Antimagnetic seal on the electric meter: principle of operation and specifics of use

Amir Gumarov
Checked by a specialist: Amir Gumarov
Author: Mikhail Yashin
Last update: September 2019

Not so long ago, powerful magnets began to be widely used to illegally change the meter readings. To identify cases of unauthorized underestimation of the amount of electricity consumed, a special antimagnetic seal was developed for the electric meter. You should familiarize yourself with its action. Is it true?

You will learn all about the specified type of protection, excluding the distortion of the data taken from the device, from the article we presented. We described in detail the device and its principle of operation. We examined the options for fastening the seal to the device and the possibility of intervention in the process of recording the readings.

Installation of antimagnetic seal

Before using additional means to protect metering devices, it is necessary to determine the legality of this method and the procedure for sealing.

Legality of additional protection of metering devices

According to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 05.06.2011, No. 354 (the last change and addition dated September 15, 2018), the Rules for the provision of utility services entered into force. Clause 32.g.1 stipulates that utilities have the right to protect electricity meters with antimagnetic seals.

Clause 81.10 of the same Rules states that:

  • when sealing, it is necessary to notify the consumer of the consequences that he will suffer in case of violation of the integrity of the protection or when an indicator is triggered that indicates an attempt to unauthorized access to the metering device (in this case, the effect of a magnetic field);
  • when checking the status of the meter, if it has been sealed, then it is imperative to make sure that the protection has not been damaged;
  • in case of violation of the integrity of the seal or its “operation”, draw up an act of unauthorized interference;
  • the installation is at the expense of the resource supplying organization, therefore, the consumer should not pay for the seal or work.

If violations of the antimagnetic protection are detected, the same sanctions will follow as if a failure of an ordinary seal was detected.

Lead seal for electric meter
Previously, sealing an electric meter to detect physical access to it was an effective protection against theft of electricity. Now this is not enough

If citizens for a long time do not let inspectors into the territory where the meter is installed, the resource supplying organization will have the right to determine consumption by averaged indicators.

Rules and options for transmitting electricity meter data to Energosbyt in detail described here. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with information that is extremely useful from a practical point of view.

Reconciliation of electricity meter readings
For periodic checks of seals and verification of meter readings, controllers come. By law, they must notify the owners of the premises in advance

Sealing procedure for the meter

Regardless of whether in the apartment or in street box there is a counter, to install antimagnetic protection, you must perform the following sequence of actions:

  • Using isopropyl alcohol, degrease the surface for better adhesion of the device. It is always necessary to do this, since it is possible that the meter will be specially treated with polish or silicone, which will reduce the strength of the joint and may allow the protection to be removed accurately and without damage.
  • While the alcohol evaporates the surface of the meter body (2-3 minutes), inspect the integrity sticker and write its number in the metering book. Verify that the bulb indicator or control pattern is not damaged.
  • Pull the tab and remove the protective backing. Install the sticker and gently smooth the surface of the seal with your fingers.

When handling the seal, do not touch the adhesive layer with your fingers or any objects. When sticking, the sticker immediately gets damaged - this is one of its protective properties.

Work with the electric meter
The installation of protection itself is not complicated, but it often happens that the location of the counter complicates the operation with it. Therefore, before filling, it is necessary to conveniently organize a workplace

After the installation of antimagnetic protection, it is necessary to familiarize the consumer with its properties and safety measures. They are indicated in the Act, which is signed by the representative of the resource supplying organization and the owner of the premises.

It is important to know that such a seal can work only from a sufficiently strong magnetic field, which can also be caused by work in the immediate vicinity of powerful electrical appliances such as an inverter welding machine.

Damage to the material from water, household chemicals, slight heating is impossible. Also, the anti-magnetic component will not be affected by ordinary household appliances, radio equipment, a Wi-Fi router or a mobile phone. Background radiation and solar storms will not have any effect.

The principle of operation of the device

Magnetic protection is installed directly on the meter. When a field occurs with a force of more than 20-100 mT, irreversible changes occur on the indicator that can be visually identified. The protective device itself can be made in different ways and respond differently to violations.

Types of antimagnetic fillings

There is a recognized, but optional, color differentiation of seals according to the type of metering device being protected. Red is used for electricity, blue for water, and brown for gas.

Magnetic counter protection
Anti-magnetic seals in the form of stickers work the same way for electricity, water or gas meters. There is no strict prescription for their color or dimensions

A seal with an indicator of magnetic effect on the electric meter may look as follows:

  • Adhesive plate (sticker) with an indicator integrated into it. This is the most common type of antimagnetic protection.
  • Standard seal of rotor type. An indicator is mounted inside a latch made of transparent plastic. It is not possible to remove the wire or retainer without breaking the seal.
  • Seal latch. As well as the rotary version, it simultaneously performs the functions of a number seal with wire and an antimagnetic sticker. The dovetail mount does not allow opening the clamp and changing the length of the wire.

The seal in the form of a sticker can be installed both on plastic and on the glass of the meter. The only condition is that the surface should be flat. Naturally, the sticker should not interfere with the reading procedure.

Types of indicators and their triggering mechanism

When exposed to a magnetic field, the indicator should react so that it is not possible to return it to its original state. In addition, these changes must be visible to the naked eye.

Most often, a special capsule with a suspension in it is used as an indicator. When exposed to a magnet, it loses its original shape and spreads throughout the entire volume.

Anti-magnetic counter protection
The viscous suspension inside the capsule includes particles of iron oxide, which come into motion when exposed to a magnetic field

The seal may contain a plate with stripes that change color when exposed to a magnetic field.

Sometimes a plate with a clear pattern made of metallized powder is used as an indicator. In the case of a magnet, a random movement of particles occurs, as a result of which the image disappears.

At home, there is no way to return the indicator to its original state, which was before exposure to a magnetic field.

Self-protection against unauthorized removal

Rotary or latched devices cannot be opened without breaking the mechanism. This rule applies to both actions to remove the magnetic indicator, and attempts to increase the length of the wire in order to open the counter.

For stickers, its own mechanism of protection against removal and reapplication was invented. The adhesive surface located below is non-uniform, therefore when peeling it is impossible to maintain the integrity of the structure. And since each device is equipped with a unique number, the reinstallation of another instance will be easily detected during verification.

There are many ways on the Internet from domestic “inventors” that offer the following ways to preserve the integrity of the sticker when it is separated from the counter:

  • heat with a hairdryer to reduce the heterogeneity of the substrate;
  • freeze dry suspension inside the flask;
  • attach a ring of shielding material to the indicator;
  • try to install two magnets so that the field around the indicator is weak.

However, all of these methods were relevant for early samples of seal labels. After such methods became known, manufacturers made some changes to the manufacturing technology and now the manipulations described above will not lead to the desired result.

Tearing off the anti-magnetic sticker
When the anti-magnetic indicator mount is peeled off from any surface, both the substrate and the top layer get damaged, which cannot be hidden

But still there is one effective way to bypass the antimagnetic seal - its complete duplication. Organizations are obliged to warn citizens about the verification of meter readings. Therefore, by the time the controllers arrive, instead of the triggered protection, you can install the full duplicate ordered on the Internet with the same identification number.

In order to minimize such risks, the electricity supplier needs to install seals of non-standard design. They may contain the company logo, original color design and other security features.

Anti-magnetic stickers with extra protection
In addition to exclusive design, anti-magnetic seal protection in the form of holographic elements and the use of paint glowing in the UV range is possible

Forging such exclusive copies is quite difficult, and when revealing a substitution the consumer may have serious problems. If the operation of the antimagnetic protection can be explained by negligence (but you still have to pay a fine), then replacing the installed seal will most likely be qualified as fraud.

If you have any suspicions of incorrect fixation by the electricity consumption meter, it is worth considering replacing it. Introduces the cost of the replacement work next articlededicated to this issue.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Video with the answer to questions: How to stick a seal on the meter? How the magnetic field indicator works:

To protect the meter from the effects of a magnetic field, energy-supplying organizations are entitled to use antimagnetic seals. Guaranteed detection of theft cases is possible only if the installation procedure and the use of original stickers are observed.

Do you have questions about using an anti-magnetic seal for a device that records power consumption? Do you have information that is useful to site visitors? Please write comments in the block below, share useful information, post a photo.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Yes, progress does not stand still. A kind of shield fight with a sword. What our craftsmen didn’t come up with - they stuck a film under the glass and braked the counter with magnets, all the utilities have answers. But the craftsmen do not stop - they come up with new and new ways and tricks. Previously, it seems that these anti-magnetic fillings were only placed on water meters.

  2. Sergei

    They changed the old mechanical counter to a new one and it seemed they should have glued such an anti-magnetic seal, but for some reason they did not. Is this a mandatory procedure or not? I do not need these seals, but if the law requires, I will call the management company and remind them to come and deliver. Without a few reminders, they do nothing, unfortunately.

    • Expert
      Amir Gumarov

      Hello. The law states that the meter should be protected from unauthorized interference, but specific conditions regarding the type of seal are not established. If you have a normal seal, and you should have one, the absence of an anti-magnetic seal, if it is not recorded in the contract for installing a new electric meter, signed by you, is not considered a violation at any level.

  3. Yalozhnitskaya

    The anti-magnetic seal fell off itself from the water meter. Assigned a fine of 42 tr Was the seal glued on quality? How to check? Water utility workers are cheating. And they get bonuses from fines ...

    • Expert
      Amir Gumarov

      Hello. In general, anti-magnetic seals are fastened firmly enough and even more so, the sealant does not receive premiums from fines. In any case, it is entirely your fault, since the responsibility for the IPP lies with you and you should not have signed any sealing documents if you doubted its quality.

      There is hope for an examination of the sticker, you never know what kind of marriage. But this is a dubious performance in your favor + financial investments. It’s easier to pay a fine in your case.

  4. Natalya I

    The anti-magnetic seal fell off itself from the water meter. Assigned a fine of 42 tr Was the seal glued on quality? How to check?