Electrical safety alert issued for old-style meter boxes

Wednesday, 10 July, 2024

Electrical safety alert issued for old-style meter boxes

NT WorkSafe has issued a safety alert urging electrical workers and residents to exercise caution when accessing meter boxes fitted with older-style meters. This comes after Power & Water Corporation service personnel found a number of heat-damaged service fuse holders in meter boxes in Territory homes. The damaged service fuse holders have live parts exposed, creating an electrical safety risk to anyone accessing the meter box.

Damage to the service fuse holders could have occurred due to a number of factors including age, exposure to the elements or incorrect installation.

With the exception of the electrical meter, which is owned by Power and Water, the meter box and other items inside including the meter board, switches, fuses and circuit breakers belong to the homeowner. The homeowner must maintain these in compliance with Power and Water’s meter manual and the Australian Standards.

This includes inspecting the meter box to determine if a service fuse carrier and base is mounted on the meter panel and checking that it is in good condition. If the service fuse carrier and base are damaged, homeowners are advised to have an electrical contractor replace the fuse in entirety with a lockable circuit breaker.

A circuit breaker as a meter isolator is required for a safe and convenient isolation point for Power and Water Metering Section staff to service and maintain their metering installation; it is also necessary for electrical contractors to safely work on the customers’ switchboard. A circuit breaker as a meter isolator is also helpful for Power and Water officers or agents to perform disconnections as requested by the electricity retailer.

The circuit breaker also provides graded electrical overcurrent protection for the customer’s installation. The circuit breaker is required to isolate the metering for a customer’s installation.

Image credit: iStock.com/Andrey Znamenskyi

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