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nate379 09-05-2018 10:15 AM

measuring electrical use
 
Have an apartment upstairs of the shop.

It's been rented out for ~3 years. Lately shop power bill has been $400+/month, where it's usually around $250. Have talked to them several times, as well as did a walk through and nothing seemed out of ordinary.
Last winter had a $700 bill when they plugged in trucks 24/7 plus were running g electric heaters for some reason.

We've gone as far as putting in LED bulbs (had old 8ft magnetic ballast lights). Occasional air compressor and welder use, 1 fridge, computer, printer, water heater, otherwise just the lights and some power tools.


The apartment shares a sub panel with part of the shop (building is on 3 subpanels... it started out 30years ago as a little 2 story cabin, now is about 5000 Sq ft)


Without rewiring and setting up a meter, ideas how to measure power usage?

We want to do for example, 300 kw/hr included in rent, anything over tenant pays for.

Corey Young 09-05-2018 10:19 AM

Clamp on meter. Put it on the exposed wires.

bigun 09-05-2018 10:21 AM

Does the apartment have a separate subpanel if it is I think there is a meter you can add into the panel that will measure use

87manche 09-05-2018 10:21 AM

just put a fucking meter in.

or eat the electricity.

no, there's no good way to measure it at that scale with any hack fuck method you're going to contrive for $50 dollars.
It's KWs of energy at 220V. This isn't some bullshit 15A circuit you can measure with a kill a watt. There are "smart home" amperage meters that use clamps, but you'll spend $500 on one of those. So again, just install a meter and be legit.

eDaddi 09-05-2018 10:23 AM

I use a few of these Kill A Watt devices to measure what my crypto mining machines are pulling. Could be a PIA and time consuming to move them around a whole house looking for draw.

I've been reading a lot about The Sense as well. It may suite you better. Considering getting one but was going to ask if anybody on here has experience with it.

nate379 09-05-2018 10:23 AM

The apartment has 7 or 8 circuits though.

Looked into the "sense" but it only has 2 clamps.

Dang you guys are quick, I was replying to the first post.

emiller22207 09-05-2018 10:24 AM

I would imagine there's some type of data logger (hell you might be able to get the data from the utility) that would show you kWh usage throughout the day and see if there are spikes or average usage when the shop is not open or in heavy use. That would probably give you enough information to ask the tenants a few questions and get an idea of their use vs yours.

nate379 09-05-2018 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigun (Post 44058184)
Does the apartment have a separate subpanel if it is I think there is a meter you can add into the panel that will measure use

No, would be easy then.

Trying to not have to rewire everything.

For all we know it may be some weird draw in the shop spiking the bill, though suspect it's from the apartment.

87manche 09-05-2018 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nate379 (Post 44058202)
The apartment has 7 or 8 circuits though.

Looked into the "sense" but it only has 2 clamps.

Dang you guys are quick, I was replying to the first post.

exactly, the only feasible way to do it is to sub panel the apartment and install a meter in between your panel and theirs.

there's no easy way to measure the KWH usage of 7 or 8 110V circuits.

look at it this way, if it costs you $500 to rewire it into it's own subpanel one time, and it saves you 1K this winter when they're ballin with space heaters, what's your loss here?

Leviton makes a bunch of clamp on 220V meters for this exact purpose. They're like $150 bucks. They are even remote readable if you want, so your tenants can have the numbers in their apartment and can't claim they didn't know how much wattage they were using.

nate379 09-05-2018 10:32 AM

This?

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-1K240...98708670&psc=1

87manche 09-05-2018 10:38 AM

that would do it.

but if you have to rewire it for a sub panel, just grab a panel with a meter base in it.

https://www.truevalue.com/meter-main...79&cid=gooshop

shove a meter into that bastard, set them up on a 100A sub panel.
never worry about apartment power usage again.


edit:
bonus that pulling the meter kills the apartment electricity, for when they refuse to pay.

ADChevy4x4 09-05-2018 10:40 AM

OP says the apartment shares a panel with the shop and the apt has about 7 circuits..So you would need 7 measuring devices to capture the total load/wattage...If the apt had it's own panel it would be no problem.

87manche 09-05-2018 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ADChevy4x4 (Post 44058240)
OP says the apartment shares a panel with the shop and the apt has about 7 circuits..So you would need 7 measuring devices to capture the total load/wattage...If the apt had it's own panel it would be no problem.

and each measurement device is $150.

so it's just cheaper to do it right and put the apartment on a sub panel with a meter base.


do try and keep up.
:flipoff2:

CrustyJeep 09-05-2018 10:55 AM

I have a meter on my HVAC sub-system. Works great, and was fairly simple to put in. Cheap meter pan, small sub panel (both from the local box store), and a utility meter from EGhey.

https://www.ebay.com/b/Electrical-Us...991/bn_7653632

For example...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/GE-ELECTRIC...gAAOSw-ndTmkkQ

posford 09-05-2018 10:57 AM

Thread elsewhere on Sense

https://www.neow.net/topic/117758-se...omment-1787373

BUCKLAND 09-05-2018 11:04 AM

E-Mon D-Mon Class 1000 Single-Phase kWh Electric SubMeters - Kilo-Watt Hour Meters Emon Dmon Submeters - Test Equipment Depot

E-MON D-MON, used to install these for customers.

bgaidan 09-05-2018 11:08 AM

Checking each circuit with a clamp meter will at least tell you which one to look at. You can check the main meter throughout the day to figure out if/when the usage goes up.

If the tenant's not paying the electrical bill they're never going to give a fuck about usage.

eDaddi 09-05-2018 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by posford (Post 44058286)

Damn good thread. Impressive actually. I'm gonna get one.

cj5.5 09-05-2018 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emiller22207 (Post 44058206)
I would imagine there's some type of data logger (hell you might be able to get the data from the utility) that would show you kWh usage throughout the day and see if there are spikes or average usage when the shop is not open or in heavy use. That would probably give you enough information to ask the tenants a few questions and get an idea of their use vs yours.

Yup. Hired a local electrician with one (:idea:)when I thought my tenants were growing weed. Graphed out usage over time for every leg. Turns out they took a lot of really long showers. Well, she did. Pretty sure he didn't.

FLASHLIGHTMAN 09-05-2018 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emiller22207 (Post 44058206)
I would imagine there's some type of data logger (hell you might be able to get the data from the utility) that would show you kWh usage throughout the day and see if there are spikes or average usage when the shop is not open or in heavy use. That would probably give you enough information to ask the tenants a few questions and get an idea of their use vs yours.

This, our utility has hourly data available on line. when our tenant was gone on vacation we were able to get a good estimate of what their usage was by subtracting our normal usage from the total usage.

Dr.Danger 09-05-2018 11:54 AM

My vote is get a meter installed. It sounds like you've already eaten a good chunk of the cost of one.

The only time I ever had to dick with power included it became a problem. There's always one tenant that has no concept of what he/she is using. Solve the problem permanently.

nate379 09-05-2018 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ADChevy4x4 (Post 44058240)
OP says the apartment shares a panel with the shop and the apt has about 7 circuits..So you would need 7 measuring devices to capture the total load/wattage...If the apt had it's own panel it would be no problem.

Why couldn't I just run 4 or 5 wires through the clamp?

CrustyJeep 09-05-2018 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nate379 (Post 44058510)
Why couldn't I just run 4 or 5 wires through the clamp?

I think that would work, but you would need two clamps, with one phase going through each. So you gotta track down which phase each wire is on.

If you run both phases through one clamp, they cancel out.

cj5.5 09-05-2018 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrustyJeep (Post 44058530)
If you run both phases through one clamp, they cancel out.

That's easy enough, just divide the result by zero.

dave_dj1 09-05-2018 01:55 PM

Look for grow lights in the attic! :flipoff2:


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