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Thread: Power meter tricks

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    Question Power meter tricks

    Heh guys,
    Does anyone know if the old "magnet on the side of the meter" trick still works (ie it slows meter down to a lower reading- mechanical meters of course)?



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    the new smart meters if you put a plate of lead in the meter box they cant read it automatically
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    Did the magnet on the side of the meter actually work?

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    Senior Member DND's Avatar
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    I hope something works becasue I just got my power bill and I'm going to have problems paying for it with this 18% increase

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    I have seen all sorts of tricks to slow the meter down - the best and most intuitive was a fellow drilled a hole through the Loungeroom wall, through the metal switchbox, through the meter panel, through the meter so he could place a long piece of plastic on the aluminum disk to stop it spinning - went on for years until the meter was replaced through an ageing meter program. Another fellow drilled a small hole in the side of the meter - 2 drops of honey - filled the thing with ants

    I would say with the old disk meters it will become common again - those with smart meters - hmmmmmm

    It will still be looked at as stealing



    oh - the magnet thing - waste of time



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    Some report using a home welder can cause the meter (old style) to reverse, of course switting in the lounge striking an arc might not be everyones idea of 'Happy Families'

    DND, you will have to read your meter say once a month and see what you can do to minimise useage, damn sight easier to say than in the doing unfortunately.
    I think the next bills after this July 1 increase will come as a hell of a shock and will push many to the wall.
    My attitude is these increases are not for what it costs to produce nor maintain systems but what is 'deemed' to be what it is worth.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    put a link across the two red wires at the bottom of the meter get busted and possible jail time.

    SS Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph123 View Post
    Did the magnet on the side of the meter actually work?
    As far as I recall it did, but it was a long time ago. It became a popular mod at the time, so it must have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Dave View Post
    put a link across the two red wires at the bottom of the meter get busted and possible jail time.

    SS Dave
    You may end up in jail - and no power bill

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    The 'magnet next to the meter' thing is a waste of effort. In the case of mechanical disk type wattmeters there's already 2 reasonably strong magnets very close to the disk with an adjustable shunt which is used to calibrate the full load accuracy of the device and considering the poles of those 2 magnets are about 1mm from the aluminium disk, the size of any magnet outside the meter cover would have to be immense to have any affect on the meter considering the relative sizes of the airgaps. The manufacturers like Westinghouse, Warburton Franki, L&G etc actually design the meters to make it infeasible for any magnetic source outside the meter case to have any appreciable affect on accuracy.

    Now let's say you did manage to achieve any 'slowing down' of the meter without actually breaking any seals, compromising the meter case security in any way at all (IE legally) that will be reflected in your account as they do check for any changes in energy usage. They'll send a guy out with a 'phantom load box' and standard meter to check on the accuracy of the meter and, if it is running slower than it should, he'll simply take the cover off and adjust it to read correctly via that adjustable shunt basically taking the brakes off a little to compensate. Yes, it's been done.

    The 'meter running backwards when welding' thing is a real phenomenon but it's only a factor with 3 phase installations and a welder across just 2 phases (huge assymetrical loads and rotten power factors). The distributors have an answer for that one unfortunately, they fit meters with detents that prevent the disk running in reverse.

    There was another old trick if you were lucky enough to have a older meter with a jewel & ball type lower bearing that wasn't set up absolutely correctly in manufacture and calibration (the lower bearing of the disk rides up on the ball to the outer edge of the fixed lower concave jewel). Under load the torque applied to the disk causes it to tilt slightly to one side in proportion to the load and, with sufficient load IE greater than the meter rating, the tilt can be enough for the register to slip out of mesh with the worm gear on the disk shaft. So taking a constant 70A load through a 60A meter (around 17kW!) could result in the meter not reading anything at all. Of course, you're likely to burn your house down if you tried this and it's not going to succeed at all on magnetic flotation bearing types which is virtually all mechanical meters these days so please DON'T try it.

    The only sure & 100% legal way to reduce your energy costs is to use less of it.
    Last edited by Skepticist; 09-07-11 at 01:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DND View Post
    I hope something works becasue I just got my power bill and I'm going to have problems paying for it with this 18% increase
    18% and there's allot more to come when carbon tax clicks in.

    So much for " The won't be a carbon tax under a government I lead "

    Next time vote for the Monkey it's you best chance for a better economy.

    Back to your problem. Disconnecting the earth should stop your meter. You'll also run the risk of electrocution + you'll be sentenced to the gallows if you are caught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B52 View Post
    18% and there's allot more to come when carbon tax clicks in.

    So much for " The won't be a carbon tax under a government I lead "

    Next time vote for the Monkey it's you best chance for a better economy.

    Back to your problem. Disconnecting the earth should stop your meter. You'll also run the risk of electrocution + you'll be sentenced to the gallows if you are caught.
    Oh well I will not have to pay power bills then,, cheapest rent around

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    Quote Originally Posted by B52 View Post
    18% and there's allot more to come when carbon tax clicks in.

    So much for " The won't be a carbon tax under a government I lead "

    Next time vote for the Monkey it's you best chance for a better economy.
    Almost two-thirds of Australia's economists say the government's carbon pricing package is good economic policy, while even more oppose the Coalition's plan.

    A new study by the Economic Society of Australia, released today, found 60 per cent of economists believed the move to put a price on carbon from mid-2012 and to use the funds to benefit households, industry and clean energy was sound economic policy.

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    Lifting the neutral wire (the black one) on the older meters will stop them in their tracks (they require a ground reference to operate as most motors do).
    Consequently, the neutral wire is usually crimped into the main neutral feed tag to discourage people from doing such.

    I'm not sure if the modern digital meters stop working in the same way, never tried it.

    Did try putting one of those 'super magnets' (rare earth) next to a meter once - didn't do anything.

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    well 25 years ago i reconnected our power which was disconnect in those day.
    two weeks later had too suit asking who connected the power back well ummmm ME sir, had to sign something and said will get back to you. week later knock on the door have issued me to appear in court, which i did they gave me a suspended sentence and waved the possible $10000.00 fine.

    i dont touch power box's anymore
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    My new meter installed yesterday, am all ears to a fix!
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Madness"

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    Years ago a friend who was on centerlink and had little money drilled a small hole in the side of the old disk style meter.

    On a cold night he inserted a tooth pick in the hole which stopped the meter and then fired up the two bar radiator.

    I also remember talk of a black box on talk radio with warnings it gets very very hot and might burn your house down. I "think" it might have been a large electromagnet placed on the wall behind the meter.

    With the advent of smart meters I think all these tricks are now dead. My meter which is a co generation meter has as one of its display on the mode switch a tamper indicator. I have no idea what that does. Perhaps if you try and screw with the cover or programming or maybe bypassing perhaps ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Studio1 View Post
    Lifting the neutral wire (the black one) on the older meters will stop them in their tracks (they require a ground reference to operate as most motors do).
    Consequently, the neutral wire is usually crimped into the main neutral feed tag to discourage people from doing such.

    I'm not sure if the modern digital meters stop working in the same way, never tried it.

    Did try putting one of those 'super magnets' (rare earth) next to a meter once - didn't do anything.
    I personally wouldn't try this one - being a meter fixer in a previous life - there are many installations where the mains neutral goes through the meter to the MEN on the switchboard (older installations) disconnecting this would force the return path via the earth - on this type of installation the earth is typically 3 bits of twisted copper soldered to a piece of water pipe in the garden. Eventually when the earth dies - you get 240v backtracking to every earthed item waiting for a path to the real earth........ typically a person touching a tap....... deadly stuff

    anyways - it also means that you need to break the meter seal - and they report these every 3 months

    As for newer installations - the Neutral is a 4mm soldered to the Main Neutral, cutting it will stop the meter from recording - but after 1 - 0 consumption read - you get flagged up into the system for checking, then you will be fines and so it goes



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