Meter use off the main panel

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  #1  
Old 08-12-05, 11:50 AM
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Meter use off the main panel

I am planning to finish an attached apartment and supply it with 100A service that comes off a CB in my main panel (main=200A), and feeds a subpanel for the apartment.

I would like to install a kWh meter in-line with the feed between the main and sub panel.

Is there such a device other than the type meter used by the electric company, where would I find it, and can you critique my plan?

Thank you.

Hugh
 
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  #2  
Old 08-12-05, 02:01 PM
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The immediate purpose of the meter is to keep an eye on tenant (ab)use of electricity.

Thanks again.
 

Last edited by GregH; 08-12-05 at 05:26 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-12-05, 02:26 PM
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I don't believe I have anything other than an attitude of interest and learning.
I am disappointed you aren't willing to give me feedback on my idea.
Perhaps other more constructive and patient contributors will?

I have reported your posting as inappropriate.
 
  #4  
Old 08-12-05, 02:52 PM
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hdiy,

I do believe maybe you took what RAC was saying the wrong way. From what I gather I think he is asking a question and then with a personal response.

We do that alot here and moderators are not the only ones here assisting people and everyone likes to add our own personal flavor to a response.

I think he was really just wanted to know why you needed to do that and you did answer him and gave a reason....and I can understand your reason and as a person who has tenants I can understand.

To your question. In many areas their is what is called Sub-Metering which is allowed by landlords and installation of such has to comply with the POCO and really is not an electrical electrician thing unless POCO does not actually do the install process and allows the local electrician to do it per their specs.

Here is an article on it which may help you but may not pertain to your area of the country....

http://www.texastenant.org/topics/ut...ered-elec.html

As for installing it most of that will come under the local Utility board and I think you would need to contact your local Utility Provider and ask them if they offer such a program called Sub-Metered systems and I am sure they will know what you are talking about if you wish to use a meter like they use.

From the little research I am doing on it it also seems that this has to go through your local utility and they actually bill the renter or tenant with their own billing program. Again not sure how that would work but I think the local utility company probably has others that do it but again that is for Sub-Metering and the BELOW is for personal monitoring.

HOWEVER

Hope this helps.......But here is what I think you CAN DO with no problem !!

P.S. Here is a site http://www.metersusa.com/Digi-Watt/Digi-Watt.htm that has sub-meters and might just be what you are needing. I am not sure how they are set up but I would guess it has a magnetic coil that slips over the phase line and detects the magnetic use field and thus runs the meter.

The ABOVE link is the BEST solution for you my friend....and it even has a download for the installation instructions.


now using a meter like above see how much usage was from the renter and then have them pay that portion of the bill....but I do not think you can charge them a rate other than as you pay before it gets into needing licenses and regulations which I think is what RAC was refering to but you can most certainly use it to have them pay YOU for the portion of electricity they used or consumed as part of your renters agreement if written into the contract.

Also I agree it would be nice to monitor a renters use and these seem like a nice way to do it....

OK....Disclaimer.....I do not work for any of the companies I have posted...lol...nor do I use their products ( yet )...lol...and no I do not make any money from the posting of the links.....
 

Last edited by ElectricalMan; 08-12-05 at 03:40 PM.
  #5  
Old 08-12-05, 05:15 PM
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E-man,
Your response is very helpful.
Thank you.

RAC's "With an attitude like that..." response violates 4 of your posting rules under the Forum mission statement, that prohibit derogatory or rude postings.

The Forum will thrive with contributors like you, and I think the purpose of the Mission Statement rules must be to encourage members to post without the fear of responses such as RAC's.

I can see that RAC has been a very active contributor, but I don't believe that excuses breaking your rules.
 
  #6  
Old 08-12-05, 05:26 PM
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IMHO this is not going to be a trivial installation. I don't know how the code would deal with all of the aspects of this installation, so take the below simply as a set of general cautions, not specific installation instructions.

1) All power requires both voltage and current connections. The voltage connections are direct electrical connections to the hot leads, but they normally carry very little current. So the voltage connections are made with rather thin wire. This wire needs to be protected with a circuit breaker or fuses.

2) The current connections are made with 'current transformers'. These devices can produce extremely high output voltages if they are not correctly connected to the meter. Never, under any circumstances energize the supply lead through a CT if the secondary is not connected to the meter.

3) Make sure that all of the conductors and instrument leads are appropriately enclosed in a suitable cabinet.

-Jon
 
  #7  
Old 08-12-05, 05:30 PM
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hdiy,

Posts have been taken care of and thanks for your patience.

Greg
 
  #8  
Old 08-12-05, 05:45 PM
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Thanks Jon. I was trying to get a sense of what will be possible for me to do, and what I'll ask the electrician to do. I looked at the submetering links E-man provided, and that led me to rules issued by my local PUC covering submetering tenants.

I have a good idea where I stand now with the submetering.

Greg. Thanks. My confidence in the forum is restored.
 
  #9  
Old 08-13-05, 10:37 AM
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"that which is simplest is best"---- I believe that would apply to you'r proposed sub-metering project. "Simplest" would be a 100 meter-socket with the "Line" terminals connected to the 100 C-B, and the "Load" terminals connected to the Feeder Conductrs to the S-P.

A watt-hour meter is extemly accurate, reliable, and "sturdy" in opertion.

I'ved removed "antique" watt-hour meters from the long-ago "Westchester Lighting Co." which were connected in the '20's. and were still operating.

Has anybody out there removed porcelain blocks which contained the "Main" fuses which were in the form of removable metal "links" which were fastened-in-place with machine-screws?

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!!
 
  #10  
Old 08-13-05, 02:02 PM
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Hugh,

I apologize for upsetting you, and believe that we both mis-interpreted each other. I incorrectly assumed that you wanted to resell electricity to your tenants. I took your comment to mean that you didn't care that this might be illegal, or that you were upset with me for not directly answering your question. I believe that you thought I specifically didn't answer the question because I didn't like your attitude.

The truth of the matter is that I have never researched or looked into buying any sort of home metering device, nor have I seen anything for sale for this purpose. What I was trying to do was point out that metering electricity for your tenant is perhaps not somewhere you want to go.

Again, I apologize for the misunderstanding.
 
  #11  
Old 08-14-05, 08:41 AM
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Submetering is allowed in probably all areas but the LAWS vary considerably. In some circumstances, the landlord can literally just prorate based on square feet or number of occupants. Some people feel this can be unfair. In this area (S. CA) if a sub-meter is installled, it must be calibrated by the County Weights and Measures Dept.; and it must be read and bills prepared by an independent third party. So, best thing is to check with your local authorities before doing any work.


You mentioned a 100 amp service for the apartment. That seems like a lot. Does the apartment have an electric WH or electric heat? If the only major load was a stove, it might be simpler to just estimate in your own mind what the monthly cost might be. Factor that into the rent you will charge and advertise the apartment as "utilities included".
 
  #12  
Old 08-14-05, 09:54 AM
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racraft,
I appreciate that. Thanks.

PATTBAA, I can see the wisdom in the simple approach. That's what I'll do.

594tough, I still have to do some checking to make sure it's all designed in conformance with local regulations. As far as the load, it seemed high to me too. I did a load calculation using a worksheet I found in the Internet (I don't have the link with me now). The wattages I plugged in were generous, but I didn't put anything in the worksheet I don't expect to have in the apartment (washer, elec. dryer, elec. range, GAS water heater, GAS hot air).

The worksheet gave me 84 amps as how I should size the service. Since the guage feed wire for 84 amps is so close to that for 100amps, I thought I would run 100 amp rated wire so I won't ever have to revisit the sufficiency of the supply.

I realize that just including utilities in the rent would be easiest from a logistical point of view. In principle, I would like to encourage the tenant to be conservative with electricity (and water, I plan to sub-meter water too, assuming I am allowed and can live up to whatever regulations I must follow).
 
  #13  
Old 08-14-05, 12:10 PM
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PATTBAA,

Could you provide a link to meter pans which separate ground and neutral?

hdiy,

Something to be very careful of if you use a standard electric meter (such as the power company supplies) is that most meter installations use the grounded conductor (the neutral) as the ground for the meter. This is entirely appropriate in a 'service', but incorrect in a subpanel. Make certain that you keep ground and neutral separated whatever submetering technique you use.

-Jon
 
  #14  
Old 08-15-05, 05:19 AM
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Jon,
Thanks. There is no question in my mind, that all the work I do myself, I should have inspected ahead of electrifying.
 
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