From: Lou on 5 May 2007 19:49
"s" <s(a)mailinator.com> wrote in message
> 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.
Well, if you have a old-fashioned shower head, one that delivers maybe 5
gallons per minute, you'd be using 1,500 gallons a month just to shower.
With a low flow showerhead, maybe half that. The way to test is to turn on
the shower, place a bucket so that it catches all the water, time it for a
minute, and measure the result. If the flow is high, low flow showerheads
are cheap - I got a simple one for $5 a few years ago and it took about 10
minutes to install.
The toilet could be leaking - you say you haven't found any leaks, but with
time, the rim of the pipe leading from the tank to the bowl gets crudded up,
and the flapper valve deteriorates, and there can be a slow leak that you
don't notice. Color the water in the tank by pouring a bottle of food
coloring into it and let it sit overnight undisturbed. If the water in the
bowl is colored in the morning, you have a slow leak. Drain the tank, clean
the rim of the pipe, replace the flapper valve. You can buy a vavle at the
local hardware store for a few bucks, and it shouldn't take more than a few
minutes to install.
It doesn't matter what people at work use, or the previous tenants used, it
matters whay you use. The only way you're going to know what you use is to
MEASURE it. Right now you're basically imagining your usage and then acting
as if your fantasies were facts. You may be using more utilities than you
think. Or maybe not. Measure it an know for sure.
I frankly don't blame your landlord - it's no skin off his nose whatever
your utility bills are. I wonder why you're living there - if the place is
old and out of repair, then you could consider moving to someplace that's
more up to snuff. Of course, it may cost more. But you can pay for up to
date fixtures and appliances, or you can pay for utility bills.
From: throwitout on 5 May 2007 20:28
On May 4, 1:40 pm, w_tom <w_t...(a)usa.net> wrote:
> On May 4, 9:37 am, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
> > One question I had was will using a surgeprotectorimpact the bills?
> > And does leaving the surgeprotectorin the socket
> > turned off consume power? I don't have it which is careless of me but
> > was planning to get it but now am hesitant due
> > to my high bills. I understand for equipments like laptop that is
> > highly required.
> Surge protector is a switch. It is not something magical. It is a
> switch that remains open - conducts no electricity - except when a
> massive surge current arrives. When the switch closes, then that
> current is diverted. If the switch is connected single digit feet to
> earth ground, then current is diverted to the protection. Protector
> is not protection. Earth ground is the protection.
> How to be frugal. One 'whole house' protector for everything in the
> house. Dishwasher, microwave oven, and clock radio require
> protection. And far more critical than a laptop is protecting smoke
> detector, kitchen and bathroom GFCI, and furnace controls. IOW one
> 'whole house' protector for about $1 per protected appliance. Or the
> plug-in protector that does not have the earthing connection, does not
> claim to protect a laptop from the other and typically destructive
> surge, and cost maybe $25 or $100 per appliance.
> Surge protectors don't consume electricity. That 'switch' closes
> only for microseconds maybe once every many years. But cost of and
> if it does anything is more important. A protector too close to a
> laptop may even earth a surge, destructively, through that laptop.
> That's just not frugal.
Do you go to your computer every day, open up google groups, and
search for "surge protector"? It seems it doesn't matter what group
I'm in, ANY time someone mentions "surge protector" you come out of
the woodwork and push whole house protectors.
Also, some plug in "surge protectors" contain electronics that claim
to "clean" noise out of the line power. These might add to the draw of
the device. They also might have little LEDs or neon lights. Fairly
Personally I have 9V battery powered smoke detectors so the whole
house unit would do nothing for those.
In the case of the poster, they seemingly own almost no electrical
devices other than the computer. They are renting the unit, so if the
fridge explodes from a surge it will be doing the poster a service
because then the landlord will put in a newer (and presumably more
efficient) one. Plus with so few devices, the per device cost would
probably go above $1. As well renting a unit means it's not feasible
to toy around with the electrical entrance and install a whole house
Also although lighting isn't the only cause of damaging surges, if the
poster unplugs their laptop during a storm, and when unattended, they
will lower the chances a damaging strike will kill the only electrical
device they have any money invested in.
From: throwitout on 5 May 2007 20:40
On May 4, 4:28 pm, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the reply. I was thinking a surge protector is also like
> other items mentioned
> in this thread which consume power if plugged into a socket even when
> they are off(laptop,cable modem).
> I was under the impression that if a surge protector is plugged into
> the wall socket even when it
> is off it would be consuming some power.
It depends if the protecting and filtering electronics are "upstream"
of the switch or not. If they are upstream they may still draw a tiny
amount with the switch off.
> connected to a surge protector
> could be consuming power even if the main switch for surge protector
> is off.
> I saw one at my friend's place a while ago. When plugged into the wall
> it had a glow in the protecting bulb indicating it was protecting
> appliances connected to it
> but there was no light in the grounded bulb. So, perhaps it was not
> grounded to earth from the socket
> to which the protector was connected. Is such a protector safe?
It depends if the protector tries to shunt the surge to ground using
that (apparently disconnected) ground connection, or if it shunts it
through the neutral connection. Of course w_tom will say that the
"third prong" grounding wire is only for "human safety" not equipment
safety. Overall I'd say either the protector or the wiring isn't safe,
depending on where the fault is, and it poses a hazard to the user if
three prong appliances are being plugged in, that are designed to take
advantage of the faulty safety ground.
> > Surge protectors don't consume electricity. That 'switch' closes
> > only for microseconds maybe once every many years. But cost of and
> > if it does anything is more important. A protector too close to a
> > laptop may even earth a surge, destructively, through that laptop.
> > That's just not frugal.
> How many feet can be considered too close? How far should be a surge
> from appliances connected to it?
> Thanks for your aid and time.
He will say that a functional surge protector must have a distance to
earth ground no greater than 6 feet to be effective, and it should be
a common ground with telephone, etc, blah blah blah. Houses designed
like the transistor hasn't been invented, blah blah blah, plug in
protectors useless, don't provide anything that properly designed
appliances don't already include, blah blah blah.
From: throwitout on 5 May 2007 20:50
On May 4, 7:21 pm, w_tom <w_t...(a)usa.net> wrote:
> The incandescent bulb consumers about seven times
> more electricity compared to a Compact Fluorescent of same intensity.
Seven times? What the hell are you smoking and where can I get some?
Incandescents use 3-4 times as much power as a CFL.
> Some will even proclaim that startup creates massive energy
> consumption; assuming it is cheaper to leave something one.
Are you talking about CFLs? If so, it was a half truth that was blown
out of proportion.
> Doing the number is to confirm calibration and billing errors do not
> exist; AND to learn a perspective. Good luck with your research.
Good ideas. Read up on how to read the meter (pages exist that tell
you Revs per minute of the meter = certain amount of usage.)
> Meanwhile, consider this rather technically impressive tool (Kill-a-
> Nothing can inform better than the numbers.
Fun toy. Unfortunately all I have is an old clamp on ammeter. It's
good for figuring out instantaneous VA rating, but no good for long
term consumption (like a cycling fridge) or highly reactive loads.
From: w_tom on 5 May 2007 21:55
Obviously those lights do consume some power. Light reporting
protection only reports that protector circuit has not been
disconnected by an excessively large current surge.
Protector devices (MOVs) are removed and light still says protector
is working in:
IOW light can report a failed protector but cannot report a good
Facilities that suffer direct strikes without damage place a
protector as close to earth ground as possible and as much as 50
meters separated from electronics.
Well, you are not going to have anywhere near to 50 meter
separation. But any separation between an appliance and the breaker
box (with protector) means enhanced protection. More important for
residential protection - that earthing wire should be 'less than 10
feet' - as short as possible. Shorter will minimize wire impedance.
Other requirements are no sharp bends, not inside metallic conduit, no
splices, AND wire routed separate from all other wires.
Notice that last requirement. Ground wire inside a Romex cable is
bundled with other wires creating induced surges. Just another reason
a plug-in protector is not effectively earthed. For example, a 6 AWG
wire from breaker box to earth ground rod is better when directly
through a foundation and down to earthing rod. Not up over foundation
and down. Again, less bends and shorter distance to earth means less
surge will enter a building destructively seeking appliances.
Above is for wire connection. At minimum, the earthing electrode
should be one or more 8+ foot ground rods. If soil is less conductive
(ie sand), then an earthing system should be expanded. All utilities
(ie telephone, cable) also must connect 'less than 10 foot' to that
same earthing electrode. Entire building protection requires a single
point earth ground: one electrode or many connected at a single
point. Earthing also installed for human safety reasons as required
by post-1990 electrical code.
This frugal solution for better protection will do nothing for
reducing electric consumption. If your breaker box does not have that
earth ground (as required by post-1990 code), then upgrading that
earthing will also improve human safety as well as make the 'whole
house' protector effective. Significant improvement for so little
If a power strip's ground indicator is not illuminated, then a
safety ground wire may have been compromised or not installed. That
light is not relevant to surge protection but may report a human
safety problem in building wires.
On May 4, 3:28 pm, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the reply. I was thinking asurgeprotector is also like
> other items mentioned in this thread which consume power if
> plugged into a socket even when they are off(laptop,cable
> modem). I was under the impression that if asurgeprotector
> is plugged into the wall socket even when it is off it would be
> consuming some power. Or devices(laptop,modem) connected
> to asurgeprotector could be consuming power even if the main
> switch forsurgeprotector is off.
> I saw one at my friend's place a while ago. When plugged into the
> wall socket it had a glow in the protecting bulb indicating it was
> protecting appliances connected to it but there was no light in the
> grounded bulb. So, perhaps it was not grounded to earth from the
> socket to which the protector was connected. Is such a protector
> How many feet can be considered too close? How far should be asurge
> protector from appliances connected to it?