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I have noticed a problem with my power usage today. I'm watching the meter often and making a record of each reading for the last three days.

So far, nothing to note as far as unusual usage until this morning after being out.

I was gone for 2.5 hours and upon my arrival, I record the meter's display. To my surprise there was 13 kWh usage during the time I was out.

Over the last three days, myself and one other person have been using all appliances as normal (range, washer and dryer, air), bathing normal etc, and have only been using approximately 1.5 kWh (per average).

This morning the temperature was 19 degrees Celsius. The thermostat was set to cool at 21 deg/C. Beside the thermostat being set above the range of the ambient air temperature, I have no reason to believe the usage should be higher than the previous ten hour span, sleeping with air on.

In what way can I begin to troubleshoot this erratic power consumption?


By the process of elimination, I have found that the hot water heater is cycling excessively. However, it is not an issue with the tank maintaining the set temperature. It is an issue with water being circulated in the plumbing somehow.

If I disconnect the power to the tank, any excessive power consumption goes away, but I quickly (2 hrs?) loose the heated water in the tank. If I disconnect the water at the street, my power usage returns to normal and I can let the tank sit all day long and then still have hot water when I reconnect everything.

It seems likely to me that on the particular day that I asked this question - there was simply an inordinate amount of cycling while I was away. FWIW, this is a 120V water heater, so it seems possible for that usage to have occurred in that small time period.

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Do you have a pool, spa, hot tub, sump pump, etc. that would only run occasionally? – Tester101 Apr 15 '14 at 11:44
Was anybody else home while you were out? – Tester101 Apr 15 '14 at 14:18
Solar gain can drive temperatures up well above ambient, causing the air con to kick on. Two hours during the day could be more cooling than ten at night. – bcworkz Apr 15 '14 at 17:42
@Tester101 No to each device and no-one else was there. – Gabriel Apr 15 '14 at 20:58
My guess would be that you made a mistake on your meter readings: easy to do. Track it over the next few weeks and see what happens. – getterdun Apr 19 '14 at 0:38

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