Device to measure electric use???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by unregistered5595, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. unregistered5595

    unregistered5595 Guest

    Mar 3, 2003
    Hi all,
    Is there a device that measures the amount of electric energy I'm using by plugging it in between the outlet and the appliance?
    What would it be called? Could this be done over a 24 hour period? Can it be bought or rented?
    My electric bill is outrageous and there doesn't seem to be a good reason. No air conditioner, gas heat and stove. Consistently there is a freezer, a refrigerator, a computer/monitor, a well pump, a cordless phone and a water heater. The water heater has an insulation blanket on it but not a timer. Lights are being shut off, unneccessary items are not used.
    Is there such a device? I'd buy or rent it if it existed to get a handle on my electric use lately! Any suggestions? Thanks, Feather :)
  2. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .................That electric meter on the Pole is the "Meter" that you should be watching.....To gauge the quantity of Watts being consumed , first off you're going to have to learn to READ your meter....correctly !! Now , I would, first off , see if you can tell the approximate power consumption of the Biggies the Waterheater , assuming of course it is electric . Next visit to the Store BUY one of those small Thermometers with the long , slender "needle" about 6 inches long that you can use to test the Temp in all sorts of foods . Now, test the temp. of the water on "hot(no cold) and record the Temp. , get a meter reading around the time you go to bed then turn OFF the WH., as you will have to switch OFF the circuit breaker on the Master Panel . Now, when you get UP the next morning go read Your meter before activating ANYOTHER electrical device . You might even leave the Central air and heat off as well . This will tell YOU how much power the WH is consuming overnight to keep the water HOT ...all night long . This method will work for any Major appliance in your household .
    ................Also, I would try and turn the water temp control ....DOWN as low as it will go and still be warm enough to keep You from freezing while bathing , etc . Might want to consider putting a timer on the WH as there is no need to keep WH "on" while you are in la la Land!!!......fordy.... :eek: :)

  3. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    New Mexico
    Sure there is. There are some simple devices that plug into the wall receptacle and then your appliance (or whatever) plugs into that. I've seen them advertised, but I can't remember where.

    I have something that I assembled out of the junk, mostly. I found a kilowatt hour meter base, used a pipe nipple to attach a weather proof box with a duplex
    20 amp receptacle, with "in use" cover. I installed a Form 2S kilowatt hour meter in the meter base, properly jumpered to measure 120 volts.

    There's about an eight foot 12/3 type SOW cord with a male plug going into the meter base. It works just like the "store bought" variety, except I can use mine outdoors if need be.
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
  5. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2004
    We lived on a place and I noticed the electric bill had jumped considerable. Turned out the well pipe had a small hole in it and the well was running continuously. Sure glad we found out before they had to replace a pump. Also glad we were renting at the time and the repair cost did not come out of our pocket. This year our electric has increased about 25%. A new natural gas power plant was installed and apparently they need us to pay for it.