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Electrical Power Consumption Test


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A couple weeks ago I purchased a "Kill-A-Watt" meter via ebay, in order to do some testing around the house, of what the appliances are using, etc. We've got a house full of 1950s era appliances, and I wanted to see how they compare to modern Energy Star stuff.

Anyway, having done all my appliances, today I plugged the aquarium into the meter to watch what it uses.

I'm only a couple hours into the testing, but it looks like I'm burning about $7 per month, maybe slightly less.

Of course the real dollar value is skewed and hard to calculate because the utility company (PG&E) has a tiered rate system where the first tier amount bills at 13 cents per Kilowatt, and the second at about 15 cents per, but the third tier gets you up into the 29 cent per Kilowatt billing range. There's no way to stay within the first ("baseline") tier, so we're always into the 2nd and 3rd tiers. But just to compare apples-to-apples, I use the 13 cent figure.

Tank Specs:

-70 gallon, with no heater.

-Two 18watt T-8 fluorescents(Hagen Life Pro).

-Tetra Wisper 60 air pump.

-Fluval 405 canister filter.

-Rio400 pond pump.

The lights run about 11hrs per day, everything else runs non-stop, although sometimes I turn off the Rio400 at night thinking they might like a little less moving water while they snooze.

Edited by austinado16
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Yes, you will be surprised. My big HOB's that do 340gph each only use 5 watt per hour each. The air pump I have uses 3.5. The lights probably are the most, using 30 watt per tank.

Now when you think your average light bulb uses 40 - 100 watt.

Heaters use the most energy, but since I don't use them in my goldfish tanks, no problem. My PC definitely uses more energy than the fish tanks together :)

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And dont forget the Tv's and platforums.... TD and I had to unplug the xbox cause it was still using alot of power turned off... Sometimes its things we dont really see makes your power bill go up :o

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OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Power bills??????????????? Mine have been $400.00 + for the last 2 months !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!saywhat.gifyikes.gifyikes.gifyikes.gif I have had SDG&E out to test,and best they could come up w/ was that I was in the 4th tier and it is kicking my butt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yikes.gif They said I really just have to get out of this tier. I have had bills this high running 2 a/cs in the summer,but NEVER w/ just fish stuff. I did add a big filter and pump about the time the increase occurred,too big for my pond really,BUT I wanted to have MAX equipment out there. After returning from 2 weeks away, I ordered and added a 2000 gph pump,and removed the 4000gph pump yesterday. I have done research,called FishMate to talk to them about energy consumption,and they say after adding the same equipment I have,he hardly noticed an increase in his elec. billohmy.gifohmy.gif I don't know WHAT the heck is going on,but there is NO WAY,on God's green earth,that I can possibly afford $400+ /mo for my electricity!!!yikes.gifyikes.gifyikes.gif Stay tuned,I'll keep you updated on this darn SAGA!!! I am counting heavily on the new pump cutting my bill by 50%-we'll see please.giftheater.GIF

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All I can tell you Kukana, is get on ebay and buy yourself one of these meters. It's dead simple to use; just plug it in, and then plug what you want to test, into the meter. You get an instant read-out. One the far right is a pink button that when pressed once, shows you the kilowatt hours of consumption. Push that button again, and it gives you the amount of time the Kill-A-Watt meter has been measuring that consumption. So then you just do the math........ Divide the kilowatts by the time to get killowatts per hour. Then multiply that by 24 to find out how much the item uses in one day. Then times that by 30 to find out how many kilowatts is used in a month. Then times that by the rates you see on your bill.

Refrigerators and Freezers can be huge users, especially if they are self-defrosting. They have many heating elements inside, some, like the ones around the door openings, run all the time. Electric motors, like for your furnace, a/c, and large pond pumps also use a lot of power.

I'll be testing my computer system next.

I was surprised to see that our 1952 Philco refrigerator uses less power than modern fridges.

Our electric bill was rock solid at about $48/month until I added this big aquarium. That boosted us to about $57/mo. It goes up a little in the winter if it's been cold for a few weeks, but only by $20-$30...as we have a state of the art hydronic heating system using a natural gas fired boiler (about the size of carry-on luggage) and it's heating and pumping water through the baseboard radiators and floor randiant heat panels.

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10.5hrs in, the lights have just shut off, and the tank has use .63KWH (kilowatt hours).

So, .63 divided by 10.5hrs, equals .063KWH per hour (with the lights on). That would be $5.61 per month, running 24hrs per day. But the lights are only on about 50% of the time.

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