Smart Meter Guard Questions and Answer
Common Questions Asked about Smart Meters and EMF Exposure:
(Answers are below this list of questions)
- What is smart meter radiation?
- Will I be exposed to RF radiation if the smart meter faces away from my house?
- How do you block smart meter radiation?
- Does aluminum foil block radiation?
- How does the Smart Meter Guard block the radiation?
- Does the Smart Meter Guard block radiation inside the house?
- What is the Smart Meter Guard made of?
- Does the Smart Meter Guard fit all smart meters?
- Does the Smart Meter Guard require assembly once I order it?
- Does it require tools to install the Smart Meter Guard?
- How do I install the Smart Meter Guard?
- Is it illegal to put the Smart Meter Guard on?
- Will the utility company take it off?
- Will the utility company still get the signal with the Smart Meter Guard on?
- Will the Smart Meter Guard stay on in high winds?
- Does the Smart Meter Guard have a lock?
- Will the Smart Meter Guard rust or corrode?
- If my neighbor has a smart meter am I being exposed to RF radiation?
- How do I measure RF radiation exposure?
- Does high frequency radiation cause health problems
What is smart meter radiation?
Smart meter radiation is the radio frequency, RF, waves emitted from the smart meter used to transmit its data to the utility companies. EMF, electromagnetic field, is the field generated by the RF wave. The electromagnetic waves are in the RF range, which is oscillating at about 900 to 2,400 million times per second, (900 MHz and 2.4 GHz). This is similar to the frequency range used in WiFi, cordless phones and cell phones. These devices are regulated by the FCC and transmit at much lower powers. Smart meters run at fairly high power so they can transmit up to 25 miles or so.
Will I be exposed to RF radiation if the smart meter faces away from my house?
Yes. RF waves are not directional. They are propagate radially in all directions including back into your house. In addition, RF waves can pass through almost all material including wood, cement, cinder block, sheet rock and plaster. They propagate very similar to sounds waves. If you stand behind a wall you can still hear sounds from the other side. If you stand behind your smart meter the RF waves will be detected.
How do you block smart meter radiation?
There are basically two technologies to block RF, “Reflective” and “Absorption”. Reflective essentially reflects the RF waves in another direction. Materials used in reflective blocking include aluminum foil and sheet metal. Absorption actually absorbs the RF waves into the material. Absorption material includes metal mesh and absorbing paints. The Smart Meter Guard is made of parallel lines of metal like metal screen or meshing. This technique is called a “Faraday” cage.
Does aluminum foil block radiation?
Yes, but it also reflects radiation. The issues with aluminum foil or other “reflective” material is that they can actually reflect the RF in a direction you don’t want. In addition, it can concentrate the radiation in areas you don’t want it to go.
How does the Smart Meter Guard block the radiation?
The Smart Meter Guard blocks the RF waves by absorbing the electromagnetic waves into the grounded stainless steel meshing. The RF power is then shunted to ground and dissipated. The spacing of the metal mesh will not allow the electrical or magnetic component of the RF waves to pass through it because of the field effect it creates trying to pass through.
Does the Smart Meter Guard block radiation inside the house?
Yes, the Smart Meter Guard blocks the radiation inside the house. This is the technical reason why it does. Your electrical utility box is made of grounded metal including the sides, top, bottom and back. RF cannot penetrate grounded metal so your utility box actually blocks RF from radiating out the back. RF emits from the glass portion of the smart meter radially back into your house. RF is not directional it is radial in nature and goes in all directions including back into your house, similar to sound waves. Once the Smart Meter Guard is installed over the glass portion of your smart meter your entire utility box and smart meter are covered in grounded metal that the RF cannot penetrate.
What is the Smart Meter Guard made of?
The Smart Meter Guard is constructed of 316 stainless steel mesh and stainless steel support ribs. It is fabricated, molded, hemmed, assembled, spot welded and then polished by a metal fabricator in the US, not China. It is technically a custom Faraday cage designed specifically to block RF, EMF, waves emitting from smart meters.
Does the Smart Meter Guard fit all smart meters?
No, it fits about 99% of electrical smart meters mounted on utility boxes. The glass portion of the smart meter will vary in size depending on the manufacturer. All smart meter mount to the utility box with a metal ring which is about 7 ¼ in diameter. The Smart Meter Guard actually mounts to the metal ring at the base of the smart meter, not the glass portion. That metal ring is the same size on all smart meters in the US and Canada. Also, the Smart Meter Guard does not fit water and gas smart meters. It was designed specifically for electrical smart meters. We make the Gas Meter Guard product to block RF emitted by smart water and gas meters.
There are basically tow types of utility box.
- Type 1 and 2 where the metal ring is visible on the outside of the utility box.
- Type 3 where the metal ring at the base of the smart meter is covered by the metal lid of the utility box. Only about 4% of the utility boxes are Type 3. The Smart Meter Guard requires a rubber “spacer” to fit the Type 3 utility boxes. Spacer is free with any request.
Does the Smart Meter Guard require assembly once I order it?
No assembly is required. It is shipped fully assembled and ready to be taken out f its shipping box and installed on your smart meter. Once it is placed over the smart meter there is a tightening screw that will cinch the Guard down around the metal ring at the base of the smart meter.
Does it require tools to install the Smart Meter Guard?
The only tool you will need is a screwdriver. This is used to tighten the securing screw on the Smart Meter Guard to the metal ring at the base of the smart meter.
How do I install the Smart Meter Guard?
The Smart Meter Guard is placed over the class potion of the smart meter and slides on to the metal ring at the base of the smart meter. The metal ring actually holds the smart meter to your utility box. The securing screw is then tightened so the Smart Meter Guard fits on snugly. It’s not necessary for it to be tight.
Is it illegal to put the Smart Meter Guard on?
No, it is not illegal to put a Smart Meter Guard on your smart meter. It is illegal to break the security seal on your smart meter. Please do not break the security seal.
Will the utility company take it off?
No, the utility company will not take it off. If you put the Guard on your smart meter it's not tampering. What we found is that the utility companies don't really care what you do to the smart meters as long as you don't do three things. First, never break the security seal. They get very upset if you do that and it's actually against the law. Second, if they do not get their signal they get very upset. They consider this "stealing" power. Lastly, do not block the access to their meter. There are a lot of people that put on locks, bolts, barbwire or contraptions to the point that they cannot access their meter if they need to. As long as you don't do any of these things they really don't care what you do.
Will the utility company still get the signal with the Smart Meter Guard on?
The utility companies still get the signal they need with the Smart Meter Guard installed. Here is why. Smart meters are made to transmit about 25 miles so they make them with fairly high RF power, about 3 to 5 watts depending on the manufacturer. The Smart Meter Guard blocks about 98% of the RF emitting from the smart meter. The 1% to 2% RF that leaks out is enough to transmit a signal about a mile or so. Most utility receiving stations or collector smart meters are only a few blocks from most people's homes. This means the utility company gets the signal they need. We have sold quite a few of the Guards and we haven't had any reports of the utility company not getting their signal.
Will the Smart Meter Guard stay on in high winds?
Yes, the Smart Meter Guard stays on in high winds. It has a securing screw that will tighten the Guard to the smart meter. However, it may not stay on in Hurricane force winds.
Does the Smart Meter Guard have a lock?
No, the Smart Meter Guard does not have a lock. It can be secured very tightly, tight enough that the wind cannot blow it off or someone cannot pull it off. Most people will not even see it and if they do they don't really know what it is.
Will the Smart Meter Guard rust or corrode?
No, the Smart Meter Guard will not corrode or rust. It is made of 316 stainless steel that does not rust or corrode, even in the harshest weather conditions. Unlike other products on the market, it will withstand many years being exposed to the UV rays from the sun. Other products that use a polymer or foam covering will deteriorate with long exposure the UV rays from the sun. The Smart Meter Guard is guaranteed to last 15 years.
If my neighbor has a smart meter am I being exposed to RF radiation?
Yes, if your neighbor has a smart meter near you, you will be exposed to some level of RF radiation. RF from other homes smart meter is a big concern for many people. The good news is that RF power density drops off fairly rapidly with distance from the meter meaning the closer you are the more RF power density you get exposed to. That being said, we believe the amount of high frequency exposure from smart meters or any other device, is a personal preference. We have found that some people are more sensitive to RF exposure than others so we don't really tell people what is good or what is bad. However, we are technical people and it is possible to quantify the RF power density exposure you might be experiencing from your neighbors smart meter. The Sage Report did some modeling of RF power density vs. distance from the smart meter. While it was only modeling data we checked a few points on their modeling data and it seemed to match.
How do I measure RF radiation exposure?
The only way to measure RF power density is to use a High Frequency analyzer tuned for the 900 MHz range. The analyzer will measure the power density being emitted from smart meters. It’s important to remember these tips when measuring for RF from smart meters:
1. First, it's very important to understand that smart meters transmit the RF in very short pulses, about 0.5 seconds long about every 20 to 40 seconds. They never transmit a constant signal. This means you need to measure for a several minutes to catch the pulse on the analyzer you are using. Some smart meters transmit more than other while some less frequently than others. The key is to stand there and catch it when it transmits.
2. Make sure you are not closer than three feet to the meter when measuring. The analyzers are not accurate being too close. It has to do with the wavelength at these frequencies.
3. Make sure you don't have a cell phone on or near you. The analyzer will pick that up.
4. Same with WiFi routers, make sure you are not near one. If you measure a constant RF signal it’s more than likely a router because they transmit all the time and smart meter pulse their transmission.
5. Also, make sure you are not near another smart meter. You could be picking that signal up as well. You shouldn’t be closer than 60 feet from another smart meter.
6. If you are using the HF 35C meter make sure it is set to measure “Peak” power not “RMS”. Also, the HF 35C highest reading is 1,999 uW/m2 (micro watts per square meter) and smart meters emit 30,000 to 70,000 uW/m2. This means when you measure your HF 35C will flash the number "1" meaning the power density you are measuring exceeds what the meter can read. If you want to extend the range, you need to get a 20 db attenuator. This extends the range from 1,999 to 199,000 uW/m2. Most people don't need this because once the Guard is installed it will be in the range the meter can read.
7. If you are using a TriField, which we don’t recommend because it’s not very accurate meter, make sure you have it set to measure "Radio/micro watts", not “Gauss”.
8. Most smart meters emit between 30,000 and 70,000 microwatts per square meter, uW/m2, in short pulses. If you are getting a constant reading you may be picking up ambient RF, if it’s a low reading, or someone else’s router. Smart meters produce a short high power pulse of RF power and you’ll see your analyzer jump when it transmits.
9. Again, most smart meters emit between 30,000 and 70,000 uW/m2 . The Smart Meter Guard will block about 98% to 99% of the RF which means if you are reading 600 to 1,400 uW/m2 you have reduced your exposure by 98% to 99%. It is almost impossible to block 100% of the RF emissions and if someone says you can they most likely do not understand RF and how it works.
Does high frequency radiation cause health problems?
While we do not understand the effects of high frequency radiation exposure we encourage people to do their own research and monitor their own health effects from this. Everyone has different sensitivities to high frequency waves and one needs to best understand what exposure they can best handle with no side affects or health related issues.