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Author Topic: Plug in electricity meter recommendations?  (Read 256 times)
Countrypaul
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« on: November 21, 2020, 03:44:02 PM »

We seem to be using an excessive amount of electricity -which maybe down to having a teenager and a soon to be teenager that like to leave everything switched on as they are sure it's not their computers, xbox, Wii, chargers etc.

I want to measure several different applicances, including Fridge/Freezer, computers, dishwasher, washing machine etc.

Can anyone recommend any of the simple plugin meters, I know with non-resistive loads the figures can be a little suspect, but I can't see much in the way of information about how they deal with these types of load, so any recommendations are welcome?

I know I could probably buy a proper electricity meter and simply wire it into an extension lead to get hopefully more accurate figures but no idea how much more accurate, and having an extension lead with a box in the middle may fail to pass approval  Roll Eyes
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Alan D
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 04:20:08 PM »

Link " https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-SMITH-TYPE-FPQ-102-ELECTRIC-COIN-METER/274575300938?hash=item3fedf6994a:g:uRQAAOSwIhFfpthi "

Might be a better training course if the Teens have to put there Pocket Money in the box
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kdmnx
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 04:20:38 PM »

I’ve used the Amazon ones. Cheap enough and I had no reason to doubt their accuracy. There are a whole bunch of different “brands” that all seem to be the exact same thing.

How much electricity a month are you using? Do you cook on electric? Do you have resistive space heaters? Immersion? Tumble drier? What temperature do you set your washing machine to? What kind of “computer”? (A gaming rig can use a vast amount of power).
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Countrypaul
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 04:38:10 PM »

We are using about 15KWh/day during the 07:00 to 23:59 period the rest is on E7 which varies accoring to time of year. We do try and push things such as washing and dishwasher into the E7 period but can't always achieve that when we need more than one load a day. Most laods are at 30C, but some have to be at a higher figure once or twice a week. The house is all electric with a heat pump for UFH mainly on E7, though it may run during the day when it gets colder. It is the persistent 15KWh/day that excludes the E7 that I am mainly concerned about.

No tumble drier, cooking is electric - induction hob, resistive space heaters are not currenty used, but are stored in case of HP failure for whaever reason.
One computer is a gaming machine with twin 24" screens etc. - I suspect a large culprit hence wanting to measure it, the other is a fairly normal desktop though there are also 2 laptops all of which tend to be on for long periods (and the desktops probably 24/7). All lighting is LED, MVHR system in use. There is also a PV system 3.3KWp - but at this time of year any contribution is probably lost in the noise.

Unfortunately where the kids plug there kit in is not on a seperate circuit and putting SWMBO on a coin meter may be detrimental to a quiet existance  Shocked

I had noticed on Amazon that there only appeared to be 3 or 4 dfferent meters but sold under a large number of different suppliers for different prices. I was going to just choose one and hope, but thought it might be beneficial to ask here first.
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kdmnx
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 05:19:34 PM »

For an “All electric” family with teenagers, 15kWh is perfectly reasonable for the 0700-2359 time period. Not particularly low, but not high either. The first thing I’d put a power monitor on is that gaming PC. They can use 500-1000W (or more!) when working hard (less when idling), a more ordinary PC/Laptop is more like 60-100W. Cooking uses a lot of power, and teenagers eat a lot of food, what is your lifestyle like for cooking? Is the hob/oven/grill/toaster/microwave running most of the day? Do you have a kettle that hardly gets cold?

The meters I used look like this:



« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 05:24:18 PM by kdmnx » Logged

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Countrypaul
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 06:19:12 PM »

For an “All electric” family with teenagers, 15kWh is perfectly reasonable for the 0700-2359 time period. Not particularly low, but not high either. The first thing I’d put a power monitor on is that gaming PC. They can use 500-1000W (or more!) when working hard (less when idling), a more ordinary PC/Laptop is more like 60-100W. Cooking uses a lot of power, and teenagers eat a lot of food, what is your lifestyle like for cooking? Is the hob/oven/grill/toaster/microwave running most of the day? Do you have a kettle that hardly gets cold?

The meters I used look like this:





You are confirming my suspiscions are not unreasonable. Rather surprisingly our teenager eats less than his little brother (worryingly so), but both of them seem to prefer raw vegatables to cooked for quite a lot of things. Breakfst rarely cook anything, lunch when at school me & my wife most likely just a bowl of soup or sandwich. Dinner nomally cooked but only at weekends is it "complicated". Kids never use the kettle (but forever opening the fridge) an wife maybe has one hot drink a day so not sure the  hob/oven/grill/toaster/microwave is that big an issue (but still would like to know for sure).  I wonder if the fridge /freezer is more of a culprit than maybe we assume, but again a meter should help confirm that.

This week/next week kids are both at home due to being isolated as other kids in their class confirmed positive.

I should really check whether next week is average or above average to be certain of what is happening.

Will look at that meter more closely.
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JohnS
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 06:55:32 PM »

I would seriously consider getting a second hand proper electric meter rather than a cheap one.  Then wire it up with a plug and socket, but make sure that you get one which reads to two decimal places.  Usually about 15-20 quid on the bay.

Especially for electronics, the power factor is less than one and the cheap meters assume it is one.  I now have a smart meter and can get my base load down to 100W (when the fridge has not kicked in) but the cheap clamp on monitors would never get below 250W. 

John
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smegal
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 10:51:04 PM »

I would seriously consider getting a second hand proper electric meter rather than a cheap one.  Then wire it up with a plug and socket, but make sure that you get one which reads to two decimal places.  Usually about 15-20 quid on the bay.

Especially for electronics, the power factor is less than one and the cheap meters assume it is one.  I now have a smart meter and can get my base load down to 100W (when the fridge has not kicked in) but the cheap clamp on monitors would never get below 250W. 

John

I use one of these with the Samrt Life app. Note that the round version doesn't have an energy meter.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Smart-Plug-TECKIN-13A-WiFi-Socket-Compatible-with-Amazon-Alexa-Echo-Google-Home/203184826037?epid=12034666583&hash=item2f4ec266b5:g:fx0AAOSwg1lftDH5


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roys
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 11:21:24 PM »

Well I learnt something new, I had no idea gaming computers were up at 1kW, induction jobs are heavy users but it doesn’t sound like you use it much, think the heat pump is quite a heavy user but not sure.

I use a 2nd hand energy monitor that I got for about £10 on eBay to monitor the whole house energy usage, the ones that just have a small current transformer that clips round the meter tail between the meter and consumer unit.  What it is very useful is for telling me when I have accidentally left the 110V transformer plugged in, in the workshop as it adds about an extra 100W onto the house base load. The base load of our house is about 220W.
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phoooby
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 01:43:41 AM »

Quote
Well I learnt something new, I had no idea gaming computers were up at 1kW

It gets worse. I don't know if it is true, but I read that crypto mining (bitcoin etc) has used up all the power generated by newly installed renewables. The increased fuel used by more people buying SUV's is similar to the fuel that has been saved by EV's being bought rather than ICE. Wasteful uses of energy being developed and used as quickly as renewables and efficient EV's being deployed.

You can see why we seem to have made very little progress over the past 5 years despite lots of solar and wind turbines being deployed  banghead
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