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well_in_yard(MCT)—At long last, there is an answer to why a reader’s newly installed “smart meter” reported normal usage for one or two days, then surged for the next day or two — following no particular pattern.

Oddly enough, the answer came to me the week after I first published the reader’s inquiry, but until the investigation was completed, I didn’t know that it was correct.

“We have since found out that we had a leak in our well,” the reader writes.

“Who would have thought that the well pump running 24 hours a day could almost double our electric usage?”

Since the website is still not showing accurate usage, the reader is waiting for her next bill to see the difference, “but I’ve been told by a Peco representative that usage has gone from 45 to 48 kilowatt-hours per day to under 30 per day, and that’s with the air conditioner running.”

The correct answer, by the way, was submitted by Charles Ulmann of West Chester, Pa., who was my sophomore-year college roommate, and, obviously, still as sharp as a tack.

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