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Old 11-22-2011, 02:48 AM   #1
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Help! Sub Panel doubled electric bill?


I installed a generator transfer switch and a sub panel for emergency power to selected circutes in my home.

I fed a the 100 amp side of the transfer switch with a 100 amp double pole breaker from the main service panel. I fed the 60 amp side of the transfer switch with a L14-30 power plug from my generator.

The transfer switch fed a sub panel containing several 15 and 20 amp circuts transfered from the main service panel. The selected circuts were no longer connected to the main panel.

My problem is that after flipping on the 100 amp breaker in the main service panel sending power to the sub panel my power usage doubled from what it had been before the switch.

It seems as though I am being charged for the 100 amp feed between the main panel and the transfer switch and sub panel, without even using any power through the circuts in the sub panel.

Does anyone have an answer as to what is happening here? any help wouild be appreciated.

Last edited by oh'mike; 11-22-2011 at 06:23 AM. Reason: Added spaces for easy reading using the 'enter' key
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:29 AM   #2
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Help! Sub Panel doubled electric bill?


A couple of questions--

The bills---was one an estimated bill and the other an actual meter reading? My bills jump around a bit each month because the power company only does an actual reading ever three months

Have you turned off every breaker in the box and looked at the meter to make sure that you are not using any power?

Then--have you flipped the breaker back on to the sub panel and checked the meter again?
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:51 AM   #3
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Help! Sub Panel doubled electric bill?


The changes you made should not alter the demand for power. If the bill has doubled, something is using more power. Try the above suggestion, switching in one breaker at a time, to see if there are surges in one circuit.

The generator MUST not be in the circuit when the main is on.!!!
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
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Help! Sub Panel doubled electric bill?


Call up your electric company and have them review your records. The simple answer is that your meter could have been read wrong. But its not unusual to have your monthly bill change from month to month depending on load, especially anything that runs on 240..a/c, compressors, hot tub, dryer, heater, etc. Changing around your circuitry should not affect your useage which would cause a higher utility bill. Wait another month and see if the bill is indeed higher without anything causing it. You can always have the utility company send out a rep who can determine where the highest load useage is. And as others have said, you can turn off all power at the main breaker and your electric should come to a halt. Then you can one by one turn on each circuit till you see the culprit thats causing the high useage. But for a utility bill to double, that usually means a mistake or a high voltage energy draw that should be pretty obvious.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
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Help! Sub Panel doubled electric bill?


There is no way in the world that a sub-panel can double the electric bill. Sounds like it is just coincidence and you just got the bill for the Summer use.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Maybe power is escaping to ground somewhere. Get a meter out and see if something has a load that shouldn't
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy21 View Post
Maybe power is escaping to ground somewhere. Get a meter out and see if something has a load that shouldn't
Or possibly maybe they have a electric water heater by chance, and never think about looking for a bad element. Hmm, sound familiar.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Or possibly maybe they have a electric water heater by chance, and never think about looking for a bad element. Hmm, sound familiar.
my elements were just fine, thanks. As I said before, i think the dip tube was busted.
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