Disconnect before meter

Has anyone ever seen a disconnect box before the meter?
In this old 1950s home where a new smart meter had been recently installed, it appeared the disconnect fuse box came before the meter. Because the city put it in, and recently, I had to assume you are allowed!!!
In the picture you can see the three wires coming in from the outside via the conduit in the upper middle of the picture. The 3 wires then connect to the 90 amp fuses in the old disconnect box. The two hot wires go up the left side into the meter, a few inches above the disconnect (hidden by the cabinet the owner built over it) and return down the right hand side to then go over to the main panel.

I can’t see enough in the picture, but that installation does not look like it has changed in years. I may be misunderstanding the description.

Looks like someone has illegally tapped ahead of the meter for some free electricity.

Ok ! And so what?
Is it an issue?
What do you want?

I have never heard of nor seen the disconnect box coming before the meter. Just wondering if anyone had ever seen this setup before or if most cities have a regulation that says you can not do this.
I am aware of the numerous defects in the panel and possible free electricity going on there.

Are you saying the service main was before the meter?
Or a simple disconnect?

I don’t see how the other posters came to their conclusion with the info provided.

Roy, Robert and Jim are very knowledgeable about electricity and may be able to see things you or I miss, on a quick look.

Rick, it sounds like you can report that it appears to have the meter installed after the service disconnect, if it is as you describe…and unpaid use of electricity could be happening.

Yes the wires coming the pipe are incoming live .
Easy to steal electricity .Looks like one set is gong some where in the home like a electric furnace or heaters .
The other set from the double tap below the fuses is feeding the meter then the panel . Dangerous and it is stealing we all pay more to cover those who do not pay.

Who made the disconnect, And does line 1 and line 2 come in to the disconnect from the back?

Roy…The panel on the left is a simple whole house disconnect. Panel on the right is a 100amp main service with multiple sub panel connects; but the main panel and sub panels are not part of the curiosity, just the disconnect.

Larry … there was lots wrong with the panels, so there was no problem reporting those problems and recommending evaluation and repair of system by a qualified electrician. I just was not sure what to say about the meter coming after the disconnect. As folks have noted, it is easy to siphon off electricity. I did not report it this time but, if I see it again, maybe I will note it. The new meter made it look so legit.

I was a lineman before being a inspector. I have seen this used before in the old days for safety. Very much against the law now easy access for stealing power. Defiantly would make note.

Generally, the utility company does not allow any consumer equipment to be installed before the meter base - for obvious reasons.

If I understand you correctly, the service conductors are coming through the back of the panel with the disconnect, through the fuses and up to the meter, and then down to the adjacent panel.

However, I see another set of conductors tapped into the load-side of the fuses and running directly to the adjacent panel, in which case, I would agree with Robert - someone is getting “free” electricity.

The service-person for the utility company most likely changed out the meter without even looking at the arrangement.

Is this a Canadian or US installation?

Cold sequence metering is metering in residential is very rare and not allowed by most pocos. If the meter is truly after the main disconnect something is tapping before the meter which means un metered electricity for that circuit.

I also see what looks like parallel NM connecting to the disconnect neutral terminal and heading out. My guess would either be a ground rod or water bond. Not a complaint conductor use. Same goes to the pipe nipple bond, 2 parallel undersized conductors make up the jumper.

Martin…I am way north of the border

I concur on the connections to the neutral terminal. I could not find a normal ground anywhere and that appeared to be the most likely way they allowed for it.
The sweet 85 year old couple that own the house have apparently decided to upgrade the whole system…thank goodness.
Thanks for the new terminology…Hot vs Cold sequence metering.

Welcome! Great to hear its all being replaced:D

Hot vs cold; this might help:

Hot vs cold is common in commercial btw where pocos allow it.