Kill a Watt(tm) power meters

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Anybody familiar with them? Is the "EZ" (model P4460) worth an extra $15 over model P4400?
I want to see how much electricity my freezers, TV sets, computers, etc are *really* using, plus check the frequency stability of my portable generator and that little inverter than I mounted in my truck.
Thanks, Bob
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You may want to get on the Lee Valley mailing list. They had that model as a special last week (now sold out) for $20. www.leevalley.com
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zxcvbob wrote:

The "EZ" has two enhanced features over the basic model:
1. You can enter your KWH rate and it will tell you how much - in dollars and cents - the reading cost, and 2. Has a battery backup so it doesn't reset when the power goes off.
If you don't know how to multiply, or do not have access to a calculator, #1 may be necessary. If you want to accumulate readings over a power outage situation, #2 might be a help.
Neither "enhancement" seems useful for the needs you have.
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I guess I'm missing something here. They give you some data, but other than curiosity, what usefullness does that data serve. Plug a refrig into one and learn it uses x kw and costs x $ per month. But there ain't a darn thing you can do about it except buy a new frig. Ditto for all the other appliances you have in your home. Yeah, I can see figuring what loads you can put on a generator, but other than that, what 'useful' data do they provide?
KC
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I guess I'm missing something here. They give you some data, but other than curiosity, what usefullness does that data serve. Plug a refrig into one and learn it uses x kw and costs x $ per month. But there ain't a darn thing you can do about it except buy a new frig. Ditto for all the other appliances you have in your home. Yeah, I can see figuring what loads you can put on a generator, but other than that, what 'useful' data do they provide?
KC
***********************************************************************
The refrigerator has to stay running, but other appliances do not. I guess the main purpose is awareness. Watching the meter on the room AC, you map decide that keeping the bedroom at 75 is cheaper than going for 62. Or running a computer 24/7 when it is rarely used is costly. And yes, it may help you decide that a new refrigerator can pay for itself with saving over time.
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On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 08:06:49 -0700, Smitty Two

It got started by an IBM study on MTBF on hard drives that found a power off/on cycle was worth about 8 hours of running time. Prior to that it was studies on light bulbs and fluorescent finding similar results
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If you pack 8 hours of electricity into a five minute warmup, that's multiply by a factor of 96. Suppose my computer draws 2 amps. Well, multiply that by 96 times, and we're trying to draw 194 ampere rate, for five minutes. Is that likely?
My computer warmup is less than five minutes, so we'd have to draw about a thousand amperes, for a full minute.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 12:23:44 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

The study mentioned below had to do with wear and tear on the drive, not power consumption. How much is your down time and data loss worth? This really came about over AS/400s where the loss of one drive meant the loss of all data in that storage array because they used scatter store across all drives at the same time..

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

At one time, starting a fluorescent took something like an hour or two off its life. Now it's more like 5-10 minutes, though probably longer if it's used with an old fashioned "glow switch" starter that blinks it afew times before getting it started.
As for incandescents - I'd like a cite for any of those studies saying what you say. Although incandescents often burn out during cold starts, cold starts do surprisingly little damage to most incandescents. What happens is that an aging filament becomes unable to survive a cold start a little before it becomes unable to survive continuous operation. The condition that makes an aging filament unable to survive a cold start is a hot thin spot in the filament - which worsens during operation at a rate that accelerates worse than exponentially.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Fri, 30 Oct 2009 01:56:13 -0700, Smitty Two

Ther study was done at IBM Rochester in the 90s and primarily focused on the 3.5" "Lightning" drive. Hard drives are the most likely thing to fail in a PC and the thing that causes the most grief. (data loss and extended downtime)
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On Fri, 30 Oct 2009 10:48:05 -0700, Smitty Two

You missed the point. If you are walking away from your machine more than 8 hours you turn it off. Otherwise the study says leave it on. How many times do you power your machine off and on in a day? How often do you back up your data?
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wrote:

Why do you believe that? I have close over a dozen bad drives here and they virtually all spun up and ran quietly. Some wouldn't come ready and some would report in fine but fail to format. If I had to pick one common denominator it would be a Western Digital label on it. They usually start by losing sectors and quickly degrade to the point that they won't get through a format. WD Diagnostic says "replace drive". I did get a few replaced on warranty. I have taken a few apart and they are pristine looking inside.
When I was at IBM I saw hundreds of bad drives, noisy, did not mean they weren't working.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Because every failed HD I opened showed signs of abrasion where the head touched the drive disk. Just my personal experience, granted it is limited. I should have said most common problems *that I have seen* are mechanical and not electronic. Then again none of them were mine and may have been subjected to physical shock, IE the "Fonzie Fix".
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when the drive is turned off normally, the heads are "parked" on a "landing zone" so wear there should not impact any data...
also most computer drives are set up like a screen saver, if the drive is not used for 15 minutes (or whatever time the timer is set for) it parks and spins down automatically..
Mark
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Mark wrote:

I didn't say the drive was parked. I've seen some idiots pound on their pc when it would freeze up. If they didn't hurt anything, a few times I found it just needed all the dust cleaned out, it was overheating.

I've yet to see that as the default setting in any Windows I have used. Most people don't know that setting exists. I've always had to manually change mine to that setting. One exception is if it's a laptop then that would be the normal setting... to save battery life.
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:I guess I'm missing something here. They give you some data, but :other than curiosity, what usefullness does that data serve. Plug a :refrig into one and learn it uses x kw and costs x $ per month. But :there ain't a darn thing you can do about it except buy a new frig. :Ditto for all the other appliances you have in your home. Yeah, I can :see figuring what loads you can put on a generator, but other than :that, what 'useful' data do they provide? : :KC
Depends how deep your pockets are. Some people don't give a damn about 20 watts. Others do. 20 watts costs me about $20/year when drawn 24/7/365. Personally, I want to know.
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
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20 watts 24/7/365 costs me $26 per year, in the Pennsylvania portion of the Philadelphia metro area. Chicago and NYC are similar.
Philadelphia regular residential rate has a surcharge for using more than 500 KWH per month during air conditioning season - so an eliminatable 20 watt continuous load may cost more like $30 annually.
There is a looming threat for this to increase substantially in 14 months, when a rate regulation affecting me ends. My power company is advertizing this on radio, advising their customers to get into conservation.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Here on Long Island that's $37 per year.
Bernie

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Yes! They are the cat's whiskers.

If you need sizzle with your steak, I suppose so. It appears that the EZ has a built in calculator so you can plug in your electric cost & 'predict' annual costs.
Amazon has the basic P4400 for $20.62 [buy something else for $5 & the shipping is free]. The 4600 is $34. I wouldn't spend the extra, myself. I like the KISS principle-- If I need to calculate cost or future usage I'll do the math in my head or on a $2 calculator. . . or maybe even dig out a pencil.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Frys periodically has the P4400 on sale for $14.99. If you use 120vac devices, you should have at least one. I use them to size battery requirements for UPS.
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