9% found in 6 months - what do i do next?

I’ve had sense in my house for about 6 months now and my wife and I have gone from “wow, it found something new” to “is that all there is?”

So far Sense has identified 12 devices in our house but they only add up to about 9% of our power usage.
We have about 35% in the always on category (we have lots of computers/networking/etc) and 55% in the other category, waiting to be identified.

The 10/12 identified are all small runners: garbage disposal, a drill, garage door, iron, microwave, kitchen oven (more on that one later), toaster oven, gas hot water heater and a portable room space heater.

Not found, and now not likely to be found until next winter: (though they were on quite a bit for months)
De-humidifier in basement
Humidifier in living room
Humidifier in bedroom
Gas boiler/circulator for steam radiators
Gas boiler/circulator for hot water radiators

Two recently found devices are 2 out of 5 room air conditioners and I assume the other 3 will be found now that hot weather is here. The kitchen oven device picks up the oven and also something else not yet identified–yesterday when we finished cooking the oven device showed ON for two hours after we finished using it (I manually reported that the device was OFF, maybe that will help in the future).

So what is in the 55% OTHER that is not picked up that I would have expected to be caught?
Fridge (daily)
Dishwasher (few times a week)
Coffee grinder (daily)
Tesla Model X 120v charging (few times a week-in unattached garage)
Tesla Model X 240v charging (once every couple of months-not in a convenient location)
Vacuum cleaner (weekly)
Stereo amplifiers (tube monoblocks, 200W each)–few times a week
Lighting (mostly LED, indoor and outdoor)

So, is this typical? I hope not. I don’t mind the 35% always on as that is an unfortunate consequence of our connected lives in the 21st century. What I’d expect though is 9% OTHER and 55% of my power usage identified. Is that unrealistic?

A quick assessment based on my experiences

  • Fridge (daily) - depends on fridge type. If it is “inverter-based” probability of detection is low, otherwise reasonable.
  • Dishwasher (few times a week) - good chance of finding heating element, depends on controller type for motor.
    Coffee grinder (daily) - likely, unless your house is very noisy
    Tesla Model X 120v charging (few times a week-in unattached garage) - not likely until Sense builds special 120V Tesla detector.
  • Tesla Model X 240v charging (once every couple of months-not in a convenient location) - likely, given enough cycles. May not always be consistent.
  • Vacuum cleaner (weekly) - likely, as long as it runs on a wall outlet. Sense will probably have to detect on each leg of your house separately.
  • Stereo amplifiers (tube monoblocks, 200W each)–few times a week - unlikely
  • Lighting (mostly LED, indoor and outdoor) - possible, but depends on noise level of your house.


  • Check in with Sense support on the 240V Model X and make sure it is filled in on your home inventory.
  • There’s a Device Detection on Tesla Detection. Make sure to register your need there for 120V Tesla support.
  • Put HS110/HS300s on computers, stereo, dishwasher and fridge(if inverter type).
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by the way, i just turned on network identification, so we’ll see if some of my networked devices (there are a lot, many always on) live TV, printer, powernode2i.

which makes me wonder…if my tesla app tells me when i’m charging my model X (and when it is finished chargin), isn’t there something on the network that could pick this up?

re: suggestions:

  1. 240v tesla model X is in my home inventory, just very rarely used
  2. i had already added my +1 on that thread
  3. sorry, don’t want more wallwarts messing up my power at home. in a number of cases i’ve replaced wall warts with linear power supplies where they improve sound quality…yea, i’m one of those people :slight_smile:

a few general question regarding your response:
what is considered a ‘noisy’ house? what is a high noise level? how is that measured?
how do i know if my fridge is ‘inverter-based’?
re: vacuum cleaner and sense “will probably have to detect on each leg of your house separately”…is this not normally done? are you referring to the fact that it may change legs as it is used in different parts of the house?
the coffee grinder has been used daily, multiple times (3-5x) a day, for 5 months…but each usage is between 6-7seconds…lots and lots of cases but all very short as the grinder is making a single espresso dose each use.

i’m going to do some manual monitoring to see what specific power usages are for many of the missing/unfound devices as well as which leg they are on.

A few thoughts.

  • NDI (network identification) really only seems to work with for few smart TVs. There’s no definitive list, but have seen occasional posting about it working with some Samsung and LG models. I have 3 Sony smart TVs and once owned a Sharp, and none of them were detected using NDI. NDI looks for very basic network messages - there’s a Sense blog on it somewhere on blog.sense.com.

  • The charger inside your Tesla (and mine) definitely communicates charging activity back to the Tesla mothership, but sometimes it does it via your home network, and sometimes via the built-in cellular. But I’m pretty sure the messages fro your Tesla are encrypted as they pass through your home network and the internet, so there’s no way Sense can tap into that traffic. Sense could decide to connect to the Tesla mothership similar to how they do their Ecobee connection, using OAuth.

  • A noisy house, is one where Sense sees lots of continuous transitions that can mask the real on and off transitions. Devices like like plasma TVs and other can inject large spikes that can mask on/off signatures.

  • There’s no surefire way to tell if your house is noisy or not. One thing I would suggest is to look at the Power Meter in the iOS/Android app, zoom way in, and see how many tagged transitions Sense is picking up vs. the total number of transitions you see. The tagged transitions are the ones that either have a power level or a device name associated with them. They only show up after the Power Meter is running, and they represent the transitions that Sense takes a special interest in. See my tag examples below, none of them labeled with devices in this case. So Sense is seeing a stream of interesting transitions, but none of them pass the various tests Sense uses to unambiguously classify a device.

  • Different circuits/rooms in your hour are likely on the two different legs/phases. Depends on how your breaker box(es) are laid out. The vacuum on one leg looks different than the vacuum on the other leg, to Sense.

  • There’s a chance the coffee grinder might use an electronically controlled motor if it is part of an expresso machine. If that’s the case, it’s not likely it will be discovered. If it’s a straight-up simple AC motor, it should be visible to Sense, though it might get lost in the noise as well.

  • I have one HS110 wall wart dedicated to traveling around my house for looking at devices, to do the manual monitoring you are suggesting. The beauty of the wall wart HS110 vs. a kill-A-Watt, or the like, is that you get a long term waveform via Sense, rather than spot readings.

Contact support and ask about how noisy your home is.

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re: coffee grinder
it is not part of the espresso machine and will only be on for 6-7 seconds at a time.
however, it has been on over 900 times since i installed Sense.
is the time resolution of Sense’s measurements sufficient to pick up a 6-7 second burst?

re: Tesla
i’m going to investigate capturing the charging messages and coupling it to IFTTT, which is integrated into Sense. what i have not found is any clue/description regarding what IFTTT should do with that information to make it available to Sense. i do not want to control anything, just report that the charging has started/beeninterrupted/completed. what is Sense looking for IFTTT to do with that information?

as for NDI, it appears that it only looks at broadcast information. if i create a spoofed broadcast message on the network, what would it need to say in order for Sense to read the charging status message?

Sense is plenty fast to catch the grinder - It is specced at a peak 4M samples per sec, though I don’t know how that is divided between the up to 6 different values being measured (2 main CTs, 2 main voltage, 2 aux CTs, voltage values the same for aux). It’s really more about the grinder waveforms standing out enough and being unique. Take a listen to this video to hear the criteria device On/Of waveforms have to meet for them to be “detected” as a unique device.

As for data augmentation in Sense, the best spoofing path in my mind is using the Kasa smartplug integration and protocol, since that one has some documentation, and actually feeds energy data into a dedicated Sense device.

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This is a textbook example of Your Milage May Vary.

For me, my basement fridge was the very first device to be detected. It’s older and was running exactly half the day. My circulator pump was next, and then the toaster oven. Eventually my electric double oven was as well, as was my dehumidifier in the basement. All native.

What hasn’t been detected has been my brand new fridge, vacuum, dishwasher*, oven**, garage door opener, and two mini split AC units.

    • the heating element is the exact same wattage as the toaster over, so when it does to heat dry, I get a notice that my toaster oven has turned on.
    • oven. Parts of my oven have been found, but not everything. Maybe it’s found the top heating element, but not the bottom, or vice versa?

Garage door and vacuum we don’t use all that often, but I’m trying to change those.