How often do you balance your electrical panel?
Do you use 220 appliance to simplify this pain in the ass problem?
Note: electricity from our utilities are paid based on the draw of the highest leg used. If you have a 400 amp service. Half comes in on line A and half on line B.
If I use all of line A and none of line B. I pay for 400 amps. If I balance my panel I pay for 200 amps of usage and save 50% in the worst case.
@Growernick, @Farmer_Dan, thoughts?
I am no electrical engineer, but I would think that a 2 phase 400 amp service is providing 200 amps on Line 1 and 200 on Line 2. If you max out Line 1 at 200 amps (or start approaching it as you pass 80% load), you’re asking for an overload, but I don’t think you would be charged double. I could be wrong, but I haven’t heard that before. Perhaps this was an issue with analog meters? I have heard many people getting a cost savings from the new smart meters. I always assumed that was due to inefficiencies in mechanical analog metering when compared to the more direct measure of digital, maybe it compensates for unbalanced loads? I do think 1 volt * 1 amp = 1 watt and we are charged a rate based on 1000 watts per hour passing through the meter, whether it is reading line 1 only or line 2 only or balanced between 1 and 2, I think it should be the same number of watts.
I have read about unbalanced loads causing problems with overload as well as the operations of motors specifically, either making them run too hot or too cold, either way it shortens the life of a motor. I use a lot of motors in my greenhouses, clogging up the neutral with too many unbalanced amps is going to affect my motors. I do try to run as much as possible off 220/240, mostly to just lower my amp draw and allow for more equipment later, if needed, without upgrading the whole systems.