Electric meter

Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
636
Location
Northern Vermont
Recently moved back to our old house in VT and for some reason the electric bill has quadrupled. I don't have the old kilowatt usage, but do remember the $$. And while I realize rates have risen, it couldn't be by that much.

Have an electric H2O heater, power vent furnace, electric dryer, and I know these are heavy draws, but they're the same ones that were here before. Figure one of the appliances might be outta wack.

Anybody know of a cheap plug-in meter to monitor individual appliances? The ones I've seen were $100-$450!!
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
594
Location
SoCal
Can't help on the meter, but as for the elec. water heater, it's inefficient compared to gas, at least the technology that existed when I had one in a rental I lived in years back. So I got the owner's consent and wired in a timer so the heater would work only during the hours we used it. Shaved a lot off the elec. bill. Might think about that. As for the overall problem, I have the same problem now in the old house I live in so, sympathies!
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
636
Location
Northern Vermont
We have the off peak timer on it and 2 layers of insulation wrap. But it's the same one that was here all along. Unless it's got a real bad case of scale on it.

Just found freezer section of the spare fridge in the basement was frosted up big time. The fridge part wasn't even cold and that's where the sensor is.

This may have been the culprit.
 

619TOY

SILVER Star
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Jun 27, 2006
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San Diego
You may be able to narrow down what is drawing the most by watching the meter turn and disconnecting appliances one at a time or shutting off circuit breakers that power them. For comparison I live in a 4 bedroom house w/ gas heat, stove and water heater. I used 276 kWh last month.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
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Eastern PA.
Some electric companys will do an energy audit for you and tell you where the powers going. I had a tenet who got one because of high bills and it turned out to be a bad fridge. Other than that a amp meter on your main line while you switch off breakers and look for a amp drop.


Kevin
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
636
Location
Northern Vermont
You may be able to narrow down what is drawing the most by watching the meter turn and disconnecting appliances one at a time or shutting off circuit breakers that power them. For comparison I live in a 4 bedroom house w/ gas heat, stove and water heater. I used 276 kWh last month.

This is what I did. Unfortunately, I defrosted the fridge first. So now I'm not finding anything that's really spinnin the meter.

My 2 bedroom, 1200 sq ft home used almost 1400 kilowatt hrs last month. I called my electric co. and they check my records. We used to average about 400 kilowatt hrs, and they said a refrigerator is the #1 cause of abnormal kilowatt usage. Operator said they get a half dozen calls a day.

We'll see....
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
468
Location
Greenbow, AL
Probably not the most sensible thing to do - but here's what I did to figure out where my electricity $ were going. I ran wires from my 80 amp shop breaker to the meter and then pulled wires from the breaker feeding whatever I was interested in and attached to the out side of the meter. Water heater wasn't really that bad. However, resistance heat in the shop was a killer. $10 for the new meter from a salvage place, a freebie base, and a six pack was my total cost!

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Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
3,500
Location
Gleneagle, CO
Usually when you get a really huge bill it's because the utility company has been estimating usage too low and billing based on that. When they finally come to take the actual meter reading you pay for all the previously unbilled use. Seems likely given that you just moved back in.

Call the company and ask if the last couple of months bills were estimated rather than based on readings. They are extremely conservative when they estimate so they can't be accused of overbilling. They know they'll get paid for everything when they eventually get the real readings.

The Kill-a-watt monitors are given rave reviews everytime I read about them.

Kill-a-watt Review
 

Jakes40

IH8MUD Poser
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
3,999
Location
Winchester,Va
elect. appl. suck

It’s probable all your appliances. Electric appl. uses more elec. the older they get. Seals brake down, heating element get corrode and work less efficient. Add in the higher cost of electric and there you go.
I feel your pain!

Looks like your meter works. What you were looking for is an clamp type amp. Meter and yes they are expensive.
 

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