From: Logan Shaw on
s wrote:
> Thanks for the reply. I clarified it with my landlord and he told he
> was paying for
> the lights outside the apartment but considering my bills I am
> skeptical.

No need to be skeptical. Just watch the electric meter and see how
it behaves. The older ones have a wheel that rotates and shows
energy usage. All of them have some kind of counter of kilowatt-hours
that are being racked up.

All you need to do is turn off all of your stuff (possibly with the
circuit breaker) and then go outside and see whether the thing is
still moving. If it is still moving, there is still a load. If it
is completely stopped, there is no load, and you are not paying for
outside lights.

You might also try turning off everything in the apartment except
a single 100 watt light bulb. You could leave the single 100 watt
bulb on and then go out and see how fast the meter is moving. (You
might time one revolution of the wheel with a stopwatch.) Then
turn on a second 100 watt light bulb and verify that the wheel
turns twice as fast (by timing it again). If it turns twice as
fast with two bulbs of the same wattage as it does with just one
bulb, then you know that with neither bulb, there is no load.

Of course, these don't need to be 100 watt light bulbs. They could
be 60 watt or whatever. 100 watt just makes the math easier.

- Logan
From: Logan Shaw on
s wrote:
> One question I had was will using a surge protector impact the bills?
> And does leaving the surge protector in the socket
> turned off consume power?

With the switch turned off, the surge protector will use no electricity.

With it turned on, it will probably use a tiny, tiny amount, but not
anything you'll be able to notice on an electric bill. A surge protector
might use a little power if it has an indicator lamp on it, but that
would be a very small amount (less than a watt).

The main reason a surge protector might draw a little power is that
many of them work by having a varistor inside them. A varistor is
simply a resistor whose resistance is not a constant but instead
varies with voltage. The idea is this: the varistor is connected
between the two wires that the power comes in on, and if the voltage
gets too high, the varistor's resistance will drop and it will create
a really big load, drawing away all the excess electrical current
that could otherwise damage the equipment. Here's a much more detailed
explanation:

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/surge-protector1.htm

The excess power consumption would come from the factor that the
varistor is never completely "off". That is, it is always creating
a tiny load and using up a little bit of power all the time. But
the load is really tiny. According to this article:

http://www.smartpowersystems.com/New/tbf_technology.htm

the maximum current that the surge protector is allowed to draw,
according to Underwriters Laboratories ("UL", as in "UL Listed"),
is 0.5 milliamp. Since 0.5 mA = 0.005 A, and since line voltage
is nominally 120 V, and since P=IV, the maximum power that would
be allowed to be used by a UL Listed surge protector would be
0.005 * 120, or 0.6 watts. There are about 8765 hours in a year,
so in one year, that would use about 5250 watt-hours in a year.
That is about 5.25 kilowatt-hours in a year, and at marginal
electric rate of 10 cents/kilowatt hour, that means about 50
cents a year. And that is the *maximum* power usage allowed;
it would normally be lower than that. And it assumes you have
the power strip plugged in and switched on 24 hours a day.

So basically, I wouldn't worry about it. If your bill shows
297 kilowatt-hours in a month, a surge protector would be about
0.15% of that. You'd be much better off focusing your energy
(ha!) on something else.

- Logan

From: s on
On May 4, 6:21 pm, w_tom <w_t...(a)usa.net> wrote:
> On May 4, 3:33 pm, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
>
> > Thanks. I will collect the evidence.
>
> > Incidentally, I noticed my earlier post was incorrect. I said "If I am
> > charged lot more
> > than some household who use far less than me then either
> > someone is tapping into my water/electric usage or there
> > is a large leakage." I intended to say ...
>
> I had already appreciated your intent. Doing those calculations and
> then confirming them with the meter would address that and other
> potential problems. For example, is the meter 'out of calibration'?
> Of are your bills (meter readings) being confused with another
> consumer? And finally, by doing these numbers, one begins to put
> power consumption into perspective. Often people don't realize how
> much a refrigerator consumes or how little some entertainment
> appliances consume. The incandescent bulb consumers about seven times
> more electricity compared to a Compact Fluorescent of same intensity.
> Some will even proclaim that startup creates massive energy
> consumption; assuming it is cheaper to leave something one.
>
> Doing the number is to confirm calibration and billing errors do not
> exist; AND to learn a perspective. Good luck with your research.

Thanks for your reply and suggestions, I did this today as it was a
Sat.
When all appliances in my household are off the meter does not seem to
spin.
But, when I checked my usage it shows 91KWH for 13 days(or about 7KW
per day) which surprised me because according to my last bill I was
charged 297KW for 30 days or 9.9KW per day. I am unclear what could be
wrong. My usage did not change from last month to this month other
than replacing my 75W,60W bulbs with Compact Fluorescent but that
could not be 2.9KW per day.

I was just curious if Compact Fluorescent gave more light
output(lumens), lasted longer
and used less energy why are still incandescent bulbs being used? Is
there a harmful sideeffect of Compact Fluorescent that I should be
aware of and is that the reason incandescent bulbs still being used?
Their box says it contains mercury but I did not know what else could
be an issue with them.

The main issue is my electric water heater which uses 4.5KW/hour.
As someone kindly suggested I should turn it off, and turn it on only
in the morning when I need to use the shower. This could help me.
I found out now how people at my work get usage of 140KWH. They have
an energy efficient heater which uses 4KW/hour which they use for half
an hour daily or they use
60KW/month. They also have an energy efficient refrigerator which uses
about 50KWH/month. Their other equipment(bulbs,fan,T.V.,some A.C.
usage) make up the rest 30KWH.


> Meanwhile, consider this rather technically impressive tool (Kill-a-
> Watt):
> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009MDBU
> Nothing can inform better than the numbers.

Thanks. I should get it.
But is this product http://www.powermiser.myfti.biz/FTI2006/xpower.asp?gclid=CKORy6PT94sCFR0jgQod5TbeVg
actually useful. Can it actually reduce the bills by 25% as they
claim?
Can anyone please advise?

Thanks a lot.



From: s on
On May 4, 7:18 pm, val189 <gwehr...(a)bellsouth.net> wrote:
> 2000 to 3000 gals a month is not bad for two person household.
> I use 2000 most months, once a while I'll hit the 3000 mark.
> Even with 4 person company for a week, I never hit the 4000. I
> replaced toilets
> with low flow types, use shut off valve on shower head, no half loads
> of dishes
> or clothes.

Thanks for your reply.

I checked with others at work and my utility company. They told me
people with two households generally use 1500 per month and my utility
company told me 2 people who were staying before me had a usage of
1300 per month. 2600 gallons for my single person usage is far too
high. I use the shower for 10mins/day and leave the house at about 8am
and arrive at 8-9pm on weekdays. I checked for leaks but could not
find any. The main issue is flush is using too much but my landlord
will not give me a better one.

> Did you mention whether you do laundry at home or schlep it out?
I do the laundry outside at a coin laundry place for 2.5$ which I
understand is quite expensive.
Thanks for your help and time.

From: Don K on
"s" <s(a)mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:1178391002.451265.170630(a)o5g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
> On May 4, 6:21 pm, w_tom <w_t...(a)usa.net> wrote:
>> On May 4, 3:33 pm, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
> I was just curious if Compact Fluorescent gave more light
> output(lumens), lasted longer
> and used less energy why are still incandescent bulbs being used? Is
> there a harmful sideeffect of Compact Fluorescent that I should be
> aware of and is that the reason incandescent bulbs still being used?
> Their box says it contains mercury but I did not know what else could
> be an issue with them.

In my experience, CFL's don't last nearly as long as claimed.
And when they do fail, it's not worth the bother of trying to get money
back under warranty. Who wants to fool around with paperwork for 2 or 3 bucks?

Don


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