Electrician Talk banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been recently contacted by a customer who has been seeing large spikes in her power bill. She also has a GFCI that is giving her a problem. - She has contacted the power company to put in a request to come and check the meter. (I believe she also said the power company admitted her usage was not within the normal cycle or range.) She says she has gas heat and a gas hot water tank. Any ideas here? - I'm just looking for some input that might give me a head start on what to look for or where to begin before I actually arrive. (She is scheduled for the 19th.) Any recommended troubleshooting techniques or ideas? Thanks in advance.
 

·
animal lover /rat bastard
Joined
·
13,547 Posts
stop by this week and install a power analyzer/recording meter. then when you show up on the 19th you can search for "leaks" as well as already have some information.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Paul S.

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
This may be a silly question but could power actually leak to ground causing a spike in someone's power bill? Sounds possible, just haven't really run into this before I guess. - If so, I do have a Siemens Intelli-Arc tool that helps identify ground faults as well as arc faults... I'm kind of brain storming here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm thinking too if I put a power analyzer on her main service and I see spikes and fluctuations I would still end up having to narrow it down to a specific circuit, I would guess. I've never really worked with a power analyzer before. I've contacted the fluke rep. I'll be curious to see what he for me.
 

·
felonious smile.
Joined
·
15,934 Posts
Of course a power leak to ground can cause a spike. If she has a steady 15 amp leak lets say in a UF feeder underground she is paying for that electricity flowing out that cable. On a simple note i would amprobe any outdoor wiring or service feeders if meter is remote from home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
What I am thinking is to disconnect all appliances from every circuit and amp probe each individual circuit at the panel to see if any of them are drawing any power. I can also use my Siemens Intelli-Arc tool on each individual circuit and look for ground faults. I appreciate the input and I have to ask the questions no matter how silly they seem. I certainly don't know everything and there are many things I have not dealt with before and the discussion really does promote a deeper fuller understanding of these types of issues. I'm sure this input will help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,969 Posts
I have been recently contacted by a customer who has been seeing large spikes in her power bill. She also has a GFCI that is giving her a problem. - She has contacted the power company to put in a request to come and check the meter. (I believe she also said the power company admitted her usage was not within the normal cycle or range.) She says she has gas heat and a gas hot water tank. Any ideas here? - I'm just looking for some input that might give me a head start on what to look for or where to begin before I actually arrive. (She is scheduled for the 19th.) Any recommended troubleshooting techniques or ideas? Thanks in advance.
Go thru the home
turn everything off
EVERYTHING
check power meter
is it moving ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How big of a spike are we talking? In either a dollar amount or kWh amount.
I have to talk to the customer more about this. - I only got from her what she was able to give me from our first phone conversation. However, these are things I want to look at more closely when I arrive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just got an email from the customer today and she said the power company came out and checked the meter. Apparently they misread the meter. (?) She's happy about it, sounds like it might just be a simple mistake. - I still have to fix a tripping GFCI but that shouldn't be as difficult as trying to figure out why someone's power bill spiked. Anyway, so it goes.... Another day another donut!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
stop by this week and install a power analyzer/recording meter. then when you show up on the 19th you can search for "leaks" as well as already have some information.
In this area, the POCO, West Penn Power will supply and install it free.
On a recent job, I traced it back to an undersized in-ground pool filter pump. Because the pump motor was undersized, the heat pump ran excessively long.
The pool installer increased the motor size and that increased the water flow to the heat pump. We had to install a flow meter on the water line to diagnose it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
In this area, the POCO, West Penn Power will supply and install it free.
On a recent job, I traced it back to an undersized in-ground pool filter pump. Because the pump motor was undersized, the heat pump ran excessively long.
The pool installer increased the motor size and that increased the water flow to the heat pump. We had to install a flow meter on the water line to diagnose it.
Wow!... How many trips did it take to figure that one out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since the pool was new and POCO test was normal, I knew it had to be the pool equipment. Three trips, it was fairly easy because the heat pump hardly ever shut off.
Cool... good thinking on that one. I appreciate you sharing that experience.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top