# Electricity consumption

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• posted on March 14, 2011, 8:12 pm
On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 17:57:35 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote Re Re: Electricity consumption:

See it at: <(Amazon.com product link shortened)00133472&sr=1-1>
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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• posted on March 14, 2011, 7:11 pm

Find Kh rating on meter description plate. It will be something like Kh 3.2>7.2 etc. Take 3600 times Kh times revolutions Watch Black mark on dial. Divide by the amount of seconds of total revolutions.
Like this 3600 times Kh3.2 = 11520 times revolutions say you checked with 5 W600. divide by seconds if you have 33 seconds the wattage would be 1745.5 watts.... WW
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 14, 2011, 7:33 pm

Well there are different meters for different purposes:
1.) Ammeters give you an instant reading of the current flowing in the circuit at the moment of analysis... While this is a useful thing for some purposes, demand (current draw) changes as things cycle on and off so you would have to figure out exactly what is operating the moment you make your reading...
2.) The equivalent of a mileometer (which most people know as an ODOMETER) but for electrical usage... That is a watt-hour meter... Like the one your electrical company uses to measure how much electricity you have used... Basic home meters just measure your kWh used but there are commercial meters which in addition to measuring usage will also indicate what is called the "peak demand" which can put the user into a different billing rate depending on what that peak demand is...
3.) What are you looking to do with your watt-hour meter, the Kill-a-watt meter suggested by others here is only intended to be used for a single point-of-use measurement... There are other systems which can cost a whole lot more than \$500 which can measure your electrical use by circuit from your home's electrical panel and transmit that information to a web-interface to give you a live breakdown of what electricity is being used in your home...
I used to work in a building where we has quite a number of E-Mon D-Mon type sub-metering monitors installed on various types of loads (lighting, HVAC, elevator/escalator) for determining the actual cost of Common Area Maintenance (CAM) which was divided up and charged to the tenants at a rate per square foot of space leased... E-Mon D-Mon monitors were also utilized to bill for electrical use in individual rooms in a section of the building which was used for executive office suites where an individual or business could rent fully equipped and furnished rooms with a receptionist and administrative support provided...
http://www.emon.com/products.html
Think of them like offices in a can, you need another room, ask for one and if it is available its just a matter of paying more in rent rather than real estate shopping for a larger office suite and relocating -- it was a very good option for businesses just starting out who would quickly outgrow their initial location and wouldn't be able to hire on a full staff at the outset, assistance was available at an hourly rate along with other services like conference rooms and photocopying and preparing and processing mailings...
~~ Evan
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 15, 2011, 4:24 am
On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 09:38:31 -0400, "Don Phillipson"

It's the watt-hour meter on the wall of your house where the electricty comes in.

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• posted on March 15, 2011, 7:52 pm
Don Phillipson wrote:

Short answer: The Kill A Watt is a cheap way to go in some cases. Mine doesn't work on my microwave...just beeps, "overload". 15 amps max.
Longer answer...OK MUCH longer answer...based on a year of messing around measuring energy consumption.
Mike's metrology rule number 1. If you're not gonna use the answer, don't bother to ask the question.
For example, if you want to save on your heating bill, turn DOWN the thermostat. If it's already as low as you can tolerate, measuring it won't help a bit. If you can tolerate it lower, you don't need any measurement to know that it will save you money to turn DOWN the thermostat.
If you can replace a 100W incandescent bulb with a 13W CFL, the only thing that matters is that you still have some savings left after you amortize the added cost of the CFL over its lifetime...which is often WAY shorter than what it says on the package.
So, why do you want to measure consumption? For most of us it's an attempt to reduce costs. Most residential users, at least in the US, pay for WATT-hours. You want to measure what you pay for.
If you use a clamp-on amp meter and multiply amps by the voltage, you get VOLT-AMPS. You don't pay for VOLT-AMPS. The difference is in the power factor. For an incandescent lamp, the power factor is 1 and Watts == Volt-amps. For everything else, volt-amps > watts. You pay for watts...at least where I live.
I just plugged a random 13W CFL lamp into a kill a watt. Read 13 Watts and 20 Volt-amps. That matters to the power grid, but until they figure out how to charge you for it, you'll be billed for the 13 watts.
This difference is the basis for the power factor correction scam. They come out and measure amps on something with a high power factor. Then they hook up their magic box and the amps read much lower. What they don't tell you is that the watts is the same and you save nothing on your power bill. I've asked for the demo on some of those stating that we'll be using MY watt meter. They never call back.
Kill a watt can measure both volt-amps and watts. I'm wondering about the crest factor capability. Most older electronics has a high crest factor. I've not bothered to calculate accuracy on those devices.
Ok, so to use a kill a watt, you need to be able to unplug the device. That's hard to do for a water heater...which is likely your most hungry appliance. Ditto for the heater, furnace blower, dishwasher, stove, etc. Doesn't work on 240V stuff like the dryer or 240V window air conditioner.
The cleanest solution is to monitor the thing that determines your electric bill...the meter on the side of the house. Blue Line Innovations makes a wireless gizmo that clamps onto your power meter and reads the rotation of the wheel, or for electronic meters, the blinking led. Doesn't have a lot of resolution, but is fun to watch the display accumulate those pennies. Same device is marketed under other brands. They even have a wireless receiver that hooks to your computer for logging. I find it useful for knowing when I've left something turned on. My attic had 600W of lighting. Showed up clearly on the consumption. But the real solution was to replace the lights with CFL and drop the consumption dramatically.
And with a little math, I can tell exactly how much it costs to take a shower. But I didn't need it to know that shorter showers cost less.
You can measure consumption by timing the rotation of the wheel on your power meter with the device on/off and subtract out the base load. Once you have the consumption, you can use indirect measurements. If you measure the time your water heater runs, you can easily calculate the energy consumed.
I put a flapper on the heater register. Turns on a switch when the heater fan runs. Knowing how much gas the furnace consumes/hour and logging the run-time gives an indirect measurement of something otherwise difficult to measure directly in real time.
My earliest measurements were made with a PalmIII PDA. Just point it at the electronic power meter and it reads the watts consumed and graphs it. Doesn't work on the older wheel meters. I can supply the program to anyone who wants to play with it. It's crude, but written in basic so it can be modified. Mostly undocumented, so not for the faint of heart.
Some power companies are moving toward an online service that tracks usage in real time, or close to it. Microsoft Hohm is trying to do a similar thing.
But, bottom line is that knowing may not help. Telling your kids to take shorter showers will probably work for a week...maybe. Enforcement is the key.
Bottom line: I spent a lot of time tracking energy consumption. After the novelty wore off, I was left with the same guidance I had before I started. Turn down the thermostat, Take shorter showers, Get more insulation, More efficient furnace, Better windows, Dry clothes outside,
But. For the question you asked, go get a kill a watt. ;-)
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• posted on March 16, 2011, 10:29 pm

Where!?
I jes saw 'em at True-Value. \$49! Not a mark-up, either. Price boldly printed on factory package.
nb
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 17, 2011, 1:08 am
notbob wrote:

Here are more than 25 for less than \$5.00, and about 200 for less than \$25.00.
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=kill-a-watt&_trkparmse%253A12%257C66%253A2%257C39%253A1%257C72%253A4726&rt=nc&_sticky=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_sop &_sc=1
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 17, 2011, 1:51 am

LOL! I used to be a seller on ebay. I wouldn't buy from them with your money!
nb
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 17, 2011, 7:57 pm
notbob wrote:

So, why are you not STILL selling on Ebay? (I can think of a couple of reasons, but don't want to pre-judge your morals.)
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• posted on March 17, 2011, 8:07 pm

Ebay busted my balls and has made it harder and harder for the small-time seller to do business. First, they took away a seller's ability to rate the buyers. Then, despite a perfect rating, they suspended my acct for 6 mos cuz a couple customers happened to comment my shipping coulda been a bit quicker, like it was my fault the carrier lost my pkgs. One was due to the winning bidder being in Europe, despite being plastered all over my sight I would not ship outside US. Last I heard, ebay had imposed a mandatory shipping time limit while doing nothing to protect the seller from slimey buyers.
Screw ebay. I use craigslist.
nb
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 18, 2011, 10:55 am
notbob wrote:

So, Ebay sanctioned you for perceived sleazy selling practices then?
If that's the case, why would you never buy anything from Ebay? Seems like they go the extra mile to ensure righteous sellers, even if they over-protect the buyer.
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<%-name%>
• posted on March 17, 2011, 11:51 am
Re: Electricity consumption:

--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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<%-name%>
• posted on March 18, 2011, 1:18 pm
wrote:

I just got my weekend Newegg.com sale flyer and they have them on sale for \$16.99, free shipping, and no tax. That's a killer deal for anyone that wants one. I really like mine.
http://tinyurl.com/48mcgmo
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• posted on March 18, 2011, 1:39 pm

I don't think they are all the same anymore. Newer ones don't lose their memory when unplugged. They all work, though. \$16.99 is a good deal even if it isn't the very latest model.