All homes that receive electrical power from the city have an electric meter installed into the main power line running to the home. Older meters can have glass covers so that meter numbers are clearly seen and can be easily read by the meter reader (most meters are circular in shape). However, newer meters can have digital readouts. The meter simply tells the electrical company how much power the home has used in a given amount of time (usually read each month) so that the household can be properly billed for the usage.
Look for the home's main fuse/breaker box, as the electric meter will be connected to the main power line within close proximity to the fuse box. The meter will be installed first into the power line and then the fuse box, with all individual electrical cables then running from the box to serve the individual circuits (lights, receptacles, stove, AC unit, etc.) in the house.
Go into the cellar/buildup area in the lower level of the home if the fuse box/meter cannot be found, and follow the electrical cables running down from the various locations on the upper levels. The cables will eventually converge together and run into the back or side of the home's main fuse box (this box may be inside the cellar/buildup area, or the cables may run through a wall to the fuse box on an outside wall of the property). Once the fuse box is located, follow the main power line running out of the fuse box and it will connect to the electrical meter.
Look for the power cable running from the street, if the meter still cannot be found. If the cable has not been installed underground, it will run from the street cables attached to the top of a series of electrical poles running along one side of the street. Follow the cable with your eyes until it attaches to the one corner or side of your home (this point will be high enough so it cannot be easily reached by hand). The cable will then run down and eventually connect to the meter before it continues on to the main fuse box.
- Photo Credit electricity meter image by Charles Jacques from Fotolia.com
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