Efficient metering personnel will make good installations. In doing so, they will observe certain practices that will be helpful to both their company and the customers. These good practices have many benefits. They insure good service by preventing unnecessary outages.

They insure good customer relations by preventing damage to the customer’s equipment. Also, the meter employee will not have to return to the customer’s premises for things forgotten or left undone and thereby undermine the customer’s confidence in electric metering.

All these benefits, in turn, help the company and the employee. Following are some of the good metering practices, not necessarily in order of importance. Competent metering employees will:

Recognize their responsibilities while on the customer’s premises.
• Take the nearest and safest route to accomplish the work.
• Take care not to damage any of the customer’s property.
• Leave the area clean upon completion of the job.
• Report any hazards to the meter department supervisor.

Work in the safest possible manner.
• Keep in mind that no job is so important that it cannot be done safely.
• Inspect all meter wiring connections for correctness
• Check connections to prevent outages, damage to meter installation, damage to customer’s property, and personal injury.

Inspect for loose connections.
• A loose connection can cause intermittent service or it can cause a complete outage. Loose connections generally arc, causing a fire hazard. Even if there is no fire damage, heating around the connection occurs.
Inspect for good grounding.
• Check for equipment ground at the installation. Realize that no ground at the installation is a potential hazard and report it to the supervisor.

Pay attention to details.
• Check meter voltage links. Inspect connections between two dissimilar metals.
• Connection between two dissimilar metals often causes corrosion.
• Corrosion can be prevented by using the proper connector and by protecting the connector and conductors against oxidation.
• Wires corroded at a joint have the same effect as a loose connection since corrosion has a high resistance and causes heating, which, in turn, assists the corrosive action.

Check for proper voltages.
• Voltage should be checked before installing the meter.
• A reversal of the power and lighting leg on a four-wire delta system causes excess voltage on customer’s equipment. Also, a reversal of the hot leg and ground has serious consequences.
• Grounded conductors and the power leg of four-wire delta services should be permanently identified.

Check phase rotation.
• Phase rotation on installations which have been disconnected temporarily for service work should be checked. If a reverse phase rotation is connected to the customer’s motors, they will reverse, possibly causing extensive damage. This could also mean personal injury.

Check for single phasing.
• It is possible to prevent damage to the customer’s property by disconnecting or warning the customer to disconnect the load on a three-phase service when one phase is out. A running three-phase motor may continue to run on single phase but will overheat. A stopped motor may attempt to start but cannot, which causes overheating.

Observe direction of disk rotation.
• Whenever possible, try to get a load applied to the meter in order to check for correct disk rotation.

Check for diversion.
• Always check for circuits tapped ahead of the meter or current transformers.

Check for correct installation information.
• Check for correct phase, amperes, volts, and frequency.
• Check for such details as multipliers, full scales, readings, and similar data.
• Check all written records against actual nameplate data.

Check to see if meter is level.
• An out-of-plumb meter may be inaccurate. Besides being inaccurate, it presents an unsightly appearance to the customer and may undermine his confidence in the electric metering.

Give the entire job a good once over before leaving it.
• Check the job in general for good workmanship and safety before leaving. Be sure the area surrounding the meter is left clean and neat.

Meter employees are the company in the eyes of many customers. They can make a good impression on the customer by being neat in dress, accurate in work, and courteous at all times.

Having equipment and tools in good, clean condition will build the customer’s confidence in the company and assure the customer of the employee’s skill. Sloppy dress, actions, and equipment leave a poor impression.

There are probably many other practices which are followed on local levels throughout the country, but if employees observe those listed, they will turn out a good job.

Failure to follow any one of these practices may result in extensive property damage, personal injury, outage of service, or a loss of revenue. And, last but by no means least, it may impair that valuable asset to a public utility—good customer relations.

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