Natural Gas Usage


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Old 08-20-14, 10:13 AM
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Natural Gas Usage

Usage for the last 41 days was 13 therms which seems awful high to me compared to other people I've talked to.

Kitchen stove: 3 pilot lights (used little in the summer)

Furnace: 1 pilot (hasn't run in months)

Dryer: maybe two loads a month (run maybe hour or so)

Water heater: Electric


Few years ago I made the mistake of mentioning to some woman from the gas company I don't use much gas, just me and the dog. Well, then came the new meter and it seems to be too high now.

13 therms seem like a lot?

Thanks
 
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Old 08-20-14, 11:14 AM
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You have a stove and a furnace with standing pilots? Those must be pretty old. Since that equates to 1.3M btu...it should be pretty easy to figure out. Need one of the gas guru's to explain how though.

I'd guess the dryer is the high user but at only 2 loads a month (How the heck to you do that? Clothesline?) and it cycling on and off...maybe not.

Hmmm...I just looked up my latest bill. Oddly, same 13 therms (though it was only 30 days). Gas hot water (not sure of the pilot), gas dryer, gas range (spark start). 2 showers daily, probably 6 loads of clothes washed in warm water and dried per week, oven used weekly for an hour and stove used at least 5 days a week for 30 min or so.

So, yeah, to me your usage seems a little high. Is this just a one time thing or has it been consistently high? Was this an estimated usage? Did they recently replace the meter even though you talked to the lady a few years ago?
 
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Old 08-20-14, 12:24 PM
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I'd guess the dryer is the high user but at only 2 loads a month (How the heck to you do that? Clothesline?) and it cycling on and off...maybe not.
No clothesline, I don't like my towels crunchy. I get supplies once a week so don't need to 'clean up' all that often. I do dry on low heat, probably doesn't matter much.



So, yeah, to me your usage seems a little high. Is this just a one time thing or has it been consistently high? Was this an estimated usage? Did they recently replace the meter even though you talked to the lady a few years ago?
No, it has seemed high to me since the new meter a few years ago, still the same one today.

Yes, estimate was on 8/13 @ 10 therms. I read it yesterday which shows 13 therms. Supposedly the last actual was 7/8.

I talked to the ex yesterday and she used 2 therms but she does have the spark ignition. I find it hard to believe a little pilot can make that much of a difference.

I'm gonna call around to people with natural gas and see what they have. This time of year I should be using maybe 4.

After checking around I'm gonna demand a new meter and not another old one they found in the dumpster.


Thanks
 
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Old 08-20-14, 12:33 PM
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OT but I love "crunchy" towels. They absorb water so much better and I feel actually dry after. Wifey on the other hand with her tender skin....ehhhhh.

Anyway...

Estimates always mess things up. Of course they'll estimate for their benefit. If it equals out, not too big a deal.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 06:56 AM
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Hello: Baldwin

It should all be explained on the bill. To many days between meter reading dates. Usually 30-31 days between reads. Read dates should be shown on the bill also. Might have to do with the inability of the meter reader to access meter or maybe severe (adverse) weather conditions, etc.

On the bill should be the daily usage amounts. Compare to prior billing. You may want to determine the amount for a thirty to thirty one day cycle. Should then balance out.

BTW:
Not any one household even with identical appliances and same number of residents ever equals out to the same monthly usage. Household comparison's is not valid measurements according to any gas supplier. Only the individual household and customer.

I've done hundreds of high bill investigations. If there is no leakages in the house-lines, the bill is and most likely always will be correct, according to the gas supplier. No leakage means customer used the gas according to supplier. How or where does not matter to them. That's the sad news...

In some areas a gas leakage test can be done by the gas supplier. Advisable only if leakage is evident or there is underground lines. Appears to me with that low a daily usage there is likely no leakage anywhere. That's the good news....

 
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Old 08-21-14, 10:44 AM
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My furnace is a Coleman 60,000 BTU output installed in 89. Just looked and it has a rather huge pilot flame, my money up in smoke. Any reason NOT to turn the pilot off in the summer? I thought it might keep the inside dry, maybe not?

Interesting read here: Comparison below is a hot water heater and cook stove, not mine.


http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/...ghts-are-evil/



More distressing was the comparison to our annual gas demand, which averaged 28 Therms/month, dropping to 15 Therms/month during the summer months. Thus, our two pilot lights accounted for 40% of our total gas usage, and over 70% of our summertime gas usage! Outrageous!


Actual 7/8 Estimate 8/13 equals 36 days with .27 therms a day.

I'm gonna watch the meter for a day or two with the furnace pilot on then off and see what I get. I have a feeling it will be more than I think.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-21-14, 10:53 AM
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Many people turn the pilots off on items not in use. As long as you feel ok with lighting it again in the fall, why not? Heck, you might be able to turn the stove pilots off as well...not sure. Light a match when you do want to use a burner. Oven pilot might be more of a pain.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 01:07 PM
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That article I referred to in #6 was right on the money, my money.

Did a 30 minute test with just the kitchen stove, two cubic foot meter moved around one line. Add the furnace pilot and it jumped to three lines which comes to around 7 therms in a month. Wow, never thought a pilot would use that much.

If there is no leakages in the house-lines, the bill is and most likely always will be correct...

Right you are!


Thanks guys, pilot will remain off till December.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 02:35 PM
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Just think...7 therms is 700,000 BTU or approximately 700,000 burning wooden matches. So for the savings in one month, you could light your stove that many times. That's a lot of cooking.

Looking at it another way, assume one of your stove pilots puts out about the same energy in 30 sec as a match. Since they are on 24/7, that would work out to about 86,400 BTU per pilot per month. Throw in the large furnace pilot at maybe double that and it's pretty easy to see how it's possible, since my numbers are just approximate.
 
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Old 08-25-14, 06:27 AM
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Hello: Baldwin

For your benefit and that of all concerned parties reading this thread, all gas meters with dials are required to have a half foot test dial. Usually located to the left of the two foot dial. That's the smallest meter required dial reading measurement used for leakage testing and/or pilot flow volume testing.

With all pilots turned off, spot mark the test dials hand. TIP: Always test with dial hand on the up stroke. NOT the down stroke...:NO NO NO: Down stroke may result in false reading do to dial hand slack. Always test on the up stroke! Meaning dial hand moving up wards.

In two minutes that test dials hand should not move any amount. No movement indicates no leakage and/or no gas usage. Any movement indicates you either left a pilot on or there is a gas loss and/or leakage somewhere....

BTW:
Towels and some other unmentionable clothing dried on a clothes line that results on crunchy or crispness might not be so bad or might even be a good reminder of days long gone by before there where clothes dryers...LOL!!!...

 
 

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