter./ Then he takes two wires out of the ED, same size to the top of the 60 Amp Sp&N main switch of the installation.

    So the ED meter's only protection is from the councils side, either fuse on the pole or a CB in the communal meter box in the road.

    NOw the reason why i ask this is because a few months back i had a customer complaining of a burning smell in the kitchen.
    When i approached the DB, i could smell the pungent smell of burning plastic.
    I saw evidence of melted plastic and some smoke arising out of the ED meter. I had no means of switching off the supply to the meter.
    It was replaced hours later. But if no one was there, another situation could have developed.

    Hence my statement an ED should have an isolator and should not be exempted from the installation even if it is before the point of supply. I say that ED meter even though not included in the installation, still forms part of it. No ED no supply.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELECT 1 View Post
    Actually its supplied from the City Of Cape town.
    The contractor that does this, removes the existing 220v 16mm live and neutral mains that enter the DB, fits ferrules and heat shrink to the two wires so as to extend them into the ED meter./ Then he takes two wires out of the ED, same size to the top of the 60 Amp Sp&N main switch of the installation.

    So the ED meter's only protection is from the councils side, either fuse on the pole or a CB in the communal meter box in the road.
    The MCB or fuses on the pole or in the distribution cabinet would meet the requirements for protection. Heatshrink and ferrules would be the correct way to divert and extend an existing supply to allow an ED to be fitted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ELECT 1 View Post
    NOw the reason why i ask this is because a few months back i had a customer complaining of a burning smell in the kitchen.
    When i approached the DB, i could smell the pungent smell of burning plastic.
    I saw evidence of melted plastic and some smoke arising out of the ED meter. I had no means of switching off the supply to the meter.
    It was replaced hours later. But if no one was there, another situation could have developed.

    Hence my statement an ED should have an isolator and should not be exempted from the installation even if it is before the point of supply. I say that ED meter even though not included in the installation, still forms part of it. No ED no supply.
    Some energy dispensers have an integral MCB so that you can isolate the installation and there would be nothing stopping you installing an extra isolator between the ED and the DB if the distance between them was far enough to warrant it but every extra termination and switching contact means another point of possible failure so it's arguably not worth it when the main switch in the DB is rated as an isolator and is also labelled as being the point of isolation in the case of an emergency.

    In the one in a million case that the energy dispenser is the problem you would need to wait for the council to isolate or for an electrical short circuit or earth fault to develope that would trip the council's breaker. If the burning was due to a poor termination which was getting hot under load just isolating the DB would remove the load and reduce the risk of fire to almost zero. The other reason the council will never fit an isolator before the ED is that they make a damn fortune from their beloved disconnect/reconnect fees so that isolator would kill the goose that lays the golden egg as far as they're concerned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    The MCB or fuses on the pole or in the distribution cabinet would meet the requirements for protection. Heatshrink and ferrules would be the correct way to divert and extend an existing supply to allow an ED to be fitted.


    Some energy dispensers have an integral MCB so that you can isolate the installation and there would be nothing stopping you installing an extra isolator between the ED and the DB if the distance between them was far enough to warrant it but every extra termination and switching contact means another point of possible failure so it's arguably not worth it when the main switch in the DB is rated as an isolator and is also labelled as being the point of isolation in the case of an emergency.

    In the one in a million case that the energy dispenser is the problem you would need to wait for the council to isolate or for an electrical short circuit or earth fault to develope that would trip the council's breaker. If the burning was due to a poor termination which was getting hot under load just isolating the DB would remove the load and reduce the risk of fire to almost zero. The other reason the council will never fit an isolator before the ED is that they make a damn fortune from their beloved disconnect/reconnect fees so that isolator would kill the goose that lays the golden egg as far as they're concerned.
    I think this is the whole idea behind it.

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