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story 09-16-2009 03:20 PM

Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning
 
We've been having some odd electrical issues over the last month (see my post earlier today), but this seems something more clear and easily answerable:

When I shut off my main breaker, my meter's flywheel continues to turn . . . slowly, but distinctly. It's been fifteen minutes, and the flywheel is still slowly turning.

What does this tell you about the wiring and grounding in my house?

~j

Yoyizit 09-16-2009 03:39 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_meter

Check out the section called

Reading electromechanical meters

HouseHelper 09-16-2009 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by story (Post 328517)
We've been having some odd electrical issues over the last month (see my post earlier today), but this seems something more clear and easily answerable:

When I shut off my main breaker, my meter's flywheel continues to turn . . . slowly, but distinctly. It's been fifteen minutes, and the flywheel is still slowly turning.

What does this tell you about the wiring and grounding in my house?

~j

You may have a high resistance contact between one of the hot legs and the neutral or ground. Since this may be in the meter enclosure, you should contact your utility company and a licensed electrician. This does not sound like a DIY fixable problem.

PaliBob 09-16-2009 05:22 PM

Yoyizit had the answer:
Quote:

Quote from Wikipedia : Electricity meter
Quote:

Electromechanical accuracy
In an induction type meter, creep is a phenomenon that can adversely affect accuracy, that occurs when the meter disc rotates continuously with potential applied and the load terminals open circuited. A test for error due to creep is called a creep test.

AllanJ 09-16-2009 06:07 PM

Such a high resistance contact could be due to capacitance, the hot and neutral wires running some distance juxtaposed with "just" the plastic wire insulation between them. This current flow is sometimes referred to as phantom current in other contexts such as when measuring voltage on a supposedly dead circuit wire while using a digital meter which is typically more sensitive than an analog (needle) meter.
.

joed 09-16-2009 07:40 PM

Or you have a second panel tapped off the meter. This could possibly be timer controlled panel that gives alower rate because it is only on at low power times. Typically used for water heaters.

Jupe Blue 09-17-2009 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 328588)
Or you have a second panel tapped off the meter. This could possibly be timer controlled panel that gives alower rate because it is only on at low power times. Typically used for water heaters.

The OP doesn't say where they live, but in some Portland, OR homes I occasionally see an old 2-wire circuit tapped from the meter. The hot is under one of the meter lugs and exits the weather head, the neutral is split bolted on the neutral of the poco drop. Those unfused wires are then ran on porcelain knobs on the exterior of the house to a fuse box or feeds the garage. This set up would by pass the main breaker. Just demo'd and re-fed a run like this yesterday.

story 09-17-2009 11:31 AM

There are sub-boxes in the house, but they've been disabled in the rehab. As far as I can tell, the reason for the flywheel still turning would be either 1) "creep" -- which I think is unlikely, since it was so prolonged. Or, 2) the water main for the house is inside, and it appears to be wired pre-breaker box. So, the water meter, requiring some power to run, is the likely cause.

Now, I still have a 2007 kWh energy consumption from the last thirty days to figure out, and a few more odds and ends. But the forum is helping tremendously, for me to get the info I need to understand my house and its electrical set-up.

I will call the energy company, and possibly an electrician, soon . . . but for now I'm very carefully gaining an education on the possible problems.

Thanks,

~j

PaliBob 09-17-2009 11:46 AM

Thanks for the feedback. You are on the right track in investigating leads.
.

Yoyizit 09-17-2009 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by story (Post 328798)
Now, I still have a 2007 kWh energy consumption from the last thirty days to figure out

Use your wattmeter as an ammeter. 1800 w over a 14 second period is 1800w/240V = 7.5A, average, over that same period.
Switch appliances on and off to see where the current is going.

2007 kwh/[720 hr/mon] = 2.8 kw all the time. Avg is ~1 kw.


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