Engineer wouldn't install the smart meter

  • 7 April 2021
  • 2 replies

We had an appointment for a Smart Meter install before Covid, but the engineer looked at our existing meters, muttered something about tails and disappeared never to be seen again! We didn’t hear anything more from PP either, but I kind of forgot about it over the past year.

Anyone else experience similar or have a clue what might have been the problem?

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11


Do you have a set of drums in the bath (messy!) or do you use a bath as a drum? If it’s the latter do you have different bath sizes to produce different drum sounds?

Or...maybe you live in Bath and you’re a drummer? 

Or...maybe it’s none of those...

My guess? existing tails (those are the thick wires that go from the main fuse or cutout to the meter (responsibility of your provider (or network operator if it’s cutout related )), and then from the meter to the consumer unit, (your responsibility), were either too short to allow positioning of the meter, or not suitable (too thin or some other issue).

He should have told you exactly what the reason for abandoning the install, after all if you need to take remedial action how would you know what to do? 

You have 2 options, either contact Magnum if it was them, and see if they can enlighten you, or use wattbot to ask PP to ask Magnum (if it was them) to ask why they didn’t proceed.

Alternatively perhaps he was just tossing a coin, heads you win, tails you lose...


Userlevel 7
Badge +3

@Bathdrummer It is quite possible the “engineer” who called had not been trained in the use of a screwdriver. Apparently some have to go on a course for this training. In January 2020 the engineer called to install my smart meters. He installed that for electricity but could not do that for gas. He said the reason was that there is an earth strap on the main gas pipe and he was not qualified to undo the jubilee clip with a screwdriver, take it off and reattach when the new meter was in place. I was told he needed to go on a course. I had offered to do it for him but no, that was not right apparently. I need to get a qualified electrician in attendance to do this.I refrained from issuing some expletives that were coming to the forefront of my vocabulary.  So he was not qualified to do a job anybody can do but he was qualified to remove the old meter from the mains supply and install a new one.

The next month another engineer called. He again refused to do it for the same reason. I offered to remove it. No. Pursuant to correspondence I then had with them it was agreed that I could remove the earth wire before the engineer turns up and put it back when he has gone!

I heard no more. I queried the position earlier this year. On the 10th March this year another engineer came and did the job. Amazed when I recounted the previous experiences. I now have smart meters although despite that on my latest statement part of my gas consumption was estimated (for a period post smart meter installation). I thought these meters sent up the data regularly or can be accessed for it when required. It appears not so.

I suspect you have experienced the same issue I did. The poor chap needs to go on a course. It is a bit like being qualified to wire up the consumer unit for the house but not qualified to do the light switch!