Suggestions for honda generator amp meter?

I have a ES 6500 120/240V generator that I feed my house with during outages. This year it doesn't seem to be up to the job and I do not think I have any more circuits/devices connected than before.
I was thinking that a unit mounted amp meter would advise what the draw was for monitoring purposes. Is anyone aware of anyone/anyplace where a kit is available? Or how one would go about installing/connecting one to this model genset?
Advice/suggestions appreciated.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

If you just want to measure the 120v stuff, get a killawatt meter. They are useful for lots of energy measurement needs but they will give you the instant amp draw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/17/2012 3:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Kill-A-Watt meter is an excellent choice for 120VAC stuff that can be unplugged.
First question to ask is what you're gonna do with the answer. It's futile to ask a question if your future does not depend on the answer.
This is NOT a simple question. Yes, it's conceptually trivial to measure power in a balanced 240VAC system...but the devil and the $$ are in the details.
Here are just a few of the issues... The generator puts out rated power with a balanced load. The nameplate on your load usually defines maximum watts. The generator cares about Volt-Amps...6000 of them in this case. For resistive loads like the water heater, stove, the numbers are the same. For motors and CFL lamps and most electronics in existence today, the numbers can be VERY different.
A quick look at the manual suggests that there's already a current sense transformer related to the auto-throttle circuit. The wires disappear into a schematic black box, so you'd have to stick a meter on the output to see what's there. If it's an open transformer, might be able to add a turn or two for external sense.
If you just wanna know if the generator works, turn on your water heater, stove, oven, bathroom heater etc until you get to 6000watts. You want the load to be balanced, so you really need two bathroom heaters on different halves of the input 240VAC. Go look at the utility meeter and time the rotation of the disk... or the disk emulation on electronic meters. From that, you can calculate the total load to verify it's what you expected. Then switch over to the generator and see if it handles it.
This gives you a real answer to a real question that exactly fits your application.
The utility meter measures real watts, not the volt-amps of your load. The generator cares about the volt-amps. For the experiment I suggested, they're the same. If you try to use your heat-pump as the load, they won't be.
Are we having fun yet?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mike wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

From a practical standpoint, I think this may be the best approach. Since the OP seems most interested in whether the generator is putting out full power, this is a simple way to find that out without even needing an amp meter. I'm sure I could could come up with about 6KW of resistive load with stuff I have around. Electric kettle, hair dryers, electric space heaters, etc come to mind.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Kilowatt meters are not readily available but the ampprobe meters are as WW put it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I am talking about the KillAwatt meter, A plug in amp probe that computes watts used etc. They are everywhere.
If you really want a utility meter, there are lots of places selling them cheap since all the utilities are going digital. I paid $10 for one, reset to zero.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Kill-A-Watt" meters are readily available and quite useful critters. They measure, not only watts but Volt-amperes, volts, amperes, hertz, and watt-hours. Some even measure $$. ;-) For $20-$30, they're very useful.
Here's one for less than $20.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)50532205&sr=8-1&keywords=kill-a-watt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Specifically, it's Kill-A-Watt.
An alternative, and more versitle, is a HF clamp on meter. Twelve bucks or so.
http://www.harborfreight.com/digital-clamp-meter-96308.html
This meter, however, has a minimum AC amperage reading of 20 Amps, so it might not work for smaller loads.
Here's a cute panel-mount meter, 0 to 50A and 100-300V. $10.69.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Blue-LCD-AC100-300V-Volt-Amp-Ammeter-voltage-dual-display-Panel-Meter-/230847806362?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35bf99fb9a
There are hundreds of others on Ebay under "Ammeter".
All are dirt simple to hook up - you insert the meter's leads in series between the hot lead from the generator and the power outlet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That is a 20 amp full scale range. It will show much less than that. Probably to atleast 1/10 of an amp.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ralph Mowery wrote:

Right. Thanks for the correction.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 17, 5:15 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I use a Kill a Watt meter, but bear in mind that it only is designed for 15 amp maximum, and has an internal fuse that will blow if exceeded.
That limits you to a bit under 2kw. If your loads are more than that, the Kill a Watt will have a problem.
An ammeter is a good idea. If your unit has a voltmeter, and it reads 120 volt when loaded, the current capability isn't being exceeded. If it starts dropping, there is a problem. The ammeter is the best way, tho.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"BobMCT" wrote in message
I have a ES 6500 120/240V generator that I feed my house with during outages. This year it doesn't seem to be up to the job and I do not think I have any more circuits/devices connected than before.
I was thinking that a unit mounted amp meter would advise what the draw was for monitoring purposes. Is anyone aware of anyone/anyplace where a kit is available? Or how one would go about installing/connecting one to this model genset?
Advice/suggestions appreciated.
Check Google for Clamp on Amp meters. WW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'm currently feeding my house with 240V from the generator to the xfer switch which does the distribution. I already have a Kill-a-watt meter but I see no way to monitor the total draw on the generator.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think the point to the Kill a Watt meter was that you don;t have to connect it to the generator. You connect it to some combination of 120V loads that are connected to the generator. Measure them one at a time and add.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It would be connected in series with the load. You need a moving iron ammeter as it's AC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammeter#Types
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In typed:

Most transfer swtches (required by code) include ammeters, one for each of the two split phases. If you aren't using one, all bets are off for any useful answer that's to code and not an affront to UL/CSA/EC etc.. Current may be the least of your worries, but the kilawatt is useful for such things.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.