Here's the situation. I live in a house that normally has about a $180-200
a month electric bill during the summer heat. In September, when we shut
off the air, it dropped to about $130. October's bill came and it was $242!
Called the elctric company and they verified that yes, we had used that many
kwh. After discussing it the only thing the wife and me could figure out is
I was on the road alot during September so the wife had less laundry and
dishes to do. She also ate out more (electric range).
Here's my question. Can the increase in hot water cause a jump this
drastic? Also, our ice-maker in the fridge is making a funny sound (a
whirring motor sound) alot. Could a malfunctioning ice-maker cause the
If it's the hot water heater we are willing to get a new gas one (our house
is fitted for both gas and electric). Gas is cheaper than electric in our
area right now. But we don't want to get a new heater if it's something
else causing the jump.
Any opinions are welcome.
"This is the earliest I've ever been late by." - Yogi Berra
Seems like a lot for an icemaker motor as they are very small. OTOH, I
think they do have some sort of heater to release the ice and if it was
stuck on, the heater not only adds to the use, but so does the fridge
running more often.
Any water leaks?
Does your meter agree with the reading, ive had mine wrongly read to
200$. A new frige may only take 3-5$ a month old ones can cost 15+ a
month . Get a Kill-a-Watt meter and check your usage of everything.
Look into a gas water heater. My yearly electric is what you pay in a
month, there are many ways to save.
It could be something besides your hot water heater, but I suspect it!
The hot water heater thermostat(s) could be sticking on!
Normally the high temperature limit would trip and you would have to
However, if you have low wattage heater elements, as I had, it will keep
heating which would run your bill sky high!
My tank was limed-up and the T-stats would not cycle off even on their
Try setting the T-stats lower, if that won't work.
- udarrell - Darrell
There are a number of possible problems. I agree that the ice maker
heaters could have caused an increase. They would not only consume energy,
but cause the fridge to run more often. Water heater is less likely IMO.
I would also suggest another possibility. First you want to make sure
what time period the billing really covers. Reading to reading. You also
need to find out if they really read the meter each month, many estimate
between reads. Also a miss read one period will cause an offsetting
correction the next reading period. You next reading may be lower than
expected or the preceding period may have been lower than it should have
been and that was made up on the next reading.
While I don't know how much you pay per kw hr. more than $100 increase
suggests a huge amount of electricity. Go to your electric meter, look at
the spinning disc, now pull the breaker for the water heater, go back and
look at the spinning disc, repeat this for all of the breakers in your box,
and keep notes. Repeat this in about an hour. Now see which circuits caused
the most "spinning". This should focus you on possible sources of the
Another possibility is an error in meter reading sometime in the last few
David Martel ( email@example.com) said...
Either that or there could have been a jump in the rates, or both.
What was your kWh per day during the high bill and what was it for the
lower one? Our utility prints this on the bill, along with the daily rate
used the last seven billing periods (we're billed every two months).
Once you have confirmed that the consumption is up, and by what amount,
then you can begin to track down what is causing it.
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
An electric water heater is typically 30% of the electric bill!
Since both electric and natural gas rates are going up, up, up, I would
suggest getting a solar water heating system.
Solar water heating systems...
Do you have you own well ?
All the toilet tanks valves working properly?
I had a submersible well pump where the impellers chewed themselves up.
The pump sent huge amounts of time and electric trying it's best to
recharge the water storage tank.
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