Station offline for over 1 month

Offline GIF by SEOday

We had our electricity meter replaced on 1st May so the power was off for a short while. Most things in the house power back up without any problem…pretty much everything apart from the mini PC that runs my station and WxSim software. I kind of noticed the red power LED was off, but only in a “something looks different in that wall of flashing LEDs over there” sort of way.

Normally my monitoring software would pick up the lack of uploads of weather and WxSim data, but all the server work I’ve been doing recently has necessitated starting and stopping various processes numerous times so I’d disabled the monitor to stop me getting pings and emails saying something else had stopped/started.

So…when did you last check that all your systems were online and working properly?

Computer systems are a bit simpler here. . . except we had our gas and electricity SMETS1 smart meters replaced with SMETS2 versions on 4 April 2022 and we are still asked to submit meter readings every month.

Long story - We can currently only have an electric smart meter. The fitters have come twice to fit a smart gas meter. The first fitter (a few years ago) said something about not being qualified to fit the gas meter so he’d have to get someone else to do it. Nobody ever turned up.

Recently they asked again if we wanted a smart gas meter fitting, so we said yes. When the fitter came I asked if he could get the old smart meter display working because it had lost its connection a couple of years ago. He said he’d replace the electric meter as well (probably needed because the old electric meter would be SMETS1 which probably wouldn’t play nicely with the SMETS2 gas meter.

So he replaced the electric meter first (see start of thread - we’re on topic) and that works fine now with a new high res display. When he came to do the gas meter he had a long conversation with his boss before telling us that he couldn’t fit the gas meter. Deja vu!

Apparently our house is of an age (about 100 years old) and still has the gas supply coming into the house on a lead pipe. Even worse, the lead pipe is unsupported so it’s free to move (although there’s nothing to move it normally). Fitting the new meter would move the pipe, which could lead to the potentially dangerous situation of the pipe splitting and causing a gas leak that couldn’t easily be fixed.

So no new gas meter, plus an emergency call-out of Cadent to confirm that the pipe was actually safe (it is). Cadent say they’ll be back to replace the complete supply pipe (out to the road) in ‘a month or two’, but the meter fitter said it could take years for them to come back.

So this less than perfect take-up of smart meters that keeps on getting talked about isn’t just because people don’t want them.

We’re having our meters replaced on next Monday but I’m not having the smart bit activated as I don’t trust that bit, who needs to know if you just spent 10p boiling a kettle, I’ll keep sending my own meter readings. I’ll keep a close eye on my weather PC.