How To Reset Electrical Meter

Electrical Meter in Washington

As a building owner, you can manage your electric bills by tracking how much energy you use. Finding trends in your monthly use of energy even enables you to audit your energy supplier. The way you track energy use is through an electrical meter. The powerlines of your building are fed into your meter, and your meter is where energy flow is recorded. The data shows itself as a series of gauges and numerical readouts. Knowing how meters work and where to find them is what we cover in detail here.

Once you’re familiar with your electrical meter, your energy supplier can be held accountable if you reset that meter. Doing so forces your energy supplier to only document each month’s use.

Why Should You Reset Your Electrical Meter?

Resetting your own electrical meter allows you to track your energy usage more accurately than a paper bill can. Energy suppliers aren’t responsible for resetting your meter when they visit to check its readings. In these cases, an electrician reads your usage based on a prior reading being subtracted from your current one. This common scenario makes it important that you reset your meter yourself. You can also reset your meter if it’s not working properly.

Here are a few more reasons why resetting your electrical meter might be necessary:

  • Energy suppliers and building owners should reset new meters
  • Confusing readings when subtracting from a current one
  • Resetting a meter in order to keep tabs on what you’re being charged
  • Learning more about your energy use via inspections

What Does an Electric Meter Consist Of?

The electrical meter is a gearbox that receives electricity and tallies how much energy you’ve been using. We use electrical meters for billing purposes and to protect against power surges. Not only do you see what you’re consuming, but your electric provider accesses the same usage data you do. Resetting your meter is preferential but can help you to personally account for monthly costs. Modern meters are so precise that they’ll calibrate your energy costs live.

The live cost of your electrical consumption changes due to the time of day and the local demand for energy in your neighborhood. It’s a live, active clock that essentially powers the gauges on your meter. This clock is sensitive to when and how much electricity you receive, collecting that data as energy enters it. The tiny gears within your meter rotate as a result of the electricity passing into your building. These revolutions of power are measured in intervals of watt per hours.

Common Problems That Resetting a Meter Can Solve

Like meters, electrical appliances need a consistent source of power to operate on. Power outages in your neighborhood, for example, will call for you to reset your meter. Readings that are frozen or aren’t calibrating your energy use can be remedied by restarting your meter. Others will, instead, reset their gauges as a result of finding higher bills after installing a smart electrical meter. Lacking the right upgrades for such digital meters can result in forced resets. These digital meters, like traditional ones, still benefit from a reset if the power goes down.

Here are some signs that might suggest that resetting your meter is necessary:

  • Reading digital electric meters with error messages
  • Hearing digital or traditional meters making loud noises
  • Finding a digital meter with a wireless antenna lacking a signal

Finally Resetting Your Electronic Meter

The enclosure of your electric meter should be removed. This enclosure protects your dials and the gears operating behind them. The cover is also transparent, giving you a view of what you will work on prior to doing a reset. Behind the transparent cover is a face plate that gives your dials a resting surface. This also should be removed. Meter dials are often set in place via spring gears, which enables you to freely spin the arrows on your dials in a direction you want.

This manual process requires you to adjust each individual dial one by one. Adjusting your meter this way does no harm. Your meter doesn’t store information apart from what results from the gear shifts as you receive energy. As might be expected, resetting a digital electric meter is much simpler. You’ll only need to access your digital meter and then locate its reset button.

Shutting Your Electric Meter Off If Necessary

If the reset you need is about returning power, then find your meter, which is located outside. Look to see where power lines enter your building. If your meter is enclosed, you’ll need to open its front-window panel. The largest cable you find connected to the meter must be followed with your hand. This cable will lead you to a switch or lever that powers off your meter. The lever is set right between your building and the energy supply from your local power lines. This means that both the electrical supply to your building and its meter get cut off by this switch.

How to Interpret Your Electric Meter for Future Readings

In a horizontal manner, a typical meter displays up to six tiny dials, but you won’t find any less than four. Each dial’s display changes when the meter’s gears are moved by the electricity your building receives. The shifts and changes made by each dial result in a numerical sequence that you’ll need to record. Each dial has on it a numeric sequence running from zero to nine. A row of six dials reads as if one number though each dial represents its own digit. The six digits read as one number.

If, for example, the first dial reads five followed by the second dial reading three, then your first two digits are 5 and 3. Let’s say that the remaining four dials in this example read as 2, 9, 8 and 6, then the final digits you have are 5, 3, 2, 9, 8 and 6. Just be sure to only read the number each arrow points to within each dial from left to right. Record the smallest number you find if an arrow sits between two digits. The final number we received in our example is stated as 532,986 kilowatt-hours.

Reading your usage on a digital electric meter is simpler. With these wireless modules, there’s no need for a technician to visit your meter for its reading. Though digital meters don’t reset on their own, you might find resetting them for a new reading each month as convenient.

Why Partnering With an HVAC Professional Is Ideal

Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning encourages you to ask one of our professional HVAC technicians about your electrical meter. We offer our expertise during consultations and home visits within Seattle and its surrounding regions. Just be ready to discuss the additional appliances you have in your building. From duct cleaning to installing water heaters, we offer a balance of services to manage your central heating and air conditioning. Get in touch now, and let’s speak about annual and emergency services for your HVAC appliances.