Balancing the Breaker Box



But Ma, He started it! :-) I said long ago that I believe what they have been telling me here, that the meter measures true power and not high leg power X 2. But the idea is valid that if they measured high leg power X 2 then you could save some money by balancing the load. Others pointed out that it would be illegal to charge based on high leg power but a little fine print would probably take care of the legalities. I have a better understanding of utility power meters now, and agree that they are not basing the power on the high leg. But yet I'm accused of arguing that I believe the power meter measures based on high leg power. I don't believe that but I questioned it based on what a friend heard. It's BS, no problem, I gave that up about as soon as the replies came in.
RogerN
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In a sense they do, since as a meter ages, lubrication tends to dry up, and mechanical components wear so they do tend to slow down with age. The new meters are not really "faster", they are correct, and the aged meters often turn a bit slower than they should. It's only an issue when an old meter gets replaced with a new one and the customer notices a sudden increase.
Modern fully electronic meters eliminate this of course.
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Lubrication? They have magnetic bearings and the moving parts are degreased, not lubricated.
Very very rare to find one slow. Oh, and in most states in the US, IF, big IF, you pull the old meter and it tests slow (every removed meter is tested), then the customer gets back billed for 2 to 3 years of unpaid usage. Check the public service regulations. If the meter is fast, they get a credit for 2 to 3 years overcharge. It is extremely rare.
Charles Perry P.E.
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I thought they had jewelled bearings, like an expensive watch. It's not likely that with age they drift. However, I've read that with the advent of nuclear power stations engineers thought that electricity would be so cheap it wouldn't need to be metered. That was before 3 mile island or Chernobyl, obviously.
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Tzortzakakis Dimitrios
major in electrical engineering
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