Water heater (new one) consuming too much electricity


Old 09-11-16, 04:49 PM
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Water heater (new one) consuming too much electricity

Ever since i moved to my new Condo, my electricity bill is very high. Over the last 3 months, my bill is over $300. I have very basic utilities, no AC, which is why it's strange during summer.

I did all the regular stuffs like shutting everything off and narrowed it down to the water heater. If the water heater is powered off for an entire day, then the usage is close 10Kwh. With the water heater is on, then the usage is around ~35Kwh.

I got an opinion from 4 different plumbers. Two of them attributed to the fact the water heater is old and it cannot be due to a water leak. The other two said, it certainly is a water leak and a defective heater cannot draw this much power.

Well, I replaced my water heater with a brand new one (supposed to be energy efficient). I monitored for 3-4 days and I donít see any difference in the meter reading. Itís still close to 35Kwh.

PGE claims, if meter reading is low when water heater is off, then the meter is working properly. Is it that binary? Can the water heater be working normally and still the meter be showing a very high value?

Unfortunately, the water meter is shared and it cannot be read. Otherwise, I would have monitored the water meter as well to do a preliminary check on the leak.

With PGE, HoA not helping me, and plumbers/electricians pointing at each other and not conclusive, how do i resolve this issue? I do not know whom to turn to for help?

Thank you very much for your time.

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Old 09-11-16, 04:57 PM
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Sounds like a slab leak on the HW side..

Simple. Turn off the HW valve for several hours.

After alloted time open the valve. ( Do Not Use any Hot water in the Home.)

Feel the HW outlet pipe... If its warm or gets warm its a slab leak. That is if your on a slab...
Old 09-16-16, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for the reply.
I did the test you suggested, and after several hours, i do not find the hot water outlet pipe hot.

But, i still called a plumber who installed my new water heater. He also came and said there most likely is no slab leak. He didn't check with any fancy equipments. He visually inspected the home and also kept his ears against the pipe by opening/closing the valve multiple times and also doing the test that was suggested here. He said, i could still do a thorough inspection which may cost me close to $500, but towards the end, that may also indicate no slab leak. It's really up to me.

Old 09-18-16, 06:28 AM
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Turn the cold valve above the water heater off at different times preferably for at least 8 hours each time. Leave the water heater power on. Read the electric meter at the starts and ends of these periods.

You can get different readings depending on how many times the water heater kicked on during the period even if the kick ons are uniformly spaced, thus the need for several trials.

Also read the electric meter before and after comparable lengths of time with the water heater cold valve on and no one using hot water.

Other farfetched ideas from my wild imagination:
There is an erroneous or bootleg tee from your hot water lines to someone else's unit.
Your electric meter serves someone else's unit and vice versa.

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-18-16 at 06:54 AM.
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