What Causes My Electric Meter to Suddenly Speed Up?

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An electric meter measures all the electricity you use in your home. The way the meter is able to measure electricity is through the power draw from the various electrical items. The unit of measurement is called kilowatts and is calculated by multiplying voltage by amperes. Your home voltage is usually 110 volts and doesn't vary, but the amperes vary, depending on the power of the electrical item.

Daytime and Evening

  • During the daytime, if your home is unoccupied, it's likely you use minimal electricity, just enough for items that need to be left turned on such as a fridge or freezer. This means the consumption of energy is low and your meter runs slowly. However, once you return home, you probably start turning on various appliances, such as the stove, washing machine, dryer and water heater. All these items consume a lot of amperes, so your electricity meter suddenly speeds up.

Winter

  • One day, the weather can be warm. Before you know it, though, the onset of winter has arrived. Cold weather means that you need to turn on your electric heaters or heating system. The simple task of turning on a couple of switches to get your heaters working immediately results in more electricity getting used. As all your electricity flows initially through the meter, turning on your heating system speeds up the electricity meter.

Meter Error

  • Although reasonably unlikely, electric meters can go wrong. After all, they are the same as any other electrical device. Older meters use moving parts that are subject to wear and tear. Newer meters are digital and use a computerized system to monitor usage, but you know that computers can stop working correctly. If the meter starts to measure electricity inaccurately, it either results the failure to record enough electrical usage, or too much. If it records too much, it means the meter suddenly speeds up.

Incorrect Wiring

  • Your meter is only meant to be connected to your electricity supply, meaning that only the electricity you use inside your home flows through the meter. However, there may be many meters in apartment complexes. If there's been a need for an electrician to do some wiring work and the meter gets wrongly wired, it can connect to more than one apartment. The meter will record electricity for all the apartments it's connected to, resulting in about double the usual consumption of electricity -- so your meter suddenly speeds up.

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