My Home Electrical Meter


Old 10-23-04, 04:33 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 276
Question My Home Electrical Meter

Hello. I am trying to figure out how to read my electrical meter on my house. It is a GE meter that has the silver disc spinning around and all the numbers on top that change so the guy can come around once a month to read those top numbers. My question is: How can I figure out the kilowatt usage with one rotation of the disc?

I have timed different electrical items in my home against the rotation. The two big differences are my air conditioning unit and my jacuzzi. When both of these are off, it takes 23 seconds for one full rotation. When the air conditioner is on it takes 4 seconds. With the jacuzzi on and the a/c off it takes 3 seconds. With both the jacuzzi and the a/c unit running, it takes 2 seconds. This seems like a HUGE difference. I knew the jacuzzi pulls a lot of electrical current, however should the air conditioner pull that much?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-23-04, 05:02 PM
HandyRon's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 1,365
Although not an exact method to determine power consumption, you can also compare the circuit breaker sizes of the two different components. For example if the Jacuzzi is a 2 pole 40A and the air conditioner is the same size, then they probably draw a similar load.
The only exact way is to purchase a current meter.
Old 10-23-04, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
I googled your question and found lots of sites that answer your question. Here's one of the better ones I found.

Here's a quote from that site: "A typical code is Kh 7.2. This not-at-all-obvious code means that one full rotation of the disc corresponds to 7.2 watt hours of electric energy. It is emphasized that "Kh" does not literally stand for watt hours, kilohours, or anything else that we know of, but for some mysterious reason, this terminology is used on electric meters!"

I just looked at my GE meter, and it says "Kh 7.2" on it, just like the example.
Old 10-23-04, 05:51 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 276
link to pdf is great

Thank you for the link! That is exactly the formula I needed to compute the electric usage of my a/c and jacuzzi! Great. Now how do I reduce energy costs? lol and humid here, and a/c has to be on.
Old 10-24-04, 05:38 PM
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While this won't work for hardwired devices, I usually suggest that my customers pick up one of these if they want to get a closer handle on their electrical expenses. It will display power load in watts, and if you enter in your power cost per kw/h, it will tell you the cost for the use of that device. Just plugs in, and you plug the device you want to monitor into it.


Old 10-24-04, 06:54 PM
Pendragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,839
A quick yahoo search rendered this site..

I have a simular device as in Savants power, called the Kill A Watt, you can find them easily with a yahoo search, and on ebay for around $30.. they are limited to loads of less than 1500 watts though.

I still want one of the new electronic meters that can actually tell you how much power is being drawn at any given time.

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