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I can't prove it, but I know it !!!

notcrazynotcrazy Registered User new member
edited September 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I need help. Know my neighbor is stealing my electric, but I can’t seem to prove it.
I have had two electricians come to my house they did not look really hard as far as I am concerned but they told from what they see they can’t find the wire she could be using to steal my electric . The one electrician seems to think they are taking it through an outlet where our walls connect, but he can’t figure out which outlet it is due to my bedroom, living room dining room , and bath room sharing one 15 amp on the circuit breaker .
One day I went in my basement to check my circuit breaker because I lost power to my television, when I tried switching the circuit breaker back on for that room it would not stay, so I turned the main breaker and her washing machine went off. Then I heard noise coming from the wall that we share, as if someone or something was digging in the walls and when I turned the main breaker back on her washing machine turned back on I could hear the water run through the pipes, and washing machine start back up.
Every time she leaves she will unhook it, and every time she knows someone is coming she will unhook it. I am a full time student and single mother. I spend a lot of time away from home in school and when home I am with my daughter or doing my homework, I don’t use a lot of electricity because of limited funds. I alone support me and my daughter. I noticed a huge spike in my bill staring in July. Yes my house is winterized w/energy efficient appliances and definitely not big or large enough for my bill to be so high. This will be my second summer there so I also compared my bill from last year, there is a huge difference. I recently received my August bill as I was reading my August I noticed it was even more I logged onto my power company website to read it through my smart meter usage . I noticed the spike in the bill was occurring during 10pm-9am. While I’m sleeping. Shouldn’t my usage be and more consistent during these hours when everything is off and my daughter and I are sleep. Lower during this time? Has anyone ever heard of this? Can someone please !!! HELP. Since they know that it can't be found from the outside of their house, since they know someonr will have to go into the wall to find what's going on they will not even turn it off at this point so my breaker keeps tripping.


notcrazy on

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    iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    Do you rent or own?

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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    It sounds like you're in a house that's been cut up into multiple units? The wiring in situations like that is frequently pants-on-head, because it wasn't laid out with dual occupancy in mind.

    In any case your first call should be your landlord, and to the power company if that isn't an option. Don't accuse your neighbor of left, just explain the usage pattern you have observed and ask them to help you figure it out.

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    SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    notcrazy wrote: »
    I need help. Know my neighbor is stealing my electric, but I can’t seem to prove it.

    Your neighbor might not even know that one of their outlets are pulling on your bill.

    Eat it is right, a house that has been converted into multiple units usually has, at best, a complicated wiring and plumbing situation. Call your landlord.

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    iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    notcrazy wrote: »
    I need help. Know my neighbor is stealing my electric, but I can’t seem to prove it.

    Your neighbor might not even know that one of their outlets are pulling on your bill.

    Eat it is right, a house that has been converted into multiple units usually has, at best, a complicated wiring and plumbing situation. Call your landlord.

    This is assuming that it is a house that has been converted into multiple units. I've see purpose built duplexes (read constructed from the ground up to be two separate units) that wiring from the other unit was accessible with a little bit of work.

    That being said I'm guessing your correct in that its pants on head bad wiring but until you know otherwise your just taking a shot in the dark.

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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    notcrazy wrote: »
    I need help. Know my neighbor is stealing my electric, but I can’t seem to prove it.

    Your neighbor might not even know that one of their outlets are pulling on your bill.

    This is exactly what happens in my house. It's a house that was turned into a duplex... then a triplex. My neighbor's electricity and water connection mingle with mine, however I'm lucky in that my land lord doesn't charge us for water or electric consumption. As SmokeStacks said, your neighbor might not even know it!

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    SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Maybe ask the neighbor if they've noticed anything odd in their electric bill over the past couple of months.

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    honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
    It just seems to me like your neighbor would require a fairly advanced knowledge of electrical systems to pull this off. Which seems like it might be an issue in any kind of court proceedings. It's much easier to prove you know nothing about a subject than to prove you have the knowledge to pull off something like that. Also, they may just not be aware that anything is up and like anyone would do, just not be saying anything to the power company about their low bills.

    I didn't even know what the fuck and avitar was until about 5 minutes ago.
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    Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    If the breaker for this is in your basement and your neighbor was fiddling with the live wires all the time to avoid detection they would probably be dead by now. First thing any sane person does before electrical work is kill the current in that section.

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    Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    This is illegal and you should be dealing with the electric company, letting them know. They will investigate, keep a logbook of what your doing in the home/when/how often. They should be able to deduce from that how high your bills should be.

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    supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    Flip off all the breakers when she’s home at night. Have someone else watching for lights and TVs shutting down.

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    phoophoo Registered User regular
    Actually, have someone else videotaping.

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    illigillig Registered User regular
    Just a thought, but electric usage usually spikes in July/August due to AC.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I find that the best approach is talking to your neighbor. Go over and talk to them about the situation. Ask if they'd be willing to test to figure out where it is.

    Then, test and figure out where it is. Call landlord and electric company first.

    Your neighbor isn't doing this intentionally. That's crazy, especially without access to the breakers.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    I would call the electric company and talk to them about it, and then talk to your neighbor. Maybe not come out right away saying "I know you're stealing my electricity so you have to stop it right now!" or anything, but just ask if she's noticed anything weird happening with her electricity or her electric bill. Don't let her brush you off, and make sure to explain a little bit of whats happening to you with your bill being high at night, ask her if she's noticing the same stuff.

    Best case scenario she didn't know and you get it resolved. Worst case scenario she starts getting paranoid and maybe cuts back a little bit.

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    DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    While it's silly to jump to the conclusion that your neighbor is necessarily intentionally stealing off your meter, it's also silly to assume they aren't doing it intentionally. Talking to them about it and being all sunshine and happiness could just as easily give them the chance to cover their tracks if they are doing it intentionally.

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    allyatxallyatx Registered User new member
    No way don't talk to your neighbor. You said she unplugs her washer and dryer, this to me says two things one she knows what she is doing and two she may be trying to be energy efficient. Just leaving a dryer plugged in sucks a lot of power.

    Do not talk to your neighbor if you're wrong there is no way to laugh your way out of that. Go through higher channels electric company and hire your own electrician. If you have a landlord tell them the whole story without accusation but just tell them about the sudden power surge and how when you flipped your breaker her washer and dryer came back on.

    Bills do typically do go up in summer and winter so make sure you don't have your AC and heater running all day when you're not home. 78 in summer and 68 in winter and apparently small space heaters suck up a lot of power too, but I'm not sure about that it maybe the heater on in concert with the space heater.

    Also sane people may turn off power to steal electricity but an insane person might not. I have seen people do electrical work without flipping the breakers off its because they know what they're doing and maybe your neighbor knows someone just like that. Don't talk to her it could cause more problems, talk to the electricians, and power company. Surely they have a way to figure out if you are using the right amount of power.

    If you do have a home converted to duplexes talk to your landlord and tell them they need to hire someone to rewire if they don't then move. Good luck.

    I am going through what you are right now in summer I used 1600 watts of consumption and now in the winter I've been using 2300 and I like the cold, I don't think so. I'm going through official channels, my neighbor is weird and her son is a freak (and not in a good way) too.

This discussion has been closed.