487 of 500 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2008
I was amazed at some of the things I found around the house that draw power just sitting there doing nothing. This thing is easy to figure out and program in your cost per Kwh.
A couple of things I found by using this device:
-- the entertainment center costs me $11 a year to have just sit there in standby mode. This is a 32" LCD TV, surroundsound system, DVD player, Wii, and subwoofer all plugged into a Monster HTS 1000 MKIII PowerCenter with Clean Power Stage 2 (8 AC outlet, 2 coax, phone & network). If I watch a DVD or play the Wii, it costs me 40 cents a day, or about 3.33 cents an hour.
-- My gaming computer (Dual Core, 500 watt power supply and 19" LCD) cost me $99 a year to run 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. That includes the occasional laser printing and occasional 2.1 speaker usage. So I turn it off more often.
-- Cell phone charger: .86 cents a year, but when charging it costs me $1.73 a year.
-- New coffee pot costs me between 5-7 cents to brew a pot of coffee and let it sit for a couple hours.
-- Toaster at 350-degrees costs me about 11 cents an hour.
-- Dell laptop charger costs me about $1.70 a year to keep it plugged in. It's about a penny and hour to charge the laptop's battery.
-- NOAA handheld weather radio costs 86 cents a year to run 24/7
In the end, it seems like it is only really worth the trouble to unplug the entertainment center when not in use and turn off the computer more often. Sure, everything draws power, but we factored in the hassle of it versus the cost.
We have been unplugging stuff around the house when we are not using it, and began to wonder how much we are saving. This thing has helped out in deciding what's worth going through the hassle of unplugging each time, and the results are almost instantaneous. I highly recommend using this device to settle the score in the fight against wasted energy usage or even in helping decide which devices/appliances around your house aren't worth owning due to ridiculous power draws.
I'm still testing more items around the house, so check back later for updates.
343 of 359 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2007
I currently own two Kill-a-Watt P4460 meters. This usage meter has a memory hold over, so I can use these at circuits that are switched on and off. When the incoming electricity is shut off, the previous hours of use are kept in memory. When the electricity is turned back on, the meter will continue from where it left off. The older P4400 model does not have this hold over circuit. The P4460 is a great addition to the P4400 for studying home electical usage.
159 of 168 people found the following review helpful
I really like these power meters, but some of them are not very accurate. I have tried 3 P4460s and several of the cheaper models and found that one of the P4460s read 86 watts when it should have been 80. That's off by 7.5%* and is way out of spec according to the manual (which says it is suppose to have .5% to 2% accuracy). I am returning that unit (the replacement I bought reads 83 watts which is better). Some of the other units were off too, but not by as much. Otherwise this is a nice unit but could include an optional short power cable which makes it much easier to handle and use. I like the fact that this unit does not lose readings when power is lost.
476 of 518 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2007
I give it **** because it could use a few improvements.
NOT because it didn't perform as expected.
Bottom line - great device. Works exactly as advertised.
I would recommend it to anyone interested in getting a
handle on actual electricity consumption and costs.
Best feature: The ability to enter your own actual cost per KwH
as taken from your utility bill.
Worst Feature: No battery backup for reading the collected data once
unplugged from the wall outlet. You have to plug the unit
back into the wall outlet to read the collected data.
Suggestions to the manufacturer:
1. Add a battery so the display can be read when not plugged in.
2. Include a short 12-14 inch extension cord so that you don"t have
crane your neck when reading the device while plugged into the wall
outlet. Some outlets are only 12-24 inches off the floor.
3. Make it 110/220 capable for 220V appliances.
4. Add a memory feature with a USB port to download and plot the data
over time in a spreadsheet.
5. Keep the price the same :-)
96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2015
The unit worked fine when performing testing the power consumption of a device for a limited amount of time. However, I ran into a problem when was using the Kill A Watt to test or monitor the power used on a device for an extended period of time. The unit is rated at 1875 watts ( Max Current 15 Amp and Max Voltage if 125 VAC )
In my particular case the receptacle on the Kill A Watt began to melt and turn brown when attached to a device that draws about 1,311 watts (117 Volts at 11.5 Amps ) which is below the maximum ratings of the Kill O Watt.
115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2008
Please read this entire review. There is an eye-opening surprise to the use of the P4460.
My office has been experiencing frequent partial power outages. Although we have a couple of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) that are supposed to power the servers, telephone system, and a couple of administrative work stations in the case of power outages, we are finding that the battery back up supplies are simply shutting down without providing any power whatsoever to the hardware. We soon realized what was happening was that we had each UPS unit completely overloaded with too much equipment, so when the UPS battery was supposed to kick in, the UPS units would simply shut off completely, and we would lose all power.
Accordingly, I ordered the P4460 to take power readings of each piece of hardware so I could evenly distribute the power requirements over three different UPS units, thereby not resulting in overloading any one UPS.
Although each piece of equipment had a power consumption rating on its label, what I discovered with the P4460 completely shocked me. When each piece of equipment is powered up, there is a VERY sharp spike in power consumption, and the hardware's use of electricity reduces when the unit is up and running. For example, the phone system's video monitor power use was rated at 6 Volt Amps (VA), but when it powered up, it spiked to 85 VA. Likewise with Amps. Idle power was rated at 3 Amps, but spiked all the way to 68 Amps on startup. I found this to be the case with every piece of equipment. One server's idle power rating was 0.97 Amps and 90 VA, but on startup it jacked up to 1.92 Amps and 247 VA.
If I had only used each piece of equipment's listed power consumption on its label, I never would have known about the power spikes on startup, which, when combined, will absolutely overload a UPS, even though the combined idle power consumption falls within the UPS battery backup tolerances.
The P4460 is a terrific little unit and can even be used for extended periods of time for accurate power readings on equipment that cycles on and off, such as refrigerator compressors.
It's a bit more expensive than its smaller cousin, but worth every penny. Provides several types of readings and comes with very detailed instructions on how to use it so even a complete novice who knows nothing of electricity can benefit from its use.
I give this little unit a solid 5 stars.
421 of 471 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2008
I have owned the original Kill a Watt for several years and find it to be a wonderful device with a few exceptions, however, the new updated unit is terrible.
The first and most important problem is that the display is not viewable unless you get down on the floor and use a flashlight. LCD displays have angles for best viewing and this one as most others are usually below the horizon of the display - so best contrast and readability occurs if you are looking up at the display from beneath it. In addition the mask for the display cuts off the top and prevents readings from any normal position.
Secondly the enunciators (labels that tell you if it is volts or amps) are tiny - so you not only need to get down on the floor with a flashlight but you need reading glasses as well to know which parameter the numerals represent.
I am fully cognisant of the fact that there is a memory and you can pull the item out of it's receptacle for a more convenient and better lit area. But where do you find one of those - no one places recepticles over head or at eye level that I know of - they are all about 1 foot off the floor. In addition the instantaneous reading of current (= not the electrical term) watts, or current volts, or amps is not memorized and pulling the device out of its working recepticle obliterates any instantaneous factor readings taken when you were measuring the device.
There are certainly many better ways to do the display - for instance locating the display on the top of the unit facing up. In addition a backlight could be added. And the parameters could be larger and clearer. In that way all you would have to do is bend down to find out your information.
I also find the menu system and toggling a big nuisance. The older unit was much easier to use. Each button had its own function. The readings were clear and straight forward - what you pushed was what you got. Now the menu and toggling system is obtuse, and time consuming. In addition in my unit the press switches did not work correctly - with sometimes nothing happening and other times it would jump three pushes with just one touch.
A last criticism is that the display should stay on when the unit is out of the wall. A small watch battery should be able to provide years of a nice contrasty display.
To sum thing up - I am very dissatisfied with its viewability and readability. It is very inconvenient to use. I am also dissastified with the logistics of the menu system - as it is haphazard and very poorly thought out. And I am dissastisfied with the control buttons which are intermittent and jumpy.
I will be returning my unit.
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2008
I actually bought 2 of these, one was a gift. It works exactly as advertised so that is a plus right off the bat. I bought the EZ model which will make the Kilowatt hour/cost calculation for you; the less expensive model gives you the watt usage only and you have to do the math. For the EZ model you just put in the price per Kwh from your electric bill and it figures out the rest. I would recommend getting (2) 3-pronged extension cords, one to go from the plug on the back of the Kilowatt EZ into the wall socket and one to go from the appliance cord your testing into the front of the Kilowatt. This will eliminate having to get down onto the floor to read the thing. For instance my refrigerator plug is on the floor behind the fridge, not too convenient. If I didn't have an extension cord I would have to move the fridge all the way out and use a flashlight to read the screen. But once you overcome this rather obvious design limitation the product is a lot of fun to use. I was always concerned at how much my Christmas lights must be costing me so I tested it out. My big tree which has something like 700 lights costs $0.03/hr. Less than I expected. My outdoor lights cost about $0.10/hr. Not too bad either. My (2) tivo's use as much juice as my refrigerator which was a bit of a mind blower. Using this thing has made me more energy aware and I find myself shutting off things that aren't being used. I put power strips on certain "phantom" devices that suck power even when off like my TV and Stereo and DVD player. Get one, you'll see for yourself.
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2008
I have been able to trim my average $224 monthly utility bill to about $125 per month by converting to 100% CF light bulbs, even above bathroom vanities, and in overhead and outdoor spotlighting. I was very happy to see my bill drop by about $25-30 a month on an annual comparison basis. Next, we started unplugging and turning off fans and lights that were not being used and then turning the thermostat up a degree.
I added double layer window treatments as well to keep the heat out. Every improvement had paid for itself and sheer curiosity led to the P3 International Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor.
I plugged the power strip for my home entertainment center into this after plugging in my local utility rate, and then sat by with bated breathe waiting for the initial estimate. Nothing came through. I found out that this needed to run for at least a couple of days before it would come up with a number. Once I got a number I left it plugged in for a month and then checked again. Overall, I was very pleased. We have a 42" HDTV, HD-DVD player, xbox 360, stereo receiver with two speakers, Cable box, CD player, and a Squeezebox Duet system. Annually, the total cost is $54. I felt that was very reasonable, and it was nice to have a number. Next I plan to plug it into a lamp, and since all of our lamps are using the same bulb, I will be able to get a very good estimate of their annual (average) cost of operation as well.
If you're a big numbers person, or are looking to find ways to reduce your energy cost, this could lead you in the right direction, and it's a fun gadget to have.
Cons: screen is not too bright, and if you have it plugged in low behind things, it's hard to get to and read. Solution: buy a power strip liberator.
I think that the power companies should rent and/or loan these out to their customers (with a deposit of course). They're always trying to get people to use less energy, and this could be an affordable eye opener.
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
This power monitor is really great. I bought a few of them and gave the others as gifts. I think it's worth the extra money for this model to be able to enter your cost from your electric bill and have the unit read out the cost per hour, day, week, month or year! One review complained about it being hard to read when plugged into the wall. Just use it with a short extension cord if the outlet for your refrigerator is behind it. Make sure the extension cord is the proper gauge, 14 gauge for a 15 amp circuit. This thing is so easy to use, you may not even need to read the directions! When you have collected enough data to get the proper accuracy, you can unplug it from the product and plug it in somewhere else to read the data. It doesn't loose the data, just read it out right away so it doesn't count any no energy use time and average it in with your previously collected data. When you are done and reset the unit to start monitoring another product, it clears the data but leaves the cost per kilowatt hour that you entered from you utility bill.