Electric Meters


Use this section, not only to identify AMR or non-AMR meters, but also to familiarize yourself with your electric meter. You will need to identify the spinning disc or scrolling caterpillar on your meter to do the breaker test section coming up. The electric meter shown to the left is an A.M.R. meter. The one to the left is a fully electronic, digital display type of electric meter. On the old type meters that you may be used to seeing, a revolving disc or wheel would indicate how much power was being used. The faster the wheel spins, the more power is being used. On the meter to the left, the disc is replaced by three black dots just under the meter reading. This is called the caterpillar. (shown here with all three dots lit just underneath the 6 in the reading 26840) The faster the dots go on and off the more power is being consumed. This being the case , the dots can be used in the breaker test to tell which breaker is making the caterpillar crawl the fastest.



The meter pictured to the right is the old style non A.M.R. type that must be read visually. How would you read a meter with dials? Start at the farthest dial to the right. That is how you read a meter with dials- from right to left.  You can see that the pointer is between 9 and 8. Always read it as the lower number which means that the fifth digit in the meter reading here would be 8. The next dial ( the fourth dial) would be seven. The next dial (the third) would be 8. The next dial would be zero.( I know it looks like the pointer is sitting directly on the 1) The last dial( actually the first dial to the left) reads 5. It seems like it should 4 because the dial is sitting almost on top of the 5 and the rule says always take the lower number. But in this case; because dial number 2 has passed zero- dial number 1 would read 5. And so the reading for this meter would be 50878. Notice the old familiar spinning disk is pointed out here. This is very helpful in conducting the breaker test because even one light going on and off in the house can be detected from the speed of the disk. A semi mechanical A.M.R. (pictured below) can be read manually in the same manner or  can be read remotely.

This meter has the old familiar disk and dials but is actually an A.M.R. What you cant see in this view is a module underneath the meter number name plate that sends the meter reading to a remote reader. This meter reading is 22473. Notice that this meter also has the disk that can be utilized in the breaker test. Notice also the meter number of this meter-90325358 . The General Electric meter above has a meter number of 73507516 .



Let's go back to reading your bill.




Disclaimer: Even small amounts of electricity can kill you. If you are unsure of what you are doing at any time as you read this web page, I urge you to stop and consult with a licensed, qualified electrician. The small cost of professional assistance may mean the difference between a job successfully completed and a tragic ending. Do not risk injury or death if you are not exactly sure of what you are doing. We take no responsibility for damage, injury or death.

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