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  • FIRST POST
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 19th Jul 19, 12:26 PM
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    AndyCF
    Is overload a common smart fault ?
    • #1
    • 19th Jul 19, 12:26 PM
    Is overload a common smart fault ? 19th Jul 19 at 12:26 PM
    This has happened on occasion for a few months actually. It seems to be happening more often.

    Its the Secure Liberty smart meter, EON supplied. I don't recall the specific type, its probably the 100 series. Usual one anyway.

    Anyway on occasion if you press say 1 or 3 to view the daily/monthly costs it does its usual thing, for example:

    Cost Today: xx.xx
    Cost Yesterday: xx.xx
    Used Today: xx kW
    Used Yesterday: xx kW

    OVERLOAD (if it does it!) if it does not then its the usual rest of the sequence:

    PAYG
    Balance: xx.xx
    Days left: xx
    If its in F-Credit time or E-Cred then it will say so, otherwise that's it the display is complete.


    If you do nothing after about 5-10 seconds or so it jumps back to either the start of the sequence (rare) or more commonly to the 'PAYG' part of it.

    The slightly interesting thing here are:

    1. I don't actually own enough electrical appliances (I think) even if I plugged them all in including one 1Kw (yes just one kilowatt fan heater and I have stovetop kettle not electric)

    All I'm saying here is even if I managed to plug in everything and switch it all on, I do not think I could actually get it near the overloading limit! Possibly near the ring-main circuit limit or above but nowhere near the 80-100 limit of the meter.


    2. Although I can't be sure on this as it was a while ago I'm about 75% certain with the isolator off (the usual DPST switch between meter and consumer unit) it can still do it, as in with no power out.


    I did wonder if it might decide one day its had enough and thinks its a real overload and shuts down, which would be quite unfortunate.


    The reason I've not rang up about this is it happens completely at random and the chances of it doing it when the engineer appeared are probably not likely, unless its logged somehow which is "technically" possible if nothing else, its certainly got the capabilities at least to monitor loads in general. The other reason is due to the fact that last time it took three visits/attempts to get one that worked properly, no one's fault as such just bad luck but I 'd rather not go through that all again.

    Interestingly (or not) a cursory Google in general only tends to show this error for gas meters, not electric ones.

    EDIT... I managed to get a pic of it, its very poor quality though sorry however you can just make it out. I did try to brighten the pic a bit but its the best I can do at the moment:



    Its not done it again Chances of it happening when someone visits are rare.
    Last edited by AndyCF; 19-07-2019 at 12:31 PM.
Page 1
    • PennineAcute
    • By PennineAcute 19th Jul 19, 1:18 PM
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    PennineAcute
    • #2
    • 19th Jul 19, 1:18 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Jul 19, 1:18 PM
    Maybe Malc (EON Rep) could throw some light on the subject.
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 19th Jul 19, 2:02 PM
    • 345 Posts
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    AndyCF
    • #3
    • 19th Jul 19, 2:02 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Jul 19, 2:02 PM
    TBH I'm reluctant to ring about it just now as its been like it a while and I'm still waiting for some credit I put on about 4 hours ago to appear, it was actually "there" (as in the automated phone service said it was "approved") until the call was automatically diverted to a rep*** to see why it was a low number I was putting on. There was a reason for this but its too boring to put here and not important.

    Interestingly I have the text from EON confirming the payment with the auth code, but no email confirmation and the online trans history at EON shows no sign of it. This was OK until the call was interrupted. I suspect the bank will confirm the monies left too. I can't check that at this moment in time.

    *** I can see why this is done as its helpful to a degree but not always.

    Those and the gas concern, plus tbh it will cost more to call than the value of the transaction. I think I'll have to give serious thought to getting ahold of a token meter again, regardless of cost.

    EDIT... I've managed to sort the missing monies out, with a 7 minute call that might of cost me 2.10 (rough estimate if the service providers costs are correct) to recover a 1
    Last edited by AndyCF; 19-07-2019 at 3:09 PM.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 19th Jul 19, 3:37 PM
    • 294 Posts
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    Gerry1
    • #4
    • 19th Jul 19, 3:37 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Jul 19, 3:37 PM
    You're on the wrong telephone tariff. An 01/02/03 call of any duration via Tesco International Calling (free cards in Tesco stores) accessed by a Tesco SIM (99p or free online) would have cost just 4p, or free if made via the app and wi-fi.
    • PennineAcute
    • By PennineAcute 19th Jul 19, 4:01 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    PennineAcute
    • #5
    • 19th Jul 19, 4:01 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Jul 19, 4:01 PM
    Always use saynoto0870

    Doing a search on the number that I have for EON, it comes up with 08000155893

    After trying it, it also has options for PAYG as well as pay monthly.

    https://www.saynoto0870.com
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 19th Jul 19, 4:13 PM
    • 345 Posts
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    AndyCF
    • #6
    • 19th Jul 19, 4:13 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Jul 19, 4:13 PM
    I make so few calls that it does not usually matter too much. Oh I was wrong it was at most about 1.70 I think, its possible it may be less as I still have an active 'bundle' but IDK if it covers that range or not. Does not matter now its sorted anyway, that at least.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 19th Jul 19, 6:52 PM
    • 294 Posts
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    Gerry1
    • #7
    • 19th Jul 19, 6:52 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Jul 19, 6:52 PM
    Wearing my tinfoil hat, I can confirm that this is the unpublicised Peak Demand facility temporarily kicking in, probably as a result of a glitch or a test routine.

    This won't be officially revealed until the smart meter rollout has been completed, then the velvet glove (the shiny In Home Devices that are supposed to save you money, but won't) will turn out to conceal the iron fist (Time of Day tariffs that make electricity prohibitively expensive at the times you want to use it).

    When the grid is struggling to meet the maximum demand, if you use more than a permitted amount of power at peak times (say 5kW) the rate will rocket to nudge you to use less.

    One day you'll probably see SHED LOAD displayed instead. Sadly, it doesn't mean you have shedloads of money, it means that you didn't heed the warnings to cut down and are a refusenik, so push has become shove: you've been remotely disconnected, i.e. your load has been shed until the grid can meet the demand.

    Of course I'm being flippant, but I'm sure smart meters have all those rationing functions built in for use if / when they become necessary. But many thanks for being brave enough to get one, your sacrifices will mean that my dumb meter will keep my lighting and heating on !
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 19th Jul 19, 7:28 PM
    • 2,472 Posts
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    Carrot007
    • #8
    • 19th Jul 19, 7:28 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Jul 19, 7:28 PM
    Of course I'm being flippant, but I'm sure smart meters have all those rationing functions built in for use if / when they become necessary.
    Originally posted by Gerry1

    You would be supprised at how smart they aint!


    And without guarenteed communication constantly (they are contacted once a day or once a month (and maybe just once a month mostly even if you have 1/2 hour intervals)) none of what you say is possible.


    But keep your hat on!
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 20th Jul 19, 7:54 AM
    • 345 Posts
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    AndyCF
    • #9
    • 20th Jul 19, 7:54 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Jul 19, 7:54 AM
    One day you'll probably see SHED LOAD displayed instead. Sadly, it doesn't mean you have shedloads of money, it means that you didn't heed the warnings to cut down and are a refusenik, so push has become shove: you've been remotely disconnected, i.e. your load has been shed until the grid can meet the demand.
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    Unless said signal is going to be transmitted via the mains grid itself, that's not going to be a problem. Unless a "keep alive" signal must be received every few hours etc. That latter part is quite a scary thought actually, I don't see that happening as the comms are not really reliable enough generally speaking (not smart meters just generally) to risk this kind of thing, not to mention the possibility of opening a huge can-o-worms from a legal point of view too.

    But many thanks for being brave enough to get one, your sacrifices will mean that my dumb meter will keep my lighting and heating on !
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    As a topic I mentioned a few days ago it is actually just about possible to get rid of one still for a conventional meter however it does cost and involves quite a few hoop jumping steps. It can be done but its a headache.


    On a more serious note a 'time of day' tariff I -can- foresee in a few years time. There is some sense (in one way) in doing that I suppose. You could say its not that far off from what was the E7 rate (does that still exist in the same format?) where the charge per unit was less at night hours, just that it will be x.yz more say between 7AM and 9AM and probably 4PM to 6PM or something.

    I don't personally at least expect to see anything like that being introduced though within ten years **unless** the company who 'introduce it as a 'new shiny tariff do it with a much much lower 'off peak' rate to convince those its a good idea. Maybe.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 20th Jul 19, 12:54 PM
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    Gerry1
    Unless said signal is going to be transmitted via the mains grid itself, that's not going to be a problem. Unless a "keep alive" signal must be received every few hours etc. That latter part is quite a scary thought actually, I don't see that happening as the comms are not really reliable enough generally speaking (not smart meters just generally) to risk this kind of thing, not to mention the possibility of opening a huge can-o-worms from a legal point of view too.
    Originally posted by AndyCF
    The comms link is upstream of the Load Switch (the Kill Switch) so the supply can be remotely disconnected at any time, e.g. for non-payment or load shedding.

    Have a look at the SMETS2 specification and you'll see that remote disconnection (5.6.3.11), Time of Use pricing (5.11.3.1) and other nasties are all there just waiting to be implemented...
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 20th Jul 19, 2:36 PM
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    AndyCF
    The comms link is upstream of the Load Switch (the Kill Switch) so the supply can be remotely disconnected at any time, e.g. for non-payment or load shedding.

    Have a look at the SMETS2 specification and you'll see that remote disconnection (5.6.3.11), Time of Use pricing (5.11.3.1) and other nasties are all there just waiting to be implemented...
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    I see what you're saying with that .pdf

    However ( as far as I am aware, please please correct me if I am mistaken on this ) comms back and forth are provided via cellular networks not via the powerline itself, if tis the latter then it is a problem. If its the former then its not that big an issue for some people. I'm not sure the latter is actually capable of it reliably given you'd have to send constant ID's out to ensure the right box responded. Quite difficult given general interference pickup on exposed lines, unless the transmitter was in the nearest substation perhaps.

    I recall in the 80's with home computers the 'redbox' things, they iirc worked on a similar idea. It did not take off at that time given the computer hardware I suspect.

    Its interesting to read actually they are not permitted to set a 'disable' command if its in credit mode (as in the box won't take any notice of said command) but that makes sense.

    BTW, the phone does not work in the microwave
    Last edited by AndyCF; 20-07-2019 at 2:39 PM.
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 20th Jul 19, 2:40 PM
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    AndyCF
    Actually no one has answered the original question, has anyone else with this type of meter had that 'Overload' message ?

    And to recap, no I don't have 10 fan heaters and kettles powered up at the time! I don't honestly think I have -enough- appliances to get anywhere near the limitation of that meter. The most energy guzzling electrical device I have is a 1Kw heater, well I think its 1200w, unless the vacuum takes more but that's hardly on a lot.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 20th Jul 19, 3:04 PM
    • 294 Posts
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    Gerry1
    However ( as far as I am aware, please please correct me if I am mistaken on this ) comms back and forth are provided via cellular networks not via the powerline itself.
    Originally posted by AndyCF
    In the North and Scotland it's long range radio from Arqiva, as Service Provider to the Data and Communications Company (DCC), and in the Central & South areas it's Telefonica's existing cellular network and complimented with mesh technology to provide connections in hard to reach areas.

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770575/Smart_meters_Unlocking_the_future.pdf

    BTW, you shouldn't have switched the microwave on...
    Last edited by Gerry1; 20-07-2019 at 3:18 PM.
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 20th Jul 19, 4:32 PM
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    AndyCF
    Radio = Fail then (probably) compared to 'over the wires directly' at VHF or suchlike.
    • PennineAcute
    • By PennineAcute 20th Jul 19, 5:43 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    PennineAcute
    As you said, a Google for overload on smart meters, just comes back with gas overload on prepay (which happens when you try and recoonect the gas, and an appliance is switched on.

    So, no, I would not say it is a common fault. If it is a fault, I would say it is exremely rare.
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 20th Jul 19, 6:35 PM
    • 345 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    AndyCF
    As you said, a Google for overload on smart meters, just comes back with gas overload on prepay (which happens when you try and recoonect the gas, and an appliance is switched on.

    So, no, I would not say it is a common fault. If it is a fault, I would say it is exremely rare.
    Originally posted by PennineAcute
    Yes a cursory search did not turn up anything and I did not bother to search for the detailed engineers data/manual on the meter (not the regular 'consumer' manual nor the 'install' one, the actual detailed one)

    Given my luck generally lately it would not surprise me in the slightest to be honest.

    I'll mention it when I am capable/able*** to sort the gas switch account 'concern' out.


    *** Its too complex to put here.
    • PennineAcute
    • By PennineAcute 20th Jul 19, 6:41 PM
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    PennineAcute
    Just think. You could have the honour of this fault only belonging to you. I bet you feel great
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 20th Jul 19, 6:47 PM
    • 9,873 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    I'm not sure the latter is actually capable of it reliably given you'd have to send constant ID's out to ensure the right box responded.
    Originally posted by AndyCF
    If meters are grouped with say 100 codes randomly allocated, they only need send one code to turn off 1 in 100 meters, ie reduce demand by average of 1%, and that reduction will be spread around the country.

    Combining with codes on a regional basis will allow 1% of meters in London to shed load by sending just two codes. That can be done very easily. You don't have to address each meter individually.

    Sending a code to each individual meter to turn it off for non-payment isn't so time-critical. If you're on prepay on a smart meter top-ups can take 20 minutes or so to reach the meter.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 20th Jul 19, 7:27 PM
    • 294 Posts
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    Gerry1
    Combining with codes on a regional basis will allow 1% of meters in London to shed load by sending just two codes. That can be done very easily. You don't have to address each meter individually.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    You're far too trusting !

    The energy companies will introduce an expensive 'uninterruptible' tariff that won't be liable to load shedding; only a wide area power cut or local failure will make the lights go out.

    Meanwhile, the plebs will just have to get used to being left cold and dark every time the creaking generating capacity can't keep up with demand.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 20th Jul 19, 9:28 PM
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    Gerry1
    A good gas smart meter will display 'SHUT OFF APPLIANCES' if it has cut off the supply, made it available again but found that an appliance is still asking for gas: otherwise any hob burners etc left switched on would not re-ignite, risking an explosion.

    Unfortunately, cheapskate gas smart meters only show 'OVERLOAD' because the display has insufficient characters. It's a daft word to use because most people associate it with an electrical overload.

    I did wonder whether your 'OVERLOAD' message might actually be gas related because the electricity smart meter talks to gas smart meter. It could make sense if the gas meter is outside and difficult to access.

    However, there does seems to be an 'OVERLOAD' warning for electricity as well, so it's probably just a glitch.
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