SMUD smart meter burn out causes electrical failure & fire hazard

Margie Rothwell was having serious problems with the electricity in her home.  The power turned on and off for no apparent reason. The house fire alarm kept going off and the noises were scaring her dog.

She called her brother, who was a master electrician, to help her.  He found electrical lines not working and the smart meter digital readout was unreadable.  He recommended she call the utility SMUD right away, which she did.  (SMUD stands for Sacramento Municipal Utility District.)

Note: upper right meter base clip is visibly burned
Note: upper right meter base clip is visibly burned

A couple hours later, the SMUD technician came and when he got closer to the smart meter he said he smelled “burn”.

Margie recalled, “He had a very horrified look on his face when he looked at the burnt smart meter and meter socket.” The technician removed the smart meter and quickly put it in his truck, concealing the evidence.

The technician installed a temporary adapter which left her home with only 110 volts and limited power in parts of her house.

She was left with no dryer, no air conditioner, no electricity in the master bedroom, or anything that required 220 volts.

She asked the SMUD technician for a business card. He said he didn’t have one. She asked him for his name and he would not give her his full name.

The SMUD technician told Margie that she was responsible for replacing the damaged meter base, which included hiring a professional electrical contractor and getting a city permit.  Margie asked him if SMUD would fix it. He said no.

She called several electrical professionals to get estimates which ranged from $1,500-$3500.

She then searched the internet for “smart meter problems” and she found out that this is a common problem with smart meters.  In California, fire captain Ross had similar electric problems, as did another fire captain Matt Beckett.  A fire erupted shortly after a PG&E smart meter was installed in Vacaville, California which killed a man.

She contacted the EMF Safety Network director, Sandi Maurer, who connected her to Eric Windheim, EMF Safety consultant, and director of Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness.  Together they helped her write a declaration about the burnt meter and panel, the limited electricity, and her experience with the technician.

Margie sent the declaration and a demand letter to SMUD via certified mail with returned receipt. The following week Eric supported Margie at two SMUD board meetings, where she demanded they pay for the repairs as soon as possible. Margie asked the board, “If SMUD’s smart meter is so smart why didn’t it send SMUD a warning message that there was a very dangerous electrical failure going on at my house? Was SMUD going to wait for the fire department to send you a report in the mail?”

Following the board meetings, Margie:

  •  Kept all communication with SMUD in writing
  •  Refused to risk having another smart meter on her home
  •  Demanded the analog meter as the only replacement
  •  Never agreed or consented to the opt-out extortion fee

The smart meter could have burned down her house, with Margie in it.  Since it caused similar hazards for other customers, she was not going to take that chance ever again.

Analog restoredNine days after she went to the first board meeting SMUD repaired the burnt panel and restored an analog meter.  SMUD paid for all the repairs, and they returned analog meter without Margie’s agreement to pay their opt-out fees of $127 plus $14 a month.

SMUD denied the smart meter was to blame for the electrical problems. The SMUD representative wrote to Margie, “What I can assure you of, is that the damage to your panel was not caused by the Smart Meter.  The origin of the damage was in the meter socket assembly.”

Eric Windheim says, “A Maxim of Law is: “Where damages are given, the losing party should pay the costs of the victor” which is exactly what happened here. Since SMUD is paying for all of this they have admitted causation.  If Margie’s wiring was really at fault SMUD would have charged her for all repair costs.”

Click here for more information on smart meter fires and explosions.  If you are a SMUD customer and have questions about smart meters contact Eric Windheim at 916-395-7336 or contact him here.

9 thoughts on “SMUD smart meter burn out causes electrical failure & fire hazard”

  1. The smart meter in my house was installed five years ago. Fortunately, it’s on the other side of the garage away from living areas. Part of April through part of May 2019, I’ve had power fluctuations, brownouts and blackouts. Power strips, outlets, and a UPS have shorted and had to be replaced. Most of the Circuit breakers were melting down and had to be replaced. In the last few days when I’ve been researching these problems with smart meters, I’ve experienced no problems, but we’ll see…

  2. I got two letters in two weeks saying that a company will be installing a smart meter on my home. Having heard all the problems others have had, I don’t want the meter installed . What can I do to keep my analog meter ?

  3. I to lived at my address for 34 years & i never had a single issue now new meter 1 week later digital meter caught fire . line repair man said you are lucky it didn’ t start a fire .& you are responsible for repairs. Not very good customer relations now living off the grid

  4. august 8 th my smart meter & my neighbors had a meltdown fire, I returned home to an Florida Power and light truck along with Dade County fire department, telling me
    It’s your responsibility to replace
    The meter tower and underground wire to my modular home, call your homeowners insurance OMG! It is now Sept.1 & still zero power! It’s 102 degrees in my house, which is unlivable, not a spark of power!
    I am staying with random relatives, eating out in fast food, at my expense don’t have any answers awaiting on my insurance company to diagnose what they are going to cover!
    Please HELP!
    Charlene Gassaway

  5. The treatment Margie got from the SMUD field rep was so horrible and out of character with published SMUD policies that I believe that contributed to SMUD paying for all of the repairs once it started appearing on the local TV metro channel.

    I have never seen SMUD do such a quick 180º reversal of stated position before. The best way to get action is to make an official complaint and go on the public record: until you do the utility know you will probably just fade away and pay for this yourself.

    Furthermore if SMUD wants to validate its claim that the smart meter was not the cause of this burn out they should release it for independent investigation.

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