My outdoor meter can and main shutoff panel are mounted on a rotting board. It looks like someone installed untreated plywood and didn't prime before painting. I'd like to replace this at some point; ideally before the panels fall off. The rubber seal on that SE wire could also use a redo.

On the one hand this seems like an easy DIY project. Unmount the panels. Replace the board. Prime and paint to match siding. Remount the panels. I would be comfortable doing all these things. But I can't get into that meter pan.

So I'm trying to figure out how many of these people I get involved: the utility (Dominion Electric), a licensed electrician, a carpenter/handyman. How would you go about getting this done with reasonable expense?

Behind the rotting board I expect to find plywood or OSB sheathing and wood studs. I was thinking to mount BCX plywood with stainless steel screws into the studs; then apply waterproof primer and exterior paint. What materials would you recommend for the replacement board?

Outdoor meter pan and main shutoff

  • The professional electrician is who to call. They will know the utilities methods and requirements to get a temporary disconnect and reconnect, they should also be able to replace the board. The meter can itself should likely be replaced. In my part of the world that concentric cable entering the top of your meter is no longer allowed, anytime a repair is needed they install a proper mast and replace the service drop as well.
    – Tyson
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


See @Tyson's comment - Let's start with your comment:

On the one hand this seems like an easy DIY project.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but its not. Note that I and others can see all kinds of things that also need to be repaired electrically. Also in order to pull the meter base and enclosed breaker of the board you want to replace you will need to call your utility company for a disconnect/reconnect. This means that the project will have to be permitted and inspected in most areas of the county (USA).

A good electrical contractor can handle the work including the material to hang it on to fit your location. Beware there may be other damage to structural timber if moisture has penetrated the wall and rotted them out.

How would you go about getting this done with reasonable expense?

What do you consider a reasonable expense? In my area something like this would run around $1500 to $2000 for repair and that would not include repair of any unforeseen damage.

Hope this helps and good luck

  • That’s what I was afraid of (the price). Good to hear an electrician should be able to do it end to end. Guess I’ll have one come out and make a list of other repairs. I don’t have a problem pulling my own permits (including drawing plans) but if it starts involving weather proofing and reconnecting to Al SE cable I’ll probably just pay a pro to do it.
    – Stanwood
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 14:07
  • 1
    Any particular other things I should get taken care of?
    – Stanwood
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 14:08
  • @Stanwood - Hard to say without being on site or have much more information than we can have with with your question. Commented May 14, 2018 at 12:33

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