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Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Hi guys. Thanks for the good works. I continue to learn some here.

I will appreciate any information on Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters for power metering.

Major problem client has is that consumers bypass their meters so as to enjoy free power. This has cost the client much lost revenues and has impacted negatively on the overall power distribution/generation system financial performance.

Any ideas will be appreciated

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Step One:
Check records of KWHrs delivered to each distribution circuit against billing records to identify the worst circuits.
On the worst circuits, add a KWHr meter to each transformer and check the transformer output against the billing records to identify the worst transformer secondary circuits.
On the transformers with the worst discrepancies add pole mounted KWHr meters to each consumer's circuit to identify the thieves.
Get your legal department involved.
It is inappropriate to discuss the various method by which electrical energy is stolen. The thread will then become a text book for thieves.
If methods of theft are discussed this thread will rapidly disappear.

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Tamper resistent meter seals. Prosecute energy theft.

Look for teal tale signs. Maybe install a second meter to verify first.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

All household meters that I've seen are sealed in some manner.

I won't get into methods that could be used to arrange for the meter to not see all of the power being used, despite it being sealed.

If there is a need to document a meter discrepancy at a particular end user, then it is important that the installation of the second meter necessary to monitor the original one at the end user, not be known to that end user, and preferably be inaccessible to that end user. How you arrange for that to be done ... is up to you.

There are, of course, other methods besides power-metering to establish the existence of abnormalities at particular end users.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

I won't go into detail but I have seen a number of creative methods of energy theft that did not compromise the seals on the meter.

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

https://hjarnett.com/products/revenue-protection/t... is one example of a check meter that might be mounted on a transformer as discussed above.

Some of the newer electronic smart meters will log interruptions. A meter with many more interruptions than those of the neighbors would be suspect. Periods of non-use following an interruption also.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Typical Meter seals are made from small wire that is easily broken. These seals are primarily to allow after the fact detection of tampering.

In locations with a history of theft, utilities typically use heavy duty locking rings to increase the tamper resistance. Prior to restoring power after a theft is detected, a customer may have to pay to upgrade the meter base to accommodate specific kinds of locks.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

The electronic meters have fewers ways to be tampered with, but will cost more. Even communicating meters would help because they can report outages.

Another way is to place all the meters in a locked room.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Anyone who can hack a smart meter probably makes enough money to not care about stealing electricity.

If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Many thanks guys.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Our 'Smart Meters' communicate back to the office.
They have a 'tamper detect' feature that is pretty good at catching when someone is messing with the meter/socket connection.

As others have noted on this thread, that is useless if the bad guys are diverting power around the meter.
There are several commercially available widgets on the market that can accurately measure the output load of a distribution xmfr over time.
If this output (after an allowance for service wire losses) exceeds the sum of the house meters, then we know at least one of these customers has been a bad boy.
After that, we just check each service wire output at the xmfr to the corresponding meter to find the bad one or ones.

We have detected a number of cases that turned out to be marijuana grow-ops.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

I have encountered a number of bypass connections that would only be detected by tinfoil's check metering on the supply transformer.
I wish that I had some pictures of a bypass connection that had been made during construction and was hidden inside a concrete wall. That took some time to find.
We found one diversion that was almost comical. Some circuits in an apartment were diverted to be "steal" power from the hotel next door.
The only problem? The apartment owner also owned the hotel and the "stolen" power from the hotel was billed at the higher commercial rate than the residential rate for his apartment.
We actually saved him money be correcting the "diversion".

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

I forgot to mention that you can also review your historical billing data to detect instances where a customer diverts legacy power usage.
If this year's November bill is much lower than their November bill last year, that raises a flag to check the service out.

That will not help if they have diverted 'new' load, though.

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

I found it interesting when we found a bypass on a church. I guess theft isn't a sin when done to perform God's work?

RE: Tamper- and Bypass-proof residential/commercial meters

Some of the newer smart meters (EDMI is one such manufacturer) have a tamper switch that logs when the cover is opened, and also logs whenever someone connects to the meter with their meter configuration or read software. As others have said though, bypassing the meter altogether won't show up (apart from a trend of much lower power consumption).

Some of the ability of the client to detect such things will depend on whether they can set the metering up such that they can identify the discrepancies (e.g. site incoming meter under control of the client indicates certain consumption figures, downstream meters indicate much lower). Not much use if they don't control the metering.

EDMS Australia

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