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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think someone is stealing from me, and it pisses me off.

I know i'm kind of a conspiracy nut, but this time it's for real. Look at this fucking electric bill as of late. My power usage has nearly doubled in the last 3 "actual" readings. How the f**k is that possible. Here's the situation.
It's an old house that has been converted into 3 apartments.

1. My heat is gas, i don't pay for it
2. I don't use the oven
3. I don't leave lights on
4. I'm literally gone for at least 1 week out of the month
5. I haven't turned the AC on yet this year.
6. I supposedly don't pay to heat my water.
7. I'm 1 guy, in a 1 bedroom apartment.

I went downstairs today and messed with the breaker box to see what does what. From what i found out i have...
Breaker for all lights + kitchen outlets
Breaker for all outlets except kitchen
Breaker for porch lights
Breaker for oven
Breaker labeled "hwt". Which i would assume is hot water tank.

I also have 5 mystery breakers that I can't figure out what they do.
When i get back from my 4 day vacation i'll shut everything off and go see if my power thing is still turning outside. Then i'll flip them on 1 by 1 and see what makes that little fucker turn.

Any suggestions???????

PS: for the current reading, I have actually been unplugging everything in my apt except for my fridge when I leave the house.
PPS: you can see how in jun/aug the pwr usage was low, that's how it was for 8 months befor that as well.
 

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hate to say it, but those 5 extra breakers are routed to Area 51.

Make sure those extra brakers aren't hooked up to some sort of other utility in the house, if they aren't, just keeped them turned off manually. Since its an old house, you may want to hire an electrician expert to check out your wiring to make sure everything is ok. Old wiring may go bad and increase power usage.

Also everything that's plugged into the sockets will add a drain weather the item plugged in is on or not. It's amazing how much wattage TV's use when they aren't even on.
 

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Since you're renting AND the setup is a breakout by apartment, your concept (previously noted) isn't really that crazy. Could it be possible the power's routed to other places as well? I'd say yeah.

If it were me, I'd pull the panel off and make sure all the wires for power go to switches in the box you're looking at. And I'd make sure the main that comes into your box is the only one on the meter. Then your concept of switching everything off is a good one.

Have you complained to the landlord yet? Do so after your check.
 

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Didn't you have the same problem at your other place? Something about unplugging things and coming home to find them plugged back in?
 

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I'd do the breaker shut off deal :thumb: if your main breaker is supposidly for your place only then shut it down temp and watch your meter.. if it's still turning then obvisouly someone elses power is getting read as well :( If the meter is NOT turning then turn on your auxillary breakers first (other than main appliances) if you have everything off or unplugged you should see lil to no movement of meter... if it does once again you know someone is getting fed off one of your breakers... and I'd shut those suckers off when not around and wait for the folks to start complaining they ain't got no hot water :p

If ya wanna pay someone to officially check it out yeah get an electrician out to look it over and tell ya.. I think they can also put on a temp unit that will read your usage as well and compare that to the utilities meter.. those things are always 100% accurate... when we built our house we had an electric bill before we even moved in? and nothing was even installed yet as far as appliances... granted usage bill was like 25 dollars or something but hey an extra 25 a month all year that adds up... when I complained they sent someone out and discovered something was wrong but dont' recall what it was now ...

But in your case if it was reading fine one month and the next not then I can't see how the meter would be the fault :confused:

Be sure to let us know what you found out....:thumb:

E.
just for humor... did you check for any long ass extension cords running out from underneath the house to the neighbors :p
 

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DreamRyder said:
did you check for any long ass extension cords running out from underneath the house to the neighbors :p
Perhaps his refrigerator is actually accessible to the next door apartment by trick wall. You don't keep beer in there, do you? :twofinger
 

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Discussion Starter #7
phatkidwit1eye said:
Didn't you have the same problem at your other place? Something about unplugging things and coming home to find them plugged back in?
No, that was the great conspiracy of somone turning the dial up on my fridge. Which i realized i was bumping when i pulled out a pitcher.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
kanwisch said:
Perhaps his refrigerator is actually accessible to the next door apartment by trick wall. You don't keep beer in there, do you? :twofinger
Lol. Best commercial ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll post an update monday when i return. Quick question though. If someone is ripping me off, and i do shut the main breaker off, they'll lose their power as well. So in theory won't the dial stop turning too? And if so, how do i know if i accomplished anything?

On monday i'll flip then on 1 by 1 and see where the power usage is coming from.


One last one. I'm aware that power is still used when stuff is plugged in but not turned on. If i shut off the breaker that the appliance is plugged into, is power still used?
 

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when you flip the main breaker off - NO POWER is being used at that point - at least from that breaker on.... you can have multiple breaker boxes on one meter.... so what may be YOUR main breaker may not be the ONLY Main Breaker for that meter...

For example: We have a 300 AMP service all being read by one meter... Our house has a 200 AMP main breaker box, Our barn has a 100AMP main breaker box... so if I shut off the main breaker for the house what ever is in the barn will still cause the meter to turn... Now WE have a main shut off switch that cuts ALL power off between the transformer and our Breaker Boxes this is for when we need to run our Back Up Generator and when we throw that switch then ALL Power stops and so does the meter.

this will tell you two things:

it'll double check that the meter is not turning from another source such as one of the other apartments....

and if your box is truely the only one attached to the meter...
it'll check to see if there is something wrong with the meter... our meter was spinning and we had the main cut off switch off - they came out and found a problem with the meter...

E.
 

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mac020 said:
Didja get a refund?
oh you better believe it... :thumb:

E.
 

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Perhaps someone is living at your place when your gone for a week... Do you have any pets? They may look dumb, but perhaps they are able to turn on your tv, radio, microwave, whatever... I've seen it done before... lol Damn those smart pets.
 

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i have had this problem. I use to live in this apartment and I thought the electric bill was way to high. I would almost never use the A/C, but when I did the bill did not go up very much. Then the upstairs people moved out and my bill was almost 50% less. The apartment wiring was all jacked up.:crying:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
taylords91 said:
i have had this problem. I use to live in this apartment and I thought the electric bill was way to high. I would almost never use the A/C, but when I did the bill did not go up very much. Then the upstairs people moved out and my bill was almost 50% less. The apartment wiring was all jacked up.:crying:
That's exactly what i'm afraid of. If i can't get this bill down, i'll move it.



And no JBaz, i don't have any pets. At least none that aren't in an aquarium.
 
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