# Would plugging one of two prongs of a electrical plug on different outlets have any affect on your power bill?

Here is an example : one prong of a electrical plug is plugged into an outlet in an apartment, while the other prong is plugged into an different apartment's outlet , in doing so, would there be any significant reading off both apartment's power bill/meter?

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NachoMahma8 years ago
. No. It's still going through the meters. Intuition tells me that you would BOTH be billed for the same electricity, but I'm too foggy to think it out. . If you decide to try it, measure the voltage first. It's not likely if your apartments are next door, but there could be enough difference in potential to do harm.
zeuszaku (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
To be honest, a friend mentioned this to me, about how he managed to "cheat" his power bill by sharing a connection with his neighbor. I'm not really familiar when it comes to power meters, but just wanted a second opinion if anyone here has experiences with dealing with outlets and whatnot thou this might go against going green :D
8 years ago
. I just got off the phone with an Electrical Engineer and, after he finished laughing, he said that the meter supplying the hot will be charged for the electricity and the meter supplying the neutral won't see anything. According to him, meters only use the neutral as a voltage reference and the current through the hot side is what you are billed for.
zeuszaku (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
so basically, it is possible? so but connecting each prong to neutrals.. Free power?
8 years ago
. As L points out, using two neutrals (or two hots) won't work. You have to have a difference of potential and the two neutrals (or hots) are at the same potential (or should be if things are wired properly). . The current through the neutral is the same as the current through the hot, so there is really no need for the power company to measure it. . Ppl have been trying to defraud power meters since they were invented. So far, no one has found a way to do it and not get arrested. You can do some tweaking by adjusting the power factor, but that involves some rather complicated circuitry to track the varying load of a house and the gains are minimal.
zeuszaku (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
So I'm guessing my friend wasn't really measuring how much he was actually saving thru his method.. To be honest, he did mentioned that the power company did something so that this wouldn't work thou, did I mention we have a 220 power standard?
8 years ago
. It's not really anything the power company is doing, that's just the way electricity works. . The voltage is not important. Since your voltage is twice normal (heehee), you will only pull half the amps when using the same amount of power. It all evens out, so to speak.
8 years ago
No, Nacho is saying one of the residences will be billed. Connecting both to neutral is as effective as wiring the two prons to each other and not bothering with the outlet(s)

L
frollard8 years ago
Putting the different prongs of a circuit recepticle on different breakers, let alone different breakers in different apartments violates electrical code. The circuit breaker may not function if it does not 'see' the short circuit between 'hot and neutral or ground' One wire is 'hot' (black) and runs at +/- 120V (in north america). The white wire runs at 0V, neutral. The green or copper wire is ground. The metering is done on the hot wire, so whichever circuit has the black wire coming from it would pay the bill. Again, likely a bad idea to mix them.
mrgre998 years ago
Are you sure they meant "share". I know someone that actually went through the adjoining wall and connected there flat to the next door neighbours ring main. highly suspect but effective. and immoral and illigal.
jtobako8 years ago
Most likely one apartment (the one with the black wire) would be charged the whole amount. Electricity is a flow thing-it comes in (black wire) and goes out (white wire). If you try to short-circuit to ground, the path gets longer, but it still has to go threw the meter. You could argue that AC has to flow both ways, but I would respond with Australia's single wire, earth return system. Yes, you can get a spark from the white wire, but that would be from other items in parallel (like the rest of the grid).