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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 03-29-2010
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measure amp usage

I need to rewire the boat, and it has been widely (and wisely) advised that the first place to start is to figure out my consumption pattern. Is there an easy way to do this by using the demised electrical box on the dock? take a reading on a friday at 5, sunday at five, divide result by two (i thought a two day sample would be more accurate). anyone know 1)if this makes sense and 2)how the heck do i read an electric meter?

thanks
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I need to rewire the boat, and it has been widely (and wisely) advised that the first place to start is to figure out my consumption pattern. Is there an easy way to do this by using the demised electrical box on the dock? take a reading on a friday at 5, sunday at five, divide result by two (i thought a two day sample would be more accurate). anyone know 1)if this makes sense and 2)how the heck do i read an electric meter?

thanks
QuickMick, are you just asking how you read the spinning dial or digital display on your electric meter ? If so you just read the number off of it, which is a total amount of kilowatt/hrs used, then you measure the amount of time you wait, then you read the number again and divide it by the time to see what your usage is per unit of time. Is that what you are trying to do ?

Obviously if you do that you need to be the only one using that box.

Wikipedia: Electricity meter
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spinning dials... you know the ones the meter man still has to read? and yes, my box is demised to my slip. yeah, thats what im trying to do.. ty
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spinning dials... you know the ones the meter man still has to read? and yes, my box is demised to my slip. yeah, thats what im trying to do.. ty
That link has a section titled "Reading your meter" that gives you some ideas about how to get a useful reading out of it. It says something about turning everything off and then turning things on one at a time to get the reading, etc, and has the math for getting watts.
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thanks much, but i didnt see a link in the post?
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thanks much, but i didnt see a link in the post?
Wikipedia: Electricity meter

Edit, the part you want is about one third of the way down in that page, it has the title "Reading electromechanical meters"
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Last edited by wind_magic; 03-29-2010 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Edit
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Old 03-29-2010
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The best explanation that I got was from Don Casey's The Complete Sailboat Maintenance Manual.

It uses very easy to understand pictures and metaphors for using the meter to figure something simple like this, to more complicated trouble shooting methods.
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Uhhh....I think we have a disconnect here (pun intended).

Don't know what amp measurement of shorepower really has to do with rewiring the boat.

I suspect that whoever made the suggestion to "figure out my consumption pattern" was talking mostly about 12V DC power, i.e., power drawn from the batteries. That is very much related to boat wiring.

Am I right?

Bill
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I hope he is no longer planing on using the shore power to find his consumption, but will use a proper multimeter to find each items real consumption.
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yes Bill, so am i incorrect in assuming that if i only use 'on the hook' systems i can use said meter to evaluate usage, either on a 'total look' basis or on an 'item specific basis'? w/batts fully charged i would think im only pulling juice on the individual systems im powering... esp. if all systems off, the meter doesnt spin... hence no false readings due to batt recharge?
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