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 House Wattmeter finally replaced.
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 4:30:09 AM on 5 February 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 879

This is one for Vintage Electrics.
The Power Authority finally decided my power meter needed replacing.

The meter was an Email M1 fitted when the house was built in 1967 and has been in service ever since.
Hows that for: made when things were made to last?

The thing that intrigued me was that to replace they had to erect barricades and it took 3 guys to swap the meter over!
The barricades were not so much for electrical safety but OHS so the public would not be exposed to any dislodged asbestos!

Reason for replacing was that it was just on the list to be replaced, they have a program to replace all meters and probably about a million to go as those Email M1's were stuck in every wall box back then. I used to fit them to switchboards back in the 1960's to 1980's when I was making boards for power distribution systems.

So now I have a big black box with a digital read out in place of the spinning disc and dials and I guess my power bill will now take a hike?
Oh, and now it is once again safe for me to open the box and reset breakers, swap wires etc etc and not worry about the deadly asbestos which may kill me dead.

On that subject of asbestos, yes i'm not flippant about real danger. I had to do a service call at James Hardy back in the 1980's at Rosehill in Sydney. The engineering section where my gear was running, was COVERED in white dust and some areas had a fluffy layer up to 1/4" deep. I'm an asthmatic and they laughed at me when I put a respirator on. I did the job and got out and said to boss i'm not going there ever again and send someone else next time! And that was in the 1980's before the whole asbestos danger was realised.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:29:33 AM on 5 February 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 940

Re asbestos

Back in the late fifties early sixties my father worked in a NSW power station. It was not unusual for white asbestos to be falling like snow. He later wondered if he would be finished by it. As it happens his heart took him so will never know.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 1:42:54 PM on 5 February 2019.
GTC's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

So now I have a big black box with a digital read out in place of the spinning disc and dials and I guess my power bill will now take a hike?

Ah, smartmeters -- only 'smart' as far as the electricity retailer is concerned. The ones at my workshop complex generate bills with varying rates for these times of day: Peak, Shoulder, Off Peak, as well as Supply Charge and Demand Charge, and these periods also vary depending on day of week and season of year. Demand Charge is retrospective based on a 6 monthly average.

Analysing the raw meter data is quite an exercise. Electricity plans are designed to conceal and confuse.

I'm still on the old spinning disc meter at home, but I guess I can look forward to that being replaced with a ripoff meter down the track.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:25:33 PM on 5 February 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6345

The dangers of asbestos have been known since the time of Moses. The ancient Egyptians were aware of a high mortality rate amongst those who mined asbestos and those who wove it with other materials into cloth - the cloth that was used to make the garments that people wore back then. If course, people generally did not live as long back then as they do now so the issue was never really followed up. They wouldn't have known what to do had they known what lung cancer and asbestosis was anyway.

Four types are generally available (or were available), white, grey, brown and blue, with blue being the deadliest due to the particles being finer and this more easily transmitted to the air we breathe. It is found in brake shoes and clutch plates most commonly.

I've worked on many a domestic switchboard which consisted of two lengths of Oregon to which was attached a sheet of fibro. The meter, council fuse, neutral link and customer fuses were then attached to that and connected up in VIR cable. These boards were most often next to people's front doors so they were never protected from the elements, aside from rain. Birds love building nests on top of them.

Many watthour meters back then were only rated at 40 amps. Houses that has gas for the stove and hot water didn't really need any more. Converting to all-electric meant a new meter and a complete rewire of the consumers mains, aerial cable and adding extra fuse blocks.

To be honest though, I've never really likes working on domestic switchboards and I miss the days of working on E frame, KA frame and Quicklag boards, the ones I cut my teeth as an apprentice on.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

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