Bypassing Electric Meter

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Recently read a story in the local news about someone using rented house to grow pot. In the story they said that the electric meters were bypassed. How is a meter bypassed without killing yourself?
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Al Moran wrote:

It's very easy but illegal. Just need a little jumper wire.
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And with some meters if you plug it in backwards, it runs backwards.
Their software would flag an existing customer with extreme variations in usage as this could indicate a problem with equipment requiring a look but a new customer might go unnoticed with unlikely usage. Steal enough electricity and it becomes a Felony.
Indoor pot farmers are often busted either by the electric usage pattern or by causing fires while ignoring electrical code. Narcing neighbors too.
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On Tue, 29 Aug 2006 21:50:44 -0700, "pipedown"

These gro-ops are a landlord's nighmare. Growing pot requires a lot of water that the plants then transpire. That results in high humidity and condensation on the walls, etc. There will be structural damage to the house, especially in houses that are built in localities with a long winter. Furthermore the chemicals used in the gro-op and along with the drug by-products will contaminate the house. A police bust will have it condemned as unfit for human habitation. That house will be a total loss and insurance won't pay for that.
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Al Moran wrote:

In Virginia, it is pretty easy. My house had aluminum wiring, and I replaced the whole electrical system with copper. Anyways, there is a security seal at the bottom of the meter box. When it is removed, a cover hinges up and the Glass meter can be pulled straight out. Then you will be looking at 4 prongs. The top two prongs go to the power pole. The bottom two go to the hous circut breaker box. (I had to replace this wire to the breaker box in my house). Anyways, you could jump the prongs rather easily with copper wire. It would help if you knew when the meter reader was coming around so you could place the glass meter back in. If you took the time with the security seal, the reader would probably never notice it....he just takes the numbers down and move to the next house.
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But what I don't get is that at least one set of the prongs must be hot. How would they connect anything to it without getting zapped ?
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Al Moran wrote:

Very carefully. Yea, I have done it, (with the electric company's blessing) . I don't suggest anyone who has to ask how consider doing it as missing one step could be your last one.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 11:41:54 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

I have no intentions of trying it. Just curious how you would do it and still be alive to talk about it.
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There are lots of times work is done on hot systems. Many precautions need to be done but essentially wearing the correct protective equipment (gloves, isolation mats, etc...) presents a pretty safe environment. How do you think those guys working on the high voltage power distribution lines do it? They certainly don't shut the line down for some routine maintenance (depends on the maintenance I suppose). Personally, I wouldn't want to do it but that's why those guys make the money they do. Cheers, cc
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From a helicopter.
I used to live right across the road from a 750KV transmission line, and watched them doing maintenance several times. Really awesome to watch. I have a lot of respect for both the electrician *and* the pilot.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

mail suit, not unlike the under armor of the middle ages. The metal then acts as a conductor of any induced currents, keeping them away from any path thru the body of the worker. They reach out with a long metal rod to touch the wire as the chopper brings them close to equalize the charges.
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Those guys make "Chump Change"
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Just stay insulated and use insulated tools. Power company employees work on hot power lines every day. They are literally like a bird on the wire.
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 11:41:54 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

First, build a mud wall at least a foot high all around the meter and fill it with salt water. Wash your hands thoroughly in the salt water and keep them wet. Stand in the pool while working on the meter.
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Eric
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replying to Joseph Meehan, John doooh wrote:

It's like installing a fuse...plus isn't it just secondary power 120/240... Just don't ground when installing jumper...or between phases.
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Actually, both legs are hot. Each leg is 110v, so together you get 220v service. The third leg goes straigt to the circuit panel and that is the return, so for 110v, you are using one of the legs and the return.
Anyways, if your jumper is plastic sheilded you would be alright, or if you wear ruber or leather gloves. Another very common senario is that theives steel the glass meter from a vacant property. Then they simply swap meters. The stolen meter would be used for two to three weeks, and then swapped again until the meter reader comes by. This way all the time that electricity is being used while the stolen meter is inplace, is not being charged to the occupyer. If one does that for 15 to 22 days a month, it results in in 50% to 75% of the electrical usage not appearing on his bill.
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Over the past year all the homes in my town (Central Mass.) have been converted over to digital meters with some type of Tough plexiglass/plastic cover. I haven't seen a meter reader since. Also the literature I saw on the new meters stated that they were not only for metering service but for regulating so if there were some problem it would be identified. I am not sure what the "problems" could be (tapping service) or how it would phone home with an issue, just send a signal over the line?
komobu wrote:

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Mike Plate wrote:

Certainly tampering is one form of "problem" new digital meters are designed to detect. Almost any service issue can be detected, the level in your case would be, it would all depend on the level of sophistication of the particular meter design/manufacturer they went to. Unbalanced legs, low voltage, off-frequency, many neutral or ground problems all can be detected. Most of these use a wireless network or proprietary transmission protocol connection and either they use a mobile receiver and drive around to various locations to collect data from an area or have collection "stations" that then forward the data back to central office.
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Some newer meter sockets are self-bypassing when the meter is unplugged. No interruption in service either. I was told this by the power company guy who was swapping out meters under load.
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