Sarasota Electrician Confirms Problems with FPL’s so-called “Smart” Meters

CHASM talked this week with “Thomas,”[1]* a licensed electrician with his own business based in Sarasota. We asked Thomas if he had witnessed any problems with the so-called “smart” meters being installed in Sarasota County and throughout many counties in Florida.

This is what Thomas told us:

    A ‘smart’ meter recently installed on my client’s Sarasota home by FPL’s installers, melted down and damaged my client’s wiring. The damage began in the meter can. FPL blamed it on a loose connection in the meter can and denied any responsibility for it. I can’t prove that FPL’s “smart” meter caused the damages, but the circumstantial case is strong, and I believe the “smart” meter played a role.

    I can confirm that these meters will trip ground and arc fault interrupters.

    I’ve also seen shoddy installations by FPL’s installers. For example, I recently completed a new service installation. It was only two weeks old, and then FPL’s installers showed up to install their “smart” meter. I was not there when they were, but when I later saw their work, it looked like they had run into trouble trying to install their “smart” meter, and had nearly pried the new service off the wall. The homeowner also told me that the FPL subcontractors showed up in a beat-up truck and did not appear to be professional.

    I will not allow one of these meters to be installed on my own home and have told FPL not to install one on my home, as have my family members for their homes.

Another Sarasota-based client of Thomas shared with him that she had been on an important web-based professional consultation when, unbeknownst to her, FPL’s installers arrived at her home, did not knock or otherwise announce their presence, and quickly installed the “smart” meter. The resulting interruption in her electric service caused her to lose important work, according to “Thomas.”

Thomas also confirmed what we’ve heard from other licensed electricians, that proper, responsible protocol for installing an electric meter includes turning off the main service breaker during the switch-out.

However, this is evidently not being done by FPL’s installers, as they race northward through Sarasota County, installing the “smart” meters whether the resident is home or not, and typically not even bothering to ask the resident for permission to turn off the main power service.

Thomas stated that switching-out the meter while under load has the potential to permanently damage the building’s electrical wiring.

Unfortunately, based on all we already know about “smart” meters, CHASM is not surprised to hear about the direct experiences Thomas reported to us.

CHASM finds it chilling that millions of these defective devices called “smart” meters will continue to jeopardize the lives and property of millions of Floridians. Most remain unaware of the meltdown and fire threat, even as the problem is clearly evident for anyone who cares to look.[2]

NOTES:

[1] Name changed to protect his identity.
We confirmed that Thomas holds an active license with the Florida Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board (see: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/ )

[2] For example, see the sworn testimony of Sandi Maurer of California:
http://emfsafetynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/TESTIMONY-OF-SANDI-MAURER-A.11-03-014.pdf
Three state utility regulatory agencies in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Illinois are investigating Smart Meter fires. The utility PECO has admitted to 26 Smart Meter fires and Commonwealth Edison admitted to three Smart Meter fires. Fires related to Smart Meters are reported in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, Texas, Australia, and Canada. [California] PG&E to date has publicly denied their Smart Meters explode or cause fires, even though media, fire departments and customers have reported them. This issue should be
investigated in California.

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