Putting a potato on power meter to slow it down?

Someone at work swears that if you put a potato on top of your power meter, that over time it will cause the meter to run slower. She says that the potato will turn black as it absorbs some of the energy from the meter. Is she pullng my leg?

Your friend is sending you on a snipe hunt. The potato will turn black as it oxidizes so really its giving off energy nor absorbing it.

Just smile and nod if you want to maintain a cordial work atmosphere but the idea is pure baloney as Padeye said.

A rutabega, on the other hand…

Tell your cow-orker that the word ‘gullible’ does not appear in any English dictionary.

But. f you open the meter up, disconnect-remove the gauge-reinstall upside down, it will run backwards. At least they used tio when Ma was a meter reader and we were having financial difficulties (she would make all the corrections and then replace the seal before the meter reader came by for the month).

This is an extremely dangerous procedure, by the way. It’s also highly illegal for a variety of reasons. But it works better than putting a scalar spud in the proximity of a gauge.

You mean a 1920s style…Oh God, I can’t do it. Please forgive me.

So the elctric company would look at your readings and see you are producing power each month and not think it unusual?

… and they may issue you a rebate check for the power you produced and sent back to the grid.

Don’t be silly. They’d run it forward twenty days, backwards for about ten and then switch it over a few days before the reader came over. You’d cut the bill in half this way, not make the numbers slip backwards.

If you’re going to break the law, it pays to break it in an intelligent way.

Things may have been different at the time and location Inigo’s Ma did this, but try it in modern Brisbane and you’ll come under very close scrutiny. Bills that suddenly drop are flagged up to power theft investigators.

In the UK the power meters are all sealed . The meter reader would soon spot if they are being tampered with.

The dielectric constant of the potato is much greater than air. Placing the potato on top of the power meter creates excessive stray capacitance in the power meter’s signal conditioning circuitry, and creates a negative bias.

Well with enough potatoes and copper pennies you could run your lights from them then the meter wouldn’t run at all.

I’ve had a potatop on my power meter for years, and that potato hasn’t slowed down yet.

Potatos on the meter don’t work…a bag of rock salt on the other hand… :wink:

You knew it was illegal but you posted instructions on how to do it anyway? From the registration agreement

Inigo, if you value your posting privileges, you won’t do that again.

I’ll close this thread because the original question has been answered.

moderator GQ