Gas usage totally wrong

Nice. No, actually it’s not nice at all! But it’s good I found out. What? That my gas usage sensor was not functioning properly anymore! What a bummer.

Looking at the gas usage charts of December of this year, I just couldn’t explain why it kept on getting lower and lower. Why… It took some days before I realized something was going wrong here. I started to doubt the amount of gas usage being reported. Only 0,05 m3 for a shower in the morning? That’s not what I recall; 0,20 m3 at least! Why is the gas usage more than 15 m3 on the 2nd of December , but less than 6 m3 on December 28th? That can’t be right. Something’s definitely wrong here.

So I wrote down the counter values of my RFXMeter and the ‘official’ gas meter and compared those two – totally wrong! 1.6 m3 vs. 2.5 m3 ??? Oh no…

Yesterday I sat down in front of the gas meter and watched the LED on the RFXMeter that blinks every 10 dm3 (L). It did blink, but not enough! I don’t know what has happened, but somehow the combination of RFXMeter/RFXPulse/CNY70 wasn’t accurate anymore.

Fixing this was not that hard.  2 potentiometers allow you to adjust trigger level as well as the brightness of the CNY70 IR beam, so after 30 minutes everything looked OK again. After writing down both gas usage values again and comparing them after 24 hours, confirmed the sensor was back on track…

So now I can start all over again; all the data of December is useless; I’ll have to wait at least a week before I can have a look and try to find patterns…

Plugging into a ‘smart meter’ would solve these kind of problems I guess, but having those in your house will likely create new problems…

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2 Responses to Gas usage totally wrong

  1. Paweł says:

    Have you considered lesser daylight as days becoming shorter ? I just realized the voltage output from transisotr of CNY70 depends on external light too.

    • You mean that external daylight influences the readings I get? I think that’s highly unlikely, since the gas meter is located in a dark closet of which the door hardly ever opens; maybe 10 times a year. And there’s nothing else in there that produces light…

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