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How much electricity Can i use without drawing suspicion

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by couvan57, Jan 27, 2010.


    couvan57 Active Member

    Hey guys, I am starting a grow now, I have like 400-500 clones going. I am veg em alittle more and double the clone amount. Anywho, after running some numbers my initial estimate of 12 1000w hps systems soil grow etc just is going to yield what i want in the perpetual harvest. I want to go up to about 21- 24 1000w hps systems. That would put my bill at about 460 bucks a months. Do you think that would draw suspicion. I am trying not to get caught. But if i do penalties are that bad. My last house with three roomates, big screen tvs and such electric was about 300 - 325. If i pay my electric bill do you think, ill get hasseled. Most of the grow will be in the basement. I wont be having a tv or anything on ever, just maybe the light in the room im in on to read or something. Can i pull it off. WOuld it be wise to call electric company and tell them that I am switching to electric heat and ask them blah blah blah how much its gonna raise my bill and so on just curious. How to do it how to do it. Or am i gonna have to get a another grow house .err

    tom__420 Well-Known Member

    Pay your bill on time and it won't matter how much power you are using
    The more power you use the more money you give to the electric company, why would they want to mess that up
    You won't draw any suspicion unless you stop paying the bill on time
    Ghetto Grower likes this.

    YungMoolaBaby Well-Known Member

    If you have INSANE spikes in power usage, some companies will raise an eyebrow to you, but as long as you pay them every month you will be fine as wine. Just don't start off using 400 watts and then go to 10000 in a month. That's grounds for suspicion.

    cowboylogic Well-Known Member

    The electric company will not care as long as you pay your bill. But that sounds like a big grow op, you got your work cut out for you!
    Dirty Harry

    Dirty Harry Well-Known Member

    As stated, pay your bills and the electric company will be happy, and so will you. Don't even think of tampering with the meter to reduce your bill, unless you really like jail/prison.

    SeriousSmoker Well-Known Member

    okay ill help u out

    give me some more info about where ur at location wise

    so far it seems to me like u will FOR SURE raise suspicion. I had a 10 lighter and hydro was knocking at my door with a police officer behind them within 6 months. Then again i live in vancouver and a lot of municipalities here have the 48-hour hydro inspection if the bill amount is high and suspicious. I know other places dont have this and you can run up to twleve lights AS LONG AS YOU DONT USE ANYTHING ELSE IN YOUR HOUSE and you can be okay. The thing here is usually if you pay ur bills u will be fine, BUT - and its a big BUT, JUST ONE OTHER FACTOR IE NEIGHBORS SUSPICION or Surveilance catching something or whatever + a high hydro bill = warrant. Im not an advocate for stealing power either but if u say u want to run 24 1000watts u better figure something else out, theres no way you'll get away with that. Find a license and get medical IMO then u can run 100 lights :P

    YungMoolaBaby Well-Known Member

    I would invest in a huge greenhouse instead of thousands of thousands of dollars on indoor grow equipment that is hard to maintain and can raise suspicion.
    docter likes this.
    trichlone fiend

    trichlone fiend New Member

    ...dude, just pay your electric bill. DO NOT TRY TO STEAL YOUR ELECTRIC GUYS! This is probably the #1 way people get caught....just pay your bill on time. I don't think the electric company has any problem with bank'n off of your corp as much as yourself....LOL

    HondaVixen Member

    I completely disagree with everyone who says 'just pay your bill and nothing will happen.'

    I pay my bill every month on time, and we went from 3 1000w hps and 2 400w mh,(about $550) to 5 1000w hps (about $700) and within a month I had the electric company come, turn off my power for 1-2 minutes while they switched my meter box out to replace it with a new one. Then the same guy came out 3 times a week for 2 weeks to check the meter and make sure the same consumption was going on. (Electricity company told me all of this)

    When I called the electric company to see what was going on, why there was always someone comin by and why I hadnt received a notice or anything, they said that when my meter reached about 113 kw / day (I believe that was the number) it sent out a red flag to the company saying too much energy was being taken in, and to check the meter to see if something was wrong with it. I told the guy I had 4 other roommates and that at any given time someone was always home using something. He then informed me that for the energy we were using, it would have to be a family of 10, all of them never leaving the house, for that much energy to be used.

    I immediately went back to 3 1000w (fucked myself btw) and went 16/8 in my mother/veg room. I havent seen him since then, but then again I havent called, and I only saw him the one time when he turned my power off and I damn near had a heart attack right on the spot.

    So.... bullshit they dont care.... or.. I'd like to hear from someone whos running a REAL, FULL set up without extra juice coming in from an outside source, or rigging their box, and see what they have to say.
    Mr.Bob Saget

    Mr.Bob Saget Active Member

    I'm on the same page with this guy.

    24, 1000 watt lights, your going to be pulling 24 kilowatts per hour, that's crazy.

    Here is something I googled..

    ocasionally, you use a great deal of power, especially when the electric dryer and the oven are running while lights, the freezer, the refrigerator, the TV, and the computers are running simultaneously. At other times, you use very little power, as everything is turned off. Measurements show a house will occasionally use as much as 15 kilowatts for short intervals, but in a neighborhood of eight to 10 non-air-conditioned houses supplied by a transformer, the power demand will not exceed about 3.5 kilowatts per house.
    A substation handles the power for many distribution lines. The utility usually allocates about 2 kilowatts per household at this level.
    From the standpoint of the power station, the utility needs to produce less than about 1.5 kilowatts per household. In other words, the local system of the off-grid user has to be designed to handle 10 times as much power as the power station would allocate to a single house.

    IAm5toned Well-Known Member

    if your running more than 7000w continuous, you really need to have a seperate electrical service and meterbase.
    the reason being is that power companies pay for there power just like we do, and a sudden jump in cionsumption at a location that has used a lower amount over a period of time (like if you suddenly added a cpl 1000 watts) raises a red flag to the power company, because it looks like (to the power company) that there has been an equipment failure. power companies have been in business for almost a century now, and they have there residential consumption algorithims down to a fine science. they have a really good idea how much power per sq foot a building uses... so when they see a sudden jump, they think somethings wrong. id bet a paycheck the first time the power comapny came out, they were looking for signs of 'tracking' tracking is a visual evidence of electrical bleed off... they wanted to make sure you were actually using the power so they can bill you for it. they found no tracking, so in order to be safe, they switched out the meterbase. this is common protocol, its cheaper to change a meterbase than be sued for faulty equipment burning down your house. when you switched back to your old lighting, the jump in consumption went away, so they stopped looking for it.

    the power company has much better things to do than to chase down growers. mainly there worried about a)covering there own ass, b) maintaining there grid, and finally c) that no one is running illegal taps.
    one of the slickest things you can do is register a business at your address. businesses use machines that use alot more power than any household equipment.... register a business, they might not look so hard next time.... just a hint

    HondaVixen Member

    Exactly! You think your bill is only going to be $500 a month? Regardless of WHERE you live, you're dreaming if you think 24 1000ws are only going to cost you that much.

    400w = $19 / month
    600w= $30 / month
    1000w=$50 / month

    24 1000w x $50 / month = $1200 just in lights alone, not to mention fans, pumps, AC, etc etc etc. Good luck dude.

    blahblahblah123 Active Member

    What if you gave them a heads up first? .. hey im going to be setting up a bunch of my server's from work in a back bedroom.. it will pull about 5000 watts continuosly

    Why wouldn't they buy that?

    I'm cutting on my porsche in the garage with my plasma torch.. 3700 watts...

    My friends AC bill here in texas in a 3000 square foot house has hit $900 before..no grow.. can't see them freakin out just cus it gets real hot here -.-

    Johnnyorganic Well-Known Member

    12,000 watts is a big draw for the average residential account. And 21K-24K watts is unheard of unless you live in the Clampett Mansion.

    HondaVixen is right, the company will almost certainly come and inspect your meter and possibly replace it. But more importantly, they will want to know why such a huge draw is not on a commercial account in your area. Unless you live in Houston where zoning laws don't apply, the power company may alert the city that some sort of light industry is going on in an area zoned residential. Depending on city ordinance, the company may not have a choice.

    Something about this does not sound right, however.

    I can't explain why exactly, but I can't shake this fishy feeling about someone with six posts asking about such a large grow operation.

    We're mainly a bunch of hobby growers and medical patients here.

    I grow tomatoes. :-P
    skeletor421 and oilfield bud like this.

    golddog Well-Known Member

    24 * 1000 = 24000 /120 = 200 amps

    Most houses are wired for 100 amps. I blew my main panel and need to put in a 200 amp panel.

    Check and see the amperage is on your main panel. This my help you determine where to go next.

    But then again, I live in Kalifonrica, 10 tons of Air Conditioning, Pool & Spa and lot's of electrical gear, plus lights.

    When I put in the new Panel it had to be permitted and signed off by the electric company.

    My bill is around $450 a month, so the amount is just relative. I know they don't care how much electricity I use, because I had a reason to install the new panel.

    Peace - :joint::peace:

    HondaVixen Member

    Didnt think of it like that, just know what I was told about the power sending out a red flag... if its true or not.. well..
    Dirty Harry

    Dirty Harry Well-Known Member

    Ok, after reading and thinking about this, just paying the bills may not work if your stressing the power companies equipment. I agree if they think there is an equipment fault that could cause a hazard, they will come and check.
    I maintain a Laundromat that uses gas dryers. We were informed if we were to change to electric dryers, we would need the electric company to rewire the service drop as we would be pulling more power than the feed line and transformer can supply.

    My home always pulls a large amount of juice. We have central air, a hot tub, fish tanks, sump pump, heaters and heat lights in out buildings for ducks and pheasents...In fact if I turned off all that extra stuff, the electric company would probably check the meter thinking I jacked with it or something.

    Trying to sign up as a business may cause you zoning issues.

    indyman Active Member

    your best bet is to average the neighberhood and that will help. kilowatts are what u want to no about and i think your pushing ur luck if legal no worry's if not ur pushing it.if that big try commersh prop residental my bill in sd cali is 500 and i dont grow here house is 4/3 2400sqft and i have a pool so the pump pulls alot.just be careful bro!!!

    IAm5toned Well-Known Member

    you know, reading back, i just realized that 24 1000w lamps would pull 200 amps @ 120volts.... almost all houses built after 1998 have 200 amp panels in them.
    a 200 amp panel is not suitable for a 200 amp load with a continuous duty cycle. 200 amps running continuous calls for a service rating of 240 amps. since they dont make a 240 amp panel or breaker that i know of, he would be forced to use a 250 amp panel... which would have to be special ordered from a supply house. and of course the 250 amp panel would have to have a service rated for it. and the 250 amps would be for grow lights only... nevermind the rest of the shit in the house you would use, like the centeral heat-a/c water heaters, lights, laundry, kitchen, etc etc. so in reality he would need a 400 amp service, so that you would be able to grow and use other stuff in the house.

    im thinking that if one was to run a 24kw load for a continuous duty cycle through a 200 amp panel, something would burn... like your service entry conductors (wires in from the street) or meterbase, or in a worse case scenario, the main panel itself (inside your house... bad thing to happen)

    golddog Well-Known Member


    You are exactly right! I actually smoked my 100 amp panel (went half phase, heat, arcing, scared the shit out of me) when I put my Pool & Spa in. Went over the threshold (80%) for too long. And I had permits for everything, all done professionally.

    Yea put in a 400 amp service or rent out a welding shop.

    A couple of weeks ago they busted a big grow in an industrial building, adjacent to the Police Substation. Yeah they had 20 or so 1000 watters.

    Actually I wish you the best of luck.

    Peace - :joint::peace:

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