Smart meters are supposed to help homeowners reduce their utility bills. But no one would blame you if you decided to get rid of yours because it keeps restarting. Smart meters have a reputation for frustrating consumers because they never work as promised. Why does my smart meter keep losing connection/restarting/rebooting/resetting/tripping and turning off?
Smart meters do not trip, restart, or shut off continuously. In-Home Displays are responsible for this behavior. The smart meter can also fail to communicate with the power supplier because the Wide Area Network is down. But a restarting display unit won’t prevent a smart meter from performing its functions.
Power suppliers spend a lot of time resolving issues associated with smart meters. Fortunately, they are normally free.
You don’t have to pay your service provider to get a smart meter installed.
In other words, you don’t lose anything if your smart meter stops working. Though, that doesn’t make the frequent rebooting and resetting any less annoying. In most situations, you cannot diagnose the cause without the help of your service provider’s engineers. However, many people blame the error on poor connectivity.
But as you will soon see, sometimes, the situation is far more complicated than that. You have to take into account both hardware and software malfunctions.
What is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter as a device that automatically sends readings from your meter to your power supplier, allowing the service provider to issue more accurate bills.
Smart meters are a convenient tool for power suppliers because they don’t have to employ additional staff to visit homeowners to record meter readings.
They can just wait for the smart meter to send readings to them. However, they are also beneficial to homeowners who can use them to keep an eye on the amount of energy they use. A smart meter can give you a minute-by-minute breakdown of your energy consumption. You can use the information to adjust your habits.
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Smart Meter Keeps Restarting/Rebooting/Resetting – Is This A Cause For Concern?
As you now know, smart meters have a lot of problems. They never work as promised. But in many cases, the smart meters are never at fault. People blame them for either restarting or rebooting. But the average smart meter does not malfunction to this extent.
When people talk about the smart meter, they are almost always referring to the In-Home Display. Once your power supplier installs your smart meter, they will also provide a display unit that you can use to view the information recorded and transmitted by the smart meter.
You are supposed to keep the display unit in your home, positioned in a location where you can see it with ease. This way, you can view the smart meter’s data whenever you want. Because the display unit is the only device homeowners see, they confuse it with the smart meter.
When the display unit stops working, they automatically assume that the smart meter has also malfunctioned. But that is rarely the case. More often than not, your smart meter won’t stop working simply because your display unit is rebooting and resetting.
This is why so many power suppliers respond so slowly to such complaints from homeowners. They know that the smart meter is still sending automatic updates to their system. Therefore, restarting and resetting loops in display units do not necessarily concern them.
They shouldn’t concern homeowners either. At the end of the day, a smart meter’s primary objective is to send your meter readings to your supplier. If the device can still play this role, the display unit shouldn’t frustrate you.
If you are determined to view the data your smart meter has recorded, you can always use the app associated with your smart meter. It has all the information the smart meter has sent to the supplier. Once you log into your account, it won’t take you long to access all the information you need to adjust your energy consumption.
Why Does My Smart Meter Keep Restarting/Rebooting/Resetting?
In most cases, connectivity is the issue. Smart meters use a Home Area Network to connect to the display unit and a Wide Area Network to transmit information to the power supplier. If the display unit fails to connect to the smart meter because of a weak signal, it may restart in an effort to establish a connection.
Even though a restarting display unit isn’t a cause for concern and it won’t prevent your smart meter from working, no one would blame you if you decided that you wanted to identify the factors causing it to misbehave.
You will be hard-pressed to find a concrete reason that can explain your display unit’s decision to randomly restart and reset. Even the service providers, the companies that install smart meters, are baffled by some of the malfunctions they encounter in these devices.
Sometimes, the homeowner is to blame. The Home Area Network has a limited range. If the homeowner puts the display unit far away, it may fail to connect to the smart meter. In other cases, the network has issues. You can’t do anything when this occurs.
When the network fails, your supplier will inform you, as when the network operated by Arqiva developed a fault that prevented some smart meters in the UK from communicating with the In-Home Displays of their customers.
Once the network goes down, the only thing you can do is to wait for the relevant parties to restore it. But again, your service provider will update you on such matters. If you haven’t heard from them, reach out to them.
You might be surprised to learn that yours is the only display unit that has encountered that particular problem. In such a situation, you need a technician to diagnose your display unit to ensure that it is neither defective nor damage.
Like all technology, smart meters and display units are not immune to failure. They can develop faults over time. Depending on whether the hardware or firmware is to blame, your supplier might choose to replace your smart meter, In-Home Display, or both.
They can only make this decision after diagnosing your situation. Some service providers can solve malfunctions remotely by sending out firmware updates. But such updates do not always take effect immediately. You might have to wait for hours, days, or even weeks at a time before your smart meter and In-Home Display regain their normal functions.
Smart Meter Keeps Tripping/Turning and Going Off – Why?
The In-Home Display is responsible for most of the problems that people blame on smart meters.
Smart meters are always sending automatic updates to your power supplier. They won’t stop performing this function simply because the display unit keeps going off.
Like the resetting and rebooting error, a display unit that keeps going off isn’t a cause for concern because it doesn’t affect the operations of the smart meter.
Whenever a display unit malfunctions, connectivity has to be your first consideration. Of course, you cannot ignore the batteries. Display units are not fully charged when you first get them.
According to OVO Energy,
The average In-Home Display battery is supposed to last roughly four hours.
Therefore, if you forgot to plug your display unit into a power source, it will eventually go off. Depending on the brand, the display unit may even restart again and again before finally shutting down.
However, if your display unit is plugged in, you cannot blame the battery. In such a situation, you have to turn your attention to the signal strength. In-Home Displays that are far from the smart meter have been known to misbehave.
OVO Energy also expects firmware issues to cause problems in the display unit and even the smart meter. You won’t know whether the cause is related to loose wires, defective hardware, or malfunctioning firmware until you contact a technician.
As was mentioned before, even power suppliers struggle to diagnose smart meter and display unit problems. But they know a lot more than you, so they are better placed to identify the factors causing a display unit to continuously turn off.
How Can You Fix a Smart Meter That Keeps Restarting/Tripping/Resetting/Losing Connection/Disconnecting?
The best option is to contact your service provider. A technician has a better chance of fixing a malfunctioning smart meter and display unit than a layperson. This is especially true for smart meters with loose connections.
The average smart meter won’t interrupt your power supply. You don’t have to worry about the device causing the breaker to trip. It should be noted that some service providers can use your smart meter to shut your power supply off.
But that is a deliberate act, not an accidental one. Smart meters tend to do exactly what is expected of them. You are more likely to observe malfunctions in your In-Home Display. Your best response to a display unit that is resetting or rebooting is to shut it down.
How to Reset My Smart Meter?
It isn’t enough to hold the power button down. You need to unplug the device. Leave it alone until it runs out of power. Once this is done, use the power button to restart it.
Depending on the model you have, Bulb expects the display unit to tap into its reserve power at this point. Allow the reserve power to run out as well. Once the batteries are completely dead, plug the display unit back into power and restart it.
This will allow it to establish a connection with the smart meter.
Smart meters normally don’t trip or reset or turn off automatically. It is the display unit that causes a problem.
Display units will malfunction because they have failed to connect to the smart meter via the Home Area Network. The smart meter can also fail to communicate with the power supplier because the Wide Area Network is down.
On occasion, the hardware and firmware are to blame. You may attempt to fix a display unit by either bringing it closer to the smart meter or unplugging it and draining it of all its power. Once you plug it back into power, it should establish a new connection with the smart meter.
If this fails, call your service provider. If they cannot fix the firmware remotely, they will send a technician to diagnose the problem physically.