From: w_tom on
On May 7, 10:42 am, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
> Thanks all for your help and time.
>
> I apologize if I caused any confusion or rife by my questions. I did
> not intend that. All I wanted to know if I get a surge protector and it
> like my friend's shows it is protecting but if grounded light is not
> on how safe that equipment is. I understand it means faulty wiring and
> so it is unsafe.

That light does not report protecton. That light can only report if
protector has been catastrophically damaged - grossly undersized for a
surge. Either protector is known 100% defective or it is unknown.
Two conditions the light reports. See those pictures from
zerosurge.com with protector components completely removed. Light
implies protector was good when it obviously was not. Again, lights
can only report protector catastrophically destroyed or protector
unknown (only maybe still good).

If ground wire is not connected, then either landlord must fix the
missing ground. Or landlord may decide an outlet should not have been
three prong and replace that three prong receptacle with a two prong.

None of that will do much for appliance protection. Anything
adjacent to an appliance that was going to protect that appliance is
already inside that appliance. Your concern is only for a missing
safety ground wire - for human safety. Same 'locate defective ground'
test can be performed on all receptacles by three lights on a simple
$4 outlet tester. Tester is available at any hardware store.


From: Lou on

"s" <s(a)mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:1178550008.452398.31070(a)l77g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...

> Well, when I moved in I did not know how bad the equipment actually
> was.

In the first place, we don't know if your equipment is really substandard -
you haven't reported any actual measurements, and several replies here have
indicated your usage doesn't seem abnormally high.

> I signed a lease
> for 12 months so if I move out early I still have to pay the rent for
> remaining months. So, I cannot
> move out.

Probably not, but what you can or cannot do depends on the laws in your
area, and the terms of your lease. For instance, perhaps you could sublet
the place. Or if you move out and the landlord rents to someone else, he
may not be able to collect from you and the new tenant (though if I was the
landlord, I wouldn't be in any hurry to re-rent the place).

> People I have talked to say there are some or other problems
> in their
> apartments also. Their apartment equipment might not be as bad as mine
> but if the neighbours
> are too noisy their landlord does not care(and thankfully I don't face
> noisy neighbours).

Nothing's perfect.

> Some
> do have equipment like mine but they generally have 4 or more incomes
> in their household so
> an extra 60-70$ per month due to old equipment does not matter that
> much to them like me. When I told
> my landlord that I am losing 60-70$ per month due to his old equipment
> he retorted that it
> is shameful and lazy on my part to be on single income in today's age
> where most people have one full time and two or more part time jobs.

So at the outside, you're looking at $840/year, or about $2.30/day. And
that's IF the equipment's at fault instead of your own habits. Not an
astronomical amount of money, but not a few pennies either. I don't know if
that bit about multiple jobs is accurate or not. I've never had more than
one job at a time (well, I did teach nights for a few years, but it wasn't
for the money - it didn't pay enough to make it worthwhile for the money.
It was more like a hobby.). In any case, it's not really the landlord's
business how you earn the money to pay the bills (including the rent), as
long as it's legal. Maybe your problem isn't so much the price of utilities
as it is the size of your income. Perhaps you should be looking for a
better paying job. One that paid an additional fortytwo cents an hour would
cover it (well, if it weren't for taxes).

> People advise me to pressurize my landlord for upgrading the
> equipment
> and hope he does something though it is a faint hope.

You've asked and he said no. I doubt he's obligated to furnish the place
with up to the minute appliances. And you did sign a lease, presumably
voluntarily - likely after you had a chance to look the place over. If he's
meeting the terms of the lease and complying with applicable law, I'd guess
that ends the discussion. I'd advise against nagging him - suppose there's
a plumbing break in the middle fo the night and you need him to get it fixed
as soon as possible?

Sometimes landlords are willing to strike a deal - how would you feel about
increasing the rent by $35/month in exhange for a new refrigerator and water
heater? You'd both come out ahead - your total expenditures would drop, and
the place would have new appliances that could increase his rental income
after you moved out at the end of your lease.


From: throwitout on
On May 7, 3:46 pm, w_tom <w_t...(a)usa.net> wrote:
> On May 7, 10:36 am, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
>
> > Well, I got a power measuring meter from my local hardware store.
> > Trouble is I did not know if there
> > could be any side effects. For instance, main consumption devices are
> > fridge and electric water heater. But, they are
> > connected directly to a socket(which hopefully has proper earthing
> > protection). I did not know if I plug
> > in the power measuring meter into socket and then connect the fridge
> > plug to the power measuring meter socket
> > if it would be safe or not. Same for water electric heater. These
> > devices consume lot of power
> > so I did not want to damage them or myself inadvertently. Can anybody
> > please advise how safe it
> > is to use them for such devices?

> I assume you obtained a Kill-a-watt meter. If an appliance plugs
> into a wall receptacle, then meter can be placed between appliance and
> that receptacle. All connections are made unique so that either meter
> can be connected safety or meter is mechanically unable to make that
> connection.
>
> Water heater is typically hard wired - no plug. No plug means wire
> does not mechanically connect to meter. Therefore meter cannot
> measure that device.

My clamp on ammeter can measure 240V devices by placing the clamp
around 1 on the conductors. It needn't be mechanically connected and
can very accurately measure the current! Look up inductance sometime.
However as the poster doesn't seem too electrically inclined, it'd be
best if he didn't muck around with the wiring.

> If appliance can plug into meter, then connection is 100% safe. If
> appliance plug will not plug into meter, then appliance is unsafe for
> that meter. It's really that simple.

bzzzzz, try harder. The "plug in adapter" for my ammeter (which allows
measurement of 120V appliances without pulling apart a cordset) is not
rated for 15A continuous service. I believe it's something like 15A
for less than two minutes, and something like 7A or so continuously.
One could easily plug in a 1500W space heater, and it will fit in the
plug, but it would be "unsafe" as it's exceeding the design of the
adapter, and I don't believe this adapter has any built in overload
protection.

The best thing for the poster to do would be to post the make and
model number of the meter, or check the manual. Then we could figure
out what the meter is rated for and make recommendations accordingly.
It could very well be something similar to my meter, in which case it
wouldn't be dangerous to run the meter for a short time, to determine
the running consumption of the fridge, and whether that exceeds the
design of the meter for long term monitoring. Another consideration is
whether the meter is "safe" for the inrush current. When the motor
kicks in, which can be several times the running current, but usually
doesn't pose a problem.

Ballparking I believe my 5 year old fridge uses ~700W running.

From: throwitout on
On May 7, 3:53 pm, w_tom <w_t...(a)usa.net> wrote:
> On May 7, 10:42 am, s <s...(a)mailinator.com> wrote:
>
> > Thanks all for your help and time.
>
> > I apologize if I caused any confusion or rife by my questions. I did
> > not intend that. All I wanted to know if I get a surge protector and it
> > like my friend's shows it is protecting but if grounded light is not
> > on how safe that equipment is. I understand it means faulty wiring and
> > so it is unsafe.

s, you didn't not create confusion, that was all w_tom's own doing.

> That light does not report protecton. That light can only report if
> protector has been catastrophically damaged - grossly undersized for a
> surge.

s wasn't asking about the "protected" light.

> If ground wire is not connected, then either landlord must fix the
> missing ground. Or landlord may decide an outlet should not have been
> three prong and replace that three prong receptacle with a two prong.

Or a GFCI outlet with the sticker "No equipment ground". Though that
option is less than ideal for a number of reasons. Hopefully "s"'s
electrical system is better than his friend's.

> None of that will do much for appliance protection. Anything
> adjacent to an appliance that was going to protect that appliance is
> already inside that appliance. Your concern is only for a missing
> safety ground wire - for human safety. Same 'locate defective ground'
> test can be performed on all receptacles by three lights on a simple
> $4 outlet tester. Tester is available at any hardware store.


From: s on
> news:1178550008.452398.31070(a)l77g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
>
> > Well, when I moved in I did not know how bad the equipment actually
> > was.
>
> In the first place, we don't know if your equipment is really substandard -
> you haven't reported any actual measurements, and several replies here have
> indicated your usage doesn't seem abnormally high.

Thanks for the reply.
My equipment is indeed substandard. Fortunately, the energy audit
people of my City who provide the utilities to whole city on my
repeated complaints and calls of high energy usage came in before 8
weeks. They confirmed that my electrical
and drainage equipment was the reason of my high usage. They had a
Kill A Watt meter and buckets with measurements
which confirmed my suspicions. They had visited a person's home like
me who was living alone and hardly
staying at home. They told me that person had a 90KWH electricty usage
and 1200 gallons of water usage per month.
When I told them the amount of time I spend at home they were
surprised at my bills. They told me my bills is lot
more due to shoddy equipment.
They told me I could get a bill of 90KWH per month(as compared to mine
of 297KWH) if I tweak things properly and
assuming I convince my landlord to get me a refrigerator which uses
40-50KWH per month.
They told me my lighting and computer usage is using only 15KWH per
month. The bulk was refrigerator and water
heater. My water heater indicates 4.5KWH but might be using 7-8KWH if
it has not been serviced,cleaned or
maintained and I believe my landlord must not have done any.
The audit people told me for someone with my usage here is how 90KWH
per month could be possible.
Use a 4.5KWH water heater for only 10mins per day(4.5*30/3 = approx
23KWH)
Assume a energy star compliant refrigerator using 40-50KWH and
lighting another 17KWH.
He told me even a 6 year old(2001 model energy star compliant
refrigerator) would use 40-50KWH but my model is
FRT13CRH which he told is too old. The manufacturing company is
Fridgaire(http://www.frigidaire.com/products/refrigerators.asp)
I checked the manual at ftp://ftp.electrolux-na.com/ProdInfo_PDF/Anderson/218972202en.pdf
which though does not
describe my model had some hints which I had already done(cleaning
coils in back for proper operation of
condenser).




> > I signed a lease
> > for 12 months so if I move out early I still have to pay the rent for
> > remaining months. So, I cannot
> > move out.
>
> Probably not, but what you can or cannot do depends on the laws in your
> area, and the terms of your lease. For instance, perhaps you could sublet
> the place. Or if you move out and the landlord rents to someone else, he
> may not be able to collect from you and the new tenant (though if I was the
> landlord, I wouldn't be in any hurry to re-rent the place).

Subletting was not allowed in my lease agreement. Well, my lease
like(most leases) which was crafted by my landlord
was to protect the landlord and impact the tenant as much as
possible.

>
> > People I have talked to say there are some or other problems
> > in their
> > apartments also. Their apartment equipment might not be as bad as mine
> > but if the neighbours
> > are too noisy their landlord does not care(and thankfully I don't face
> > noisy neighbours).
>
> Nothing's perfect.

Maybe not but the energy audit people told me mine is one of the worst
houses in the city in their 30 years
of audits according to equipment issues.

> > Some
> > do have equipment like mine but they generally have 4 or more incomes
> > in their household so
> > an extra 60-70$ per month due to old equipment does not matter that
> > much to them like me. When I told
> > my landlord that I am losing 60-70$ per month due to his old equipment
> > he retorted that it
> > is shameful and lazy on my part to be on single income in today's age
> > where most people have one full time and two or more part time jobs.
>
> So at the outside, you're looking at $840/year, or about $2.30/day. And
> that's IF the equipment's at fault instead of your own habits. Not an
> astronomical amount of money, but not a few pennies either.


Not quite. 60-70 per month now. Assume if my equipment degrades more
it could be 90-100 per month.
When I will need the room heater in winter or A.C./fan in summer when
it is too hot it could be lot
more. Perhaps, about 1500 or more per year due to bad equipment.
Our city charges about 15c/KWH which is high as compared to U.S.
average of 10c citing
they use natural gas to reduce pollution and so it is costly. The
other reason they told me
was my commmunity is fairly affluent as compared to other places(the
average salary in my area
Tallahassee,FL according to Money magazine is 57K for a single
person). 50% of the population
have a Bachelor's degree or more and I have heard people having
household incomes of 250K is common
(considering their real estate,overtime incomes,income from the other
earner in house,part time jobs
and so on). So most people in City are not impacted as much as me. My
income is far below the average
of 57K of this area.

>I don't know if
> that bit about multiple jobs is accurate or not. I've never had more than
> one job at a time (well, I did teach nights for a few years, but it wasn't
> for the money - it didn't pay enough to make it worthwhile for the money.
> It was more like a hobby.).

Well, most people have more than one job(1 full time job and overtime
at the same place or 1
full time,1 part time). If we consider a household or two earners it
is two full time and two
part time making it close to 4 incomes in my area. My landlord has a
A.C. business(40hrs/week),part time
real estate(5hrs/week),drives cab on Fri/Sar for extra income(20hrs/
week). His spouse
works for a state agency(getting health insurance for both) full time
and at a part time
restaurant(20hrs/week). So, his household has about 2 full time and
three part time income
and he told me most people are like that in all areas.
I understand most people do that in nearly all places and it is bad on
my part to not
have one and so I am looking for one more aggressively now.



>In any case, it's not really the landlord's
> business how you earn the money to pay the bills (including the rent), as
> long as it's legal. Maybe your problem isn't so much the price of utilities
> as it is the size of your income. Perhaps you should be looking for a
> better paying job. One that paid an additional fortytwo cents an hour would
> cover it (well, if it weren't for taxes).

Agreed, but I believe it is his job to give me reasonably proper
equipment.
Mine according to the energy audit people is about 15-20 years old.

> > People advise me to pressurize my landlord for upgrading the
> > equipment
> > and hope he does something though it is a faint hope.
>
> You've asked and he said no. I doubt he's obligated to furnish the place
> with up to the minute appliances.

Not up to the minute but a six year old refrigerator model(2001) could
reduce
my bills if it is energy compliant.

>And you did sign a lease, presumably
> voluntarily - likely after you had a chance to look the place over.

When I arrived I needed a place fast(which he took advantage of) and
there
was no electricity or water. In this area when a tenant moves in City
needs to be
called to get the electricity or water. There was no way I could know
how bad the electrical
equipment was or the water leaks. After my first bill, all the kind
people in this group who
did aid me(and are still helping me) in getting things plugged and
the energy audit people I realised
what condition my equipment actually was.


> If he's
> meeting the terms of the lease and complying with applicable law, I'd guess
> that ends the discussion. I'd advise against nagging him - suppose there's
> a plumbing break in the middle fo the night and you need him to get it fixed
> as soon as possible?

Granted, but the energy audit people came before 8 weeks period
as I complained a lot. They told me if you
do the same few things may change and since your landlord needs your
rent he will do something.

> Sometimes landlords are willing to strike a deal - how would you feel about
> increasing the rent by $35/month in exhange for a new refrigerator and water
> heater? You'd both come out ahead - your total expenditures would drop, and
> the place would have new appliances that could increase his rental income
> after you moved out at the end of your lease.

I tried but he told he plans to increase the rent by 70$ next year at
the
same bad equipment. The issue is my area has three campuses(about 60K
students)
So, there are people who will need a place every year. So it is like a
landlord town
who can do whatever they want regardless of the condition of
apartment.

Thanks to you and all who attempted to aid me.

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