Unlocking electric meter box -- water problem

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I'll spare everyone the details, but my question is if anyone can help me figure out a way to open the lock on an outside electric meter box so I can look inside and see if water is getting into that box.
I think that water is getting into the outside meter box and then running down INSIDE the feed wire from there into my main service panel in the basement (not along the OUTSIDE of the feed wire, and not through the opening where the feed enters the building). I did try calling the electric company to get them to open it, but I am not having any luck with that. And, I do need to look inside the meter box to see what's going on, see if water is leaking into it, etc.
Here are two photos of the electric meter box:: http://tinypic.com/r/dmtwqx/5
http://tinypic.com/r/11jlv8y/5
It is the locking mechanism on the lower right corner of the box that I think I need to be able to open to take the cover off the box. I don't need to, or want to, pull the meter etc. -- I just want to look inside to look for signs of water getting into the meter box and, if so, where the water is coming in from.
Thanks.
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Oren wrote:

Or drill a hole (or two).
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On 6/8/2013 4:29 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Until I looked at his pictures, I was about to suggest calling the power company and asking them to come out and replace the meter - apparently removed by vandals and left laying on the ground - so that they could watch television tonight. An open meter can WILL get them moving faster.
Alas, it appears they've converted him to a smart (for them) meter. Looks like the meter is blanked out so he has no way of reading/checking his usage. "Oops, looks like you left some lights on this month, here's your bill for 8,700kWh; yeah, we know you generally only use 4,800kWh. Better take care now!"<g>
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On Saturday, June 8, 2013 2:34:07 PM UTC-7, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

I got a smart meter and I can check my usage fine. Maybe he needs to ask for one of these:
https://www.itron.com/na/productsAndServices/Pages/OpenWay%20CENTRON.aspx
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Sorry, I forgot to post that I taped a cardboard cover over the meter face before taking the photos. I didn't want to post my actual meter number etc. on the Internet. But, it's a regular meter and I can see the digital readings.
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On Sat, 08 Jun 2013 16:34:07 -0500, Unquestionably Confused

YOu're right. I thought that was the dryer vent.
"Oops, looks like you left some lights on this month, here's

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HeyBub wrote:

Yep, I thought of doing that too. But, since I did the knockout trick etc., I didn't end up needing to drill a hole.
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Drill gently, and not far through the sheet metal box. Don't want to drill into a live wire, and make sparks. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .

Yep, I thought of doing that too. But, since I did the knockout trick etc., I didn't end up needing to drill a hole.
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i DOn't know what the second picture is, but I don't think it's a lock.
You have a seal, AFAIK not a lock.
It's the thing in the middle, dangling down. You can cut it with wire cutters, lift the lever, and pull off the whole front grey panel with the big hole in it.
Whether the electric company will be mad at you for this is another question, but I did it once (or twice?) and since I didn't steal any electricity, the next time an electric guy was there, he just put on another seal. They sell similar seals, but since they're not identical, the power company will still know you've been fiddling with their stuff.
(Once they had disconnected me for failure to pay my bill. I paid it and they said to go home immediately, because in Baltimore they won't reconnect you if you're not there. I went home and waited a couple hours and wanted to make dinner or something, so I got impatient and I broke the seal and reconnected the power. An hour or two later, the guy showed up and I told him someone else had come and done it. (That was true, I guess, if you count me as the someone) He didn't say a word. I guess he was ticked. But he put a new seal on it. Later I realized that he was the only guy either disconnecting or reconnecting for my geographical area, so he knew no other BGE guy had come.)
I have no experience with extra holes in the box. Won't insects get in and start living there? Does that matter?

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wrote:

BTW, don't touch anything inside if you want to be able to post here again.
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micky wrote:

It turns out that it is some type of locking mechanism.

Yes, I also have that seal in the middle that you noticed. I had already cut that with wire cutters, lifted the latch, and tried to open the door. It's the other mechanism that is keeping the door from opening.

I agree, and I don't care if the electric company complains that I cut the wire. I did try calling them first when the water was dripping inside the main panel and onto the main breaker, but they never showed up after I waited, waited, and waited, called them back, and then waited some more, and then finally gave up.
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They don't care. Anything after the meter is your problem so they expect you to call a licensed electrician.
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On 6/8/2013 7:42 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

just to clarify, are you the property owner or a tenant? In all places I have lived, or had businesses, the meter belongs to the power company. All else belongs to the property owner and is his responsibility. Water getting into the meter box is not the power company's problem.
Paul
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Paul Drahn wrote:

I own the property.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Some of that did surprise me. I got different stories each time I called the electric company about this. One electric company rep person did say that they are only responsible up to the meter, so if the problem is after the meter, it's my problem and not theirs. That would make me think that if water was getting into the meter box, it would be their problem, based on what they said. But, I actually thought that they are only responsible up to the drop -- which is why I always pay an electrician who is putting in new service to do the drop, the meter box, the main panel, etc.
But, what surprises me the most is that if I have an electrical problem, and they come out and see what it is, I thought I could either pay an electrician to fix it or have the electric company fix it and charge me for the repair. For example, if I have an electric stove that isn't working, I thought they could fix it and bill me. In my area, gas and electric is supplied by the same company, and that's how they handle the gas side of things regarding repairs. So, I assumed that they would do the same with the electric side of things -- but maybe I'm wrong about that.
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On 6/8/2013 11:09 PM, TomR wrote:

These things do vary from location to location. In downstate NY, the utility company owns the overhead wires from the pole to the building, and the meter. The property owner owns the box that the meter plugs into. The real pia is that they get to put a lock on your box, to protect their meter.
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Depends on the area. Where I live (CT) and work (MA) the utilities do nothing after the meter.
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Where do you live. lhd = Lower Hydrangea. Didn't the Marx brothers do a movie there?
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I guess they added that after people like you and me started opening the box ourselves.
Last week I got a smart meter. My doorbell was covered with ivy and he says he knocked. I think I heard him knock on t he next townhouse after he had already installed mine. He said if I wanted they would take out the smart meter and put in the old style.
What gets me is that when I didn't pay on time, they took a long time to disconnect me, but now they can do so with the blip of an electron. They may not wait as long. Of course they might reconnect more quickly. I doubt they will charge less.
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On 6/8/2013 4:16 PM, TomR wrote:

That's a hydraulic lock. If you need to get in you'll have to get the utility company. Typically rain water gets in if you have "SE" type entrance cable with Ductseal around the rain tight fitting at the top of the box. The Ductseal dries out leaving a space for water to travel down the cable into the box. It usually drips onto the wires which go into the house, which causes it to flow through the sheath with the wires and into the service panel. Unfortunately, making holes in the bottom of the box won't solve this, you need to prevent entry. I would run a bead of silicone around the fitting at the top of the box. Also check that the weatherhead at the top of the service standpipe is not broken or otherwise exposed to rain.
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