Electrical questions

Recently finished upgrading to a 200A panel and replacing all the wiring in the house. Instead of Al entrance cable I used 2" conduit to get from the meter to the panel and ran copper feeds to the panel. The electric company replaced my old ham slicer meter with a digital meter.
First, can I putty or caulk around the wires inside the conduit to stop the cold air from coming in?
Second, my electric bill is up about 15% since I started. The only additional load I added was six 75watt bulbs on two dimmers that replaced one 100watt table lamp, these run 16 hours a day. Also three hard-wired smoke detectors. Are the digital meters more accurate? Is there a way I can test the meter?
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I'm not sure about putting stuff inside conduit code wise so I'd opt for simple. Wad up a bit of fiberglass insulation and stuff it in the end.
When did you change over? How much of your heat system uses electricity? All the meters should be pretty accurate. Does your new meter allow the pwoer company to read it remotely? Did you look closely at the bills to see if any of them are "estimated" rather than based on actual readings? Few power companies read the meter every single month.
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All my readings are actual. Forced hot air so only the blower and the ignitor are using electric. My jump in usage occured when I first made the change back in April so the cold weather probably isn't it. I'm thinking my new meter is either bad or more accurate than the old one.
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What type conduit did you use on your panel feeder run ?
EMT ? RMC ?
I am not aware of any air tight fittings for EMT, however RMC has several different types of explosion proof fittings and junction boxes which are used with threaded RMC conduit... These are the same type of fittings you see all lined up in a row on the side wall of a gas station to feed power and comm to the pump islands... Such fittings are used with an approved packing fiber and sealing compound to create a barrier to prevent gases, vapors or flames from using the conduit to migrate in an electrical system...
As to your increase in the electric bill: What did you upgrade to 200amps from ?
You replaced some lighting, namely one 100w lamp with six 75w lamps... You realize that the six lamps use 4.5 times as much wattage as the single 100w lamp did...
You are comparing 100w per hour x 16 hours which is 1,600w or 1.6 kWh to (6) x 75w = 450w x 16 hours which is 7,200w or 7.2 kWh
Without knowing more about your electrical usage history and how many kWh your home uses besides the one change you described which happened at the same time as your 200amp service upgrade a definitive answer can not be given, but it sounds like the increase can be reasonably explained by the lighting changes you have made rather than a faulty electrical meter or an "estimated" bill because your meter is only actually read periodically as someone else proposed...
~~ Evan
~~ Evan
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So if I have the math right:
7.2 - 1.6 = 5.6 additional KWH per day 5.6 x 30 = 168 KWH per month 168 x 0.1227 = $20.61 per month
Wow!
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Just get your own meter and load and test. I would like to test mine cause I think I need to pay more !!!!!
Also got a new digital water meter.
greg
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Limp Arbor wrote:

This is actually required by the NEC (300.7-A). Mix of warm and cold air can condense the moisture out of the warm air producing water. The common building entry is for conduit down from the meter can to an LB fitting and conduit out the back into the building. Common practice is to pack "Duct seal" (a UL listed a commercial product) around the wires inside the LB where they go into the conduit into the building. Also common practice around here to hacksaw a small slot in the bottom of the LB to drain water if any accumulates.

The digital and mechanical meters should both be very accurate. You can shut everything off except for a known wattage and read the meter before and after a timed interval. A 1,000 W load for 1 hour will register 1 KWH. For real accuracy you would probably have to check the "known" load with something like a "Kill A Watt" meter http://www.p3international.com/products/special/P4400/P4400-CE.html
--
bud--

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Packing the pipe coming out of the LB into the house will be easier than trying to plug the conduit where it comes into the panel. When I had the panel inspected he didn't look at the LB or ask me to pull the cover.
I thought about drilling a small hole in the bottom of the LB as a precaution but didn't do it (maybe I will). The cover on those is surprisingly flimsy and the gasket wasn't very thick. Seems like the outdoor outlet boxes would seal better than the LBs.
Thanks.
I'm getting the branch wire replacements inspected Monday so I'll ask the inspector about the LB then.

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On Fri, 28 Jan 2011 08:36:38 -0800 (PST), Limp Arbor

Take Bud's suggestion about a small saw kerf in the bottom of the LB, just be careful you don't hit a wire. A round drilled hole may be attractive to insects.
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*Bud is correct about the Duct Seal. I think it the best way to go because it can be removed years later if needed. I've drilled holes in weatherproof boxes to let water drain out, but eventually they become clogged with crud and water accumulates anyway. If you're so inclined you can open the LB every year and clean out any condensation. Have an extra gasket standing by. You can also pack some Duct Seal inside of the weatherhead to prevent rain from getting in. I also caulk around the fittings and the hub.
If you think that there is a problem with the new meter, you should ask the power company for a replacement. However you did increase your load by 350 watts which is on 16 hours a day. Do you have a day rate and a night rate with the new meter? I have Time of Day Service for my electric and consequently have a higher rate during the day than at night and on weekends.
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If Evans calculations and my followups are correct just putting in the ceiling lights and ditching the table lamp could explain most if not all of the difference.
I'm still going to to amp each wire this weekend and see if I do have a short or something that is going to ground. My electric before was grounded so I doubt it is a newly ground appliance but it could be I nicked a wire or ran a staple through something.
I was actually expecting the bill to go down since I got rid of all the Al/Cu-clad wire and replaced it all with copper. I found a few wires with burnt insulation and corroded wires so I thought the resisatance of the new all copper would be less saving me hundreds per month. :-)
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SNIP>

If Evans calculations and my followups are correct just putting in the ceiling lights and ditching the table lamp could explain most if not all of the difference.
I'm still going to to amp each wire this weekend and see if I do have a short or something that is going to ground. My electric before was grounded so I doubt it is a newly ground appliance but it could be I nicked a wire or ran a staple through something.
I was actually expecting the bill to go down since I got rid of all the Al/Cu-clad wire and replaced it all with copper. I found a few wires with burnt insulation and corroded wires so I thought the resisatance of the new all copper would be less saving me hundreds per month. :-)
Go back to your 100 watt bulb for a month and note the difference. The math looks pretty good; sometimes what's going on is not that intuitive. MLD
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?

Maybe you have too much oxygen in the wire. Take it out and replace it with Monster Cable. Is is oxygen free. Gold plate your connectors too.
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On 1/28/2011 8:18 AM, Limp Arbor wrote:

I've heard dozens of times never change out an old mechanical meter. They are almost always sluggish and slow. You found this out.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  Click to see the full signature.
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Wasn't my choice. I had to change the meter socket to one that was rated for 200A when I changed the panel. The new meter socket was only 1" taller.
When the electric company got the OK from the inspector to turn me back on they stuck in the digital meter.
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I would go back to a single light bulf and use a CFL, and replace all the bulbs you can thruout home with CFLs my electric bill dropped a lot when I did this
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There is a specific putty for sealing conduit.
http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/index.htm/_/N-2ppnZntjx7/R-I3622976
Judging by the rest of the thread, it looks like you got your math down on your new power consumption.
I did my panel 2 years ago, but I'm still working on retrofitting the rest of the house. Stinkin non grounded cable...
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?

At the rates here is CT, the 100W bulb is 28 a day, the new setup is $1.26 a day. That 98 difference is $29.40 a month.
You can buy a new table lamp or use CFLs in place and save a few bucks.
Oh, meters can be wrong too. If the added load is not the answer, have it checked out.
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