Noise from Meters??

Inspected a six unit apartment building today. As I walked up to the electric meters and panels on the back porch, I could hear noise coming from some of the meters about 10-15 feet away. Is this a problem?

It wasn’t an arcing type of noise coming from the panels or wiring. It was coming from several meters. It was like a clicking or grinding type of sound. I’ve heard something like a whiring sound before from meters, but never anything this loud.

Any thoughts??


That may be a mechanical issue. Maybe you should have your customer contact the Utility company.

For an A base meter that old, some noise can often be heard.

I see that meter lineup also has more than 6 switches to kill power to that structure.

Copied section from a 1940’s A base meter repair manual, in case you find it interesting:

*In the pivot type lower bearing, the upper end of the lower bearing screw is a split shell which holds the jewel assembly. This assembly consists of a nickeled cup in which a sapphire jewel is seated on a paper spacer and held in place by a retaining ring. See Figure 19. In case of jewel replacement, only the jewel assembly itself need be replaced. Since this type of bearing is oiled, it is recommended that the lower pivot and jewel be replaced at the time of periodic test of every four to six years. *

Noting the recommendation from so long ago, it might be understandable why an old A base meter might make some buzzing and grinding noises. It is also very likely “running slow” due to the mechanical drag.

Actually, to the right of this picture, there is a large throw switch that will cut off the entire building.

Under each grey “A base meter” (this is something new for me), there a small fuse panel, with four fuses in it (Sorry, my picture doesn’t show this well). When the lever is turned to open the small fuse panel, it turns off power to that particular apartment unit. Odd thing was, the “clicking/grinding” noise would continue even when the meter wheel wasn’t turning.

Thanks for the information, Marc! I do find this very interesting! I haven’t come across this before. I’m somewhat surprised that the meter reader hasn’t recommended that these meters be replaced a long time ago.

I doubt, though, that the tenants are complaining that their meters are “running slow”! :smiley:

The “A” base meter is the type with terminals along the bottom, such as you have there. (More exactly, your picture shows “J-A” base meters) The typical meter of our modern time is properly called an “S” base meter, but you’ll almost never here a plug-in type meter referred to as an “S” base meter. It’s just our “regular meter”.

Hey Marc, do you have a web link to any of this information, or do you have the actual book?

I have the actual book, but I only live maybe 15 miles from you, so you’re welcome to borrow it. It’s more like a booklet, actually.

Thanks, Marc, I’ll be in touch!