Ghost Loads

Ghost Loads are the small electrical loads that are typically on all the time, but that are easily overlooked when planning your system. Typical examples include instant on circuits in TV's, answering machines, cordless phones, electrical or electronic clocks, or anything that uses a wall cube transformer.

These items should ideally be put on a switched circuit that can be turned completely off when the appliances are not being used. Battery powered clocks will save you $$ in the long run over AC types because of their high eficiency. Wall cubes typicaly waste 50-90% of the power they consume, and often use almost as much power when the apliance is turned off as when it is on. Rechargable tools or kitchen gadgets that charge continously while in their cradle should be charged only when nescecary and their holders should be unplugged when not in use.

Usually the easiest way to locate ghost loads is to watch the ammeter in your battery system, and start unplugging things until the culprit is located. (power consumption will drop when the offending device is deactivated) Another method is to turn everything in the house off at the breaker box, then turn each circuit on one by one. When the offending circuit rears its ugly head, your power consumption meter will jump up a bit. The individual device can then be located by unplugging items as mentioned above.

If not planned for or dealt with, ghost loads can make a mockery of even the most carefully executed system planning efforts, so don't let these wasteful little nasties ruin your day.

Common Appliances with Ghost Loads:

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