I am adding a workshop, and upgrading my service from 200A to 400A. The Shop will get a 200A panel and the existing House panel will be backfed from the main. I want to bring the new House feeder into the existing meter base and install my own private GE electric meter. Can I use any serviceable 200A single phase 240V meter such as I might find refurbished on EBAY? like the dial ones, versus the digital ones? Does NEC have any rules on installing my own meter? enter image description here

I was looking at something like this: enter image description here

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    Why are you interested in a second meter? Will you be tracking energy usage? Are you renting the house so you wish to charge accordingly for electricity? I think that a standard analog meter would be better since the digital ones could require activation by the power company. I'd recommend getting guidance from the power company to be honest. As long as you're not tampering with the 400 amp meter which your power company uses I don't think they care what you do after the meter. – MonkeyZeus Oct 21 '20 at 15:48
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    @MonkeyZeus Power company advice can be of limited value, since they follow a completely different codebook (NESC vs NEC). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 '20 at 15:50
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    This seems to have good info bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/public/pdf/idc-037760.pdf – MonkeyZeus Oct 21 '20 at 15:54
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    I want to be able to calculate how much of the power the shop is using. Even though the occupant is also the shop occupant, we want to be able to split cost for the workshop. And Harper: as to 200 A being overkill for a shop... It may be for now with 1200 sqft just on the bottom floor and MANY 240V appliances (two very large 40A welders, 50A CNC plasma cutter, Swamp Cooler, Air Compressor, CNC mill...) – mark f Oct 21 '20 at 16:11
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    Heck, even pay an electrician to come out and assess your plan (consultation) since you're planning to do it yourself and don't want to trick someone into investing their time talking to you. Like I said, everything after the main power meter is YOUR responsibility. – MonkeyZeus Oct 21 '20 at 16:19

Yes, you can do that and as you have noted, there are many used KWH meters for sale on EBAY and other places. A properly installed meter base along with a listed meter will do what you want and be compliant. It's not uncommon for such meters to be used with solar energy systems and such.

I recommend the old-fashioned mechanical kind vs. the new digital models. They are simpler and more reliable in my opinion plus they look cool. I like the spinning disk vs. a tiny LCD "spinning" one way or the other.

  • I've seen it done a lot. Just make sure you don't buy a meter that was ripped off from the power co. They can remove it without warning... and yes, the spinning disk was cool. +1 – JACK Oct 21 '20 at 16:43
  • The "Spinner" allows you get an "instantaneous" use measurement say when comparing several large loads. (Rotations per fixed time period) – mark f Oct 21 '20 at 16:47
  • @markf Yup, and you can do it on smart meters too if you read the documentation to figure out where they hid it :) – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 '20 at 17:04

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