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Old 03-09-2006, 07:40 PM  
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Default Electrical usage in Houston-WAY TOO HIGH

Hello all.
I live in Houston, Tx and have a 2252 sq.ft. 1 story house. My last electric bill showed my usage for last month (Feb 2006) was 1232 kWh. We hardly ran our A/C because of some cooler weather and my bill was still over $175. My heater is gas as is my water heater (that bill jumped as well, but I expected that). I'm trying to figure out why my bill was still so high. I had my meter tested and it was fine. Does anyone have any tricks or hints as to how to find what might be using so much power? I have heard that I could stand outside at my meter and have my wife pull the plug on certain appliances (like microwave, refrigerator, freezer, lights, computer....) and see if the wheel in the meter slows down or not. Is there a better way? Obviously this won't work too well for hard wired appliances (ovens, ranges, A/C....), but you could always do that at the breaker box.
Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-10-2006, 12:20 AM  
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An electrician will probably use a clamp-on amp meter to find the problem. This meter clamps around the wire, no stripping of the wire, just clamped right over the wire. The meter reads the inductive current (magnetism) flowing through (actually around) the wire. You NEED to call a pro this time. The problem could very likely be a motor going bad, a motor starter failing, or a short somewhere that is arcing and causing surges and drops in current. These problems can all cause fires. $100.00 for an electrician to find the problem would be worth it. Over the next 7 or 8 months of A/C season, you will pay for the service call in saved money. In Houston, maybe 9 months.

Tom in KY, Get it checked. Get it fixed. Get it over with. Gitter dun.
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Old 03-24-2006, 02:33 PM  
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I agree with square eye you might want to call in a professional on this. I had one a few years back that turned out to be the porch light, it was shorted to the aluminum side and every time you turned on the light it electrified the outside of the house luckily no one was hurt.

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