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Old 10-19-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Kill-A-Watt Meter ???

OK I heard all the great things about what a Kill-A-Watt meter can do, so I bought one.
The operation manual is useless, it tells me what a button does, that is OK if youu understand what those things mean. I am an electrical mental midget and are clueless. I just want to know how to tell how much electric the various things I have use when I plug them in. How can I tell which toaster uses the least ammount of electric? This thing has 5 buttons with 8 functions.
The first one I understand, it just tells me how much voltage is available in the plug I plug the meter into and I see that voltage fluctuates all the time between 118V and 122V, I did not know that...
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Plug in the meter and plug in toaser to meter then turn on toaster.

"Press Amp Key for true RMS output current (Amps) display" from manual on p4400.
Write down reading OR "Press the Watt/VA Key is a toggle function key. Press the Watt/VA key once to display Watt meter, then press key to display VA meter. The LCD will display Watts as the active power" and write down reading.


Ditto for other toaster or anything else you want to compare or determine , then compare readings and the higher reading uses more energy.
If that doesn't help then please reply with model number of Kill-A-Watt meter and what you want to accomplish.

Useage can be described in Amps or Watts depending on what you are using it for. Amps is used to size wires and circuit breakers and Watts is used to determine charge for energy consumption. Watts is best as it accounts for voltage fluxuations and relates directly to cost you pay.

Volts(ac) X Current(amps) = Power(watts or Kwatts(x1000) or VoltAmps(Va))
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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Kill-a-Watt

I use my Kill-a-Watt meter every time I hook up in a Campground. Just plug in to a wall plug and read the Voltage meter. If the reading is below 110 V I would get real nervous. Remember to identify two wall plugs to test since most RV's have two separate 120 V circuits. I remember pulling into a Corp campground in TX, and when I plugged in Kill-a-Watt I got a reading of 102 Volts. I immediately switched the water heater from AC to Gas, as well as the Fridge. This allowed the voltage to creep up to about 112 Volts and so we were able to use a few appliance while continually monitoring the Voltage.
I also used the Kill-a-Watt to measure the power used by an old freezer that I used in our basement. The result encouraged me to replace it ASAP.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:30 AM   #4
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Two points to add to the discusion:
1) 15 amp max on the meter. If the display starts to flash, unplug the appliance or the magic smoke gets out.
2) Check and monitor the frequency. 60Hz is the norm. Anything way less or more is bad news. I've been told that between 59 and 61 is spot-on for running on a generator. 60Hz for shore-power.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill001 View Post
Two points to add to the discusion:
1) 15 amp max on the meter. If the display starts to flash, unplug the appliance or the magic smoke gets out.
2) Check and monitor the frequency. 60Hz is the norm. Anything way less or more is bad news. I've been told that between 59 and 61 is spot-on for running on a generator. 60Hz for shore-power.
I guess it is just gonna take some practise and some patience, I thought the minute I plug something into it that the unit would tell me how many watts it was using and how many watts per hour it would consume.
From what I can understand it must be plugged in for an hour to get a watts per hour
I am very good at mechanics and a dummy at electric stuff but I struggle on
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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AS to cycles per second, I suspect some worry unnecessarily - back in the good 'ol days, most electrical stuff was UL rated 50-60 cycles, meaning they would operate adequately at either extreme, or in between. I suspect most stuff other than PC's and maybe the newer HD digital TV's, will still do fine in the 50-60 cycle range - perhaps a real electronics whiz will step up to comment on the subject of newer appliances sensitivity to CPS variations...
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that what I was told about the frequency came from the internet. And we all KNOW that information from the internet HAS to be correct, right?
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