The electric meter box is a key part of your home electrical system. If it’s not functioning properly, a variety of electrical problems can occur. Electric meters can last for several decades. But when one starts to fail, a replacement can avoid serious electrical damage and safety issues.
Frequent circuit breaker tripping, flicking lights, and scorch and burn marks on the equipment can mean the meter box is overloaded. Sometimes, changes to the electrical code at the national or local level require you to perform an update. As the homeowner, you are responsible for electric meter box maintenance, repair, and replacement. Fortunately, an outdoor meter box takes about a day or less to replace (the average is 4 to 8 hours).
Can I DIY an Electric Meter Box Replacement?
Only a licensed electrician should do this kind of work. There are many safety hazards involved, and certified technicians are insured to cover anything that can potentially go wrong. Replacing this critical component requires advanced electrical skills and may also require some rewiring. An electrical technician can manage any work needed alongside meter box replacement. They’ll also help select the right type and strength of the unit.
How Is a Meter Box Replaced?
First, the power must be completely shut off in your house or building. Electrical cables must be disconnected from the structure, which is done by the utility company. The glass meter is then removed from the meter socket, and the socket is unscrewed from the mounting on the side of your house; the cable connected to the socket is cut next.
The existing cable hole in the wall must be enlarged and then the technician must bore through the rim joist. The new electrical cable is then attached to the new meter socket and fed through the wall, while a PVC weather head and conduit is installed on the exterior wall above the socket. The conduit is secured with PVC cement and fastened with U-shaped plastic clips. Next, the utility company marks where underground lines are; copper ground rods are inserted into the ground, and wire connections must be made, before meter installation is completed.
We understand how complex this may seem, but you can trust Service Today for all your electric meter and mast installation needs.
Cost of Electric Meter Box Replacement
The total cost of replacement is influenced by many factors. These include:
- Location: According to Angi, it can cost from $785 to $2,176 to replace your exterior meter box in New York City, while in Sacramento, you may spend $466 to $2,149; in Atlanta, the cost ranges from $284 to $1,329.
- Equipment: A 100-amp or 150-amp unit typically costs $50 to $200, a 200-amp one $100 to $350, and a 400-amp unit around $400 to $600.
- Additional Parts: Connectors, fittings, and fasteners usually amount to under $100, but are required for a successful installation.
- Permits: Permits for electrical panel work generally range from $50 to $300. Fines for not having the proper permit can be quite costly.
- Labor: Electricians can charge from $50 to $100 per hour, driving the total labor cost to as high as $2,000. Also consider the cost of warranties and additional work such as subpanel and/or service entrance cable installation.
Schedule Electric Meter Box Replacement with Service Today
We urge you to never tamper with your electric meter. It can violate regulations and put you in extreme danger. Contact an electrician if you suspect something is wrong with your meter, circuit breakers, electrical appliances, or wiring. Our licensed technicians install electric meters, service cables, meter bases/panels, galvanized conduits, grounding connections, support brackets, ground rods, and more. To get started, request a service appointment online or call (888) 409-9784 today!