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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wish to read the current from a power cord.

I should not slice into it myself.

I cannot use a line splitter or similar meter device.

Current on this wire will be either basically nothing or a hell of a lot.

Is there anything I can do? Can I alter a clamp meter somehow and clamp over one half of the wire and get some kind of reading? Can I bend the cord some way to do this? Does anyone know of a device that is currently available that will let me sense a non-stripped AC bundle?

There are a couple devices I know of that could do this but neither are available now. I don't own the home, I should not strip this wire. I could open the panel, probably clamp it there, but I'm reluctant to take that step. Don't mention asking the homeowner, there's reasons I don't want to take it there yet, but that will be the next step if I can't find some way to do this properly on my own.

I don't need precision due to the aforementioned load characteristics. Anything would help.

Thank you for reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The water heater is direct wired with a power cord?
It's one of those contractor ones. It doesn't just plug into an outlet, the cord disappears inside of it and I'd guess is hardwired to terminals or has some special connector.

The unit itself functions just fine. It operates completely silently, too, otherwise I could just listen for when it's on.
 

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Is it enough to know if there is some current or no current, or do you need finer granularity?
Do you need to have the data recorded, so that you could determine that current was flowing X hours out of the last 24, for example?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is it enough to know if there is some current or no current, or do you need finer granularity?
Do you need to have the data recorded, so that you could determine that current was flowing X hours out of the last 24?
Any reading would help over no reading at all.

While granularity is nice, I already have good control of things data-wise for my purposes. The impact the water heater makes is to draw almost nothing, or draw many amps when it starts heating water. So I just need to able to definitively say "this thing has finished now. it has shut itself off".
 

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This is a classic XY problem.



Someone has an analytical mind but knows little about NEC electrical standards and practices, has a problem X. Imagining a potential solution Y, but knows too little about the NEC electrical space to know whether Y is an expedient way to address problem X.

Start from the beginning. You're not the only one to ever have this need, and there will be solutions out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is a classic XY problem.



Someone has an analytical mind but knows little about NEC electrical standards and practices, has a problem X. Imagining a potential solution Y, but knows too little about the NEC electrical space to know whether Y is an expedient way to address problem X.

Start from the beginning. You're not the only one to ever have this need, and there will be solutions out there.
My problem is I want to read the current on the power feed to the WH, more simply to be able to say when it is drawing and when it isn't, as opposed to more counting what it is drawing.

My lack of rights to strip the wire makes a conventional clamp ammeter a difficult prospect. As Flashedout said, I could take the outside cover off, maybe measure the current at the terminal, but that's sounds even more like professional stuff than stripping the wire carefully. Could I do that? Is that safe? Is that ill-advised? I could open the electrical panel and clamp the live wire there, but that's also a little bit much to be doing. Also, it's not so much the circuit I am trying to analyse so much as the device itself, to clarify what it is doing on the circuit, even though (and especially because) it should be the only thing active on that circuit.

I am trying to find out if there is any way I can get any kind of reading from that wire without stripping it. The only devices I know of to do this aren't made and/or sold anymore.
 

· Naildriver
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You are a renter. You should not be dealing with panel covers or reaching into a live panel without express written consent of the landlord. It puts you at liability. I agree with Chris, it would help us to help you better if we knew what the data was to be used for. There may be work arounds.
 
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, but that's sounds even more like professional stuff than stripping the wire carefully.
I’m not proposing you strip the wires bare. I’m proposing you cut back the outer sheath to expose the individual conductors which would retain their insulation.

But i agree with the others … what is the underlying purpose? Do you think the WH is malfunctioning and using too much energy?
 

· Usually Confused
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It's one of those contractor ones. It doesn't just plug into an outlet, the cord disappears inside of it and I'd guess is hardwired to terminals or has some special connector.

The unit itself functions just fine. It operates completely silently, too, otherwise I could just listen for when it's on.
No such thing. It sounds like a typical electrical tank-type water heater, which are 240v and required to be hardwired on a dedicated circuit. There are 120v plug-in heaters but they are rare and not typically seen in homes.

As others have said, explaining your goal or problem might help us to provide you with solutions.
 
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