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Thread: Fast spinning Meter

  1. #1
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    Fast spinning Meter

    Can anyone enlight me on other causes on why a meter would spin very fast besides the obvious appliance consumption. Can faulty wiring also cause the meter to spin out of control? Electrical leakage, loose wires, ground fault, can anyone help. This is a single Family Home we are talking about.

  2. #2
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    The incredible, yet very expensive, Hudson Valley, NY NEC 2008
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    Faulty meter?
    Mike, Dutchess County, N.Y.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    rochester, NY
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    I thought the same thing but when I power of a 15A circuit to the house the meter slows down. It oly happens when This particular circuit is energized.

  4. #4
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    130313-2154 EDT

    christiansparky:

    Turn off all breakers except the main. Does the meter spin at all? It should be stopped.

    If stopped, then turn on one 120 V breaker to a circuit that has no load, or that all loads on that circuit can be turned off. Again the meter should not spin.

    Assuming it does not spin, then put a 120 V 1500 W heater on that circuit. Find the calibration constant for the meter. Others can help you with this. Then use a stopwatch and time one or X revolutions and calculate power.

    If the calibration is approximately OK, then individually test each circuit for a high power load by using one breaker at a time.

    .

  5. #5
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    Just heard of another one here in California last month where a house was a foreclosure and supposedly abandoned. The next door neighbor started to get whopping PG&E bills. So he called an electrician friend of mine, who went through that process of elimination and found that there were 2 garage circuits that were pulling a lot of power but were not supposed to be connected to anything. Longer story short, the abandoned house had a pot grow operation in it and they had tapped off of 3 neighbors' services, two cords from the left, two from the right, two from the rear. All nicely buried in the landscaping, into the garages through the foundation vents, run up the inside walls in EMT and tapped into outlet boxes that had extention rings on them. He said the interior work looked too good to be done by amateurs, must have been electricians. They used yard stuff to cover everything exposed where they couldn't bury it. Nobody noticed it.
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  6. #6
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    My fast spinning meter was caused by a fault on a circuit to a well pump, maybe a 150 feet from the service. It did finally burn a wire off. 30+ year old romex that had been used for UF.
    Advise is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    High electric bills are often defective appliances that run all the time. AC units with no refrigerant, refrigerators have defrost heaters that get stuck, electric heat on at the wrong time (bad thermostat). Replacing an old good fridge with a new one could drop $40. / month by itself from the electric bill. New ones draw peanuts. One 75 watt lamp on all the time is ~ $7./ month, making a 750 watt continuous load ~ $75 monthly. Electric DHW with a bad thermostat making scalding water is another.

    Next likely would be bad connections at the service and main. Heat test the main panel by putting your hand on the closed cover and seeing if it warm or burns your hand (gently). Saw one service change running hot, burned main bus or breaker. Homeowner told me they knew the electric bills were high and blamed the meter. Her husband had taken a baseball bat to the meter at Halloween to get a new meter, like two years earlier, and they were still paying $250 monthly. Saw a tiny store paying $800 / month running the RTU with a refrigerant leak.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    rochester, NY
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    I greatly appreciate the input on this matter. I will continue to troubleshoot the issue and let you guys know what i find thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by christiansparky View Post
    I thought the same thing but when I power of a 15A circuit to the house the meter slows down. It oly happens when This particular circuit is energized.
    Interesting.

    What are you using as a load?
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  10. #10
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by christiansparky View Post
    I thought the same thing but when I power of a 15A circuit to the house the meter slows down. It oly happens when This particular circuit is energized.
    Either there is a load on the 15 amp circuit that you do not know about or else there is a wiring or equipment fault that is drawing a lot of current but not tripping the breaker. Use a clamp-on ammeter to see what is going out of the 15 amp breaker!

    I have heard (friend of friend) of a guy who wired up his own hydraulic auto lift and inadvertently connected one 240 phase to the motor case and through that into the concrete pad the lift was bolted to (outside the garage). The result was a constant 40 amp drain on a 50 amp breaker and a very unexpected next month's power bill.

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