Meter boxes tend to have a pretty prominent position on the exterior of your house. For many homes, they sit right at the front and draw a lot of attention. They can almost define people’s opinions on your whole house.
This means looking after your meter boxes is a worthwhile if uninspiring task. Regular care can also make a big difference in terms of preventing problems like corrosion or damage.
In this post, we’re going to look at exactly what you need to do to keep your meter boxes looking and performing their best. We’ll share simple steps you can take to tend to your meter box, as well as cover some cleaning tips to make sure it always looks smart.
But first up, we’re going to start by explaining just why it’s so important to maintain your meter boxes well.
Why Maintaining Your Meter Box Matters
Tending to your meter boxes is hardly an enjoyable job, so it’s tempting to dismiss the need for it.
However, like most things, a cared-for meter box stays stronger, lasts longer, and looks smarter. This makes maintenance a task worth tackling, however dull it might be.
If you need more convincing, here are some specific benefits of looking after your meter box:
- Preventing severe damage
Taking the time to check your meter boxes for small defects will give you a chance to make small fixes before they become major problems. For example, replacing a latch is a speedy and simple step, but if the latch snaps completely it will leave your meter box door at risk in high winds or heavy rain.
Check your latch regularly and you’ll see if it starts to snag or weaken, so you can implement this straightforward fix quickly and keep your meter boxes safe.
- Protecting your meter
The average meter box is home to an important piece of household kit – your energy meters. If they go wrong, you could end up taking inaccurate energy readings and even overpaying your bills. Having a meter replaced can also be disruptive and has to be managed by your energy company.
A strong and secure meter box will protect your meters from the elements and even vandalism. A damaged one will leave them at risk. Carrying out regular maintenance will make sure your meters are always safe and save a lot of hassle in the long run.
- It’s your legal obligation
This one might sound a little extreme but it is true – it is your legal duty to maintain and repair your meter boxes. Energy meters are expensive and difficult to replace, so the property owner is required by law to avoid this being necessary for as long as possible.
How to inspect your meter box
One thing you should definitely do regularly is take a few minutes to check over your meter boxes. This will let you spot any small faults and fix them before they become big issues.
This is easily done when you’re taking a meter reading, but if you have a smart meter you should make sure to do a quick inspection every couple of months.
Here are a few simple checks you can do to keep your meter box well-maintained:
- Are there any cracks or chips in the box? Surface level damage needs to be noted and monitored in case it starts to affect the integrity of the box.
- Is there any corrosion or rust? Obviously, this is for metal meter boxes only but small patches can quickly grow bigger.
- Is water getting in? Even if there aren’t large puddles or damp patches, water stains are still a sign moisture is seeping in. If it’s in the box it might start affecting the meter itself, so it will need addressing quickly.
- Does the latch still open and close smoothly? Make sure the key can still get a good grip on the turning mechanism too.
- Does the door still open smoothly? If it opens to quickly or swings wildly the meter box hinges might need replacing – if it’s creaking or slow you may just need to oil them.
If any aspect of your meter box isn’t working as you’d expect or is starting to fail, it’s a good idea to get replacement parts ordered. Fitting new latches and other meter box parts
How to clean an external energy meter box
The impact of cleaning your meter box is often overlooked, and this is a shame.
After all, keeping it clean doesn’t just affect how well a meter box works, it also helps lift the look of your whole house. A tatty, tired meter box can make a serious dent in the kerb appeal of a property – regular cleaning will help protect it.
We’re not going to lie that this is a fun job but it is an essential one. And if you follow the steps below it can be a quick, straightforward one too.
Step One: Gather your cleaning supplies
Grab a pair of gloves, a couple of soft cloths and a bucket of warm soapy water. Basic washing-up liquid is perfect as it will cut through any grease and grime without damaging the finish of your meter box.
Step Two: Clear out any debris
Start by getting rid of any leaves, cobwebs or debris inside and outside the box. You can do this by hand, but a little brush will help you get into the corners or crevices of the box. Just take care around the meter itself.
Step Three: Soap the O=outside of the box
First, make sure the door of your meter box is tightly closed to make sure no water is going to wash in. Then simply start scrubbing the outer box clean. Try not to use too much water so it doesn’t wash into the box. Most boxes are built to withstand the elements so they can survive washing – feel free to use your elbow grease to get any ingrained dirt off.
Step Four: Rinse
Once you’ve finished soaping, it is time to rinse. Do this slowly, with clean soap-free water, and a cloth. Don’t dump the bucket of water over the box as this could force water inside. For the same reason, you should never use a hose or a pressure washer on the surface of your meter box. For older or painted boxes it might even damage them.
What can you do when your meter box starts to fail?
General wear and tear is inevitable when it comes to meter boxes. However well you take of it, it won’t always look as crisp and clean as the day you installed it.
If you maintain your meter box well, this will take longer to happen. And if it starts to look a little tired, but still performs perfectly there are more in-depth updates you can make like painting your meter box or replacing the door.
And when fixes like these are not enough anymore, you can always install a new over box in a few simple steps.
No one wants to waste their time or money on repairing or replacing their meter boxes. While starting with a high-quality meter box is one way to reduce the chance of encountering issues, regular care, cleaning and maintenance of your meter box are also vital.