Kill a Watt(tm) power meters

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wrote:

It may not work on a freezer. It has built in over current protection that kills power to the device and a freezer may be too much to handle. I know I cant get a reading off my fridge because the compressor start up current is over this limit.
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I'd definitely get the EZ model. It's worth the small addional cost. You can enter the cost of electricity per KWh and it then will directly display how much it costs to run the load per day, week, month or year. You can just leave it up on the display and watch it update, glance at it during the day, etc. Much better than just seeing XX Kwh and having to manually do the translation.
Good news is Costco has them for $27.
Bad news is that about 6 months ago I bought one and it was bad. One push button did not work at all. Took it back and got another one. That one, a different button didn't work at all. So, I waited hoping the crap ones would clear out. Bought one last week and it's working perfectly, at least so far.....
I've put one on two refrigerators, a 24 year old one and a new one. It worked on both.
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On Sun, 25 Oct 2009 07:30:37 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The first eye opener for most people is just how little power a fridge actually uses. It is certainly not the power hog most people think it is. (a new one). My side by side, ice in the door Whirlpool used 120KWH in 61.2 days (August September) and it was outside in the Florida summer heat in the pool bar. If it was in the house I would expect a lower number but the difference might show up in the A/C bill..
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On Oct 25, 11:11 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Depends on the age of the fridge. I bought my kill-a-watt to build a case for buying a new one. Our refrigerator dated to the 1960s and after monitoring for a few weeks with the kill a watt meter, looked like annual usage would be around 2400 KWH, about four times what the new ones use. So the meter was a good investment of $20, we save almost that much every month on electricity with the new fridge. -- H
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That is about 60hwh a month, is that a bargain?
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On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 18:03:50 -0400, Van Chocstraw

Since I use the icemaker to fill coolers, it certainly is.
The $8 a month we spend would not buy 5 bags of ice at the "shop and rob".
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wrote:

They work fine on a fridge or freezer
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Andy comments:
I'd like to suggest an alternative.
You can get a "clip on" multimeter from harborfreight.com (free catalog) for about $10.00 and measure the current consumed by the device by simply clipping around one of the wires (usually the black one) going to the device, and it will work for any device that works on 60 cycle AC. The current, times 120, is the kva in watts. A simple calc yields the cost per hour to run it.
For frequency of your generator, just plug in one of those $5 electric clocks and compare the time to that of your watch. The longer the run time, the better. If the frequency is lower, the time on the electric clock will be less than the time on your watch, by the same proportion.
Neither of these alternatives are as easy as what you have proposed, but use instruments that can be used for other things.
Just a suggestion.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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-snip-

Not exactly the same as a Kil-o-watt meter.. That gives the cost *for that hour*. There are a lot of variables over the course of a 24hr day. Defrost cycles, number of refrigeration cycles, etc.

I can't imagine a household that won't get $25 worth of use from a Kill-o-watt meter in a few years. It is one of those things that once you have it, you find more and more occasions to plug it in.
Jim
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wrote:

BTW, this Sunday has 25 hours (at least in the US where the mess of Damn Stupid Time intrudes on reality).
--
58 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

I wouldn't mind if we stayed on DST all year. The worst part of it is in the fall when we go back to standard time. My internal clock doesn't like waking up earlier.
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um, that's the spring. and I hate it too...
nate
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N8N wrote:

I knew I was gonna screw that up. What I hate is it getting dark earlier. Leave it dark longer in the AM because I'll sleep through it anyway.
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wrote:

That would be fine. The problems are when you keep CHANGING it.
Maybe you realize that DST all the time is the same as no DST at all. Clocks are an hour different, but we'd adapt to that. There'd just be no changes to keep messing things up.

I think that's common. The natural thing is waking up later.
I'm working on a web page that calculates countdowns. DST has really made that a lot more complicated (as one little example, most locations change the offset from UTC by 1 hour for DST. However, there is one exception: Lord Howe Island, where it's .5 hour).
--
56 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Close, but not exactly. DST gives me (in winter) a dark morning and light driving home in the evening. Standard time gives me more light in the morning and I drive home in the dark. My preference is to function on the same time as DST. If I was on the opposite side of my time zone, I'd be rather close to what DST is here. My preference is to have the winter dark in the AM. I did that by changing my hours at work but the rest of the world does not seem to want to comply to my personal choices for everything.
People often state a preference, but that may not be the same as we see it in different parts of the same time zone or the northern versus southern latitudes. At work I have the luxury of coming and going as I please, but most do not.
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wrote:

Getting up earlier and leaving work earlier is what does that.

Getting up later and leaving work later does that.

Meaning you'd like to do things later in the day. Apparently, a lot of people feel like that.

That's good. Do it as you please. That's a lot better that supporting this mind game that claims to alter time, but does not (and can not) do such a thing.
--
56 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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In an AC circuit, Volt x Amps are not exactly the same thing as Watts due to power factor.
For loads like incandesenct light bulbs and resistance heaters, the power facotr is very close to one so there is little error but for reactive loads like motors, there can be a significant difference.
Mark
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Andy wrote:

You will get the VA, not the watts. They are not the same except for a pure resistance load like a light bulb. They are not the same because of "power factor". If you want the cost of using anything with a motor you need to know the watts.
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The advantage of a Kill a Watt meter is that it records over time. It takes fluctuating load into consideration, especially important on refrigerators and freezers that have a varying load over time, from nothing to full power with compressor and defrost equipment in use. A spot check will not give the complete story. Also, no splitting of the cord is required.
Your system works well with simple load that are constant when on.
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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
Two things:
I.
I bought the P4400 in February of 2008. I left it plugged into a power strip and plugged my desktop computer's power strip (and etc.) plugged into the Kill-a-Watt meter, measuring power draw (watts), for an indefinite time. It stopped working. It came back to life, don't remember the details, but leaving it off and unplugged for a while, it started working somehow. Someone said they thought that the meters aren't designed to be used in this way, so I stopped doing it.
II.
I've found that the P4400 (don't know about the other(s)) doesn't measure low power draw at all accurately. IOW, if your device is drawing 3-4 watts, say, the P4400 doesn't give you anything like an accurate reading. I only know this because I have a far more accurate way of measuring power draw, which I have used for years. The P4400 is a lot easier to use, but my system is much more accurate and I feel I can depend on it more. It's a simple thing I put together for next to nothing:
1. I already had a decent digital multimeter that measures AC amps, easily converted into watts (amps x 120 volts = watts). It cost me around $100 in the early 1990's.
2. I bought a couple of banana plugs that will fit in the multimeter's input jacks and attached them to a length of AC two conductor cord, around 6 feet long. The other end of this ~6 foot length of cord is soldered (both leads) to either end of a cut wire in a short extension cord. IOW, I cut one wire in the middle of that extension cord and connected the cut ends to the cord, the other end of which has the banana plugs. Plugging the banana plugs into the multimeter first (ALWAYS do it this way or you will likely cause a dangerous short !), I THEN plug the extension cord into a power outlet and then a device into the female end of the extension cord. The multimeter gives me the current draw and simple arithmetic gives me the watts. Amps x 120 watts.
Using this system I determined that the P4400 is useless for low draw measurement. I don't remember the cutoff where the P4400 starts being useful. I assume that this holds true for all of them and that I don't have a lemon here.
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
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