Smart Meter Fires Blamed on Old Wiring and Improper Installation
December 1, 2011 3 Comments
Smart Meter Fires Blamed on Old Wiring Improper Installation and other.
My understanding is, if the fire is related to older home wiring incompatibility then the fire liability fall on the side of the homeowner/renter not the manufacturer or power company.
Florida TV news, Contact 5 investigates fire complaints from Smart Meters. The concern seems to be related to incompatibility between the new meters and older electrical home wiring. Florida resident, “Margie Albernaz woke up in July to the smell of smoke in her Greenacres home. “I went over to the FPL meter and it had caught on fire, it was all black smoke and charred,” said Albernaz.
The report continues, “After some more digging, we discovered similar fire concerns have been reported across the country with different power companies and different brands of smart meters.”
But the Florida utility assured residents that it was nothing to worry about, smart meters don’t cause fires….however a spokesperson for the utility said they’d responded to 30 complaints related to meter fires and that “you could have wiring issues if you have dimming lights or power issues on one end of your home and not the other.”
Palo Alto Power surge, raises questions about Smart Meters, “a good example of how sometimes the old way is the good way”.“Mindy Spatt, communications director for The Utility Reform Network (TURN), said the utility-consumer advocacy group received many complaints about surges damaging appliances when the SmartMeters were first installed. In the best-case scenario, the event in East Palo Alto is an additional cause for concern, she said.”
Comparing analog to the new meters, she added, “In the collective memory of TURN, we have not seen similar incidents with analog meters.”
Power Surge KTVU video burns out Smart Meters, and appliances.
From You Tube:
“This is the aftermath of one of those new smart meters not being properly installed. The guy who installed it did not know what he was doing and caused the main electric line to the box to become lose and over time it ended up touching the electric meter/box casing causing a fire and a huge firework festival on the side of our house. If I was not home we would have lost the house and our 3 dogs. We are NOT happy with our electric company and we were NOT given a choice if we wanted the smart meter or not.
You can see on the front of the box where the wire touched and started the whole fiasco. Mind you the electric company when I called in the next day as instructed to claimed it was our fault and we’d have to pay for repairs. We aren’t paying for a darn thing and we will be filing a claim with the electric company. Thanks to them I can hardly sleep now and I am paranoid beyond belief.”
Action Line: Remodeler finds SmartMeter interference with circuit breakers
By Dennis Rockstroh of mercurynews.com Posted: 09/12/2010
Q One item you did not cover in your Sept. 7 SmartMeter article was interference with arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI).
This is a type of circuit breaker that code requires in new and remodel construction. Its job is to detect arcing, which has been shown to be a cause of fires. Normal circuit breakers will not always break when arcing occurs. If arcing is detected by the AFCI, the breaker trips, stopping the potentially dangerous arc.
Long story short, I did some remodeling recently. City code required that I use an AFCI for one of the bedroom circuits that was being remodeled. Some weeks after I completed the remodel, the AFCI started tripping. This meant I had to inspect each junction box and outlet to determine where an arc might be occurring.
Coincidentally, the problem started not long after a SmartMeter was installed toward the end of the remodel. Finally, after severe frustration, I phoned PG&E for help on this matter. A crew came out and looked at the AFCI breaker for a few seconds. One went to the truck and came back with a conventional meter, a mechanically driven version, and swapped it for the SmartMeter that was installed some days before. It took some prodding, but eventually one of the PG&E crew told me that they have been observing that AFCIs are sensitive to the meter’s radio transmissions.
Dave Zittin, San Jose CA
Houston Texas News report on another situation where a new wireless utility meter has exploded. According to the article, “The power company not only refuses to fix the meter case that left Vallain’s [A Houston Grandmother] family without power, but now representatives say the problem never happened. “They said it was never an explosion, and my granddaughter and I saw it, and he [the Centerpoint technician] jumped back himself,” Vallain said. ”
According to this news article a Georgia family is displaced by a house fire, the fire department says it was an electrical accident, and the family blames the new Smart Meters installed two weeks ago.
” The Burns family was watching TV when the fire started around 10:00 a.m. Monday morning. Family members say sparks started flying from the TV and power box. Around the same time, down the street, another homeowner’s TV reportedly started sparking and smoking. A daughter says their electrical problems started after Georgia Power installed new meters. Angela Dent, Appling, GA: “That’s when we noticed the changes. It also happened at my brother’s house…his TV’s have been acting strange…popping and surging in and out…her lights have been dimming also.”
PG&E recently installed ‘smart’ meters in my neighborhood. They do not tell you when they will come, but warn you to shut off things like computers that might be damaged when power is restored. When I arrived home, I only had power in my kitchen. The PGE repairman said that installation of smart meters was frying many meter receiver boxes. He was not qualified to fix it, and the power remained off for another 24 hours while PGE scheduled a qualified repairman to come out. Apparently this result is common in older subdivisions (mine was built around 1975) when the smart meters were installed. The older boxes, due to wear and age, burned out when PGE put in the new meters. The disturbing thing is that PGE will NOT replace the burned out boxes -they send out a guy with a box of spare parts, who cobbles together a sort of replica of the old box. I wonder how many home fires will result from PGE’s installation of the no-so-Smart meters. (CPUC Complaint, 11/2009, Concord CA)
The following letter and photo were sent to the EMF Safety Network from a California fire department captain (Ross) who saved his home from a potential Smart Meter fire in 2009. PG&E has admitted that Smart Meters have interfered with GFI’s and AFCI’s, but they have not admitted to any connection with a Smart Meter fire. Smart Meter Arcing Hazard
After a Smart Meter was installed in this Florida woman’s home she said the meter “caught fire and fried my beautiful new kitchen” – over $31,000 in damages to many of her home appliances. The Florida power company refuses to take the blame. See this video: Help Me Howard, FPL Smartmeter
The following reader comments were posted on the above online story:
(Boater39) “In our apartment complex, we had a fire last week at our sprinkler pump. Afterwards, I went to investigate and it was the electric meter that burned up. Took out decent-sized FP&L feeder in the process. I have an electrical background, and from my professional experience, whatever caused the meter to burn up was a dead short carrying a very large amount of current. Based on the damage, the problem was AT THE METER–not at the customer equipment attached to the meter. (like I said, I have professional experience). At the time I found it strange, until I saw this report on TV…. I will be sending some pictures to Patrick today–they can use them on whatever followup they want. It appears that we have a major design flaw with these new meters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
(Jenny White) “After FPL installed the new meter at my dad’s house all his wires were burned as well and the house almost caught on fire. The problem is those new meter.”
(April) “I too had my smartmeter burn out and had a hell of a time getting FPL to fix everything. Their meter burned the wiring in my home behind the box that they said was up to me to get fixed on my own and that they could only repair the meter and wires from the pole to the box. I had 2 electricians come out and they said it was an FPL problem. Ended up there is an outside company that installs the meters for FPL and they ended up paying for my problem after FPL denied my claim for them to pay for the damages.”
Fire Tears Through Cutlet Bay Home A family in Florida suspects a Smart Meter was the cause of their house fire. According to the article, ” Fire investigators have not released the cause of the blaze. A relative told Local 10 the family believes a recently installed Smart Meter may have started the fire. Florida Power and Light says the company will investigate the allegation…”
In Houston Texas, “Local 2 investigates Smart Meter fires” reports they looked into homeowners complaints of Smart Meter fires and found some people are left with no electricity and major damage to their homes, including burnt out appliances after a Smart Meter has been installed by the utility. See Video.
“Charles Phillips saw smoke coming from the transformer in his backyard one morning last November. When he went out to inspect the damage, he said he saw a CenterPoint Energy contractor at his meter box with a fire extinguisher. He told me it had caught on fire, Phillips said.”
“Inside Phillip’s home, two TVs were fried, his air conditioner and garage door opener stopped working, and all of the wires and cables hooked up to his electronics were melted from the jolt his electronics took when a fire sparked after the installer removed his old meter. Phillips was left with a total of about $2,500 in damages.”
According to the article, Centerpoint, the utility for Houston Texas, has admitted the connection between fire risk and Smart Meters, stating there has been less than 100 problems. “CenterPoint’s LeBlanc said the problem is mostly in older homes where wiring is not up to code or something has caused a strain on the wires running into the meter box.”