meter turning w/ main shut off

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  #1  
Old 10-19-01, 09:07 AM
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Lightbulb

My electric bill is unusually high. When you look at my meter it spins pretty fast even when nothing major is running. So I turned off my main and looked at it. It still turns quickly! When all the electricity is turned off the meter shouldn`t spin at all, right?

My friend who knows a great deal more than me about electricity says that this is due to some ground problem. Is there anyway I can test to see what is causing this or possibly remedy this situation before I blow alot of dough on an electrician?


Thank you,
Greg
 
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  #2  
Old 10-19-01, 12:34 PM
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Wgoodrich
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You don't have a problem with ground. You may have a short to ground. You may also have a failed meter.

If you have your main shut off and the meter is still turning then we need to make sure of a few things. First how is the service conductors ran and how far from your main breaker and you meter base? Then check to see if you have a second conduit coming out of that meter possibly feeding a second panel in the home or a detached structure. Come back in with those answers, then we will try to get to the meet of the subject.

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 10-20-01, 06:17 AM
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meter

There is maybe 5 ft of wire from the meter to the box. It is located just outside the home where the box is located.

On another note, I bought this place like a year ago and the previous owner just had all new wiring installed a few months before I moved in. This is a mobile home. There is no other structures on the property. After shutting off the main I checked all rooms, appliances and water heater. No power to anything. I called the power company after posting yesterday. They claim that it is definately my wiring causing the problem and the meter could not be faulty and act like that. They didn`t give details but they transfered me to some guy who implied this problem was common. He suggested I call an electrician. I`m hoping I won`t have to.

Greg
 
  #4  
Old 10-20-01, 02:34 PM
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Mobile homes are supposed to have remote meters that are not mounted on the mobile home but is mounted on a separate structure like a mobile home pedistal or a set of 4x4s and plywood, or something like this.

Tell me are you turning off the main breaker in the mobile home and not in a breaker located by the remote meter?

If this is true then turn off the breaker at the meter base if you have a remote meter and disconnect as you are supposed to have. See if the meter stops.

I am suspecting a leak in the feeder between the meter base and the main panel. Is this feeder installed underground?

While you are looking if you live in a mobile home park look to see if possibly someone has tapped into your feeder or remote disconnect on the load side of that meter. I have found this to happen from time to time in mobile home parks. Some people are sneaky that way.

Answer the questions I have asked. This should get us closer to discovering what is causing the meter to run.

I will be watching for your reply.

Wg
 
  #5  
Old 10-21-01, 03:51 PM
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meter

Your right. The meter is on a box but, not the home. But the box is right up on the home about a centimeter from touching it. This isn`t really a mobile home park, it used to be. Let me explain. Where I live used to be a far back side of a mobile home park. They main part of the park was sold. The road where I live was annexed into the city. Now there are only five mobile homes here now. I am renting the lot.

I am turning off the main breaker in the home breaker box. I have never seen one at the meter. I will check.
The feeder is underground. But it doesn`t travel very far since the breaker box is literally one foot from the meter. The feeder goes undergrond outside into the meter.

Thanks
Greg
 
  #6  
Old 10-21-01, 05:23 PM
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Exclamation new development

Right after writing my last post I went out to the meter. I found the Breakers on a panel under it. I flipped them. That slowed the meter almost to a halt but it still crept a little. When I just flip the main breaker the meter moves faster. It occured to me that since it was 10:00 pm and alot of my neighbors had some lights on I looked at all my neighbors homes. They all had some kinda light on. So I memorized how many lights were on in which house and flipped my breakers a few more times. I watched my neighbors lights that I could see from my box and flipped the breakers. Nothing happenend. I left the power off went to the front of my house and looked across the street to see if any lights were on at thier houses. Every home across the street is a regular house. While looking I noticed a guy standing kinda between his garage in his shorts with no shirt (it`s pretty cold tonight) with his arms crossed looking at me. This house is across the street and one house down. There was one light on in his house and no lights on in his unattached garage. Then it dawned on me... The guy I bought this home from, well his brother lives in that house!!! The guy with no shirt was his brother!!!! So I stared back at this guy for about 20 seconds. I decided to be sneaky and I went into my house and went to a window where I could peak at him, remember the power was still off in my home. He stood there for about a minute looking at my home, then went into his dark garage for about 2 or 3 minutes and then lights turned on in his garage. He closed the garage door, looked at my home several times on the way back into his.

If this guy is stealing my electricity could he switch his own back on after I turn my supply off?
I really don`t know, maybe this guy just saw me looking at my neighbors houses in the middle of the night and walking around my meter with a flashlight and just stood there to watch me.
Is there some way I could check my wiring to find out if he is spliced in?

I have one more question. On the panel under my meter there are three breakers. A double 200 which I assume is my main. A single 100 and a 50. What are all these for?

Thanks again
Greg
 
  #7  
Old 10-22-01, 07:44 AM
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I would guess the 200 is for your mobile home. I suspect someone (more than one?) is feeding off your meter. Your neigbor could easily have a switch or switches to alternate which supply is being used. If you shut off the 50 and 100, what quits working? If nothing, can you install a locking cover over them? If not, you can remove them, and cap the wires?

 
  #8  
Old 10-22-01, 08:07 AM
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It's possible that your neighbor has a switch which can connect to your service instead of his service. You may want to try your experiment again in a few nights, but concentrate on his house. If you switch off a breaker at YOUR meter, and lights in HIS house go out, then you have pretty good evidence he is stealing electricity from you.

Actually, you might have enough already to convince the power company to investigate. Call them to report a possible theft of service. If he IS stealing service, make sure that the appropriate authorities are notified. You'd call the cops if he was stealing food out of your refrigerator, right?

If he is guily of stealing electricity, you also may be able to recover damages. While I think people tend to sue over way too many things, this is one situation where legal action would clearly be justified.
 
  #9  
Old 11-06-01, 02:50 AM
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I'm only replying to this thread to bump it up and hope the Original Poster comes back and SOLVES THE MYSTERY!

Hey beanieweenie! Get back here! Don't leave us hanging! It's like the last page has been ripped out of my book.

 
  #10  
Old 11-06-01, 08:05 AM
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I agree with Abnormal, suspense is killing me. The evidence is circumstantial at this point but it does tend to push for further investigation. I have only found this type activity happen once in my jurisdiction. That one was interesting to the point that the owner of the mobile home park had wired a second mobile home on one of his rented lots from the first mobile home from one of his other rented lots. The first mobile home was paying for two mobile homes electricity and paying lot rent to the owner. Then the owner of the land was charging lot rent and a monthly electricity charge to the second mobile home. He had a very profitable business there for a while till the first mobile home had a 150 dollar electric bill while she had her main shut off during a winter vacation in a southern state. Got interesting just like this is getting. Problem is the last page if this book is still missing. What happened? Did you have a short to ground causing the high electric bill or did you have a neghboring benifactor you were donating to?

Curious,

Wg
 
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