Electrical Consumption/Parasitic (Phantom Power) Draws. - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-27, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Electrical Consumption/Parasitic (Phantom Power) Draws.

I purchased a "Watt-Meter" and I've done some measurements over the past few weeks and here are the results. These meters and similar ones can be purchased for about $25 at various outlets including Canadian Tire - search for Energy Meter.

UPM Marketing Inc. - UPM (Search the web for terms like "energy meter, watt meter, power monitor, "Kill a Watt" etc)

Samples: http://www.amazon.ca/s/?ie=UTF8&keyw...l_3l7lcqnq6e_b

Some Libraries have these Watt-Meters in stock and you can borrow one to check your power draws.

In some cases I didn't bother checking individual items, I simply checked everything that's plugged into the "UPS" (I have 4 UPS - one for Computer stuff, one for stereo stuff and two for TV stuff.). I've been "upgrading" UPS as required and moving the "older" ones to other services.

Item - Parasitic Draw / "On Draw" / Comments

Main Floor

Yamaha Receiver (Living Room) - 13 / 26-115 (115 only at very high volumes, typically much lower)
SA STB - 14 / 15
Discman - 4 / 4
Uniden Phone (Kitchen) - 8 / 8
New Panasonic Phones - 1 / 1
Cordless Vac - 7 / 7 (new more powerful one, previous one was 4/4
Large "Torchiere" Halogen Light (Living Room) - 0 / 150-300 (not used much)
Refrigerator - 10 / 10-600 / 84 kWh/month ($110/year)
Refrigerator Defrost: 580W (Fridge compressor uses 220W about 14 hours per day - 30 years old but working fine
New Panasonic NN-ST975S MicroWave: Up to ~1900W, 1-2W Standby
MacBook Pro - 2 / 60W when starting to charge, but ramps down to about 15W as charging nears completion.
iPad - 0/12 when starting to charge, ramps down to 5W nearing completion. Takes 4-5 hours for full charge.
iPhone 0-5W.
Garage Door Opener - 5W parasitic, 200W for 5 minutes while 2 x 100W light bulbs are on, several hundred Watts during operation, which only lasts a few seconds.

HT

Martin Logan Speaker - 0-2 / 0-2
Clements Sub - 4 / 4-100 (100 only at very high volumes, typically it's much lower)
Polk Sub - 16 / 16-200 (200 only at very high volumes, typically it's much lower)
Various UPS - 7-10W (15W when charging battery)
Denon AVR - 1 / 95+ (haven't yet checked very high volumes)
LD Player - 0 / 20-30
S-VHS - 4 / 16-22
Oppo BD player - 0 / 20-25
Toshiba DVD player - 0 / 10-15
Yamaha Tape Deck - 0 / 5
SA8300HD - 30 (latest Rogers Firmware has i/eHDD on 24/7)
eHDD for PVR - 3 / 10-12
Turntable 0 / 5
Panasonic TCP65S1 - 16 / 70-600 / 60 kWh/month ($80/year) (Gone 2017.03)
Sharp LC75N8000U - 4 / 50-175 / 20 kWh/month (New 2017.03)
Central Vacuum - 2 / 1370 / 1 kWh/use ($5/year)
Freezer - 0-600 Average 20 kWh/mo ($30/year)
Cable Amp - 0-1
Panasonic Phone - 1 / 2-3

Second Floor

Sony KDL40W3000 LCD TV - 4 / 180 / Average 4 kWh/month ($5/year, not used much)
Rechargeable Flashlight (Large) - 11 (Unplugged when on vacation)
All Computer UPS items now use 40-100W with Mac Mini/24" Benq, Airport Extreme, Rogers Modem, etc.
Small Halogen Light - 0 / 45-54 Lo/Hi settings
Washing Machine - 0 / 0-800 / 0.15 kWh/load, 5 kWh/month, $7/year (Gone 2019.03)
New Front Load LG Washer - 3 / 3-250 / 0.07 kWh/load
My clock radio - 3 / 4
Her clock radio - 3 / 4
Arlo Security - 6
AASTRA 390 Phone - 1
Davis Weather Station - 1
Iron: 1000W

Even though my portable electrical heater says 500/1000/1500W, it consumes 400/800/1200. I have another one that says 1000/1500 and it consumed more like 600/1200. These are not used any more, but I measured them nonetheless.

Several timers to turn stuff on/off each day - each use 1-3 Watts 24/7 depending on make/model.

Since I acquired the device in the following thread, I've had the chance to take some readings over the weeks (Blue Line PowerCost Monitor). Since the device is only accurate to 100 Watts, these are rough numbers, but since the draws on these items are relatively large, the 100 Watt accuracy is adequate. Due to the instantaneous nature of the readings, I've also found some draws that I didn't find before on my Watt Meter - like my fridge defrost cycle, simply because I didn't look at the Watt Meter at the time the cycle was on.

Blue Line Power Cost Monitor (Same as B&D) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

Here are my various readings (your readings would vary depending on the item):

Mini-Split Mitsubishi heat pump: 200 - 1000W - typical very hot day 500W.
Central A/C: 2000W (not used now that I have the mini-split)
Central HVAC fan: 200W (run in "auto", not "on" mode)
Hot Water Heater: 4000-5000W (on a timer for off-peak hours - is "on" 1-2 hours per day, depending on hot water use)
Dryer: 5000W (load usually takes about an hour but element cycles depending on need)
Electric Stove:
- Simmer Element: 1000W
- Small Element: 1200W
- Large Element: 2000W
- Oven Element: 3600W The various elements cycle depending on setting)

When we go on vacation, we unplug a number of devices and turn furnace down.

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Last edited by 57; 2019-04-02 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Updated
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post #2 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-27, 08:44 PM
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Dude - you are a flat-out geek!!
Here I thought I was the only one who could get all jacked up finding the current draw of EVERY appliance in my house
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post #3 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know, my friends looked at me funny when I told them too.

I found a few of the items interesting.

1. That a halogen bulb doesn't even come on until about 1/2 power.

2. That the difference between "low/high" on my desk halogen was so few watts, but that the light output was quite different. Bulb probably lasts longer in low though.

3. That the TV (CRT-RPTV, and plasma) power draw varied quite a bit depending on what was displayed on screen.

4. That the freezer draw was quite close to the Energuide number (70, vs 77)

5. That you really have to crank the volume a lot to use additional power from the subwoofer amp or AVR

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post #4 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 12:23 PM
 
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Last winter, I had an electrical bill where the usage was 75% higher than average (even now, it looks like the world's tallest skyscraper on the bar graph on the bill). I unplugged several things but I never did find out what was the offending appliance/device. At the time, I looked at the Ontario Hydro site for faq on high usage but there was no mention of consumer monitoring devices.

Recently, (thanks to threads here or at another site), I came across kill-a-watt (around $60-70) but didn't order yet. I dropped by HomeDepot but they didn't have any clue of what I was asking for. Thanks to 57's post, I found out about the $25 device at Canadian Tire - a very nice fit for my $25 gift card I got so I purchased the device.

From last winter, I was suspicous of a space heater but I now know that it is drawing the advertised 500w. I'll move on to several other things that got unplugged.

I've been a bit long getting to my point but once this device identifies the culprit, the break even point will be very quick.
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post #5 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 03:32 PM
 
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Well you know what they say JoeSoap...

"Life gets a little bit easier at Canadian Tire"

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
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post #6 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSoap
I was suspicous of a space heater but I now know that it is drawing the advertised 500w.
If that unit is on 24/7, instead of off, then it would add 360 kWh to your monthly draw, over 10 kWh/day for a monthly additional cost of about $40 for the month (at average Ontario rates).

A few such "space heaters" and you'd get a pretty big bill. I'm surprised the draw is so low on a heater. I've got a couple of the fan-heaters that I don't use much since I put in a gas fireplace downstairs, but they're rated at up to 1500 W (one has settings for 750/1500 and the other is 500/1000/1500.) I haven't measured the actual draw yet since they're not currently in use.

Not sure how big that skyscraper is.

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post #7 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 07:04 PM
 
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My monthly hydro bill is $64. I could not care less about parasitic loss'.

But that is some work you did.
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post #8 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 08:32 PM
 
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My single space heater is a 500/1000/1500 fan heater but is set only to the first heat setting which explains the approx 500w measured. I've extrapolated to 367 kwh for 30 days. I believe the current rate is $0.059/kWh which works out to $21.65 for the month.

My hydro bill is bi-monthly and I'm trying to account for an extra 1600 kwh for a two month period. The scary part is what if the offending device was only spinning the meter for a portion of that 2 month period? It looks like I can attribute approx 750 kwh to the above space heater but it needs to be noted that the heater was on prior to the big spike.

The heater fan is supposed to oscilate but stopped working. My theory was that perhaps it was that malfunction that was drawing the extra power but the measuring device has ruled out the heater as the culprit.

The investigation continues.
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post #9 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-29, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSoap
I believe the current rate is $0.059/kWh...
You forget about the "delivery charge", the "debt retirement charge" and the "regulatory charge". If you take your total bill and divide by the kWh, I believe you'll see that your electricity costs are closer to $0.11.

If your switch on the heater had been "miss-set" higher and if the fan weren't operating properly, that might explain it.... Just trying to help. Good luck with your quest.

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post #10 of 173 (permalink) Old 2005-12-29, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57
Just trying to help.
I know that.

You've already helped me many times with your various posts. I suspect I speak for many others too.

Thanks!
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post #11 of 173 (permalink) Old 2006-01-22, 09:38 AM
 
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Ok, this is all great information. I have a problem with two devices that seem to draw a lot of power during the 'power on' sequence: Samsung 27" TV and my XBOX. Both of these devices are actually OFF when they're off (no standby mode as in satellite and cable boxes).

When they do power on...the room-lights plugged into the same receptacle actually DIM for a split second..indicating a huge power draw.

Seeing the lights dim like that, I'm guessing that wreaks havoc on my other electrical appliances plugged into the same receptacle (Amplifier & XM Radio).

Is a UPS the only thing you can get to guard you from that 'startup' power drain?
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post #12 of 173 (permalink) Old 2006-01-22, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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It could also be an issue with the wiring of your home. Properly wired homes should not see the lights dim unless something like a larger motor starts up (saw motor, A/C, sometimes a fridge or freezer, which can draw 600+ Watts at startup. A large motor can draw a huge amount at startup and that's why people install circuit breakers or "slow fuses")

My 27" TV draws a max of 135 Watts. Even my 61" TV only draws 245 Watts max. What's the max power on the X-box (usually listed in the specs or on the back)

You can always buy the device listed in post 1 and find out Watt's going on.

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post #13 of 173 (permalink) Old 2006-01-22, 12:49 PM
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I have both an Xbox and a watt meter, and it doesn't look like the Xbox is too much of a power drain. As it turns out, however, "off" really means standby as it consistently pulls 3W even when completely shut down.

When it's first powered on I see a peak of 78W, and it settles down to about 73-75W shortly thereafter. I'm curious to see what the power drain on the Xbox 360 is--no matter what, I expect it to be significantly higher than the Xbox.
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post #14 of 173 (permalink) Old 2006-01-22, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57
It could also be an issue with the wiring of your home. Properly wired homes should not see the lights dim unless something like a larger motor starts up (saw motor, A/C, sometimes a fridge or freezer, which can draw 600+ Watts at startup. A large motor can draw a huge amount at startup and that's why people install circuit breakers or "slow fuses")

My 27" TV draws a max of 135 Watts. Even my 61" TV only draws 245 Watts max. What's the max power on the X-box (usually listed in the specs or on the back)

You can always buy the device listed in post 1 and find out Watt's going on.
Thanks for your reply. I try and get that watt meter from can.tire.
I'd consider faulty wiring if I lived in an older home...but this house is 5 years old. When I said the lights 'dim', I'd like to change that to 'a barely detectable flicker'. Similar to what happens when you turn an iron, or hair dryer on (lights will flicker).

I think I have too much plugged into a receptacle (i have to check what the combined draw is, but I'm guessing this is excessive for a standard household plug):
PLUG #1: Two floor lamps (50W bulbs each)
PLUG #2: APC Surge protector with the following devices:
  • 27" tube TV
  • Surround Sound Amp (Spherex XBOX 5.1)
  • XBOX
  • Expressvu 4100 Receiver
  • VCR
  • Linksys Wireless Router
  • XM Satellite Radio

a UPS that would 'buffer' this wattage should prevent any brownouts correct?
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post #15 of 173 (permalink) Old 2006-01-24, 11:22 AM
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No. A UPS won't keep too much current from being drawn from the outlet.
What you have falls within the use of a general circuit.

I have somewhat near that and have no problems;

19" Quasar TV (1991 vintage)
TiVo DVR+Starchoice DSR315 receiver (on 325VA UPS)
Yamaha receiver (set of LED lights and equalizer connected to it)
DVD player (usually hard off).
Ethernet Switch.
A/V switcher (might draw <10W)

There, but not connected:
C-band receiver, Echostar 3000 receiver.

I have a 60W dimmable light, a clock radio, and a 750W heater as needed (average ceiling fan in the summer.)

The deep-freeze, 2x40W flourescent kitchen light, and 60W outside light is on the same circuit.

For the LR circuit, it has a full modern computer set (older CRT monitor though), one TiVo, two SC satellite receivers, 19" TH, 14" video monitor, plus the VCR/DVD in the LR TV stand (DVD hard off usually), plus its CF/light.

Another circuit has my brother's HT system (surround receiver, DVD, X-box, satellite receiver, VCR, and my upstairs computer system (modernish, old monitor).
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