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water heater and spike in electric bill?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 11th 05, 05:40 AM
Jeremy Hine
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Default water heater and spike in electric bill?

What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill. I
also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6
weeks. AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both
sequencers replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October. It
might not be the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that hasnt
needed any immediate attention. I can bet its never been flushed,
elements replaced, or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?

-Jeremy

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  #2  
Old February 11th 05, 05:59 AM
Tom
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"Jeremy Hine" wrote in message
...
What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill. I
also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6 weeks.
AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both sequencers
replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October. It might not be
the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that hasnt needed any
immediate attention. I can bet its never been flushed, elements replaced,
or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?

-Jeremy
Some years ago, I sold an electric dryer to a customer. She called to
complain that she was getting shocks when she touched it. I went out and
took my VOM. The dryer was hot but then I unplugged it and it still showed
current flow. It (as was the practice then) was grounded to a nearby water
pipe. She had also mentioned that she was getting a shock when she touched
the shower faucet controls. I asked her if she had noticed a change in her
electric bill. She said yes, that it had really jumped up the previous
month. To end the story, her water heater elements had shorted out to the
water. Didn't kick a circuit breaker as apparently there was enough water
and piping to absorb the current flow unless she provided a better circuit
with her body. I'm sure an electrician will and can provide a better
answer here...I just thought I would pass on my experience.

Tom.


  #3  
Old February 11th 05, 10:24 AM
Dr. Hardcrab
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Default


"Jeremy Hine" wrote

What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill. I
also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6 weeks.
AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both sequencers
replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October. It might not be
the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that hasnt needed any
immediate attention. I can bet its never been flushed, elements replaced,
or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?


One: Did you power company raise their rates? A lot of companies did around
the first of the year. (Our local co-op raised our rates 30%!!!) Look at
your last bill and see if the rates went up or if your usage went up. If the
usage went up then you can:

Two: Have the power company come in and do an "energy audit". Most companies
do not charge for this service and it is a good way to find out what is
using all of the electricity in your home.


  #4  
Old February 11th 05, 12:40 PM
Joseph Meehan
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It would not be the water heater itself. They all work at 100%
efficiency all the time. However it may be the hot water heater indirectly.
A water leak in a hot water line can use a lot of hot water. In addition as
the water coming into the house during the later winter and early spring is
much colder than fall and early winter, that also increases hot water cost.

As noted, make sure it is actually electric usage not a rate difference
that is the problem. Also possible would be a make up for estimated bills.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
"Jeremy Hine" wrote in message
...
What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill. I
also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6 weeks.
AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both sequencers
replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October. It might not be
the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that hasnt needed any
immediate attention. I can bet its never been flushed, elements replaced,
or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?

-Jeremy



  #5  
Old February 11th 05, 02:28 PM
Colbyt
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Default


"Jeremy Hine" wrote in message
...
What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill. I
also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6
weeks. AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both
sequencers replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October. It
might not be the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that hasnt
needed any immediate attention. I can bet its never been flushed,
elements replaced, or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?

-Jeremy



As others have said, if it is not a rate increase, then I would look at the
water heater.

My daughter had a ruptured element in one that added $175 to her bill one
month. It did not trip the breaker. It just fed 30 amps to ground for a
period of time.

Colbyt


  #6  
Old February 11th 05, 04:13 PM
Ross Mac
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Default


"Jeremy Hine" wrote in message
...
What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill. I
also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6 weeks.
AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both sequencers
replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October. It might not be
the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that hasnt needed any
immediate attention. I can bet its never been flushed, elements replaced,
or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?

-Jeremy


If you have an amp clamp or can borrow one you can measure your current
usage. Just pop the panel, if you are comfortable with that, and clamp onto
the appropriate breakers. There are also devices you can plug into that will
tell you the KWH you are using....just google around...there are
many....Good Luck, Ross


  #7  
Old February 11th 05, 04:38 PM
Joseph Meehan
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Default

Colbyt wrote:
"Jeremy Hine" wrote in message
...
What would cause an older 240 waterheater to increase my power bill.
I also have electric furnace that regularly gets a new filter each 6
weeks. AC/heater unit (outside) was serviced in late Dec, had both
sequencers replaced. Same goes for electric dryer around October.
It might not be the waterheater at all, its just the only thing that
hasnt needed any immediate attention. I can bet its never been
flushed, elements replaced, or anyother maintenance done to it.

I'm in a 25 year old singlewide mobile home in Northcentral Florida.

Any suggestions?

-Jeremy



As others have said, if it is not a rate increase, then I would look
at the water heater.

My daughter had a ruptured element in one that added $175 to her bill
one month. It did not trip the breaker. It just fed 30 amps to
ground for a period of time.


???? How is that possible? Where did the heat go? What limited it to
30 amps?


Colbyt


--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


  #8  
Old February 11th 05, 04:59 PM
[email protected]
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Default

First check your bill and see if both the previous reading and the
current reading are ACTUAL as opposed to ESTIMATED. I have seen some
pretty odd "estimates" on my bill.

Next, check the "current" reading (not "electrical current", but
current in the sense of "now") on your bill against your actual meter.
I've had the electric company misread a digit several times. If your
meter has rotary dials be sure to read them carefully. On many of them
1/2 the dials are counterclockwise and the other half clockwise.

Also be careful when a "needle" is just about right on a number. When
this happens you have to check the next dial to be sure of what the
reading is. If the next dial is still on 9, then the questionable dial
hasn't reached the number it appears to be "on". Depending on which
dial is misread, that could cause a large change in your bill.

A couple of decades ago I lived alone in a small apartment and wasn't
home much. I received a bill saying I had used 1069 KWH that month. I
checked my previous bills and none were for more than 75 KWH. I called
Con Edison and explained to the woman that the meter reader had
obviously misread the "thousands" digit on the meter.

She asked me if I had an air conditioner. Nope. A fan? "Do you really
think a fan would use 1000 KWH?" I replied. "Well you know that
electric bills are higher in the summer..."

She grudgingly gave me the credit but not without giving me a stern
warning that if the next reading showed I had actually used that power
they would still bill me for it. I didn't worry.

Greg Guarino

  #9  
Old February 11th 05, 06:08 PM
Robert Barr
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???? How is that possible? Where did the heat go?


I had this problem a year ago, and that's how I found the problem: My
water was suddenly ferociously hot when I'd shower. The short feeds
through what would be the neutral side (bypassing the thermostat).

I'd get just a little bit of discharge when I opened the T&P valve
manually, so I guess it was just on the verge of overpressure or overheat.

You could hear the localized boiling just by standing next to the water
heater.


What limited it to
30 amps?


I was wondering the same thing. It's not a dead short, but very very
low resistance.


Colbyt



  #10  
Old February 11th 05, 07:50 PM
Joseph Meehan
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Default

Robert Barr wrote:
???? How is that possible? Where did the heat go?


I had this problem a year ago, and that's how I found the problem: My
water was suddenly ferociously hot when I'd shower. The short feeds
through what would be the neutral side (bypassing the thermostat).

I'd get just a little bit of discharge when I opened the T&P valve
manually, so I guess it was just on the verge of overpressure or
overheat.
You could hear the localized boiling just by standing next to the
water heater.


Thanks. I was thinking that about the only way it could be absorbing
all that power would be if some of it was duping out the T&P as very hot
water or steam. I would think most people would notice it.


What limited it to
30 amps?


I was wondering the same thing. It's not a dead short, but very very
low resistance.


Colbyt


--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


 




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