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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3288
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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I am the residential manager house with a tenant who is

Customer Question

Customer: Hi, my name is***** am the residential manager for a house with a tenant who is having electrical issues. The house is not up to code. The tenant has been having intermittent outlet issues with one side of the house, and has been using a heavy gauge power cord from the bathroom to power a bedroom. The problem started when we had a really heavy rain, and they have run the power cord ever since. Could this power cord be the reason the electric bill has spiked in the last month and a half?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The circuit breaker for the upstairs unit is downstairs, and the plug the power cord is plugged into is the kind that has the test/reset button so they aren't tripping the circuit downstairs
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Customer: how long of a wait, i'm on my lunch break
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) It is not recommended to install long extension cords to provide power to other rooms as this creates a potential fire issue. If the receptacles have issues, then they need to be addressed and corrected ASAP.

2) An extension cord nor a GFCI will cause an increase in electrical usage.

3) I recommend to obtain a clamp-on amp meter and turn all electrical loads in the home to the OFF position and unplug all electrical cords. Then place the clamp-on amp meter onto the hot phase conductors that terminate to the main breaker one at a time and confirm if their is electrical usage where the amp meter detects electrical current.

4) If the home has any underground circuits, this can also cause an increase in electrical bills due to a faulty wire.

5) Same thing if the home contains underground service wires from the electrical utility. If a faulty underground service wire, then there can be a voltage leakage to ground. Contact the local electrical utility and request that they perform a power quality monitor test at the electrical meter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We also have a PV system, but the electric has gone from $179 to $300+ over the last 3 months. It's been overcast and rainy, so initially I wasn't concerned about the steep increase, but then I found out about the extension cord they are using, and wonder if the spike could be caused by using the power cord because their outlets work intermittently. There are a total of 5 outlets that sometimes work, 2 in a bedroom, and 3 in the living room.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

1) As I mentioned in my previous reply, an extension cord is not a cause for a drastic spike in an electrical bill.

2) Most likely, there is a loose wire connection or a faulty splice on the branch circuit for the receptacles that is causing the problem. An AC voltmeter can confirm this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, Kevin
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

No problem, glad to assist.

Not sure if you will be contacting a local electrician to look into the problems or not?

If you looking to check for yourself and can obtain a clamp-on amp meter, I can walk you thru the process.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That would be very helpful, so that i'm not paying for the electrician to research the problem.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

OK, let me know when you can obtain the clamp-on amp meter to look further into the high usage.

If you have an AC voltmeter, this can be used to confirm and measure the voltage at the problem receptacles.

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

At the problem receptacles, take the 3 voltage measurements shown on the diagram below and let me know the readings.

A) Hot (short slot) to Neutral (long slot)

B) Hot (short slot) to Ground (round ground hole)

C) Neutral (long slot) to Ground (round ground hole)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..........Kevin:)

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