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Old 02-11-2020, 03:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electricity Meter

I just installed the Emporia Vue WiFi home electricity monitor. It was $100 on Amazon and came with a main power meter along with 8 branch circuit monitors.

Installation was a breeze and I didn't get shocked while working on live circuits, for a change. The app was simple to use and is working very good.



The individual sensors won't register anything below about 35 watts, but once above that it seems to be fairly sensitive and precise. Small loads below 35 watt can be seen in the main consumption sensor as long as the total is above 35 watts.

There was 1 circuit that appeared to draw nothing, so I shut it off. Then I decided to turn it on, and I heard a hum coming from the panel, and perhaps elsewhere. The app showed the 120v 15a circuit spike to 7,000 watts (accidentally had multiplier set to 2 in the screenshot). About 4 seconds later, it flat-lines and never registers again. If I flip the power off for a couple seconds and back on, nothing. If I let it rest a minute, I'll get another spike when I flip it on. What could this device be? Do sprinkler valves use transformers, and could that be what the brief heavy load is? It's labeled spare on the panel. I hate how haphazardly electricians document their work with illegible Sharpie scribbles.



In total, there are 4 circuits I don't know what they do, so I shut them off.

There are 3 switches inside the house I haven't found a function to yet. I discovered a switch in the coat closet that controls a single outlet under the eve of the roof outside. Finding that was a miracle. I need 3 more of those.

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Old 02-11-2020, 07:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I just installed the Emporia Vue WiFi home electricity monitor. It was $100 on Amazon and came with a main power meter along with 8 branch circuit monitors.

Installation was a breeze and I didn't get shocked while working on live circuits, for a change. The app was simple to use and is working very good.


The individual sensors won't register anything below about 35 watts, but once above that it seems to be fairly sensitive and precise. Small loads below 35 watt can be seen in the main consumption sensor as long as the total is above 35 watts.

There was 1 circuit that appeared to draw nothing, so I shut it off. Then I decided to turn it on, and I heard a hum coming from the panel, and perhaps elsewhere. The app showed the 120v 15a circuit spike to 7,000 watts (accidentally had multiplier set to 2 in the screenshot). About 4 seconds later, it flat-lines and never registers again. If I flip the power off for a couple seconds and back on, nothing. If I let it rest a minute, I'll get another spike when I flip it on. What could this device be? Do sprinkler valves use transformers, and could that be what the brief heavy load is? It's labeled spare on the panel. I hate how haphazardly electricians document their work with illegible Sharpie scribbles.

In total, there are 4 circuits I don't know what they do, so I shut them off.

There are 3 switches inside the house I haven't found a function to yet. I discovered a switch in the coat closet that controls a single outlet under the eve of the roof outside. Finding that was a miracle. I need 3 more of those.
looks like a short circuit waiting to happen but those wires will vaporize before then


i'm pretty sure this is not legal on the NEC standard mixing low voltage and high voltage together like this imo

do you know if it is CAT III certified rated?

Last edited by Tahoe_Hybrid; 02-11-2020 at 07:25 AM..
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I might have to disconnect those unknown circuits and attach a tone generator to them, then crawl around in the attic to trace them out.

I don't think the circuit that buzzes when I turn it on goes to a sprinkler valve transformer, because as far as I know, the only think that switches them is the sprinkler controller in the garage, and that's unplugged.

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looks like a short circuit waiting to happen but those wires will vaporize before then


i'm pretty sure this is not legal on the NEC standard mixing low voltage and high voltage together like this imo

do you know if it is CAT III certified rated?
It's no voltage on the inductor loops because they are passive. The only low volt is the small transformer in the panel. It's probably to code since the company sells on Amazon and is well rated. I don't really care anyhow, because it's safe.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Door bell transformer?
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm finding a 40w phantom in the bathroom lights/bedroom lights & plugs circuit. The controller for the fan might be 1w, the Google mini is about 1w, and the various LED switches and digital timers might be another 1w. I've got quite a lot of unaccounted watts to track down.

So far my overall lowest registered consumption is 450 watts. I'll have to start tracking down where all this idle consumption is coming from. I know some of it is office equipment I need to turn off at night, but that couldn't be more than about 100 watts.

This house is driving me crazy with unknown breakers and switches, along with unaccounted for phantoms.

If I can kill 100w of idle/phantom drain, this meter will have paid for itself in the first year.

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Door bell transformer?
Good idea. I checked the doorbell and it still rings despite the suspect breaker being off. Not the doorbell transformer.

Heck, with that much power surging when flipped on, I should be able to locate it in the attic using a clamp on ammeter while my wife flips it on/off.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You can run 2 or 3 or how ever many wires that will fit that are in phase with each other and get combined amp reading.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My AC compressor has a oil heater in it, not sure if they all do that would be on 220v. Do window units or mini-splits?

Might have to look into one of these, I think my elect bill is higher than it should be and I did most of the wiring.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If I get an EV, I'll either need to free up some more space in the panel with slim breakers, or steal the unused dryer or range circuits.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Splits have oil heaters too.

If your panel is full and you put in double breakers in to asd more circuits and if your panel isn't listed for that many circuits it will be considered over loaded.
I always buy oversized panels listed for twice as many circuits as there are spaces, so if I ever do fill a panel and add a double breaker I won't be over loaded.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've never built a house, so I've never put in a panel. This one seems about as big as they come, and it's full.

I'll look at the relevant code because I try to adhere to it when it's not too costly.

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