$1206.67 Electric Bill

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  #41  
Old 07-27-13, 08:59 AM
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Yes. There's a tankless electric water heater. What's a slab leak?
You mean a wall unit and not an actual tank?

Is so they need .5 gpm to operate. That would be a large leak IMO... With all the water off in the home feel the outlet pipe of the heater... Is it hot?

Or watch the meter and see if it spins with all the water off.....

First off is this home on a slab?
 
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  #42  
Old 07-27-13, 09:00 AM
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Crap. I see dollar signs... So, I need to have them stop running the water and check if the meter is advancing?
 
  #43  
Old 07-27-13, 09:45 AM
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Yes. There's a tankless electric water heater.
Real energy hogs using fifty to a hundred amps when on. Any continuous water leak will quickly raise the bill. Even people taking a lot of long hot showers.

At 50 amps if it remains on either because of a leak (or use) that is 12KW per hour or 288KWH per day. Figures will vary by actual amperage and other factors.

You need to turn off all water faucets and check the gallon dial on the meter to see if it still moves. Also put a clamp on amp meter on the tankless electric feed with no water on.
 
  #44  
Old 07-27-13, 12:07 PM
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I had the tenants check and they confirmed that the meter is advancing even with the water faucets/swamp cooler off. That place has crawl space not a slab.
 
  #45  
Old 07-27-13, 12:51 PM
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Well....if it turns out to be a water leak after the WH.....I'll bet you have a heck of a wet crawlspace.

Should be easy to find and hopefully easy to fix.

You should have noticed a big increase in your water bill as well. From prior tenants I mean.
 
  #46  
Old 07-27-13, 06:21 PM
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So that means they are averaging 100 amps continuous usage, thats 6 1500 watt A/C units on 100% of the time... Tell the guys you're capping their electricity usage at $600 a month and they will help you figure out the source in a hurry!
 
  #47  
Old 07-27-13, 09:19 PM
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I guess I am crawling under the house tomorrow. Mmm. Scorpions.
 
  #48  
Old 07-28-13, 10:11 PM
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Leaking hose on the washing machine, not a huge leak and there's a drain nearby under the wash tub. Still think they should have noticed it... No comment.

How often are you supposed to change hoses on washers?
 
  #49  
Old 07-29-13, 03:29 AM
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I think they say every 5 yrs but I've never had any issues with keeping the same hoses for the life of the washer - about 15 yrs.
 
  #50  
Old 07-29-13, 04:20 AM
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Leaking hose on the washing machine, not a huge leak and there's a drain nearby under the wash tub. Still think they should have noticed it... No comment.

How often are you supposed to change hoses on washers?
As Marksr stated, suggested is ~5yrs.
I've also never changed mine unless I changed the unit. They don't see a lot of stress if you aren't moving it too regularly.
Good to see you found the issue.
 
  #51  
Old 07-29-13, 09:11 AM
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You didn't say if it was it hot water?
 
  #52  
Old 07-29-13, 09:40 AM
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Wow, over $1200? That's more than I pay for a whole year.
 
  #53  
Old 07-29-13, 10:54 AM
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How often are you supposed to change hoses on washers?
For longevity, buy the braided stainless steel hoses. They cost a little more, but give you peace of mind.
 
  #54  
Old 07-31-13, 10:07 PM
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Yes, it was all hot water. I'm thinking that the leak kept the heater on all the time plus the air conditioning may have been on for part of that time.

The hose could have been 25 years old. I never replaced it so it could be original with the machine which is of that age. I'm wondering if that might be a cheap maintenance item to just do every 5 years.
 
  #55  
Old 08-01-13, 04:29 AM
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I would on a rental - mainly because you're not there on a daily basis to check on things.
Cheap insurance
 
  #56  
Old 08-01-13, 05:57 AM
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The hose could have been 25 years old. I never replaced it so it could be original with the machine which is of that age. I'm wondering if that might be a cheap maintenance item to just do every 5 years.
Given the clientele to whom you rent*, you might want to consider the extra to get braided lines and possibly some form of automatic shutoff. Big Orange has a mechanical automatic shutoff that's only about twice the price of a single lever shutoff (mine should arrive soon).

*Nothing against college students, but they are not there for the long haul. A long term tenant might have informed you of the above problem, but a short term tenant is more likely to think that the landlord is already aware of this issue and has chosen to not do anything.
 
  #57  
Old 08-01-13, 06:07 AM
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After an incident like this I'd be questioning using a tankless water heater. Had this been a storage water heater my guess would be the extra charges would have been a lot less.
 
  #58  
Old 08-01-13, 06:16 AM
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After an incident like this I'd be questioning using a tankless water heater. Had this been a storage water heater my guess would be the extra charges would have been a lot less.
My thoughts as well.
The only issue might be space if the tankless was installed due to storage location issues.
 
  #59  
Old 08-01-13, 06:23 AM
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An interesting thought. My extremely limited understanding of thermodynamics causes me to think that a continuous leak in a tanked system would still result in the same amount of cold water going to the tank and the need to heat it up just as much.

Sure, the initial loss would be less, but eventually the tank would be lukewarm and have a constant flow of cold water going to it and it would still have to be on all the time to try to heat the tank to the required temperature. In fact, I would imagine that the residents would notice cooler water coming from the hot taps and turn the heater up even higher to compensate.

A quick search revealed no studies that have been done on this topic. Does anyone here know of one?
 
  #60  
Old 08-01-13, 07:40 AM
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The hose could have been 25 years old. I never replaced it so it could be original with the machine which is of that age. I'm wondering if that might be a cheap maintenance item to just do every 5 years.
Cheap? Yeah. Using braided hoses plus a leak detection system will cost less to install than one of those monthly electric bills.
 
  #61  
Old 08-01-13, 07:44 AM
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eventually the tank would be lukewarm and have a constant flow of cold water going to it and it would still have to be on all the time
But the storage WH would use far fewer kilowatts per hour than a tankless heater. That is what I based my comment on.

I would imagine that the residents would notice cooler water coming from the hot taps and turn the heater up even higher to compensate.
Turning up the temperature does not increase the KWs used only the time it is on so assuming it is already running continuously power used wouldn't change. More importantly the tenants would probably report that kind of problem so it would be fixed more quickly.
 
  #62  
Old 08-01-13, 08:15 AM
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... thermodynamics causes me to think that a continuous leak in a tanked system would still result in the same amount of cold water going to the tank and the need to heat it up just as much.
That's correct for need to heat.

The difference is that tankless can throw more heat into the water than a tank heater could.

Above a certain flowage, a tank heaters wouldn't be able to heat all the wasted water,
but a tankless is designed to heat even at high flow rate.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 08-01-13 at 09:00 AM.
  #63  
Old 08-01-13, 08:55 AM
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But the storage WH would use far fewer kilowatts per hour than a tankless heater
So, at max power, a tankless draws more power than a tank unit, and those two systems really only have settings for maximum and off? That makes sense, and would lead me to the same conclusion.
 
  #64  
Old 08-01-13, 09:00 AM
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So, at max power, a tankless draws more power than a tank unit, and those two systems really only have settings for maximum and off? That makes sense, and would lead me to the same conclusion.
This is the reason Tank vs. Tankless still exists. Tankless has it's place, but can very easily prove to be more expensive to own if not under certain conditions.
 
  #65  
Old 08-01-13, 09:32 AM
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So, at max power, a tankless draws more power than a tank unit
Many tankless use two 60 amp feeds and even the small whole house use one 60 amp feed. A storage WH usually uses a 30 amp feed.
 
  #66  
Old 08-01-13, 08:10 PM
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I didn't make the decision to install that water heater. It was there and I'm thinking it was done because of space. I'm guessing the previous owner saw the closet and thought "we can store things in here if we get rid of this tank."

These tankless heaters must be uncommon I don't see them much.
 
  #67  
Old 08-01-13, 08:34 PM
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You won't see tankless heaters often in rental properties because of the issues already discussed. You'll find them much more often in owner-occupied homes.

FWIW, electric whole-house tankless heaters are huge energy hogs, just behind heat pumps and all-electric ranges. The gas units are far less expensive to operate.
 
  #68  
Old 08-02-13, 04:22 AM
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Not to take this too off topic....
A few years ago (4-7yrs ago) I looked into going natural gas tankless. This was before we had kids, and being just the wife and I, it looked to be a small savings for only 2 of us. Add kids in the mix, and there is no savings.

I will say they do have their place though. My parent's new toy hauler has a tankless heater for their hotwater. Makes a lot of sense there due to space, but also weight as they won't be hauling a hot water tank full of water when they travel.
 
  #69  
Old 08-02-13, 04:34 AM
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are huge energy hogs, just behind heat pumps
Are you sure? HPs are touted to be the most efficient HVAC in our area ..... but maybe the TVA gives us cheaper rates than elsewhere
 
  #70  
Old 08-03-13, 06:47 PM
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Air source heat pumps are not very efficient in cold temps. They typically use axillary electric resistance coils to provide heat. So when temps get down in the low 30's and below, you are using the aux heat. There are newer units that have come out that fair better in lower temps, but not as well as a ground source heat pump. Even before the aux heat kicks on, the efficiency of the heat pump drops as the temp drops.

So in a place like TN where the winter temps don't get as low as MA, they make a good choice.
 
  #71  
Old 08-03-13, 07:02 PM
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Are you sure? HPs are touted to be the most efficient HVAC in our area ..... but maybe the TVA gives us cheaper rates than elsewhere
Maybe the TVA just wants to keep that water flowin at Kentucky Lake!
 
  #72  
Old 08-03-13, 09:09 PM
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Are you sure? HPs are touted to be the most efficient HVAC in our area ..... but maybe the TVA gives us cheaper rates than elsewhere
During all the time I lived and worked in Nashville, I wished we could get our power from TVA! In spite of the fact that they can't seem to stop spinning everything to make it look like all-electric is the only way to go.

Seriously, though, Droo already explained why a heat pump is an energy pit. If you want heat at a reasonable cost, burn gas. To do that with an outside unit that provides both cooling and heating, get one that uses gas for the auxiliary heat.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 08-04-13 at 04:33 PM.
  #73  
Old 08-04-13, 05:06 AM
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I prefer to heat with wood although I have no complaints with the cost of my HP. Gas isn't a good option for me with the driveway I have. Too many drivers are intimidated by my road and I wouldn't expect them to travel it when it snows.

Our local TV ads claim that HPs are more efficient than gas heat but maybe our gas prices are higher than the norm with the electric being cheaper than the norm. I can see where a HP wouldn't be a good choice further north. I've disconnected the heat strip on my HP to combat my wife's urge to fiddle with the thermostat.
 
  #74  
Old 08-04-13, 05:03 PM
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Gas isn't a good option for me with the driveway I have. Too many drivers are intimidated by my road and I wouldn't expect them to travel it when it snows.
Right. LP in a tank is usually expensive enough that it isn't cost -effective. For folks who don't live on top of a hill on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau, and who have access to piped-in natural gas, the comparison isn't even close.

Case in point. Some years ago, in N'ville, one of our co-workers was getting married, and they were going to live in her house - she already owned it and had a bit of equity built up, while he was a cliff-dweller, so that was pretty much a no-brainer.

Our colleague started thinking about making some improvements to the place. He could afford to, it would get him bought in, etc. So, one of the improvements that ran pretty high with them was central heat and air. I forget what the heat was but the A/C was wall-shakers or nothing. Somewhere in the conversation over the next week or two he said he was ready to do it. He was going to get a HP. Some kinda sweetheart financing or kickback - er, rebate - if you went with one of NES's approved contractors, maybe got an insulation package at the same time, yadda, yadda.

Another colleague and I said "No, get gas" or "Get a gas-pack" or something like that with essentially one voice. He looked totally bewildered. He'd not only never heard of such a thing, he had no idea how an air exchange unit worked, or about the need for an auxiliary heat source or, basically, anything about what he was about to buy.

We explained it until he understood at least the concept and he went off to re-negotiate the deal. A couple of days later he said that he couldn't make it work because there was no gas line to the property. We sent him back to find out how far away some gas might be and if he could get it brought to their lot. The answer to that was that it could be done for $400.

Too-long story short, our friend got the gas line and the gas-pack, and started watching the bills and comparing them to those paid by neighbors with HPs. He figured he got his $400 back by mid-winter. It was all gravy from then on.

I've disconnected the heat strip on my HP to combat my wife's urge to fiddle with the thermostat.
You sly devil!
 
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