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Old 04-29-2009, 04:03 PM   #16
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Bleeding power somewhere???


Quote:
Originally Posted by WFO View Post
On the faceplate there is a number followed by a "Kh".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Electrical_meter.jpg
from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_meter


Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-29-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:29 AM   #17
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Bleeding power somewhere???


Ok we're good so far! I follow, my meter reads 7.2 kh. If I start with the fridge, do I check the meter revolutions with the fridge off, then on but not cycling, and then when cylcing? I'm assuming the over draw would be when its on but not cycling? Or am I off base on this? Want to make sure I'm interpreting the data correctly.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:42 AM   #18
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Bleeding power somewhere???


Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
Ok we're good so far! I follow, my meter reads 7.2 kh. If I start with the fridge, do I check the meter revolutions with the fridge off, then on but not cycling, and then when cylcing? I'm assuming the over draw would be when its on but not cycling? Or am I off base on this? Want to make sure I'm interpreting the data correctly.
The fridge is supposed to be on half the time, or some such duty cycle.
If the nameplate data for the fridge says it draws A amps, and over a morning the wattmeter says you've been drawing A x 120v = B watts continuously then the fridge is on all the time probably because the thermostat failed [and the contents are much colder than 38F for the fridge compartment and 0F for the freezer].

As for the water heater usage, try to read your water meter. When my pipes leaked, I lost a gallon in 3 minutes.
The meter is under a round plate, flush with the ground surface and secured by a bolt with a 5 sided head, but the bolt easily loosens.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_meter

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-30-2009 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:42 PM   #19
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Bleeding power somewhere???


Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
Ok we're good so far! I follow, my meter reads 7.2 kh. If I start with the fridge, do I check the meter revolutions with the fridge off, then on but not cycling, and then when cylcing? I'm assuming the over draw would be when its on but not cycling? Or am I off base on this? Want to make sure I'm interpreting the data correctly.
If you want to check the particular appliance usage against the nameplate data, then yes....this would work.
I've used this technique to find some bizarre stuff (i.e., an AC unit drawing twice it's nameplate value because the heat strips were running at the same time as the cooling unit) but for the most part, I think what you'll see is something running that you didn't expect, or something running much longer than you expected. It would be a good way to see if the on demand water heater is running when you don't expect it.

For example of things you didn't expect, on high bill complaints I've asked people what they had in their garage. They say nothing, but when you look, there's 4 freezers. Then they say, "Yeah, but there's nothing in them". Doesn't matter....they're still running (in a 120 degree closed garage).
They say, "I was gone on vacation all last month". Doesn't matter if you left the AC on.

A fridge that's low on freon won't draw more power (unless it's locking up), it will just run longer. Same with the AC. Make sure the coils are clean and the freon pressure is right.
Make sure your daughter isn't drying one bra in the dryer, or washing one pair of jeans.

Looking back at your original post, you mentioned something about "The POCO can no longer read my meter". I'm wondering if it was an AMR (remote reading) meter that quit working. Why else would they say they can't read it anymore? Since many of the AMR technologies depend on an optic pickup of a spot on the disk, they sometimes will miss revolutions and the "electronic" register will fall farther and farther behind the mechanical one (Turtle meters were bad about locking up on lightning strikes, then starting again much later when an outage "re-booted" them).
What I'm getting at is if the error is a mis-reading that has accumulated over time, it may not be that you're suddenly using more....it may just be that the billing caught up.
I'd see if you can get an explanation on what "we can't read the meter anymore" means.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #20
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Bleeding power somewhere???


Did you check for extension cords running from your house to your deadbeat neighbor's garage?
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:47 PM   #21
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Are you on a well?
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:41 AM   #22
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Bleeding power somewhere???


When you do just the arbitrary meter revolutions for one circuit at a time, you will find that one of the high electricity usage circuits is for the refrigerator. Now you can just feel the 'fridge for humming or vibration every so often to get an idea of how much of the time (what percentage of the time) it is running. Are the door gaskets worn so as to let warm air in and increase the amount of running time?

Do another revolutions measurement when the fridge has cycled off, to see if there is another big electricity user on that circuit.

If nobody was using hot water for several hours and the hot water pipe from the heater is quite hot two feet away from the heater, you can be suspicious of a leak. If you have a domestic hot water circulating loop to speed up the arrival of hot water at a distant fixture, that does consume power reheating water.

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