Why does electric use increase in winter

Doc C Posted By Doc C, Dec 21, 2017 at 9:40 AM

  1. Dobish

    Dobish
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    is Ashful running a welder from your garage while you sleep?
     
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  2. maple1

    maple1
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    Get that monitor of your own ordered. His will only be there a short time & you likely won't be able to use it to its potential. Unless it is monitoring each individual circuit.

    Does the one he left have a display you can watch? From the panel? If so watch it like a hawk, and when you see a spike shut circuits off until you find the one that makes the spike stop.

    This is like a mystery novel - waiting to turn the next page, lol.

    EDIT: would be even better if the monitor (either his or the one you are going to get) had an alarm on it you could set to alarm on a spike.
     
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  3. Doc C

    Doc C
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    It does not have a display. He said he can tell what is causing it based on the report he will get next week based on 120 ir 240 and how much is being drawn in what period of time.
     
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  4. semipro

    semipro
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    A load like that almost has to be some sort of electric resistive heat or something that would make some noise like a compressor. If you use hot water at night it may be your water heater. An electric water heater is about 4500 watts.
    We had a somewhat similar situation where one of the controls on our electrical backup heat for our central furnace went bad. I only found it when I noticed heat coming from one of our floor vents when the HVAC was not running.
     
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  5. redmanlcs

    redmanlcs
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    I got it!... someone has tapped into your power!.. someone is using your electric to heat their home!.. probably dug up or tapped into your power after the meter.. probably dug it underground and hooked it up without you knowing!
     
  6. maple1

    maple1
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    5000 watts made me think water heater also. The curiosity is killing me. If I was closer, I would yank my monitor out and bring it on over for a while. :)
     
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  7. maple1

    maple1
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    Another thought - how long have you lived in this place?

    Just wondering if an electric heater was wired in on a circuit that you think it isn't, and they aren't really all turned off. An electric heater being on all winter when thinking they were all off would fit the bill also.
     
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  8. Doc C

    Doc C
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    My water heater is new....so it definately could be the problem! New always stands for never ever worked in my mind.
     
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  9. sloeffle

    sloeffle
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    5kW in an hour has to be something that is 240 volts. Not unless you have multiple things pulling 20 amps each at 120 volts. Personally I’d start with turning the well pumps or your water heater if it is electric off for a night or two and see what happens.

    Our house is all electric and in the winter time on average, we use between 30 - 60kWh a day in usage.
     
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  10. maple1

    maple1
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    We're at 20kwh/day, year round.

    A couple more in non-heating seasons when using the electric DHW heater, a couple less the rest of the year. All electric appliances.

    EDIT: If we had to use our electric back up boiler to actually heat the house full time, that would be an extra 150 kwh/day, +/-. Which would be firmly into yikes territory.
     
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  11. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Something using 10,000 watts in1 hour. Only thing that can use that much would be a stove or some type of heater. Even water heater only uses 4500.
     
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  12. maple1

    maple1
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    There could also still be something wrong with the meter, I think. Making it go intermittently wonky?
     
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  13. Doc C

    Doc C
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    My stove is gas. And I looked at the report again. One hour spiked over 13.5kwh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's not the well pump. I can hear the well pump when it runs.
     
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  14. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I'm not sure how you run a house on 20 kWh per day, I think the lowest bill I've ever seen here is 1500 kW for the month. With the exception of two small minisplits keeping two small spaces at 62F and 55F (260 and 1200 sq.ft., respectively), our heat and hot water are all on an oil-fired boiler.

    We just got our usual monthly nag-gram from PECO this morning, and it's showing us at 85 - 90 kWh:

    PECO.jpg

    This usage was December, so a few extra days in the shop (minisplit) over the holiday week and Christmas lights bumped us up almost 1000 kWh from our usual monthly usage. Still... 20 kWh per day? Do you use a candle for light, and wash your clothes on rocks down at the river?
     
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  15. Doc C

    Doc C
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    Here's the interesting thing. For the last 2 months I have been running between 46 and 92 kwh per day.

    The last 4 days since I called the electric company I have been running 25 and 36 kwh per day.

    Figure that one out!
     
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  16. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Even if that load were running all 60.0 minutes of that hour, you're looking at 58 amps on a 230V circuit. Obviously, and frighteningly, double that on 115V. More importantly, from it's intermittent nature, we can safely assume it's running some smaller fraction of that hour... so you're likely looking for a 100 amp load. At that point, unless you have a transformer just yards from your panel, you'd think you'd be seeing lights dim on a 200 amp main.
     
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  17. Doc C

    Doc C
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    image.jpg
     
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  18. Doc C

    Doc C
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    That is since 12/15 I believe.
     
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  19. maple1

    maple1
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    Not sure what to say, but it's been consistently that for years. No candles, no river washing. Maybe our meter is treating us right. :)
     
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  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    We're a little more than 300 kwh/mo.

    With that printout, at a low 28 kwh/day, it comes to 868 kwh.mo., which is still way high.
    It seems like there's a constant drain-not just spikes, anyway.
     
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  21. maple1

    maple1
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    Jeez you're at 10kwh/day. You must be on candles and doing laundry in the river, plus doing all your dishes and bathing there too and cooking on a campfire. :)
     
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  22. Doc C

    Doc C
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    You will notice the day that has 28 kwh I believe alot of the day says NA.

    Snowstorm dropped the power line across our driveway and we had no power for a day or so.
     
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  23. Doc C

    Doc C
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    No dimming lights or anything. With our old zinsco panel the lights would just about shut off if I flushed the toilet or sneezed!

    The new square D panel and new ground rods and new SER Cable for the main solved all those issues.
     
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  24. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I was in a rush, so I didn’t fully-articulate my point, although that was also before you posted your actual usage timetables. You have a base load somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 kW. In those hours showing 10k - 12kW, that differential 8k - 10kW jump is probably not spread evenly over the full 60 minutes of the hour. Just applying the law of averages, which is still likely conservative, you have more like a 20kW jump from your base load, over a span of 30 minutes.

    When talking those sort of differentials, one would expect to see dims and surges over a main of any length, independent of the quality of the panel at the end of those mains. A 20 kW differential is a 90 amp change in your load, or your base load jumping from 10 amps to 100 amps. That is substantial.

    Now, you’ve posted your timetables, and they don’t completely agree with my assumptions. Those days showing 10kW and 12kW single hours seem to have much higher base load, thru most of the day, no? I’m viewing on a phone, so maybe did not get as complete a view of them as I should.
     
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  25. Doc C

    Doc C
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    And my photo of a piece of paper sucks to begin with! It was the best I could do.

    I think you are on track with what you are seeing.
     
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