4 wire electrical panel please help

Hello,

I am a new user. I was really excited by the product so I bought it before checking compatibility issues. Sadly. my panel has connector wires between the service side and my side of the panel.

I called PG&E here in NorCal and they said I was NOT allowed to connect ANYTHING to the service side of the panel, so the idea of connecting the leads to the REAL two wires on the service side will not be an option. AHH!!! Here are images of my panel.

As you can see from the panel it has two 220 that seem to split the mains into two parallel lines. I have no idea why this is a good setup, and this is a new panel, that I paid to get put in, ten years ago, such is life.

So, from what I understand there is really nothing I can do here? BAIL? TIA!

I also, bought the solar connectors to get an idea of what my 15-year-old solar panels were putting out. My SunnyBoy is so darn old that I cannot even read the LCD that shows the KWH and KW for the day.

Again many thanks in advance

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Can you wire one CT around the #1 AND #3 lines from the big breaker and the other CT around #2 and #4? That should have the same effect. You may more room (read: better luck) if you trace those lines to where they first enter the panel and put the CTs there.

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Hello! Thanks for the reply! When you say “wire” can you tell me how that happens? Could I take 2 simple wires and attach alligator clips to the end of each and attach the clips to the 1/3 and 2/4? Anyone have basic wiring of how this is done. TIA

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Sorry, I was sloppy with word choice. My suggestion is to loop one Sense CT around the wires feeding into poles #1 and #3 of that 4-pole breaker and the other Sense CT around the wires feeding into poles #2 and #4. It looks like, from the wiring diagram, that #1 and #3 are effectively one leg of your service and #2 and #4 are the other leg, so this should work.

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Sadly, the 4 poles are VERY tight on the box and no, you cannot clamp them around 1/3 and 2/4. All I could get was the first and last AKA 1 and 4, 2/3 are too hard to get to, you cannot even put the CT around just 2 or 3. That is why I asked is there a way to use alligator clips because that would work fine

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There are a bunch of us on this board who have had their electrician open up the meter side of their PG&E box to do an Sense easy install. The main thing PG&E cares about are freeloaders tapping off the pre-meter mains. I’m still searching the forum, but one user actually had a PG&E tech come out to assist with the install, so their answer is not a uniform no. And quite honestly, it’s your house, as long as you are not stealing service, there’s little they can do.

That sounds great but PG&E said no, so are you recommending HUCA (Hang Up and Call Again)? I can try that. Otherwise, PG&E can shut me down if they swing by and see their lock broken no? This sounds less than worthwhile given the potential issues that PG&E can cause me

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It’s up to you. You can easily cut the seal wire, open the box, drill one connector hole between the box halves for the Sense measurement leads, then install the CTs, then replace the seal to look like it is closed and no one will be any the wiser. With smart meters, nobody sends out meter readers anymore, and there is zilch likelihood of PG&E detecting any difference. And quite honestly, since PG&E is a regulated monopoly, and already on the rocks with the state over their multiple bad behaviors, I don’t think they are incentivized to cut off power to users over petty issues that are likely to be legally adjudicated in the users’ favor.

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I’m in Pennsylvania and not California but here in the suburbs of Philly I cut the lock/tag to my meter when I replaced my meter box and breaker box ( inside the house) and replace my siding. I just clipped it back so it looks like it was connected and that was 2 years ago and I haven’t heard anything. I always find it strange when I see those breaker boxes on the outside of the house… Don’t quote me on this but I doubt they would do anything. They probably wouldn’t even notice when they changed the meter

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I called back again and they did not go crazy and they created an appointment for me. Of course, when the human appears - he/she may not be willing to let me apply the CT to the main service lines, but time will tel. Thanks

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Here’s the PG&E Sense user that had the technician actually help install:

Probably worth it for you to read the entire topic.

I read it through and yeah I called the same number. Again, it will be the luck of the draw on what kind of service person shows up. One who wishes to be helpful or to be akin to the one who first took my call. Many thanks

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Good luck - let us know how it goes.

OK so the PGE man came today and he allowed me to put the two white CTs on and now we should see it all. Honestly, I think it sees the same data. I think it was the same data, and the parallel was just that, but hey what do I know. Now, we are getting the data from the ONLY two poles on that side of the box so we should be good.

Finally, I have solar. So when I see 146w on the left side (my solar data) of my phone app and 85w on the right side of my phone app. What does that mean? I am a bit confused as the PG&E is close to what the plug says but it is off by 10 watts or so. TIA!

Also, the inverter says 160W while the app says we are producing 172 or so watts, which could explain the discrepancy - any ideas about that??

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Congrats on moving the CTs to a more uncluttered spaces and doing it in the good graces of PG&E ! I’m thinking you will appreciate knowing for sure that you are on seeing the full mains power.

If you are looking at the bubble view or the Power Meter view, the number on the left is solar production at that instant, and the number on the right is your Total Consumption (all the power flowing into the house to power things). The difference between the two is the net power, that will eventually roll up into your billing. Now that Sense has the new Solar tab/panel, I like looking at that since it give a nice overall visual summary over time as well as the instantaneous power flow.

My take on the inverter vs. Sense difference / and the PG&E vs. Sense difference.

  • You’re looking at relatively small production numbers right now. See if the % difference continues as your production goes up.
  • It’s also better comparing hourly energy data vs. the immediate or instantaneous power coming from the inverter or meter. Instantaneous Sense vs. meter readings can have different sample periods so you can conceivably have different results based on the same exact underlying data. If you want to get more involved in understanding this, you’ll have to read about AC power and the concept of RMS power.
  • If consistent discrepancies show up at the hourly, daily or monthly level, then you might want to talk with Sense support about reseting your unit, to recalibrate, since you have moved the CTs. One recommendation - PG&E allows you to download daily power information via the “Little Green Button”. That’s a good place to get comparison data.

Thanks yeah the PG&E guy was nice. The data seems a bit off still. It says on the solar tab that we are consuming 36 watts but really we are producing 36 watts to PG&E. I know this is small stuff. Does this issue have a fix??

I’m going to suggest that you compare the hourly data or at least wait until your power numbers get a little bigger. When I compared my PG&E smart meter to my Sense “from grid” reading a couple minuted ago, the smart meter said 6.94kW and Sense was showing 6910W. That’s a 30W difference, but not so big in the scope of things. If you continue to see bigger discrepancies as the power numbers get bigger, I would contact Sense support. When you move CTs around there’s always a chance you might need to re-run the setup process (especially if you flip the directions of one or both of the CTs)

I do not agree. The sense is saying that I am consuming 250 watts while the smart meter is saying I am producing that and sending it to the grid. The app says we are consuming 734 watts, 500 from the sun and 234 from the grid. The smart meter says the opposite! We are producing those 234 watts and sending them to the grid.

Worse it created a fictional Other that is consuming a crazy amount of energy because it has the whole thing backwards!

This sounds very wrong to a me!!!

Send a message to Sense support (support.sense.com). I suspect that when you moved your mains CTs, they got flipped relative to their last orientation, so solar now looks like an additional load rather than a source. The Sense setup signal check (usually ) automatically compensates for mismatches polarities / CT orientations but since you moved your CTs without rerunning setup, Sense is still operating with the old setup information. Again, suggest you check in with support.

OK Makes sense. I reset the data and I am waiting for more sunshine to setup the Solar, there are two large trees owned by our neighbors that cut sunlight out for an hour each day. Thanks!

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