(785) Power Company Meter Locks - How to Pick Them Open!

well guys we have a fellow subscriber

with a problem and that's Andrew with

amp city electric up in New Jersey

he's an electrical contractor and when

he goes to a job he finds that these are

being used by New Jersey the New Jersey

power company to hold their power meters

in place so if he's got to change out

power service to a house he either calls

up New Jersey powers has come on out and

they get there like you know two weeks

later he can't afford to pay his crew to

wait around or they tell them to cut it

off which is kind of dangerous because

this is right next to a big electrical

power meter so chances of damaging that

which is are quite expensive or even a

lot of electricity flowing through there

as well so how does this thing work well

it's a simple barrel lock there's the

front there's a special key Andrew tells

me a cost between three and five hundred

dollars there's several versions of it

so apparently you can't just buy one but

all the locks work the same barrel lock

there there's a powerful spring locator

the shaft and it's pushing a metal block

up that holds these two ball bearings

which sit in a little recess and you

just can't pull this out we need to get

those ball bearings to retract so in

other words we need to overcome that

steel block but you can imagine there's

a little bit of a trick to it now there

are several videos that I took a look at

and I've got to be honest they show you

how to use the key which is not entirely

helpful to us we want the cheap fast way

and the ones that show us you know they

take coat hangers and jam them up in

they're not so reliable I don't want to

carry around a coat hanger and then they

show wood screws being shoved up in

there that somehow retract and they're a

little bit deceptive they don't show us

all of the secrets and so that's what

I'm going to do we are going to use the

wood screw technique and we're going to

take this wood screw and the idea if you

follow the videos that are already mount

as they take this wood screw they drive

it in there it threads into that block

and then you can pull back overcoming

the spring tension and these little D

temps fall I'm here to tell you if you

follow those instructions they don't

work so good because these threads on

the screw sides that they recommend get

actually thread themselves into the head

of this ball of

of this lock and it gets seized up when

you get the tip of that threaded into

the head and then try to retract it you

can't because this is all threaded up

inside of there so it's not going

anywhere no this will work but I'm going

to show you all of the secrets so the

first thing we got to do is prevent we

want the threads on the tip to engage in

that ball or in that locking block to

retract the balls we don't want the

threads here to be engaged in the head

easy solution all right if you've done

it right that's what it looked like all

the threads ground off just leave the

ones on the very end intact now this is

the other deception in some of the other

videos they lead you to believe that

you're just going to stick it in there

and you may have to thread it a little

bit to get it past a head but then it'll

go freely then they say thread it into

the end block that secures those two

ball bearings but you'll notice I'm

spinning it and nothing happens and

that's because that M block has a

limited depth so if we do it like this

it's not going to work we need to remove

just a little bit of that tip so that it

the threads can reach into that block

and thread into them so let's go ahead

and take the tip when you take the tip

off should look something like that just

try to leave a couple of threads intact

because now when we slide it through the

head you have to turn it just and then

once you get the threads past the

constricted part it should go in freely

you push it all the way to the end there

is a hole on the end and then give it a

couple of good turns with your fingers

you don't have to use a screwdriver and

you'll feel it lock in place and then

when you pull back you'll feel the

spring resistance and you'll also know

that the balls will now retract and you

can slide this out of the lock when you

want to lock the meter back up again

just pull on it the ball to retexe slide

it in release the pressure and then

remove your electrical meter master key

so again there's what it looks like

Andrew from am City Electric you save

you guys a lot of time and money please

remit two hundred and fifty dollars I

saw that you for half price but you can

make as many as you want anyway it

fellas thanks your times stay safe stay

legal Andrew thanks for the barrel lock

alright Andrew I know you're going to

not going to send me that money for that

master key idea so I

ruined your lock there you go actually

did a cutaways to kind of visualize

what's going on inside of this thing the

only thing I ruined was I cut the spring

which is normally located here pushing

that shaft towards the rear there I

think you can see this completely fills

the bore and then there's a reduced

diameter here where the two ball

bearings are when there's a when this is

retracted it's further reduced here but

it also has a little shaft to prevent

those ball bearings from falling into

the the bore there so they will then

retract inside of there and then this

entire barrel lock comes out of the

meter when we want it to when we want to

relock it we slide it in with the

tension still on it and then release it

and the spring will relock those ball

bearings so let's figure out why the

unmodified screw wasn't working well

first let's take a look inside if we

grab a light real quick I think I get a

good angle here I think you can see it's

not very deep inside of that hole so

with an unmodified screw when it fit in

there that tip hit the bottom of it

before the threads have a chance to

engage so by taking the tip off like

this it allows us to slide it in there

then the threads only about two threads

get threaded into it and then we can

retract it unlocking it and then we want

to put it back when we again retract it

push it in the hole and then release the

spring tension the ball bearings pop

back out in the locking position and

then we remove our master key so there

you go thought you'd like to get an idea

of what was inside or one of these

things I know I always like to do it

thanks guys