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Old 10-29-2006, 09:56 AM   #1
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Where have the KWH gone?


I have been a home owner for about two years now. I never really knew how much to expect for electrical bills, but expected them to be high since I have two large aquariums with powerful lights and heaters. In reviewing my latest bill, I see that it has an average of 46.4 KWH per day. I have talked to other home owners in the area, and their bills are significantly lower than mine, so I decided to do some monitoring and see what device(s) are costing me the most money. I purchased a Kill-A-Watt device to track electrical usage for each outlet and have come up with quite a difference in what I am using and what I am being billed for. I ran the Kill-A-Watt for a few days each on just about everything that plugs into the wall. My total is 22 KWH per day. Of course I didn't monitor lights or clocks, but the difference is still 24 KWH per day, or in other words, I am using 1000 watts, all day, every day, that is not accounted for. Also, I have a gas range, heat, and water heater, so I know they are probably not to blame.

Where do I start looking for tracking down the problem? Could it be the meter is defective? A problem with the utility company? A short circuit somewhere? A bad breaker in the panel?

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Old 10-29-2006, 10:00 AM   #2
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Where have the KWH gone?


Any underground cables to a shed or garage?

You can call the utility to check the meter. They can put in an adaptor that will hold two meters. Your existing meter, and a known calibrated meter. They run that for a month and then compare.

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Old 10-29-2006, 10:10 AM   #3
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Where have the KWH gone?


The only underground cables I know of is one that runs to a lamp post about 30 feet away from the house (regular incandescent lamp). All I can really tell you about it is that the light works when I flip the switch, but I usually don't have it on.
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:44 AM   #4
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Where have the KWH gone?


If you turn off the breakers to all the measured devices or unplug them all, you should see the meter slow down. Then start turning off the breakers and see what circuits are using the remaining power. did you account for the fridge? freezer? sump pump? TVs when off use power?

A buried cable with a fault in it could be leaking current to the ground. It would possibly still operate the light. However if the switch is in thehouse then that cable would not be eneregizzed with the switch off and not be your problem.
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:21 PM   #5
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Where have the KWH gone?


Ya shut off all the breakers and see if the meter still spins. I like that ideal. I wouldn't dought if the energy company is scamming you. Most energy companys do a estimate of usage. Have you ever seen a guy stop buy to read the electric meter?
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