Electrical Mystery

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Bloom, May 18, 2015.

  1. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    Hello,
    I am in need of help determining what is going on in our home. For 10 years our electric usage has been steadily going up, now it is 2 to 3 times what it was for several years prior. We have had a few different electricians out to check breakers and all electric elements/usage in the home. All have said that there is no abnormal usage, arc's or grounds. We do not have breakers flipping. Lights do dim when certain appliances cycle. The electric monopoly company has stated that they are doing their part perfectly. Normal voltage, and they switched out the meter and connections. However, with every new appliance we end up paying more..nearly $400 per month. There is no rhyme or reason to kilowatt readings. Did 12 hour check, every hour. Most kilo's when house was quiet, or we were gone???. Over head power. Here are some numbers recently given to me from power comp.: Accumulated Power - chnl 1= 167.012; chnl 2=221.951.....Apparent Power - Chnl 1=174.885; chnl 2= 238.235....Reactive Power - chnl 1= -35.741; chnl 2= -72.040....they couldn't define the previous terms let alone what these numbers meant...only that our volts were ok and that whatever it is we are burning the excessive power on is none of their concern....preparing complaint with Attorney General...PUC complaint net nothing...no explanation and the bills continue to increase...HELP!!!!!!!!! I have some graphs I can send out...showing voltage, kilowatts being used..from 10 monitoring on our meter...useless to me!!!!!!
     
  2. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    Asked about dead neutrals (?) Asked about too much power...the troubleman climbed out of his pole bucket and said...."there was one thing..when was this pole replaced?" then went to check the meter on the house...never finished his thought...WHAT did he see??? The pole was replaced the same time our bills began to go up exponentially!!!! Please help me, we need to fix this!! Can't sell without disclosing issues, can't afford to stay much longer..
     
  3. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Switch off all of your circuit breakers at the panel and then switch them on one by one noting how much power you're consuming on the utility meter. If you can narrow to a circuit, check each appliance on it using a watt meter. The power company may have one you can borrow. I did that to check power consumption on an old refrigerator. Most people don't clean the radiators on their refrigerators (me included), but that can increase consumption (marginally).
     
  4. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Don't forget anything with electronics in it now, which is almost everything, is consuming power, even when off, TV, radio, phones, etc etc.
    If it is really excessive, use an intercom phone and get someone to turn off each breaker in turn, while watching your watt/meter revs.
    The largest users in the home is usually refrigerator and freezer.
    Did you factor in the charge/watt increases over time.
    Max.
     
  5. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    check here for nationwide energy prices interactive chart. Could be that your energy cost in your area is going up.
    What appliances? Did the lights always dim?
    With every new appliance...? What does that mean? Surely you're not adding appliances in your house and expecting the light bill not to go up?
     
  6. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    We (electricians and I) used the 'form' sheets on average household usage when determining our overall house's use - 3x's . All times we came up with about $150 -170. While I monitored the meter and wrote down the kilo's, I kept track of what was on in the house(major - laundry, tv, cooking etc,) the temp outside the temp set inside..did this twice, in winter and summer. Both times there were crazy numbers at night...we even shut off all breakers at night to see if a neighbors house or street light would go out. We have also done the breakers..each individual and watched for jumps when they are on or firing up...furnace fan. The electrician borrowed some very expensive monitor from another power company and hooked up our furnace and the dryer lines and we monitored for a couple days...date added up doesn't come close to overages, above the $150 -170 area. My spread sheet with all our bills w/ kilos accounts for the kilo rate increases over time.
     
  7. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    You didn't leave an electric heater on in the loft did you?!
     
  8. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    So you could try turning all power off for the night, and see how man kWh you get over that period.
    I mean, you should have a main disconnect between the meter and your house, shut that off and see what happens.
     
  9. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Some electricity suppliers will provide a Wi-Fi clamp meter that goes on the main cable, you get like a desk clock for the readout - one of those would make checking the breakers one by one real easy.
     
  10. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    We have factored the kilo price increase..from .07 to .09 over ten years.
    Replacement appliances..purchased STAR rated fridge, freezer, dishwasher, water heater...nothing we didn't already have.
    The lights as far back as I can remember.....have dimmed when the dishwasher cycles or the wash machine...I will check this today.

    Is there ever a situation where a house gets to much power once in a while that would cause regular appliances, bulbs to run at there max but not burn out...can this happen off and on???
     
  11. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    I have shut off the main and checked the outside meter. It goes blank.
     
  12. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    We just did this. Our electrician put it on the furnace and dryer lines for a couple of days. took the readings, added up what it was costing us. About $50 a month, add that to the rest of the house and we still don't even get to $200.
     
  13. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    I meant some disconnect between the meter and your house. Or all the breakers inside the house, just turn everything off while and leave that presumably digital meter still running.
     
  14. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    Please keep brainstorming!! I need and answer...what about outside??? The transformer? the wires, the ??? Surges? Can someone highjack power from a pole???
     
  15. Bloom

    Thread Starter Member

    May 18, 2015
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    We checked one from the library..supplied by the power company. All appliances in normal range...
     
  16. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    You are looking in the wrong place, appliance might be ok but there needs to be somewhere something else that hogs the current.
    You might want to look on what is the line voltage at night compared to voltage during the day. Do the lights (incandescent ones) get really bright?
     
  17. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Anything before the meter will not register.
    Max.
     
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  18. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    "Crazy numbers at night" is a real puzzle. I would look at that in more detail.
    Can you see the meter power go up at night?
    If so you need to isolate what circuit is causing that.

    You mentioned water heater, so is the water heater electric? That doesn't have a recirculating pump, does it?
     
  19. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    My money is still in a heater left on in a little used room - like the loft perhaps.
     
  20. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    My water heater is on a cheaper off-peak meter - I assumed everyone did that.
     
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