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Old 09-16-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
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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

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Old 09-16-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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

Check out the section called

Reading electromechanical meters

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Old 09-16-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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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.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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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.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:46 AM   #9
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


Thanks for the feedback. You are on the right track in investigating leads.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:04 AM   #10
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Shut Main Breaker Off: Meter flywheel still keeps slowly turning


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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.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 09-17-2009 at 11:17 AM.
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