Gov Surplus Gensets questions

You can measure 1/4 amp loads with an amp-clamp actually.
The input is a transformer. Just make the pigtail long enough to make 10 turns through the clamp part. Now the 1/4 amp load reads as 2.5 amps.
The amp-clamp isn't a magic bullet. But the idea is to get some idea of what stuff draws, where the current is going. And make sure this squares with the watt-hour meter. He already has both these instruments.
Jim
235kWh/mo sounds low to me. Single person (me) + cat, one computer on 24x7 (no monitor), oil heat, outside of AC season ~400kWh/mo. I did have an electric dryer and stove so that adds to the bill a bit, but not a huge amount.
235kWh/mo = ~7.8kWh/day = .326kWh/hr
Perhaps possible with all CF lighting and no electric appliances other than a refrigerator. If the 235kWh baseline is derived from your actual usage it might be based on a running average plus an allowance of perhaps 20% of the average.
I seem to recall that you have some decent sized welders, so based on my Syncrowave 250 specs of 11.4kW at 250A rated output and your comment about only being home on weekends:
1,000kWh / 11.4kW = 87.7hrs arc time. @ 40% rated duty cycle = 219.3hrs welding time / 8 weekend days = 27.41hrs/day welding.
Clearly there are some reality issues with those calculations. Now you indicate that you had other folks around that accounted for at least part of the 1,000kWh extra. If you can isolated bills that only show the apparent extra welding use then you can make the same calculations and see if it makes any sense.
The \$/kWh may vary relative to that baseline rate, but kWh used will be constant. Track what you are really using and where it is going.
Pete C.
That's probably the easiest way on the really small loads. We have a Wattsup, and it doesn't register below about 3 Watts IIRC. But an ammeter of any kind is still a bad choice on variable loads like a clothes washer or a dishwasher, or for thermostat controlled loads like a coffee maker or refrigerator. And even on the fixed loads, he'd need to keep a log of hours. Use logs invite the common problem of people seriously underestimating their hours of use. And he says he's not home a lot, which means he'd need to take the word of others on their habits. Considering that diddling, logging, and estimating can all be eliminated with a \$30 gadget....
He can eliminate any possibility that the main meter is a problem by running a known load and checking the reading. He's claiming modest use in the face of \$300 bills though, so if the meter were the problem, it would have to be out by a factor of about 4.
Sure, but given his comments so far, my take is that it's best to recommend the easiest solution. Plus, there might be others reading who'd like to lower their costs, and getting some of them to audit their own use is more likely if the process is as painless as possible. Here's another link to the Kill a Watt, \$28 delivered
've been on sale at times at Radio Shack.
Wayne
Nice for stirring the air, but hardly the same as a dehumidifier. I own and run three of them (small units, 48 pint variety). Wouldn't be without them. In cool weather (all but three months here), the heat they add is an offset to the operating cost.
Harold
For comparison, my last bill was for 1105 KWH. Two adults, all heating appliances (furnace, water, drier,stove) are gas. Very little welding last month, no airconditoning of course. We do run the dishwasher now and then. I do put a few hours/month on 3 HP lathe, Bridgeport, and my 5 HP air compressor cyles now and then. We're not particularly parsimonious with electricity, but I'd say our usage patterns are simlar though you're probably doing more welding at the moment. (I"ll be doing some MIG today, but not a lot. )
Our bill was \$88. You really are getting socked with high electric rates. OTOH, don't ask about my gas bill for January in MN!
That can happen. A neighbor's meter was only recording 20-25% of the true usage, and it went undetected for at least four months. Since he was on a budget plan, he just paid the usual amount when the bill came and never looked at the actual bill. The electric company eventually realized that the meter was broken and - with the usual arrogance of a public utility - said essentially "we decided you owe us \$xxx" and put it on his bill. No consideration of previous year's usage, no nothin.
Tove
During the transition season, yep. In my shop however, the temperature drops so much that they won't run during the winter months. This is how I know it's spring (I start running the dehumidifier, and it starts running water into my sink in the shop) and likewise how I know it's winter - the dehumidifier starts cycling on and off because the cold coil goes below freezing.
In the wintertime the humidity in the shop's pretty low anyway. Even when the machine is running in the cooler weather, the drain hose doesn't produce anything in the sink.
Jim
Checking the meter's action is the very first step I would think. As you say this means a known load (I would use incandescent lights or a heater) and a watch.
At the same time I would switch off all the loads and check to see that the thing stops moving.
From what I see of the rate stucture though, it *seemed* like there was a minimum monthly charge, even if his main breaker were pulled for the entire month. Ie, you pay a hundred bucks just to have the wires and meter *there* even if no current flows though them.
Jim
For the one unheated area (pump shed, where Susan stores the veggies she grows in her garden) we set the stat low enough that the unit runs only infrequently. As long as it's not below freezing, it will still produce a little water, although as ice on the coils. When it idles, it melts.
The others run in heated areas, from which we produce a fair amount of water. It's been very different living where 40% humidity is considered low. It wasn't uncommon to have it under 10% in the winter when we lived in Utah.
Harold
That's the type structure we have here in Western Washington where we live. Beyond the service fee we pay .044 cents per kwh for power. I realize what a bargain we are getting, but Shrub is doing his best to take it away from us.
Harold
I think what I mean is we pay 4.4 cents per kwh. The .044 sounds good, but that would be a little on the cheap side. Believe it or not, until the power shortage of a couple years ago, our rate was only 3.3 cents per kwh. We're a publicly owned utility.
Harold
On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 00:01:09 -0800, the inscrutable "Harold and Susan Vordos" spake:
Oregon went from 4 to 6¢/kWh just before I moved here. I still feel it's a good deal...coming from CA. But just like CA, I still see the UPS lights come on at least 3 times a day, hearing the relay click in to provide clean power to the old 'puter each time.
---------------------------------------------------- Thesaurus: Ancient reptile with excellent vocabulary
Dynamic Website Applications ====================================================
Minimum charges are pretty common, probably nearly universal. Gunner's was about 15 cents per day. Once he gets his use down to the equivalent of a 40 Watt bulb 24-7, the minimum charge will become a factor. Then he can send PG&E a nasty-gram along these lines - "I'm only using \$3.20 worth of electricity a month, yet you greedy bastards are charging me \$4.50!" :-)
Wayne
We had a residential Time Off Use meter in PG&E land as early as about 14 years ago. PG&E sends out reams of crap telling people about TOU accounts, phantom loads, assistance with audits etc. If Gunner had read that stuff instead of right-wing blogs, we might have seen a post like this - "Thank you Gray Davis for helping me save a bunch of money". LOL
For anyone wanting to lower their bill, here's an excellent article on how to do a proper analysis of energy consumption
Gunner - take a look at the daily averages (even *before* they were optimized) on the sample sheet. Notice that the numbers generally represent use similar to what you've talked about, yet are 4 times lower than your "normal" month's consumption.
Wayne
Minimum charges are pretty common, probably nearly universal. Gunner's was about 15 cents per day. Once he gets his use down to the equivalent of a 40 Watt bulb 24-7, the minimum charge will become a factor. Then he can send PG&E a nasty-gram along these lines - "I'm only using \$3.20 worth of electricity a month, yet you greedy bastards are charging me \$4.50!" :-)
Wayne
A demand meter is not the same as a time of use meter. Bruce's comment holds.
I hate to beat this horse to death, but demand meters ARE used in residential services in many parts of Ohio. Allow me to quote from the Ohio Edison rate tariff:
"Billing Load: The billing load shall be the highest kW registration of a thermal or 30 minute integrating type meter, but not less than 5.0 kW."
Source:
This is what I call peak demand...over a 30 minute sliding window.
It sounds like things out in Cali land may be different. But I hate to see someone say that demand metering of residential service is rare to unknown. It isn't.....at least in these parts...but I sure wish it WAS!!
I can't find that post of his - I've looked back in the thread, and while I remember seeing a rate structure, none of his posts show it.
Do you recall if he put it there, or was it another poster?
Jim
Welder output is nowhere near 220 volts. 220-V input, much lower voltage (and higher current) out. My 180-amp stick welder, which runs on 220 volts, is fused at 30 amps on the 220 side and has never tripped a breaker.
Martin
It was someone else:
From: "Steve W." Fri 9:59 PM
Subject: Re: Gov Surplus Gensets questions
E-1 Residential
Total Energy Rates (\$ per kWh) Baseline Usage \$0.11430 101% - 130% of Baseline \$0.12989 131% - 200% of Baseline \$0.17557 (R) 201% - 300% of Baseline \$0.21474 | Over 300% of Baseline \$0.21474 (R)
Total Minimum Charge Rate (\$ per meter per day) \$0.14784
Looking at the way they calculate KWhrs YOU ARE GETTING SCREWED.
Code B - Basic Quantities Baseline Summer Winter Territory* Tier I Tier I P 15.8 12.9 Q 8.5 13.0 R 17.5 12.7 S 15.8 12.8 T 8.5 10.2 V 8.7 10.4 W 18.7 11.9 X 12.2 13.0 Y 11.3 (I) 12.9 Z 7.3 11.2
If it was me I'd find a gas or diesel powered welder and use it. Don't bother with a generator since most engine welders include one anyway.

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