You must make sure that your electric meter is functioning properly because if it is overreading, you risk paying for more electricity than you really used.
On the other hand, if the meter is under-reading, you may initially have cheaper power bills, but ultimately the error will be discovered, and you may be required to make a sizable back payment.
Can electric meters read wrong? If so, how to check if your electric meter is correct?
There are several ways to do so. You may contact your supplier to send a worker to do the testing. Or you could hire someone to check it for you. And finally, you may check it for yourself.
I’ll go over these in detail throughout this article, so that you may check if your electric meter is correct.
How Do Electric Meters Work?
There are basically two types of electric meters. Analog meters and digital meters. Although they have different architecture, the base principle is the same.
In the case of the analog meter, Kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power is drawn from the grid, and the analog meter’s disc turns several measurement knobs to provide a reading.
Your utility provider may calculate your energy use and the total they should charge you by comparing the two readings, the current reading, and the prior reading.
Two conductor coils in an analog electric meter produce magnetic fields. The voltage applied across the conductor has an effect on one coil, while the current applied across the conductor has an effect on the other.
A thin aluminum disc is then rotated at a regulated speed that is proportionate to the quantity of power used by the magnetic fields produced by the interaction of these coils.
Modern digital meters use alternating current (AC) sensors that pick up grid voltage and amperage. These meters are somewhat more precise than ADC or mechanical electric meters because they do a better job of recording all the power in a circuit.
How Can I Test the Accuracy of My Electric Meter?
How can I test my home electric meter? As stated above, there are a few methods. Let’s take a look.
Contacting Your Supplier:
The simplest course of action is to get in touch with your supplier if you believe your power meter isn’t correct. Inform them of your worries and request that a worker is brought to your house to test your electric meter.
Your supplier will be more than happy to comply because it is in their best interest that you pay for the proper amount of electricity used. For example, if you connect multiple LEDs to one switch, that will increase your electricity usage. Hence, increasing your energy bill as well.
Hire an Independent Tester:
You may also make arrangements for an independent meter tester to examine your electric meter to ensure its accuracy. You may choose this alternative if you are unable to reach your electricity supplier, would prefer not to do so, or if you are uncomfortable doing a self-test.
Although you will be charged for the service of an independent tester, if your meter is inaccurate, you can end up saving money in the long run.
Conduct a Self-Test:
Finally, you may choose to conduct a self-test. But be advised, all electricity passes through your electric meter, making it an extremely dangerous task to take on for amateurs.
I will discuss further the procedure on how you may conduct a self-test in the next segment.
How Can I Self-Test the Accuracy of My Electric Meter?
A self-test is a possible route to take if you wish to know how to check if your electric meter is correct. Is my electric meter accurate? Follow the steps below to find out.
Steps to Self-Test an Electric Meter:
- Select an electrical device of your choice. Make sure it consumes a decent amount of electricity. Such as an electric heater or an electric motor of significant power.
- You can find out the energy ratings of the appliance on its body.
- You pay for power based on kilowatt-hours, so an electric heater, for instance, may consume 2,500 watts per hour on its maximum setting. Note the wattage rating of the appliance on a piece of paper.
- Before checking the accuracy of the electric meter, turn off all of the electrical devices in your house. Verify again that all electrical devices are off.
- Write the wattage from your chosen electrical appliance next to the reading from the electric meter that you took.
- Read the electric meter and write down the reading.
- Make a precise note of the time you turned on the chosen electrical device before turning it on.
- Turn on the device for exactly 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes have passed, turn the device off again.
- Read the electric meter reading again. Write it down.
- Subtract the first reading from the second one. That should give you the energy consumption recorded by your electric meter within this 30-minute period.
- If your meter is accurate, the reading should be equal to half of the wattage rating of your chosen appliance.
- If the reading differs the wattage rating of your device by a minimum of 5%, your meter is over-reading. In such a case, you must get your electric meter tested by a professional immediately.
If you are suspecting your electric meter to give out inaccurate readings, this article shows you the possible methods regarding how to check if your electric meter is correct.
However, it is always advised to either contact your supplier or hire a professional to do this task for you. As this could be a dangerous endeavor if you lack the necessary understanding and experience of the matter.