A potentially dangerous fire caused by a faulty meter base at a gas station in Plano was prevented by quick and decisive action.
Having experienced electrical problems, the gas station owner contacted Oncor who performed an onsite inspection. Oncor quickly determined the problems were caused by a faulty electrical meter base which posed a significant safety threat. Oncor immediately terminated all electrical service to the gas station. Nisat Electric’s Master Electrician was hired to replace the faulty meter base and bring the facility’s electrical service up to code as required by Oncor prior to restoration of electrical service to the property.
The meter base and service panel are the heart of any electrical system and proper inspection and maintenance is imperative. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), electrical service panels should be inspected regularly by a professional home inspector or Licensed Master Electrician. Common defects include
- Insufficient clearance. According to the 2008 National Electrical Code, most residential electrical panels require at least a 3-foot clearance or working space in front, 30 inches of width, and a minimum headroom clearance of 6 feet, or the height of the equipment, whichever is greater.
- Aluminum branch wiring.
- Sharp-tipped panel box screws or wires damaged by these screws. Panel box cover screws must have blunt ends so they do not pierce the wires inside the box. Look for wires that pass too closely to the screw openings inside the electrical panel.
- Circuit breakers that are not properly sized.
- Oxidation or corrosion to any of the parts. Oxidized or corroded wires will increase the resistance of conductors and create the potential for arcing.
- Damage caused by rodents. Rodents have been known to chew through wire insulation in electrical panels (and other areas), creating an unsafe condition. Rodents have been electrocuted this way, leaving an unsightly mess inside the panel.
- Evidence of electrical failures, such as burned or overheated components.
- Evidence of water entry inside the electrical panel. Moisture can corrode circuit breakers so that they won’t trip, make connections less reliable, and make the equipment unsafe to touch.
- Evidence of missing or improper bonding. This may indicate improper wiring, damaged equipment or unsafe conditions.The physical contact points of the overcurrent protection device to the contact point of the buss are not making good contact. The sounds of arcing (a cracking or popping sound) may indicate this condition.
- Panels manufactured by Zinsco or Federal Pacific Electric (FPE). These panels have a reputation for being problematic and further evaluation by a qualified electrician is recommended.Zinsco panels can generally be identified by a blue and silver “Zinsco” label inside the panel, and an embossed “Magnetrip” label at the top of the panel face.FPE panels should include, if they were not removed, one of the following identifying labels:
- Federal Electric
- Federal Pacific Electric
- Federal NOARC
- Federal Pioneer
Nisat Electric will make sure your meter base repair/meter base installation and electrical wiring are current with the latest National Electrical Code. Most importantly, don’t put your property and personal safety at risk! Should you chose to hire someone else, only hire a professional licensed, insured electrician to complete any electrical work on your home.
Nisat Electric Licensure
Nisat Electric is proud to maintain three different categories of electrician licenses in the State of Texas: Electrical Contractor, Master Electrician and Journeyman Electrician. Please, take a few minutes to check out our reviews and licensure in the State of Texas and you will understand why thousands of customers entrust their electrical installation and repairs to Nisat Electric!
Visit our website or call Nisat Electric today at (214) 536-5555!