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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
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    395

    Default Super Watt Sucker

    I had a call from a recent client about energy usage. She had just received her December electric bill and it was $1,100. Its a weekend house and they had only occupied it for 6 days in December. She had called the electric company and they said that the house was consuming 200KW a day. She ask me to help her investigate the issue. Electric heat, Electric hot water - I got there and heat was at 50 and water heaters were OK - delivering 120 degree. No signs of anyone tapping in.

    Any ideas?

    //Rick

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    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    Turn everything off and look at the meter?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lanham, MD
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    86

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    POCO could have just misread the meter for December. With an an actual reading in January, it might result in a credit on the next bill.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    By electric heat, do you mean a heat pump?

    I have an all electric house and use on average 35 kWh/day. And that includes a pool pump running every day.

    That's a huge bill for someone who doesn't even occupy the house.

    Dom.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    Plural - Hot water tanks?

    Is the heat left on low even when not occupied?

    How well insulated is the building?

    Price per kilowatt?

    Square footage of house?

    Equalized billing?

    Estimated usage charged or actual meter reading based?

    Too many unknowns.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    Did you read the meter so you could compare it to another reading in a couple of days?

    I'm going to go with the 'read it wrong' guess at that much usage.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    Heat was on at 50 degrees. Modern construction but lots of glass and vaulted ceiling. 1,800sq ft. Upstairs has a master but doors were shut. Temperatures here have been mild 30's at night 40-50 during day.

    It does have an electric furnace.

    Yes, there were two 40 gallon water heaters, one pretty old. I thought that was the culprit but it was delivering 118 degree water. No leaks in water system or leaking TPR.

    The meter is digital which means they can read it remotely. Downside is it no longer has the little wheel and the display reads in 4KW increments. I watched it for ten minutes and it never changed.

    Client was supposed to get a new reading today and see if the consumption dropped after we shut off water heaters, furnace, security lights etc.

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    house was consuming 200KW a day.
    That's 8.33 KW per hour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    The meter is digital which means they can read it remotely. Downside is it no longer has the little wheel and the display reads in 4KW increments. I watched it for ten minutes and it never changed.
    Yep, would take about 30 minutes to change from 4 to 8.

    Even tough digital and remote reading, it could be wrong - could be set to read the wrong meter number - like the house next door ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    One thing I would do is turn off all the circuit breakers and leave the main on and see if it is indicating usage (digital dotted line moving across left to right). Maybe there is some sort of hot to ground fault but not enough to trip the main.


  10. #10
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    8.33 KW/h is almost 70 amps on one 120v circuit. Pretty tough to do or conceive for most residences. Any warm breakers, here digital electric meters have a 'total draw' digital flash that displays periodically.

    What about a grow operation that periodically borrows someones meter? I haven't heard of that happening, but it seems conceivable, unless the utility can tell where the meter is read from(like downloads GPS info along with usage).

    Last edited by Don Burbach; 02-07-2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: fix mis-spoken writing error

  11. #11
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    I have one of these installed at my house so I can keep a eye on my usage. Mine is an older version without the web interface. Might work for you client.

    TED 5000 Home Energy Monitor


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    If this is a "smart meter" that they can read remotely, the power company might be able to provide a link to monitor from the customer's computer.
    https://www.smartmetertexas.com/CAP/.../home_faq.html

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  13. #13
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Super Watt Sucker

    I have that feature too from my power company. I get a email each day with my usage two days ago. It runs about 24 hours behind but it is helpful.

    https://www.myusage.com/default.cfm?...nsition=Mobile


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