Able to watch a contractor by their power signature


I’m having some work done in my basement, including breaking up part of the concrete slab to run new plumbing. When my contractor claimed they had been “at it for hours”, I popped open my sense app and looked for anything odd. There was a characteristic large-wattage draw that, interestingly, looked just like an electric jackhammer going up and down.

I told him: It looks like you started about 2:30 and ran the jackhammer about 4 times for roughly 5 minutes each. That doesn’t sound like “at it for hours” to me. The contractor asked. “What have you been doing, spying on me?” I said, “No, when it’s in your own home, it’s called ‘domestic surveillance’.”



20 minutes of jackhammering can destroy quite a bit of concrete. So was he goofing off on the job or was it legit?


The work was legit, with 15 minute breaks in between for shoveling out the broken bits and carting them up to the dumpster, but not a HUGE hole by any means:


Thanks for sharing @dgeist. Got a good chuckle out of this!


It reminds me of the time we similarly had concrete work done for new plumbing down about a 15 foot hallway. They were at it for 3 DAYS. It turns out the house was built by a concrete contractor and the slab was a foot thick in that area. You would think he was building a bomb shelter.