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Old 10-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #1
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sub meter


My wife has a Kiln in the garage that runs off of 240. I would like to see if there is an inexpensive way to determine how much power it uses per firing. Is there an inexpensive sub meter that we could use? I have seen the "kill-a-watt" meters but they only work with 120volts and I don't think they keep track of total usage. At peak it uses 40 amps, but it cycles on and off a lot. Trying to figure out the cost of each firing.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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How about something like this?

http://www.theenergydetective.com/ted5000products
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Thanks, that is interesting but I only need to measure one receptacle and at $240 it is kind of pricey. The receptacle comes off a sub panel in the garage, and I would have no easy way to get the network connection that is required as the garage is detached from the house and a long way from my router. I also don't need real time data, just need to know how much an average firing costs, I can't do it via math because it goes on and off a lot.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:22 PM   #4
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Found a meter on Amazon for $120. Would the manufacturer not have this information? I guess at the basic level, you could get a beginning meter reading from your service socket, run the kiln and get an end reading. Then just convert your kilowatt-hours backwards. Of course do this During a period of no other activity such as overnight or early morning(if you can live without AC for a few hours)?
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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The kiln uses enough power that you can probably just read it off your home's main meter. The day after the firing, read the home's usage over the same time span and deduct that amount. If you are not running electric heat or AC a lot at the same time as the kiln, then the kiln's usage will totally overwhelm the rest of the house's. If you really want a more accurate calculation, you could connect an hour meter across the heating element terminals, like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-FWZ.../dp/B005IHXOYO

The hour meter will record the actual time the elements are really on, and multiplying by the kiln's kW consumption (240V times the number of amps) and your utility rate will give you the cost.

If the kiln draws 40A, that's 9.6kW. At an average rate of $0.12/kWh, that is about $1.10 per hour of actual operation. The first several hours of a firing are at reduced power which gradually increases. So if the firing takes 8 hours from start to cone-melt, then that might be the equivalent of 6-7 hours at full power, or about $7-8.
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Last edited by mpoulton; 10-01-2013 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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Sounds to me you better leave wifey's kiln alone, and tell her it doesn't matter how much it costs, as long as she loves doing it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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go to EBAY & look under watthour meters.get one that is called an "A" base type , they usually start around $10. with these you don't need a socket, just put the wires under the proper screws, & your ready to go.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, the Kiln can run for up to 12 hours and we have an electric hot water heater that could impact the results. The hour meter idea seems good, I just tap into the lines going to the coils and that is it?

The used meter may be possible as well, I could hard wire to the panel and then put my outlet under it.

And finally, the reason for metering is that it is a small business and the true cost needs to be determined so that we can enter it as an expense.

We only have a 200 amp service and with this at 40 amps I may have to be careful when it is running.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjgogo View Post

We only have a 200 amp service and with this at 40 amps I may have to be careful when it is running.
yeah, it will never be a problem.... i can guarantee you that.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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Electric water heater(4.5KW heating element), and a 40 amp kiln. No problem on a 200 amp service.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:03 PM   #11
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Electric water heater(4.5KW heating element), and a 40 amp kiln. No problem on a 200 amp service.
It will be fine on a 100 amp service....
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:21 PM   #12
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the sub meter could handle both of these also.if your intrested i have one i would sale for $10+shipping .just let me know.
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