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Old 04-23-2008, 08:35 AM   #1
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Saw an ad last night on the tube by GE. They claim that dormant appliances use up to 25% of a home's electricity. Dormant appliances are appliances like a toaster or coffee pot that we leave plugged in all the time, and we think they're not using any electricity, but they are.

I'm not so sure I buy in to this. If I plug my toaster or coffee pot in to an outlet in my MH, I see absolutely no change in the amount of amps that I'm pulling.

Scare tactics by the enviro's? What do you guys think?

Craig
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:35 AM   #2
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Saw an ad last night on the tube by GE. They claim that dormant appliances use up to 25% of a home's electricity. Dormant appliances are appliances like a toaster or coffee pot that we leave plugged in all the time, and we think they're not using any electricity, but they are.

I'm not so sure I buy in to this. If I plug my toaster or coffee pot in to an outlet in my MH, I see absolutely no change in the amount of amps that I'm pulling.

Scare tactics by the enviro's? What do you guys think?

Craig
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:11 AM   #3
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I can see where a coffee pot might have an electrical draw, *IF* it's the type with a clock. A toaster, though? I'm skeptical.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:18 AM   #4
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Anything with a computer in it, no matter how simple, will draw power when it is connected to electricity. Modern appliances have many features that if one does not read the instruction manual, one may not know about. When we leave for anything over one week, I unplug everything possible. I keep records of the house electrical usage and cost. When the house is "vacant" I save a good $20.00+ each month by unplugging everything.

A side benefit is protection from electric surges and brown outs.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:14 PM   #5
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Yes, it is another scare tactic by the radical enviromentalist, Things like clocks on coffee makers, microwaves and such draw less than a quarter of a watt, if that much. Computers,DVD players, on the other hand do waste power if left on. Simply turning them off or shutting them down will work. Older TV's used power to keep the tubes heated up for quicker turn on, but newer TV's are much more efficent. If you leave your house for more than acouple of days, it pays to turn off your water heater whether it's gas or electric, unless you have a instant water heater that only uses energy when hot water is called for. Compact flouresent lamps also save energy, and have a longer life, but contain mercury which is harder to dispose of. Common sense will determine the best way to save energy (not a trait radical enviromentalist have) If it puts out heat, it's using energy.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:18 PM   #6
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I believe there was something also mentioned about just having the extra plugs plugged in will still cause that much more copper wire to be energized, even if the unit is off and has no phantom draws.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:14 PM   #7
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Sounds like mythbusters need in on this one, wires doe not use power unless the insulation is broke down and leaking current. If this is happening, you have bigger problems than a high electric bill. Transformers, like cordless phone chargers, printer power supplies and the like do use some power converting 120 to a usable voltage, but the loss is usually minimal. you would not notice the differnce on your power bill. If you turned on a 60 watt lamp for 15 minutes, you probally used more power than all of those little transformers in a month.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:24 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Craig P.:
Saw an ad last night on the tube by GE. They claim that dormant appliances use up to 25% of a home's electricity. Dormant appliances are appliances like a toaster or coffee pot that we leave plugged in all the time, and we think they're not using any electricity, but they are.

I'm not so sure I buy in to this. If I plug my toaster or coffee pot in to an outlet in my MH, I see absolutely no change in the amount of amps that I'm pulling.

Scare tactics by the enviro's? What do you guys think?

Craig </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Up to" is the worst case and not the norm. If it is from GE then it was more than likely part of an advertisement of some sort posing as a news flash.

One Advertising VP once said this to me with a straight face and I truely believe it was one of the few time he spoke truthfully. "Don't talk to the client, you will accidently tell them the truth because you deal in facts and figures. Leave it up to us because we are in charge of the lies."

There may be a smidgent of truth in that some older devices may draw such great amounts on standby but that would probably be the exception and not the rule. If it stays cold when it's off then it most likely is not one of the 25 percenters that they are hyping everyone up about.

Poorly insulated lines and untrimmed trees along the powerline right of way are probably draining more than all the clock radios, toaster displays, et combined
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:18 AM   #9
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Let's face it, the biggest items that draw current are heaters and air conditioners. I understand the point of the "cold draw" of some appliances and there is no questioning the number of gadgets that have LEDs in them that are on all the time. My expectation, however, is that the cold draw from 20 homes is more than outweighed by one low SEER air conditioner in just one home. I sure wish that they would give us the whole story of facts, not cherry pick the ones that they want us to hear.

I really do believe that we have environmental concerns and should all be trying to do our part to address them. Unfortunately, there are far too many of the the spokesmen for the carbon footprint woes (including Mr. Nobel winner himself) who have taken lessons from your Avertising VP, Neil.
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:45 AM   #10
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Sounds sort of alarmist to me. I do know the 'instant on' appliances use power while off. However this 'energized wire' bit sounds like so much equine used hay.
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:48 AM   #11
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I happen to agree that we use all use some amount of power with all of our appliances when not using them, no matter how small of an amount.
As GaryKD stated he saves $20.00+ when he shuts everything down. Does he have a totally electric home and saves the most.
Now lets look at the big picture not just 1 household.
If each one of us just saves a little say $5.00 a month in energy use, times millions of homes it adds up to big energy savings.
How much less oil would be needed-less green house gases etc.
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:07 AM   #12
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To paraphrase an old adage...

"Watch the watts and the kilowatts will take care of themselves"

Agree that cold draw is small for most things, but the load is more like s 1-10 watts per rather than 1/4 watt. A typical 100 milliamp (1/10th amp) draw @ 120V = 12 watts per hour and modern homes have lots of these devices. Just about anything with a digital control will be drawing something. Clocks and those ubiquitous transformers are also eating away at the watts.

It may be only a couple kilowatt-hours per day per home, but that's a lot of wasted kilowatt-hours when added up nationally. Now I'm not suggesting that everybody unplug their clock when you leave the house/RV, but I'll bet there are a lot of things that each of us could do if we paid more attention to these "cold draws".

Leaving a large inverter on 24/7 is one of those cold draws that have a small cost that adds up.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:09 AM   #13
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You can easily check the amperage draw of any plug in appliance with a Kill A Watt.

I bought one for &gt;$20.

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Old 04-24-2008, 04:00 PM   #14
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Our local utility charges a little over 9 cents per kilowatthour (thats 1000 watts of power for the period of one hour) To make this simple we will use 10 cents per kilowatthour. To reduce your bill by $5 you will need to save 50 kilowatthours, At worst case the clocks and other parasitic loads will use 1 kwh in a month. The most economical and sensible way to save energy is to reduce the large loads, such as heating and air conditioning, waterheating, and the smallest of these, lighting, (unless you have a heck of a lot of chandoliers and security lighting) Turning the themostat back a couple of degrees in the winter, up in the summer, turning down the thermostat on the water heater will produce the greatest gains. Timers on water heaters do not pay off unless you do not use hot water very often. Instantanious water heaters are more efficent than standard tank type water heaters, but the technoligy is still lacking as temperature control is spotty at times as water flow changes. It's the radical enviromentalist that wants to spend millions to save 10%, when thousands can save 9.8%. Many power plants can be upgraded with more efficent turbines increasing output for a couple of mil, but the government requires a total overhaul of the plant when a major component is changed, costing much more, so the utility cannot justify the cost.
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