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  • A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

    My brother and sister in law have a cabin that they recently purchased. This place will primarily be used in the warmer months so is now totally shut down, all appliances unplugged, plumbing drained back, etc. The problem is ever since they closed up the place for the winter they have been getting on average a $90 electric bill each month. Any guesses as to what might be happening here? As I stated in the title, they will be calling in a professional but I'm just curious as to what may be the cause here.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.


  • #2
    Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

    They need to read the bill and see what it includes. The real key is the meter reading. Kwh used. The rest might be utility charges for things like service, trash, sewer charge.

    So read the bill line items.

    Rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

      Thanks Rick however it's not any of those. I own a weekend getaway cabin just down the road from this one which I heat and run appliances all winter long and my electric bill only runs in the neighborhood of $60-65 a month. I was thinking that maybe they have a failing holding tank which is allowing ground water to get in and the sewage ejector is running all the time but $90 seems high for that to be the only problem. My BIL of course is hoping that it's a defective meter so he can get a refund, ever heard of that happening?
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

        BD,

        Is the bill an "actual" or and "estimated" reading? Here in NY (NYSEG) they only come around every few months to take an "actual" reading. The rest of time they issue an "estimated" bill which is based on last year's history. So, as is my home in Painted Post, we got a couple of high bills when we were not there at all.

        The thing is whether the vacation home is really shut down, as in having the main panel shut off completely or whether the panel is on, and there might be some unknown uses like electic heating cables around the plumbing, etc. Hopefully, it is not some intruder who is using the cabin when the owners are long gone.

        CWS

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

          Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
          BD,

          Is the bill an "actual" or and "estimated" reading? Here in NY (NYSEG) they only come around every few months to take an "actual" reading. The rest of time they issue an "estimated" bill which is based on last year's history. So, as is my home in Painted Post, we got a couple of high bills when we were not there at all.



          CWS, I don't know for sure either way about an estimated bill but the BIL did call the local utility about this matter and I don't think that issue was brought up so I kinda doubt if that's the reason for the bill being what it is. The thing here is that for the last 4+ decades this cabin has only been used during the year on some weekends and during deer hunting week so large utility bills should never have been common. He is up at his cabin now meeting with the utility company so this should be sorted out soon.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

            could be a pump, could be hidden heat tape, could be a partially shorted wire or hidden/forgotten transformers.
            ~~

            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

              And it could simply be a defective meter! When we bought our very first home, in 1969 the bill was very very low... something like just $5 or $6 IIRC. Being young and rather stupid (afterall it was our very first home, with our prior apartment we didn't get an electric bill. So, it wasn't until after about three months when my Dad wanted to know what we were paying for electricity. He was sort of like that, always comparing bills, gas mileage, etc. When Patty showed him the bill, he told us we'd better call NYSEG before we got into trouble. They replaced the meter (forgave any past differences) and our next bill was was definitely higher.

              CWS

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

                I had a new customer call me and tell me that her 80+ year old mother had $700 plus electric bills and she had 2 electricians and the power coy try to figure it out. The best they could determine was a $1,000 new hot water heater was needed. That did not help. A church member recommended me and I went there and turned off the A/C at the thermostat and all appliances. I put an amprobe on each circuit in the fuse box and found the electric furnace was pulling all most 40 amps....with it off. I then went to the furnace and used the amprobe to find a sequencer was stuck on that controlled two strips. Changed it and her amperage went to zero when it was turned off. She had her heat strips on 24 seven even when her air conditioning was on....and she could not get her house under 80 degrees. The amprobe found it immediately. Maybe you could borrow one if you do not have one. Good luck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

                  This is a nice model for HO use.

                  Fluke Model 322 AC Clamp Meter

                  You might balk at the price and yes there are less expensive ones but I just saying this
                  is the one I like and I carry one in my tool bag which is in my truck all the time. I have
                  other meters but this one is one I reach for most times. And as you all know I am not
                  an electrician and I don't even play one on TV.
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

                    Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                    This is a nice model for HO use.

                    Fluke Model 322 AC Clamp Meter

                    You might balk at the price and yes there are less expensive ones but I just saying this
                    is the one I like and I carry one in my tool bag which is in my truck all the time. I have
                    other meters but this one is one I reach for most times. And as you all know I am not
                    an electrician and I don't even play one on TV.
                    But you did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, right?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

                      Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                      But you did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, right?
                      Not last night, but the last time I did I had to replace a burnt out light bulb. Does that count?
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                      ---------
                      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Qualified Contractor Will Be Called To Find The Problem

                        Problem solved! The previous owners of this cabin had installed, in the bathroom, an in-wall small assist type heater. The heater wasn't the type that provides all the heat for the bathroom but rather one that just assists in making the room a little warmer when the bathroom is being used. Here's the thing, the heater didn't have an actual on/off switch but rather it had a low to high heat dial setting mechanism with I'm guessing some type of internal thermostat. When the setting was set to low and the cabin was being heated this heater never came on. When they powered down the cabin and left it and once the room temperature reached a certain point this heater would turn itself on and run all the time on the low setting. Apparently the previous owners must not have ever questioned their elec. bill as they remodeled this bathroom about 15 years ago and that was when they put the heater in.
                        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                        Comment

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