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We have got two service calls in the past few weeks that customer is complaining of high electric bills one of them no one lives there just fixing it up
they called the power co. and after a long talk they told them they had a bad switch or outlet that caused the high power bill. when I was asked (as a contractor) I had no good answer as to how this was true.I could see a few pennys not many dollars So my one question is can a bad outlet with nothing plugged to it use a hundred dollars worth of electricty if so then second question how? I thought I knew a little about this electric but now I'm wondering if I do Thanks.....
 

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firelient said:
We have got two service calls in the past few weeks that customer is complaining of high electric bills one of them no one lives there just fixing it up they called the power co. and after a long talk they told them they had a bad switch or outlet that caused the high power bill. when I was asked (as a contractor) I had no good answer as to how this was true.I could see a few pennys not many dollars So my one question is can a bad outlet with nothing plugged to it use a hundred dollars worth of electricty if so then second question how? I thought I knew a little about this electric but now I'm wondering if I do Thanks.....
Your completely right IMO . I don't know where they got the idea that a bad plug not being used can increase the hydro bill . They don't know why , if the meter says they used it , they most likely did.
but a bad plug isn't it. Typical things I run into are motor starts/stops.Saws if they are working on the place starting frequently , bad water tank with no air in it . Pump will start/stop all day long even with no water use. Water heater element gone bad and tracing to ground but not enough to trip breaker or open up completely.
 

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A defective element in an electric hot water tank can quickly run up the bill.
If one of the elements has corroded enough to allow a small leakage to ground, the element can continuously heat the water.
Check to see if the water is excessively hot, and also see if there is a current draw once the thermostats have been satisfied.
 

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A colder winter is most likely the culprit here.

"But I kept the thermostat turned DOWN all winter" they will say.

So what? It was still a colder than normal winter, and your heating systems ran overtime! It amazes me when I get those calls and upon investigation discover that the "aux heat" was on or a plug-in space heater was not initially reported when the complaint was registered.

The other factor is electric rates are at an all time high, and even with reduced usage, it's possible to have a higher bill these days. Rarely do they offer how many kWh they used, only that the $$$ amount was higher.
 

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NEVER look at the dollar amount.
ALWAYS look at the POWER CONSUMED.

THAT will be a huge clue to what the problem is.

I don't know how many times I've seen this happen and it was just the person's annual anniversary for their Budget Billing adjustment. They didn't use any more power, it was just they used more than was estimated for the past 11 months. So the POCO piles all the extra power usage into the 12trh bill.

If you really did use a billion times more electricity in the last 30-odd days, then the METER READING will tell you.
 

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An underground fault will run your bill up. But a bad switch or outlet ??? That must have been something said by a ditzy chic who works phones at the poco.
 

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They changed the meter about 4 years ago, and my bills went up 50%. The old meter couldn't have been that slow.
Actually, it could have been that "slow" -- that's why they changed it!

I did a service upgrade on a house that had a really old meter on it. It made funny noises while it was operating -- peculiar grinding noises, etc.

When the load increased, that old meter actually stopped dead in its tracks! Just sat there and buzzed but didn't move.

After the POCO changed out the meter to complete the service upgrade, their electric bill went up (as expected). They had been getting a sizable "discount" for years with the faulty meter!

So, unless you have independent verification that your present meter is faulty, I'm not buying it. You've been more likely not paying for all your electric in the past, rather than paying too much for it now ...
 
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