Electromagnetic Induced Current

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by atcrafts, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. atcrafts

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    13
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    I have a home electric problem that neither the Power company nor a half dozen electricians have been able to solve. My question is this, my meter mast and my meter are located 5 feet from my electric panel due to some drunken remodeling work when a room addition was added.On the left side of the meter box my power lines come out and are routed to my electric panel on the right side, on the right side of the meter box, all the old part the house wiring, goes thru the wall to the old electric panel which is now empty but ties into the old wires. I have used a field meter to measure the magnetic field in the area around the meter and it just pegs out, the kind used on Ghost Hunters. Is it possible that these wires are induceing current flow or increaseing flow thru my meter.My average electric use now is at 108 kwh per day.We have checked out all the things that are running electric which is not to many as I have natural gas appliances,stove,water,new A/C,4 year old refrig., new windows, new duct work, added insulation.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
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    Has anyone approached this sensibly?

    Does your meter stop spinning when your panel disconnect is open? Does any one circuit seem to draw excessive current (you open all breakers, and check one by one)? What was your average usage before the remodeling?
     
  3. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    >100 KwH per day?
     
  4. atcrafts

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 3, 2009
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    I now have a new digital meter, the re-model was done about 15 years ago, we have own the home for 10 years. After the first month here we contacted the power company because we have a in-home wiring contract with them. Of the 12 electricians 8 were sent out by the power company, plus one Fraud investigator, they thought we must be growing our own happy plants.There has been several circuit audits done. I have asked for a 24 hour power survey to try to determine any spikes or high usage during the middle of the night.They said they did not have any type of equiptment that could do that.This was a rental property for several years after the owner moved out due to heart condition.(which was caused by the monthly power bill I think).For the last two months my bill has been over $500.00 per month,for a 1400 sq.ft. home with practically new everything.My KWH usage has steadyly gone up over the years no matter what I replace.When we first moved in it was winter but that summer after I turned on the A/C I went in the attic and it was cooler than the house, after new ducts and A/C the next summer the daily KWH was higher than the year before. And it has been doing that each month with only a few exceptions for 9 years.Obiously its not a simple problem or ordinary electric malfunction.The only large electric appliance is the A/C which draws 13 amps on each leg, one circuit with 4 amps and one with 5 amps the rest are between .4 and 1.3 there is 6 of those.Now thats normal usage during the day, there may be times when everyone is watching TV in their room, two sons, and running their computer, but thats just a couple of hours.
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Part of the problem might be that the power utility has sent electricians to solve a profitable problem. They could not have been particularly competent to not be able to locate a power draw of that magnitude.

    This is almost like a neighbor has tapped into the line past your meter so you are paying his bills too. If you open the disconnect in your breaker panel and the meter is still indicating power being used, that should be an indication of where to start looking.
     
  6. russ_hensel

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    818
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    Ghosts use about 20 kw per. So you take the power you use, subtract it from the total and comput how haunted your house is. Pretty straight forward I think. Switch to gremlins, at only about 5 kw per.
     
  7. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
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    I agree with beenthere -- first check to see that no power is being drawn when all loads are cut off. Then, if you feel comfortable with safely measuring AC currents inside your circuit breaker box, you can monitor each circuit. Sometimes access can be tight, so a clamp-on ammeter with a smaller head can be what you want. Here's one that I have: the B&K 316. It will clamp around a 1/2" diameter cable, but the head is only about 1.2" wide, allowing it to get into fairly narrow spaces. I feel it's a bit overpriced, but I got it for about 1/3 off and it will measure DC also. I trust it down to about 10 mA.

    If I was faced with such a problem, I would get a two channel chart recorder, a voltmeter, and a clamp-on ammeter and make traces of actual voltage/current levels for a few days. Read your meter immediately before starting and after finishing and compare to the integrated power level. They better match. Actually, the chart recorder could be hard to come buy. If you're willing to do some simple python programming, you could get two digital multimeters with serial interfaces and use one for current and one for voltage (you'd also need something like the F.W. Bell CG-100A current gun to turn the AC current into a DC voltage). A laptop could then be used to record data over whatever period you desired.

    You can also monitor 120 VAC power usage with a Kill-a-Watt meter; they can be had on the web for about $25. I consider one absolutely essential. I use mine frequently around the workbench and house.

    If you isolate each circuit, measure it, proceed systematically, and keep good notes, you'll find the problem in short order -- it's not difficult at all.

    Oh, and I'd never let the power company work on the wiring in my house -- they have their hand out and I never trust people who have their hand out to me. Do the work yourself or hire someone you trust.

    One other thing to suspect is the power meter itself. You could ask that the power company come out and calibrate it or swap it for a known-good unit.
     
  8. atcrafts

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    13
    0
    I knew I was going to get in trouble about the ghost thing as soon as I hit the post button.Reason I said that is I have a Trifield AC gauss meter that measures the electric field,RF field.Gauss reading up to 100 milliagauss.It is the same one they use on the show. Any ghosts I have I keep in the computer.Also my expertise in the use of testing equipment is nil.The theft of electric is the first thing that comes to mind. That or I have a 1950's style bomb shelter buried in the back yard that is still occupied by survivalists. But back to my first question, is it possible that the electric traveling basically in a circle around my meter induce a change in the either the amount of flow or the strength of the current. Like a transformer does.(not the car/robot kind).Or does anyone know of a meter that I can easily use and attach to my panel, I already have the kill o watt meter but it only works on the 110 circuit and dosen't give me a hourly reading over a 24 hour period.
     
  9. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    You can check the company's meter yourself by switching everything else off, except a known load, for a specic period at least 6 hours.

    Read the meter at the beginning and end of the test.

    If the meter does not show your correct usage you have a faulty meter and a large refund.

    The gain would be worth the pain.
     
  10. eblc1388

    Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    1,542
    102
    Forget about gauss meter reading, it has nothing to do with the power drain problem in your case.

    Looks like you have a tough case, possibility beyond the capability of an average electrician.

    What you can do is to discuss the problem with a lecturer of a technical institute, and offer a reward of say $500 to $1000 to find out the root cause of the problem, and produce a report at the end. Armed with a formal report, it is much easier to take further actions, like asking for compensation etc....

    If I were a lecturer on electrical or power discipline, I would be happy to supervise a group of my students to try to find out the answer, as a practical field exercise on applying what one learn from books.
     
  11. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Someone is using your energy!

    Switch everthing off and wait for the screams!!

    This was post added for me by the Local Borough Electrical Engineer - He is very hot on meter watching.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  12. Ruptor

    Active Member

    Apr 26, 2009
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    Like BeenThere said its a profit maker for the electricty company so if it is there problem remove the profit by not paying your bill until they fix it. Offer to pay for the calculated electricity your appliances use as a gesture of good faith when they start getting threatening. I am sure there must be a law to support you whereby they are respnsible for the correct metering of electricity so if you are not using it their meter must be at fault.
     
  13. atcrafts

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    13
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    I have had the meter replaced twice.First time was because I requested it, when I bought the house it had the old style can that had double slots for meters they used to put in a sperate meter for the stove, since I have gas now I didn't like the idea of one side was open. The second time was when they replaced the power lines from the meter to the panel.The electrician had removed the load lines coming from the mast and the meter wheel was still turning, not very fast but it was still moving. I live in Florida,one major College prides themselves on making the Playboy top ten party school list 20 years in a row, not that there is anything wrong with that.Of the other two, one majors in football, paying their coach 4 million plus, the other baseball.Building trade school has never been strong here,there has always been snowbirds who come down when housing grows and goes some where else when it goes down, like now.
     
  14. Norfindel

    Active Member

    Mar 6, 2008
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    9
    I think you should hire your own electrician to solve the problem, then don't pay your company to solve problems inside your house anymore, as they're clearly useless.
     
  15. atcrafts

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    13
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    Let me ask a basic question, as I said earlier I know nothing about testing or measurement equiptment. If I take a clamp on ammeter to the three power lines coming into my panel and add them together it should be my total power draw.I then drop down to the breakers and read each black wire and add those totals together both totals should match, right? I then multiply my 110 or 120 to get total watts as that is how I am charged by the power company, one post I read says 110 another 120.
     
  16. Yuri B.

    New Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    6
    0
    If the cable after the meter is "rooted" might it not be leaking current into the soil (not yet short-circuited but steadily heating up the ground beneath your home)?
     
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