posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 01:48 PM
If you want to know how much an individual appliance uses, or a set of appliances, get one of those Kill-A-Watt meters they sell everywhere.
I would just use it to get a general idea.
Don’t rely on them being NIST quality though.
Odd current waveforms and bad power factors can get them confused easily.
And they can’t handle current/voltage surges very well, so don’t use them on any high starting current equipment, or anything that creates spikes
like a welder.
If you want something that can take anything you want to throw at it, get an old utility meter.
Mount a meter base on a wood pedestal, and put a few plugs on the back, with a heavy pigtail cord to plug in into the nearest outlet.
If you can’t find any locally, then go to hialeah meter.
They sell remanufactured I70 meters for $15.50 for the pointer and $17.50 for the ez read.
They are magnetic bearing so they will be a lifetime investment.
They won’t wear out as long as you are alive.
You will be able to hook computers, and or air conditioners, and or heaters to it, and know exactly what they are using over the month.
Just keep a record of the reading from month to month and you can make a chart of the cooling/heating/computer/refrigeration/ or what ever load you