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IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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reply to Jack_in_VA

Re: [HVAC] Propane Price

Be glad you don't heat with electricity. I got my electric bill for December and it was $193.32 and it wasn't that cold. January is off to a bitter cold start here in Mass and if the trend continues I may get one that is $300 or even $400.

Right now it's creeping around zero degrees out and I got the heat on and it's still cold in here. I was at Home Depot today and I was thinking of buying a space heater but they wanted $69 for a oil filled radiator type.

If I owned the house, I'd convert to gas as we have it available on our street.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


Jack_in_VA
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I'll have a heart attack I guess. I've been running on the 15 kW strips since 12/26. Seems like my HVAC company can't get a Trane/Copeland Scroll Compressor until sometime next week. Holidays have been a problem but this will be the 3rd one counting the original.


dennismurphy
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Parsippany, NJ
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reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Be glad you don't heat with electricity. I got my electric bill for December and it was $193.32 and it wasn't that cold. January is off to a bitter cold start here in Mass and if the trend continues I may get one that is $300 or even $400.

Somehow I burned through 2,800kWh in December(!!) - even at the peak of the summer with the pool pump running and the AC cranking full bore, I only hit 2,300kWh. Not sure what the hell happened, but holy cow ...

(FWIW, I have a natural gas furnace so the electric only runs the blower motor. Much less electric draw than in the summer when the AC compressor is pumping.)


Jack_in_VA
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North, VA
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Good Grief! 2800 kWh that's a lot not to have a heat pump.


pende_tim
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Andover, NJ
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reply to dennismurphy
JCP&L is very notorious in my neighborhood for the "estimated" bill trick. Is this possibly an actual reading catching up with a bunch of wacky estimates?
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


Tex
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join:2012-10-20
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reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

...but this will be the 3rd one counting the original.

Do you know what's killing your compressors? BTW, Trane uses their own Climatuff compressors, not Copeland.


dennismurphy
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reply to pende_tim
said by pende_tim:

JCP&L is very notorious in my neighborhood for the "estimated" bill trick. Is this possibly an actual reading catching up with a bunch of wacky estimates?

No, Just Can't Power the Lights actually gave me an actual bill in Nov & Dec.

Trying to figure out where the frack the electricity went. Or, if the meter guy misread it. That's probably the likely cause. I'd buy 1,800kWh with the christmas lights and all, but 2,800 is out of control.


IowaCowboy
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reply to Jack_in_VA
I know someone who had to replace an entire furnace two days before Christmas and had to pay holiday rates.


pende_tim
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Andover, NJ
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reply to dennismurphy
Go read it now and see if the current reading is less than the bill. You could add 60Kw per day since the last reading and see where you are.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


IowaCowboy
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reply to dennismurphy
Does your poco use automatic meter reading (where they use a radio in a truck to read it) or does the meter reader still come in the yard to read it. Maybe if you have a dog in the yard when the meter reader comes they estimate because they treat all dogs as vicious.


dennismurphy
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reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

Good Grief! 2800 kWh that's a lot not to have a heat pump.

Something is very, very clearly wrong. Not only is the meter reading right but between 12/31 and today (3 days), I've burned through another 319kWh.

What the hell could it be? The furnace motor is running normally - just checked the nest, running ~7 hrs/day. I'm thinking that maybe my outdoor sump pump is stuck on or something? Checking that now.

What the hell else could it possibly be?


IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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Check every appliance, a high bill could be a sign of a malfunctioning appliance.


pende_tim
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reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

been a problem but this will be the 3rd one counting the original.

That is a lot of failure. Any idea why?
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


dennismurphy
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reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Check every appliance, a high bill could be a sign of a malfunctioning appliance.

Found it! I just came back inside - it was definitely the sump pump. I have an outdoor sump pit next to the inground pool, designed to keep the water pressure from pushing too hard on the liner.

Anyway, the net net is that I just opened the lid of the pit and the motor is stuck and overheating. It was steaming inside the sump pit!

I just shut it off and I'll deal with it when it warms up. It's 6 degrees out there right now - mucho frio!

Well, that $75 motor just cost me about $300 in electricity. How fun.


pende_tim
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reply to dennismurphy
Did something out in the pool get turned on accidentally- like a motor- and it is running constantly?

Based on what you say, this is about 40KWH/day higher than normal.

This is a constant 2KW load, almost 10 amps at 220volts. Is there a greenhouse in your basement? Someone hatching chicks?

Seriously, maybe a space heater somewhere? or the sump pump may be stalled? Is the Air Conditioner drawing this? Do you have an electric hotwater heater? Is there a leak in the pipes or a running faucet? A second oven that was used at Thanksgiving that never was turned off?

Best way is to get a clamp on amp meter and check the panel. Look for a load where there should not be a load.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


Jack_in_VA
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1 edit
reply to Tex
No they have a joint venture with Copeland/Emerson to make their scroll compressors. I've researched the heck out that.

Also the tech that checked it said that it was a copeland.

Copeland Compressors
Trane is an “Authorized Copeland HVAC distributor” for all HVAC Emerson Climate Technologies (Copeland) reciprocating and scroll compressors for R-22 and R410A applications * **


pende_tim
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reply to pende_tim
Glad you found it so quickly.

markf

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Burlington, ON
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reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

Somehow I burned through 2,800kWh in December

Good thing you found your problem. You might want to invest in one of these guys (or similar)

»www.bluelineinnovations.com/Products/

Shows real time usage. After using it for a bit you'll be able to notice anomalies right away.

Just checked my usage, 220 kWh for December (natural gas heat, stove and water heater). You must have a nice big place out there.


dennismurphy
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reply to pende_tim
said by pende_tim:

Did something out in the pool get turned on accidentally- like a motor- and it is running constantly?

Based on what you say, this is about 40KWH/day higher than normal.

This is a constant 2KW load, almost 10 amps at 220volts. Is there a greenhouse in your basement? Someone hatching chicks?

Seriously, maybe a space heater somewhere? or the sump pump may be stalled? Is the Air Conditioner drawing this? Do you have an electric hotwater heater? Is there a leak in the pipes or a running faucet? A second oven that was used at Thanksgiving that never was turned off?

Best way is to get a clamp on amp meter and check the panel. Look for a load where there should not be a load.

All great ideas, but it's pretty much certainly the outdoor sump pump. It was warm down in the pit and the motor was hot and buzzing. Again, no time for diagnostics - it's too cold out for that. Just shut it off and I'll check the meter in a few days to see what the burn rate is.

The pool pump is off - that breaker is shut off for the season. The AC's off too. Hot water/oven/furnace/fireplace/grill are all natural gas. Just the pump as far as I can tell.

Of course the Christmas lights & tree burn some electricity as well, so that'll help next month's bill as well, but as far as I can tell, it was the stuck pump that was the issue.


dennismurphy
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reply to markf
said by markf:

Good thing you found your problem. You might want to invest in one of these guys (or similar)

»www.bluelineinnovations.com/Products/

Shows real time usage. After using it for a bit you'll be able to notice anomalies right away.

Just checked my usage, 220 kWh for December (natural gas heat, stove and water heater). You must have a nice big place out there.

Thanks! I like that. I have a kill-a-watt, but that wouldn't help me one bit for this issue.

It's not a huge house at all - about 2000sq ft, excluding the finished basement (another ~1400 or so.) But I work from home which means there are computers on all the time, lights on, heat's running - the house never really gets into "shut down" mode. We have at least one plasma TV running most of the time, some DVRs, lots of recessed lighting (both upstairs and in the finished basement - have 26 recessed lights in the basement alone - that's 2600w of power burning just to keep that one room lit. I really need to get some LED BR40 bulbs!)

markf

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Burlington, ON
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That explains it.

I've used the kill-a-watt, but the whole home devices are useful for figuring out problems like yours.

Those LED's are dropping in price nicely. I've converted a bunch of CFLs to LED and am quite happy with the results. Now I think I'll start investing in some dimmers too.


Tex
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reply to Jack_in_VA
That's off their Commercial HVAC Parts and Supplies page. They also sell Bristol, Carrier and Tecumseh compressors, but that doesn't mean they install them in their residential heat pumps. Besides, every residential heat pump product on the products page shows Trane Climatuff compressors. And, there's this:

To this day, the Climatuff® compressor is the only one Trane uses in its residential systems. It's well known for its superior durability, its low noise levels and high efficiency.

»www.trane.com/residential/questi···mpressor


IowaCowboy
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reply to dennismurphy
Or some of these, they'll look nicer in recessed lights.

»t.homedepot.com/p/EcoSmart-6-in-···2240932/


dennismurphy
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said by IowaCowboy:

Or some of these, they'll look nicer in recessed lights.

»t.homedepot.com/p/EcoSmart-6-in-···2240932/

I have one of those, as well as an LED BR40 17w (100w equiv) bulb installed surretipiously as a test to see if anyone (especially my wife) notices. Both have passed with flying colors.

I'm probably going to go with the BR40's since they are almost $10 less per bulb @ Costco. That's $260 less just for the basement.


Jack_in_VA
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1 edit
reply to Tex
said by Tex:

That's off their Commercial HVAC Parts and Supplies page. They also sell Bristol, Carrier and Tecumseh compressors, but that doesn't mean they install them in their residential heat pumps. Besides, every residential heat pump product on the products page shows Trane Climatuff compressors. And, there's this:

To this day, the Climatuff® compressor is the only one Trane uses in its residential systems. It's well known for its superior durability, its low noise levels and high efficiency.

»www.trane.com/residential/questi···mpressor

I guess my tech and the service co-coordinator in the office don't know what they are talking about. Both said it was a Copeland and she is contacting them as this is the 2nd compressor fail since Feb 2012.

The only difference in the compressors sold under the Copland name and ones in Trane units is the color.

Trane uses alliance compressors . It is a joint venture between Trane, Lennox and Emerson (aka copeland compressors). Plant is in Louisiana.