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How does single-phase meter work?

Nov 11, 2017

At a previous property I had 3 phase installed for a tankless water heater.

Everything else in the apartment was on single phase, with the stove on 1 phase, plugs on another and lights on the 3rd.

The meter was a 3 phase prepaid meter.

When I switched on the kettle, the meter would run at rate A. If I switched on the stove, the rate would be B. Switching on both kettle and stove would make the meter run down at rate A + B.

In other words, it did not matter if one phase used more power than another. It simply measured each phase and added it all up.

So while it is preferable to be as close to balanced as possible, any imbalances do not appear to affect residential metering at all.

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