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Update on my Home Energy Monitor

September 8th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Generator

A while ago I wrote about my Black and Decker home energy monitor. I mentioned that I had problems with the sending unit leaking and then failing soon after I received it. So Black and Decker replaced the sending unit under warranty. Well guess what … the second one died about six months later. This time it didn’t leak, it just stopped transmitting. Yes I’ve changed the batteries and re-sync’d it. I’ve removed and reinstalled it. It simply doesn’t transmit a radio signal any more.

So even though I was originally pretty happy with this thing, I now recommend that you stay away from this and do not buy a Black and Decker Power Monitor. Unlike many of the negative reviews on Amazon, mine has nothing to do with setup or whether it will work on your meter. Rather, the quality of the sending unit seems poor. As always, your mileage may vary, but my experience with this unit has been bad. I think I’ll buy a TED monitor system instead.

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  1. September 9th, 2010 at 01:21 | #1

    Update on my Home Energy Monitor – via #twitoaster http://robsrants.havasy.net/2010/09/upda

  2. September 9th, 2010 at 08:14 | #2

    Hi Rob,
    This is Robin from PowerSave. While I believe the TED is a great product and will work well for you, before you commit, please visit our website http://www.powersave.us

    With over 1 million Envi’s sold worldwide, the Envi is a great product as well.
    Thanks,
    Robin

  3. November 24th, 2012 at 02:49 | #3

    Rob,

    Your details about your whole house generator installation on your rant site is great! Since Hurricane Sandy, a lot of people (even here in Colorado) have been discussing backup power systems. I can tell you about mine in another post, but I want to comment about your whole house power monitoring system and measuring electrical usage to properly size your generator.

    Your Black & Decker device appears to be an exact duplicate of the Blue Line Industries “PowerCost Monitor” which I have. I noted that at certain times of year and certain times of the day (between 9am and noon) the sensor on the meter would stop sending for a while. My electric meter is on the east side of my house and I discovered that the morning sun would interfere with the meter sensor for my monitor. A simple sunshade solved the problem.

    I also purchased their “WiFi Bridge” which allows me to send my electric consumption information to sites that help detail and analyze my usage. I use “PlotWatt” as it is simple, has pretty charts, and meets my needs. A big advantage is the ability to see my peak, or surge, usage. By comparing that with my own power inventory, by adding up the running and startup currents required for everything I might use, I was able to properly determine the size of a generator that I require.

    I found that, without my cook-top or A/C, my typical running load is less than 1,500 watts (much less if I am really trying to conserve). My running load with the A/C is just over 6kW with a peak demand of 9.3kW (must have been running the electric dryer or cooking something in the kitchen at the same time), and a surge/startup that spiked at 11.2kW once.

    I’m not sure how to show images here, but I’ve posted chart for a “typical” day with A/C at , peak usage at , and a start surge at .

    Since I have a Briggs & Stratton generator rated at 8,000 running watts and 13,500 startup watts, I am good and ready for my next power outage.

    73, Scott, KB6CC

  4. November 24th, 2012 at 02:54 | #4

    Oops,

    I guess I can’t put a URL in brackets.

    The “typical” day with A/C is at http://kb6cc.net/images/BlueLine0.jpg
    peak usage at http://kb6cc.net/images/BlueLine1.jpg
    and a start surge at http://kb6cc.net/images/BlueLine2.jpg

    Scott

  1. September 8th, 2010 at 21:26 | #1