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Thread: Abnormal high bill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    US
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    Abnormal high bill

    I have a customer who is complaining of an abnormally High electric bill is there any type of issues that would cause this or could it only be caused by high usage

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
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    23,506
    Quote Originally Posted by nickelec View Post
    I have a customer who is complaining of an abnormally High electric bill is there any type of issues that would cause this or could it only be caused by high usage
    Presuming the meter is reading correctly, high usage or an increase in cost per kWh, but that could be caused by one of several electrical issues.

    It takes more than one billing cycle to determine there is a trend. Do you know whether the power usage increased, or only the dollar amount?
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Springfield, MA, USA
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    3,259
    There are some faults which can unintentionally cause high energy usage.

    For example I have heard of water heater faults causing additional consumption, or a hot water leak causing excessive water heater usage (assuming electric water heat, of course).

    Faults in heat pumps causing air conditioning and resistance heating to be on at the same time would be another example.

    But new loads can consume far more energy than expected, even when functioning perfectly normally. Put in a new dehumidifier and prepare for a surprise....

    -Jon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Arcata, CA
    Posts
    414
    Another source of abnormal bills is misreading or not reading the meter. It can even happen w/ smart meters, where there is a failure to communicate and the POCO just guesses.

    Over the years I have had both happen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kennewick
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    141
    I have found issues where a direct bury electrical line was damaged and the power was just dumping to the actual ground.

    One customer had a trailer and between the pedestal and the trailer was direct bury USE wire. An animal chewed through one of the lines, and the power bill went from 200 ish a month to 8500 a month.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Iowegia
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    Is the bill high because of a jump in Kwh usage? Or is the dollar amount just high?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    NE (9.1 miles @5.07 Degrees from Winged Horses)
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    Quote Originally Posted by blkmagik21 View Post
    I have found issues where a direct bury electrical line was damaged and the power was just dumping to the actual ground.

    One customer had a trailer and between the pedestal and the trailer was direct bury USE wire. An animal chewed through one of the lines, and the power bill went from 200 ish a month to 8500 a month.


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    $s or KW?

    We do a lot of repairs and nothing has even come close to either amount. Always burn off or blow transformer fuses. Wow.
    Tom
    TBLO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Michigan. It's a beautiful penninsula, I've looked around.
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    10,057
    My first suspect would be the water heater as mentioned. Either the unit itself or a leak causing high use.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Clarkesville, Georgia
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    2,209
    well pump short cycling

    AC condenser frozen

    broken ductwork

    any kind of water leak if on a well

    I had one that was easy to find, locked down motor (don't remember but I think was AC) repeatedly trying to start, kick out thermal overload, after overload cooled off tried to start again
    Dave Ruth
    Ready Electric

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Clarkesville, Georgia
    Posts
    2,209
    I"ve heard that leaky refrigerator gasket can make high power bill but never have seen
    Dave Ruth
    Ready Electric

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