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A smart meter couldn't be installed because of an earth cable - why?



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I have to confess I've given up - I've spoken to electrician and gas business owners through my networking contacts - these are professional friends who all think this is a complete comedy that your employees or outsourced contractors are completely hamstrung by your own internal politics.

Whilst they are friends I won't ask them to work for free to fix an issue which your installers should be undertaking anyway. Frankly if you (OVO) have a smart meter which is bigger than any other suppliers meter (and it should be a standardised size anyway!!) then its your problem not mine. I'm over half way through my contract and frankly I'm not paying any more money for stuff to be done to fix a non-existent issue in my eyes. I'll simply just move to a different supplier to get a smart gas meter again.

From all this discussion there are three key learning points for you:

You need to (a) train your engineers to do the basics (b) insure them to do so and (c) change the meter so that its smaller so you match other suppliers sizes which will save you 80% of the aggro of having a larger meter when it comes to install time.
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Firstly @Geo I'd like to thank you for raising this Topic on the Forum in the first place.

I am continuing to have discussions with gas-fitters and electricians about the secondary issue of Equipotential Bonding. In my area of rural Devon, it seems that very few houses have installations that have been checked and certified for compliance.

I have yet to find anyone local to me who has had a Smart Meter installed, where the earth bonding was even raised as a issue. It wouldn't surprise me if more than half of these installations have been completed despite the earth-bonding regulations having not been complied with.

And yet, you would have expected the opposite... that the Smart Meter installation would be an opportunity to bring domestic properties up to the basic safety standards!

Returning to your primary point about the physical size of a meter:

I have never seen a gas meter as small as the one you showed in the photo at the start of this Topic.

There may well actually be a standard for a maximum size. I need to check this.

But if a previous installer has fitted a smaller than average meter, then of course this can create a problem when that meter needs to be changed at a later date.

What's required is a standard "envelope" of 3D space which should be left around a meter such that any exchange can be done effectively. This envelope would also incorporate the designated positions for the support bracket and connections of course.

Such a standard does already exist for the manufacture of external wall mounted meter-boxes (both flush- and surface-mounted designs).

This isn't just an OVO problem. It's industry-wide.
@Transparent The existing smart meter is a British Gas one.

The space around my meter is actually quite substantial despite the carpet needing a trim in the photos, which I've now done. The OVO meter is so large though that even in what I would call a moderate environment it can't be fitted apparently.

I understand the idea of regulations and the principal behind the earth bond but I fail to see why the engineers can't just move it, its just a simple wire with a fastening buckle, its not hugely substantial a task - they are qualified to install what is an electrical item to the gas mains so moving them them should form part of basic training and ergo the insurance if that's the real problem.

I'd have more sympathy if my issue involved re-piping the gas meter and soldering new parts to it - that's above and beyond a smart meter install but a five minute job moving a wire is frankly what I'd expect any self respecting engineer to be able to do. (and actually what my networking professional contacts say should have been done - they are all time served gas/electric engineers and work on large and small domestic and commercial properties I'm not kidding when I say they were extremely bemused by this thread.)

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