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A sudden surge in your electric bills can be quite stressful, especially when you do not know what is causing it. For homeowners, you might find it hard to maintain a certain budget if your utility bill keeps on fluctuating each month. In most cases, it is easier to assume that your electricity provider has hiked the rates, while in reality, your bill is high due to your negligence.
It might be hard to pinpoint the cause of the sudden rise in your utility bills on your own, so it is wise to get a certified electrician to inspect your electrical system and diagnose the exact problem. Otherwise, below are some of the culprits that may be the cause of high household power usage.
Faulty power meter
It is quite common for power meters to break down and result in wrong power readings. In case you have a gut feeling that your meter is providing a false reading, give your electrician a call to come and check it out. The matter may be a minor issue, such as a fuse blowing, which only requires a replacement.
If it’s a huge problem, your electrician might have to take the meter away for further diagnosis and even change it if it is problematic. In case the meter is fine, then you and your technician might have to investigate further and find out where the extra power usage is coming from.
Power leakage to the ground
Power leakage into the ground is caused by load current that flows through the impedance of the neutral wire. Earth lines depict leakage current, which is the current that doesn’t return through a neutral line but goes through the earth after an unintentional electrical connection in the circuit. If there is a difference in active and neutral current, then there is a leakage in the system. The issue might be with the earth leakage breaker not sensing an active opening and disconnect power from the circuit. That wastes a lot of current and increases your electric bill.
Before calling an electrician, shut down the circuit breaker and main power switch. The technician can conduct a thorough inspection by recording the meter readings while the main switch is off to see if the problem is with the meter reader of the service entrance. They may test every circuit one at a time to identify the issue. Also, the professional can carry out tests from the white neutral wire in your panel to the ground. In case they disconnect the ground, and there is a spark, it’s an indication there is power leakage.
The thermostat in your HVAC system might be faulty, making your heater run without turning off. It could be that the wiring is frayed or the thermostat is poorly calibrated. Contact your electrician to have a look at the thermostat and provide the right diagnosis and solution. Also, the children might be turning on the heater at night without your knowledge, making it run longer and contribute to the high electric bill. That might sound far-fetched, but you’ll be surprised at how often it happens.
Your heating system may also malfunction and cause all sorts of unwanted problems. It is critical to have a licensed professional periodically inspect and service your heating system to avert unwanted issues. During summertime, you can have the technician disconnect your heater since some of its components may draw electricity, even when the heater is off.
Do you happen to know that as a fridge gets older, it tends to draw more power? When the compressor gets older, it starts to wear out and draw more power, running more frequently to keep the items inside the refrigerator cool. The same happens to a dryer since it wears out after a while. A load of clothes that would take less time to dry may take twice as much time, even with the dryer vents working effectively.
In case you suspect some appliances are using up more electricity, you can contact your local Conway, SC, electrician to inspect them and replace the worn-out parts. It is vital to upgrade your appliances to the latest efficient models to save up on electricity usage and consequent bills.
Hot water tank issues
A hot water tank comprises two elements and two thermostats, as well as a flip flop switch from the top to the bottom element. Hot elements come first since heat needs to rise until the thermostat is satisfied. The power flips down to heat the bottom part of the tank until it reaches the thermostat settings.
Sometimes, some of the elements become faulty and end up running longer to heat the water. That increases the electric bill since more energy is in use. The tank could also be leaking so more water is heating up, and you end up consuming a lot of electricity. It is wise to get a certified professional to sort the issue.
Your power is being stolen
Not all neighbors are kind. Some may decide to steal your electricity for their benefit. The situation may be worse than you can imagine if you find an extension cord plugged into an outlet in your backyard shed. Extension cords draw a lot of electricity over time. If you notice your electric bill is twice as much, you should consider having your local electrician check for loopholes.
As a homeowner, it may be hard to notice flaws, especially if there are foreign objects in the energy meter. Your electrician in Conway, SC, can also look for signs of physical obstruction and an ESD attack on the electronic meter. One of the ways to prevent electricity theft is by installing a tamper detection device to notify you when something is off.
Get quality help
Founded in 2010, Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach offers top-notch services and commits to solving your electrical problems on time. We have a team of skilled and friendly electricians who will show up on time because we know your time is valuable. Our technicians provide emergency electrical services and will take care of your needs promptly, efficiently, and with courtesy.