Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-27-2017, 05:39 AM   #1
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
Marina with free electric not really free

This latest cold winter, the owner had a high electric bill of $900 for the marina, which I think is low considering all the boats on his free power.

So he tests all the boats on the free power 120 vac plugs of which mine is one of them.
And he says my boat is using too much power, so I agreed to give him an extra $30 for the month.

He says I must be using heaters or something wrong with the boat as his plug in meter was reading up to 1300 watts etc... and he looks at the utility meter and it is spinning fast.

I think he is misinformed. I do not have any heaters running. I do have a 10 cuft frost free fridge and a charger-converter and they are the only thing always on.

So I looked up my fridge energy star rating and in a year uses 301kwh or average annual cost is $41
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdf...35a2a1a9e7.pdf

What I think is he unplugs the boat which turns off the fridge to insert the meter. When he plugs back in with the watt meter inline the fridge can't start since it has a built up head pressure which momentarily spikes his wattmeter. He also says my boat is weird and his meter jumps around a lot.

I can find nothing wrong at all and my own builtin digital meters do not show anything like huge amounts of power being used.

Actually this is making me wonder if I should switch marinas, since if he thinks my boat is sucking power, he won't change his mind and it might be a continual issue.

We did measure the base load with only the charger-converter with his meter at 300 watts which seems reasonable and 600 watts adding in the fridge.
__________________
Advertisement

sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 05:53 AM   #2
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
If you look at this 338kwh used in a year with 8760 hours in a year, the calculator yields 38 watts used.

kWh to watts (W) conversion calculator

So I wonder if his meter is working right. The fridge cant be using that much except if it was on the defrost cycle. Which happens once every 10 hours.
__________________

sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 05:55 AM   #3
Guru
 
HiDHo's Avatar
 
City: Scottsboro, Al.
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hi-D-Ho
Vessel Model: 1987 Krogen Manatee
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 956
Your correct start wattage will be probable 1300 plus if the auto defrost kicks in it could also explain his readings. Maybe a third party explaining to him about run, start and auto defrost on home style refrigeraters ?
HiDHo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 06:17 AM   #4
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,554
Get a Kill-a-Watt which is a plug in true watt-hour meter which integrates amperage vs time just like your home power meter. Plug it in and let it run for a day, two or a month and see how much power you are really drawing.

They are about $20 on Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elec...ds=kill+a+watt

David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 06:24 AM   #5
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
Yeah, he is not totally unreasonable.
I have even wondered if I should click off his shore power and just run the converter-charger to charge the batteries, then turning on my DC to AC inverter to run the boat and fridge.

That would isolate his meter from seeing power spike usage like if the fridge starts up or is in defrost mode. Of course that might use a little more power but he won't be noticing it so easily?

I have 3 DC banks for the charger made up of gen, start, house batteries. If I did that, I was thinking to split the bilge pump circuits to run off say the start battery bank cause right now they run of the house bank.

The disadvantage is if marina AC power fails, the inverter would drain down the house batteries shortening their lifespan. The advantage is if food is in fridge it might stay on long enough not to rot before power is restored.

I turned off fridge breaker since in winter I don't need a fridge now.
I discovered the defrost timer circuit runs independent of the temp-off knob inside the fridge, so you cant just turn it off, it will still run through defrost cycles.
When defrosting, the fridge draws 3.7amps according to my digital meter and did so with interior fridge know set to 'off'.


The marina power has been reliably on as long as I have been there.
sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 07:20 AM   #6
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,651
X3 on the Kill-A-Watt.
Then repeat the unplug/plug test.
Could be the charger starting in Bulk mode after powerup.
Water heater on board?
__________________
Archie
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Currently in Hudson River
High Wire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 07:32 AM   #7
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,138
If you unplug the battery charger and then plug it back in, a 3 stage charger will cycle through the different stages before settling back on float. The spike in power consumption may just have been that. What are you paying for slip rent? $30 per month for unmetered electric doesn't sound to bad.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 07:47 AM   #8
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,385
Nothing at a marina is really "free". It's all covered in what you pay. Some marinas have a low rate and then charge for extras like electricity, cable TV, parking, etc. while others charge a higher rate with all the extras included. Some go so far as to charge a "facilities fee" on top of dockage and electricity.

I would not be happy with a marina manager unplugging my power cord to insert a meter because it's possible that the startup surge could trip breakers on my boat and I might not have refrigeration or some other important appliance.

If he comes by when I'm there to take a measurement, that's different. I would let him measure the current and I would observe the results as he does.

Tools in the hands of people who don't understand them are a potential problem. I suspect he is misinterpreting what he is seeing because there can very well be a surge when power is interrupted and then restored.

I would try to arrange to meet him and measure the current again with both of you present. Let him on your boat to see that there are no heaters. Let the current stabilize before taking measurements. Remember that both the refrigerator and the battery charger switch themselves on and off as needed so the current is not constant.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 08:06 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
I keep the water heater off all the time as I don't use it, and I told him it was drained for the winter.

My slip fee is $150 a month.

He says my boat is weird the watts jump around, after he plugs in his meter, but he ought to know that and everyone else ought to know, surges are to be expected when plugging in. Plus yeah chargers cycle up and down, watts used is going to vary. He got the 'big' power bill so he investigates and zeroed in on my boat he says as the problem.

Other people he said did plug in block heaters on the shared power line in the past, which he stopped them from doing, he says the problem is my boat not him, so then I need to make adjustments to make him happy. I cut the fridge off, so will see if that does it for him.

I have had this fridge running since last summer, and there has not been a utility bill problem till now. Do you think a self defrosting fridge would use more power in a very cold unheated boat? Like the fridge keeping on the defrost element trying to heat the ice on the coil a much longer time?
Or is it just a pure timer not considering any temperatures.
sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 08:14 AM   #10
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post

I have had this fridge running since last summer, and there has not been a utility bill problem till now. Do you think a self defrosting fridge would use more power in a very cold unheated boat? Like the fridge keeping on the defrost element trying to heat the ice on the coil a much longer time?
Or is it just a pure timer not considering any temperatures.
I don't know about the defroster but if you're not using the refrigerator, turn it off at the circuit breaker and the defrost cycle will not run.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 08:18 AM   #11
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I don't know about the defroster but if you're not using the refrigerator, turn it off at the circuit breaker and the defrost cycle will not run.
Yes, I did that. Fridge is new last summer. So it may have newer type defrost circuit, I just don't know. I know old fridges simply used a mechanical timer that heated the defrost element for a set period of time. In a cold space, you would think a fridge would hardly run at all.
sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 08:36 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
bilge53's Avatar
 
City: Oriental, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Major Award
Vessel Model: Senator 35 w/single Lehman
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 423
What do other boats look like when tested?
__________________
It is not who is right...it is who is left.
bilge53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 08:47 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
ddalme's Avatar
 
City: LAFAYETTE,LA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Relenti
Vessel Model: Atlantic 30, 1983
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 446
Wrong post
ddalme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 09:02 AM   #14
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,138
Unfortunately, the way power is setup and tracked in your marina, there is no incentive to conserve. If slips are metered for power consumption, those that use more pay more. Frankly, $150 per month is very reasonable and I would expect to pay $30 per month for power in an unmetered slip. Unless he spends the money to install power meters for every slip, I don't see the situation changing. Do you have a lease that specifies dockage and the potential for surcharging electric?

If I were in your situation, I might not be as frugal in my power consumption if I were being forced to pay the $30 per month.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 10:24 AM   #15
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilge53 View Post
What do other boats look like when tested?
I don't know, he tells me they are not using any significant power compared to my boat?
Hard to imagine that. Most people you think to have the same minimums like a charger and fridge.
My charger is also a converter, but its duty rating is 30 amps max I think.
On this power line are about 6 boats.
sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 10:30 AM   #16
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Unfortunately, the way power is setup and tracked in your marina, there is no incentive to conserve. If slips are metered for power consumption, those that use more pay more. Frankly, $150 per month is very reasonable and I would expect to pay $30 per month for power in an unmetered slip. Unless he spends the money to install power meters for every slip, I don't see the situation changing. Do you have a lease that specifies dockage and the potential for surcharging electric?

If I were in your situation, I might not be as frugal in my power consumption if I were being forced to pay the $30 per month.

Ted
I agree, I dont abuse the luxury of the free power, it is enough to run my AC.
A few months ago, he raised prices from 100$ to $150 for everyone as he said he could not keep the place going. No lease, just month to month. He wont spend money for individual meters, some people have done that, I imagine would be expensize to have a meter installed and a line dug.

Been looking around, our rates are from $110 to $200 in various local marinas, with most at about $150 a month.
Yacht Haven in Poquoson has caught my attention, an offer of 110 per month with same basic free electric and free water. And no personal property tax or fees same as Hampton where boat is now.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Yo...!4d-76.3759848

He told me winter is slow, I could pay for 6 month up to a year to get that rate. His normal rate is like $125 per month and $25 for electricity, so basically same price.

Our local fishing in the Back River has been awful last few years, maybe a move would be good. Just not mentally ready to move now will take some thought, I have been here for 10 years.. And who know how stable York Haven Marina's price is in the future. I always liked Poquoson more than Hampton.

Anyone know about the Poquoson river fishing?

Thomas Marina is $130 and they have fixed their docks, free 30 amp power and free city water. Nice except York county has a personal property tax which when I was there was about $300 a year for the boat. They are real pleasant people running the place, was there 10 years ago.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Th...!4d-76.4103521
sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 11:36 AM   #17
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,521
X99 on the Kill-A-Watt.

Then I'm also confused over your apparent distress. Is it over what he's saying or is it over the charge? Surely you wouldn't move from your preferred marina over $30 per month. Now, is his method a bit primitive perhaps? Yes. Still, it's a lot less costly to him and to you than individual metering would be.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 11:43 AM   #18
Guru
 
Xsbank's Avatar
 
City: Pender Harbour, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Gwaii Haanas
Vessel Model: Vancouver Shipyards Custom Aluminum 52
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 3,165
$150/ month is a bargain compared to the west coast. $8.25/foot/month at my place, included power, but 30 amp max which is about 2500 watts useful. In Vancouver marinas I have heard of up to $24/foot which is long past the point at which I would have pulled the plug.
__________________
Don't believe everything that you think.
What are we offended about today?
Xsbank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 11:45 AM   #19
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
X99 on the Kill-A-Watt.

Then I'm also confused over your apparent distress. Is it over what he's saying or is it over the charge? Surely you wouldn't move from your preferred marina over $30 per month. Now, is his method a bit primitive perhaps? Yes. Still, it's a lot less costly to him and to you than individual metering would be.
Yes it is less costly, but also over what he is saying as I know the boat is not got any issues, everything is fine, but I worry that this is going to be continuing issue and do want to use my fridge. I don't like paying for what could have been some one else's power use. I mean once this is in the mind it just stays there, your kinda judged as the guilty offender.

I don't really mind moving my boat which is an adventure in itself.
Even for $30 a month I can be convinced to like another marina in a different river.
Plus it shaves my drive time from 45 minutes to 25 minutes from home to boat.

Keeping the personal property tax at zero in Poquoson just makes it more attractive than going back to York county. I just found out today about that and I like it.

Hampton has zero tax, BUT they last year added a $75 fee, shocked me. I paid the fee, then they cut me a check for $75 a few weeks later. Crazy with no explanation, but I did read originally maybe expecting over a million $$ get rich quick for the city scheme, but then dropped that to $400000 from the new fee, but only got $200,000, so that did not work as they thought. Fewer boats were actually registered in the city of Hampton than what they showed on their books. So there is that added uncertainty as to what they are trying to do.

http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-nw...309-story.html
sdowney717 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2017, 03:53 PM   #20
Guru
 
City: ??
Country: ??
Vessel Name: ??
Vessel Model: ??
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,389
The watt meter OR watt hour meter should not be used as an instantaneous readout. That is the wrong way to use it for exactly the reasons described. High inrush currents will occur at startup/restart with many pieces of equipment but those loads will drop off after a few minutes.

My marina checks some of us also but they use a WATT HOUR METER, which essentially does what the electrical meter with the spinning dial does. NOT just a WATT meter which is an instantaneous only meter.

There can be highs and lows. The WHR meter will record the energy used including those high and lows in watt hours which is how he pays and how you should pay. Many marinas, including mine, simply levy a monthly charge but that should be based on the WATT HOURS or Kilowatt hours.

THe correct use of a WHM is to plug it in and then leave it for a few days, not use it as the marina owner appears to have been doing. Record the starting reading, let it run a few days, then record the finish reading. SOme of these units are resettable so you would start at O and then record so only the finish reading is needed.

Our marinas do charge for power on top of the dockage but the power is as described, a monthly levy which is averaged for the 12Mo.
__________________

C lectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012