Smart Meter remote connect/disconnect switch — a possible fire hazard

There are many reasons for Smart Meter fires, based on investigations.

The most serious are problems inherent to the Smart Meters themselves or their operation.

Sage Associates Fire produced this report in July 2010

Portland General Electric is removing 70,000 Smart Meters which have a remote connect/disconnect switch because they say it causes a fire risk.

That switch is a common feature in AMI/Smart Meters and a selling point for utilities.

“We weren’t able to find evidence that this is a great deal for ratepayers,” said Sean Voskuhl, state director of AARP. “There’s a lot of interest in smart meters, but unfortunately PSO wasn’t able to back it up with facts.”

But AEP-PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford disagreed, saying the meters will cut costs associated with manual meter reading and allow for remote connects and disconnects.

A heavy manual switch, that takes a great deal of strength, turns off power to a building. Yet, inside Smart Meters is a mechanism that supposedly is capable of doing the same thing.

Electrician Lance Houston wrote an article asking a number of important questions and calling for an investigation in 2011.

One of the novel features in the new meters is the incorporation of an internal disconnect switch that the power company purports safely disconnects/reconnects power to the dwelling it supplies by remote control. This disconnect feature is a new and significant change to the old style analog meters. The safety of the new disconnect feature is in question.

… The potential for arcing in the new disconnect feature should be carefully scrutinized. Incidents of fire are reason enough to halt installations.
Unknown Safety of New On-Off Switch in Smart Meters: CPUC Meter Safety Testing Confirmation Needed.

Norman Lambe, home adjuster in Los Angeles, California, warned of arcing and fires in articles he wrote in 2012.[i]

Patrick Wrigley, former PG&E employee, testified at a CPUC hearing in Santa Rosa in 2012.

I was a meter reader for nine and a half years with PG&E in the Marin office before I was illegally fired because I was not intimidated into being quiet with the problems I saw firsthand regarding smart meters’ inaccuracy.

The fact that PG&E knows that they do catch on fire when they are remotely turned back on when a customer who is delinquent in their bill finally pays their bill. These meters catch fire. They know it, and they are covering it up.

Many utilities, including PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, have the remote connect/disconnect switch in all of their Smart Meters.

Surges, which occur when the power is turned back on, have also caused Smart Meter fires and caused the meters to explode off buildings.

This dangerous situation continues. Do you have a Smart Meter on  your home or business?



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