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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to provide this warning to anyone using a Kill-A-Watt meter with their 120V charger...don't do it!

I have been using my Kill-A-Watt for at least 4-5 months. It seemed to work fine with little excess heat, that is, until yesterday. I had been charging for about 4 or 5 hours yesterday and returned to find my KAW partially melted and my Voltec charger plug stuck in it. I tried my best to pry the plug out from the meter, but one prong became unattached from the Voltec's plug. Even with pliers, I was unable to remove the prong from the meter (it must be melted to the meter's contacts).

The Voltec's plug (the newer black version) doesn't seem to show any heat stress and the back of the KAW meter (its male prongs) only show some slight heat marks, but nothing like the front in the picture below. That makes me think that it was an issue with the Kill-A-Watt meter, not the Voltec charger.

Anyway, all of you using similar meters, you've been warned. I think I see why the 2013's are defaulted to 8 amps.

Technology Electronics Electronic device Lock
 

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I agree, not for long term use. But why would you use it for any longer than a week to establish a cost to charge?
 

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I was going to use a Kill-A-Watt every time I charged to show the condo how little electricity I was using, if and when I get a parking spot with a plug nearby. Guess I won't be doing that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would think charging at 8 amps would be safer with one of these, but still, this freaked me out a bit. And I don't think this was a case of a loose connection between the voltec plug and the KAW's outlet. They engaged each other relatively securely/firmly. I am sure that the contact was good. Maybe there was a contact inside the KAW that corroded or something. I will take the KAW apart tonight to see if there are any clues about what went wrong.
 

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I used one without issue, but only for a week to double check the draw and cost. After that, no need.
 

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I was going to use a Kill-A-Watt every time I charged to show the condo how little electricity I was using, if and when I get a parking spot with a plug nearby. Guess I won't be doing that...
it will cost a couple hundred bucks but a TED can none intrusively tell you your consumption without being directly inline.
 

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The Kill-A-Watt is not up to the daily task of 12 amps for 10 hours every day. (Obviously.) It's OK for a quick check. But the quality of the outlet contacts and the current shunt inside will not hold up. (As you have proven.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What are the standards for something like this? It is rated for 15 amps, but what does that really mean? Is there some other rating that indicates the length of current draw it can handle?
 

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Are you going to contact Kill-A-Watt? I'm sure they'd be interested in knowing what happened to their device.
 

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If you take a look at the way this device built and works, you'll see that the power just passes through the device and there is no conversion of other treatment to the current. They use a tiny induction coil to figure out how much power is passing through the the device. What failed is the receptacle in the Kill-a-watt, and that could happen with any extension cord or wall receptacle.
There is also the possibility that the plug was not plugged in all the way or came out a tiny bit (trip on a cord) which causes a bad connection and a arcing that heats up the plug and melts the plastic.
 

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I suspect that the spring contacts in the outlet are simply not biting hard enough on the blades of the plug. This allowed enough resistance to heat up the contacts. As the contact heats up the spring looses even more bite force and the problem escalates into a full blown melt down.

I am sure this device can handle 15 amps for a while... Just not prolonged use every day.
 

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I killed mine. Certainly not for prolonged use at the Volt's charging current of ~12.6A, even though the Kill-A-Watt is rated at 15A. There is something that looks like a thermal fuse inside (in series with the shunt resistor) that seems to have blown. If I have time I'll poke in it and snap pictures.
 

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Do we know of (many) other instances of this happening? We've definitely heard of an occasional outlet overheating. Is this especially different? [Edit: nevermind. Previous poster just noted another instance.]

Do you have a regular Kill-A-Watt, or a Kill-A-Watt EZ? I have one of each, and the EZ definitely feels like it has a lower-quality build. It just doesn't feel as sturdy. ("Sturdy" being a scientific term, of course.) :p
 

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I know that when the battery is very low, and when you start to recharge, it will draw the 12 + amps. When the battery is fully charged, very little amps are being used. I wonder how long the 12 amps are going thru the Kill A Watt? Just a dumb question, since I'm no longer using the Kill A Watt. (I wanted to see if the link for voltstats.net was working :)
 

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Do you have a regular Kill-A-Watt, or a Kill-A-Watt EZ? I have one of each, and the EZ definitely feels like it has a lower-quality build. It just doesn't feel as sturdy. ("Sturdy" being a scientific term, of course.) :p
The one I killed is the EZ model with the cost calculator. I also have the original one which does "look and feel" a little better.

Nice car, BTW :)
 

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Ont the front Kill a watt P3


On the back
Model P4400.01
Max Volt 125VAC
Max Current 15A
Max Power 1875VA

If it is the EZ model Would there be a "EZ" someplace on the unit?
 

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I have gone through 2 P4460 Kill a watt devices and returned the second one back to home depot for a store credit. First one partially melted but I thought it might be due to the old charging cord. I picked up the new cord and the second unit lasted a couple of months. It just stopped working.Neither the outlet or device show any damage. I wouldn't buy one for use on a VOLT.

By the way I emailed the tech dept for Kill a watt before I bought it. They said it should work fine on a VOLT. It doesn't.



I just wanted to provide this warning to anyone using a Kill-A-Watt meter with their 120V charger...don't do it!

I have been using my Kill-A-Watt for at least 4-5 months. It seemed to work fine with little excess heat, that is, until yesterday. I had been charging for about 4 or 5 hours yesterday and returned to find my KAW partially melted and my Voltec charger plug stuck in it. I tried my best to pry the plug out from the meter, but one prong became unattached from the Voltec's plug. Even with pliers, I was unable to remove the prong from the meter (it must be melted to the meter's contacts).

The Voltec's plug (the newer black version) doesn't seem to show any heat stress and the back of the KAW meter (its male prongs) only show some slight heat marks, but nothing like the front in the picture below. That makes me think that it was an issue with the Kill-A-Watt meter, not the Voltec charger.

Anyway, all of you using similar meters, you've been warned. I think I see why the 2013's are defaulted to 8 amps.

View attachment 6851 View attachment 6852
 
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