15 years- electrical demons high KwHrs


Old 03-18-17, 11:29 AM
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15 years- electrical demons high KwHrs

So this has been going on for 15 years and I am finally going to chase down what the heck is going on with our electricity usage and could use input and ideas..

Family of 4 using 1500 kwHrs/ month without heat or Air Cond. We use 30% over neighbors usage but show no significant household/lifestlye differences. Many years of seeing October and/or May bills when no heat or A/C is on. Many appliances changes (more efficient).

I'll be concise:
1: b4 moving in house empty, no heat/AC. Hot H20 ON but unused - around 500 KwHr STILL USED
2: Since then:
- new windows, add insulation, new more efficient appliances (including H2O heater)
- requested test of meter (analog meter) test OK, 2 yrs ago new digital meter installed
- I physically switch off breakers that serve base board electric when not in seasonal use.
- the only "appliance" not changed over the years is the submersible well pump

Question: Could a "leaky" ground fault somewhere cause this much excess usage? If not, any suggestions/techniques? I just purchased an clamp ammeter and start looking to see if I can see some "ghost" draw.
Old 03-18-17, 11:37 AM
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You have an electric submersible well pump.
Electric hot water ?
1 or 2 refrigerators ?
Old 03-18-17, 01:29 PM
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Original Submersible well pump. Same pump as when we moved in. No operational issues. Water tank replaced 10 years ago (no effect)
2nd Electric hot H2O heater since living here. No observable difference in Kwhrs. If anything more efficient. As noted prior to move in or when were not home and no H2O in use (2 wk vaca) still see demand.

As noted as time moves on appliances replaced with better efficient models so(including led lighting) if anything, we should see reductions.

Last edited by moopy62; 03-18-17 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Addition
Old 03-18-17, 01:42 PM
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I had a client in the same boat. Small 2 br house, logs, vacant (they were in FL) with only a refrigerator and the occasional heat pump coming on to a minimal thermostat setting. Power bill was approaching $400 per month. Upon investigating, the PO had placed a coil heater in the crawlspace to keep the pipes from bursting, and the thermostat broke making it run constantly 24/7. Check for something like that.
Old 03-18-17, 02:49 PM
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Your circuit breakers are your best test tool. Main off and the meter should stop. Main on and then some sequence of turning each breaker off and watching to see how much of a change it makes.

I had a situation similar to Chandlers where hubby had wired an electric heater in the basement to run continuous while they were on vacation to protect the pipes. 2 years later they ask and soon discovered the problem. With a well I'd check for heat tapes that might be running to protect those pipes.

They also make power monitors which can test one appliance at a time.

Let us know what you find.

Old 03-18-17, 03:50 PM
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I'd also be checking the circuits at the breaker box with a clamp on amp meter every couple of hours throughout the day and night to see if any had high amp loads twenty-four hours a day.
Old 03-20-17, 10:19 AM
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Is the house built on a slab? A small leak in a hot water line under a slab could easily cause your problem with high electrical useage. I'd try reading the meter everyday for a few days to get an average daily useage, than turn off the breaker to the water heater for one day and see what the useage is without the water heater.
Old 03-20-17, 01:03 PM
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A leaky electrical fault would be virtually unheard of to not change for 15 years. The short would eventually get worse and burn up or completely fault out and trip off a circuit breaker. I like Joe's idea of leaking hot water somewhere causing the tank and possibly pump to run too often. Hidden heat tapes are also a common issue. I think watching the meter and turning breakers off one-by-one is the place to start tracking this down.

Is this a stand-alone house? Any outbuildings with electrical power?

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