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Author Topic: How much electricity is my water boiler using?  (Read 412 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« on: September 12, 2020, 06:04:44 pm »
Bound to be someone on here who can recommend a thing that will tell us how much electricity something is drawing?

We have a water boiler in our temporary dairy, as there is no hot water on tap in there.  There is an ongoing power struggle (see what I did there?  :D) between the folks who think it should be turned off the instant the skimming has been done, and stay off until 1 hour before tomorrow morning's team come in to start preparing for milking, and those who want there to be hot water to use whenever they go in to do any other little jobs, and so want it left on until after supper.

The product description on Amazon says it draws 620W while heating up (which sounds about right; it takes nearly an hour to heat up 5L from cold) but then only 2W to stay warm.  Well, it is insulated but the whole thing is warm to the touch when it's on, so none of us believe 2W, but we don't know if it should be 20W or 200W.  If the latter, then of course it should be turned off if the next user will be four hours or more.  if the former, then it will draw less keeping the water warm for 24 hours than it would heating it all up from cold again. 

It's becoming very irritating to me that there is no hot water when I go in there (for instance, to sterilise the bottle and heat up the milk for the bought-in calf, and wash up afterwards) so I would love to find out what it actually draws when on standby. 

Am I right in thinking there is a thingy you can plug in that will tell you what your connected devices actually draw?  Can anyone recommend one? 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 06:47:59 pm »
Does it run off a regular plug Sally, or is it wired in?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 07:58:57 pm »
Does it run off a regular plug Sally, or is it wired in?

Regular 13A plug.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 09:15:20 pm »
In that case it's really easy Sally:





Just set it up to log total kWh used, and leave it overnight (etc).
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2020, 10:59:28 pm »
Brill. thanks Womble :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 09:05:27 am »
We bought a similar power meter (2000MU-UK) for the same reason Sally. Our electricity usage when we arrived in France was very high and we checked all appliances in turn. Not using hot water for 24 hours told us that the energy used from just heat loss on the 200 litre tank was 2 KW hrs. Of course it had to get more complicated and we then discovered a wire from our house circuit connected to the neighbour's house, which when disconnected saved 2 KW hrs. Further investigation revealed that the electric meter was over-reading by 25% (common problem) and even though the cost of replacement was €60 we subsequently saved more than that in the year we were there. EDF will replace a faulty meter free of charge but there is a €200 testing fee!

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 09:29:30 am »
We had a weird electrical problem when we moved in here.

I kept getting minor tingles from the downstairs tap, but I thought I must just have been imagining things, and nobody else could feel it. Also it only happened sometimes. Then one day I got a massive belt from the tap that left me in no doubt!

Diagnosing the problem was a nightmare though.  It turned out that there was a floorboard nail through a cable in the landing that connected the switched live to earth. That then kept blowing the lighting circuit fuse, so the previous occupants had beefed it up the fuse to 30A to prevent it. Water had then got into the breaker outside and had corroded the earth connection, causing it to fall off, so the house electrics were only earthed via the downstairs tap.


The upshot of this was that you got a belt if:

1) The hall light was on
2) AND it was switched from the far end of the hall, not the near end
3) AND the ground outside was dry enough for the water pipework not to conduct the electricity away
4) AND you were standing on the floor wearing wet socks

It took me ages to figure out what was going on. Once we did though, our electricity bill halved!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: How much electricity is my water boiler using?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 03:36:53 pm »
Lol, great stories, thanks both! 

Yours, chrismahon, reminded me of the wonderful books Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources by Marcel Pagnol.  And The Irish RM is in similar vein. 

I will update the thread when I have the results from our little boiler! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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