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#459 - 01/24/01 08:28 AM Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Finally got some work yesterday... a troubleshooting job... It gets worse...

The dreaded "Why is my bill so damn high all of a sudden?" call.

Okay.. this customer (who is the mother of a close friend of mine...)is using about 150 KWh per day and only used about half that in all the past winter months. My first thought was a bad element in the water heater, but alas there was only one element anyway! My second thought was the furnace or range, but nothing unusual there. So after busting my meter and having to pull off the job with no answers for her and looking like a real idiot... and loosing about $125 on the job, I figured I'd come here and see what you guys might point me to.
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#460 - 01/24/01 10:10 AM Re: Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
doc Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 119
Loc: Texas
Check the amp draw on the fridgerater or a freezer look to see if maybe one of those electric space heaters has been ourchased and plugged in some where,
Had same type of problem and light company finally came out and put a electric meter on each one of my appliances and we found that with 1 light bulb and the refer going our light bill was 70.00 a month replaced refer and bingo bill dropped.
Could be a bad meter or loose wire in meter base
_________________________
MAY THE SUN SHINE ON YOUR FACE IN THE MORNING AND YOU AWAKE WITH A SMILE

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#461 - 01/24/01 03:08 PM Re: Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Those sure can be a goose chase, i usually go the same route, check all the constant, or heavy loads, probe em'out circuit by circuit.
Check for heat tape..or leaks to ground, i had one call where the snow always melted on the walkway, if the detached garage light was on....
All leaks and squeaks aside, if the utilities start singing "California here i come" we'll all be answering calls like yours '66

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#462 - 01/24/01 03:43 PM Re: Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
When I run into these, I look to see if there are any underground circuits that may be damaged. Also, I look for exhaust fans that may be on but not turning, locked rotor current on a small impedance protected motor is fairly high.

When checking refrigerator/freezers, see if the condensor coils are clean. If they're all plugged up with cat/dog/people hair & dust, there is the possibility that the refrig is never shutting off.

Good luck, let us know how this turns out.

Tom
_________________________
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#463 - 01/24/01 04:51 PM Re: Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
sam Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 29
sparky, what i am about to say may not make any sense at all. on a job that i went on a breaker kept tripping. when i checked amps
the circuit was pulling around 24 amps. so
after checking the load saw nothing out of the norm. come to find out there was a plug in air freshner pluged in to a 120 volt recp. the plugin freshner was causing the problem, unpluged it and circuit pulled about 8.5 amps . this does not make any sense to me at all and i would not beleive it had i not seen it . maybe this will help you

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#464 - 01/24/01 09:12 PM Re: Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Thanks guys...

There were about a dozen plug-in air fresheners... and the lady of the house was laughing at the man of the house for throwing them away. Hmmm...

I'll see what I can find out... gotta buy a new ampere-meter first...
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#465 - 01/25/01 05:11 PM Re: Troubleshooting for Doubled Consumption
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
'66

I just had a thought,
Did they have a lot of Christmas lights up?
Those little bulbs can really add up!

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