Always On Bubble Enhancement - Add Smart Plug Total to Bubble

If Always On displays the sum of all Smart Plug and undiscovered constant load, why can’t the Always On Bubble display the sum of Smart Plug’s Always On? The smart plug’s Always On total is displayed in another window.


@kevin1 or @JustinAtSense , can Always On Bubble additional data be merged with this?

I can’t speak for the roadmap, but I would make the small caveat that device Always Ons and the main Always On are calculated slightly differently and that might lead to unexpected results. They each use different calculation periods (24 vs. 48hrs), different sample / update periods (1/2 second vs longer), and different 1% bin calculations (discrete vs. distribution), if I read between the lines here:

Can we put a Dropdown Button to collapse text in Now to allow more room for all Bubbles?

Or at the very least scale bubbles better in main window?

Also possible scroll down on text events for events earlier?


The always on bubble has always been a hot subject.

The always on bubble is usually the largest one, for those of us with smart plugs we often have a bunch of little bubbles also showing (duplicating) the always on wattage, leaving the bubble screen quite cluttered, with bubbles often partially off the screen, especially on the web app where we can’t zoom.

Going out on a limb I think it would be safe to say most of our known always on devices are always on for a reason, things we can’t turn off, eliminate, etc… They are always on for a reason. The unknown always on is what we really want to figure out and reduce.

If the Always on bubble reflected the “Estimated Unknown” wattage both in size of the bubble and wattage (always on “total” could be displayed below that within the bubble) this would alleviate a lot of the clutter and give us a better understanding of the true unknown.

Thinking a bit further into this, why couldn’t we have a real time unknown wattage display?
Total of current wattage minus the wattage total for all the known bubbles

Something like this would give much better real time insight as it’s impossible for someone to manually do (simple) math when the numbers are constantly changing.
I understand that’s the point of the other bubble, but that’s a problem itself as it’s dependent of the always on estimate.
Always on is a baseline and doesn’t necessarily reflect devices that are truly always on, as many things that turn on an off regularly get lumped in. Which just adds to the confusion many user have.

We really have no way of knowing the real time total of the unknown. Which is what I think most users are are really after.

Average total usage and average of total of unknown usage (always on) should be part of trends, but when you mix a long term average into real time bubbles it causes a lot of unnecessary confusion as evidenced in countless threads.

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@obscuredtrip, Not sure what you are specifically asking for here. The way I see it, there are really two different views on power usage

  • Active Power - The bubbles are mainly for looking at transient power/energy usage. The top-level (baseline) Always On plays a role because it enables a better estimation of how much active Other is unknown.
  • Always On Power - Sense can only see this " power usage" in two ways. From a top down perspective via the statistical Always On calculation over 24hrs. From more of a bottom up perspective via Always On measurements of smart plugs, plus any estimates you have for other devices plugged into the wall. That’s what the special Always On device accounting is for - you can add other known Aways On contributors so that you can get the unknown Always On to near zero (if you want to)

I view Always On Power very differently from Active Power because there need to be two different accounting systems for each.

That’s the problem, different metrics are being used for different bubbles on the now screen.

In device info, “Other” is defined as “Devices that sense doesn’t identify yet are categorized as other. This category will shrink over time as Sense discovers new devices”
“Always On” defined as “Your Always On represents your home’s vampire load. It is estimated based on the past 48 hrs”

This leads to never ending confusion as evidenced by countless threads on the topic.

Some thinking “Other” are devices Sense will soon discover and always on being everything else.

Some thinking “Always On” are devices that are always on. When a good portion of always on could actually be devices that turn on and off quite frequently.
Example, a person has 2 lightbulbs a 75w that is always on during the day the other a 100w that is always on at night. Always On bubble shows 75w, and at night other would show 25w. That’s confusing.

Others wonder why their real time bubbles never add up to the total wattage not realizing one of the bubbles is not real-time but a long-term average. Some that understand that don’t understand how “other” is calculated based off the “always on” bubble, further adding to the confusion.

If Sense got rid of the always on and other bubbles and replaced them with a single “Unknown” bubble there would be a lot less confusion. A separate line in the unknown bubble could include “48hr average”.

“Unknown” would be the total W (upper right) minus the total of all the other active bubbles.

A bubble showing the unknown in real time on the now screen seems more logical than a now screen that contains a historical baseline over the past 48hrs along with a second bubble on the now screen that shows usage above that historical baseline.
“Now” should only contain real time information not historical.

Currently the only accurate way to know the REAL TIME total of the unknown is to take the current wattage and subtract all the bubbles (excluding always on and other) which is a realistic impossibility for any human to do in real time.

Devices-Always On-Always On Devices could be incorporated into a Devices-Always On-Unknown and reworded to something like user reported always on devices. Then Total:, Reported Always On:, Remaining Unknown:. Sortable by D,W,M,Y,B. Leaving always on to be further broken down and compared in Trends or something along those lines.

IMO: Knowing the real-time unknown in real-time is more important than knowing historical average baselines in real-time. I’m not saying the latter is not important, it is but there needs to be a better way of displaying it that doesn’t lead to so much confusion among users.

Further, users attempting to self identify devices by turning them on and off while looking for +__W & -__W on the power meter (using the mobile app as the web app doesn’t show the + & -'s) not knowing if the change could be from something previously discovered, could simply look for changes to the “unknown” bubble.


Just to add another angle to the always on debate, let me add this. I was confused over he last few days that my always on grew by over 300W! After extensive investigation, I determined that this added load was taken from my Mitsubishi Heat Pump which had been constant on for the last week. Since this heat pump is on a separate monitored circuit (clamps), I was surprised that it showed that as part of the always on. Perhaps always on should have a separate bubble for each monitored branch, or better yet, as a contrasting color concentric bubble within that monitored branch “device” bubble.

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I hear more discussion about a topic that I am afraid of just pushing buttons to see what is happening (My current method of learning basic operation and navigation)… If anyone can tell me - In Device settings, what is “Merge Devices” and “UnMerge Devices”? Another thing I will need in the future… When I complete my quest of learning and verifying the devices found is to clear data from the Kasa KP115 and add-on sensors I purchased to deploy in attempt to find any of these items.

“Merge” and “unmerge” allow you to manage devices that have more than one component that is detected, like a fridge, where the main compressor and defroster show up as separate devices. Quite honestly, I haven’t used “merge” much, because it obscures what is happening to the underlying detections (they can sometimes disappear, or get conflated without you seeing due to the merge). Just name them accordingly and only merge if they are stable for a long time.

As for clearing smartplug histories, you can simply turn the associated integration off then on, but it does remove the whole history so be sure you want to do that. I prefer to keep one smartplug as a roamer with a completely mixed up history from all the devices I have sampled. I can’t remember what erases histories for a flex sensor / DCM but I think the same off/on/rename/recalibrate cycle works for,them.

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There is a known bug in the Web app ONLY, ‘Unmerge Device’ is actually ‘Delete Device’.

Thank you. I am also using a KP115 Smart Plug as nothing more than a roamer in hopes to match Sense Identifications/Suggestions. At this rate, It could be months before I figure this out. Any advice/Suggestions? I always follow the wisdom of those who have traveled this path before me :slight_smile:

It would be nice if there was the option to remove always on bubble from the “Now” screen. Then all power not attributed to a device or plug would just be “other”.

My reasoning for this is that those of us with a large number of smart plugs often have a large portion of their always on power captured.

I personally don’t like to merge my plug always on data into the always on buble as i like to be able to see everything easily on the now page.

On top of that it would be great it a dual colour could be added on the bubble like a pie chart for devices that have an always on component to them.

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Pretty much everything you said about “always on” describes my feelings to a T. I would add the obvious that It is not named correctly. These items ARE NOT “always on” Yes yes the find print says estimate base on 48 hours blah blah. Always defined is 1. at all times; on all occasions; invariably. always be courteous ; 2. all the time; continuously; forever. The Estimate involved here is this Bubble is Always changing!
Case in point my always on bubble has went from approx. 500w to 850, then 1350 back to 900 and now 781. The thing is Nothing was changed. Nothing new plugged in or removed during all these changes.
I pretty much know every item drawing power in this home. The only Big three items Sense hasn’t found is the Dryer, Fridge and my ductless multiunit mini split system. This site tells me none of them have a decent chance of ever being discover by Sense. None of them are always on, well technically any way. So why is my “always on” hovering around 1350 for days on end? It’s late and the dryers unplugged, fridge currently not running the compressor and mini split idling along. I go on the hunt looking for the source, watching the Always on bubble and flipping breakers looking for this 9-10 Amp constant draw. The “always on” bubble never changed. ??? I do some more research and reading to find out it is not a “true” reading.
Ok now I’m better informed and repeat the same breaker routine the next night, watching total wattage and find it is almost all the Mini split system. Some of the 9-10 Amps was “other”, some maybe? “always on” hard to say accurately. Long story short the “always on” bubble led me down a rabbit hole.

I know what the true vampire items are and that is less that 200W. I’ve done the work and identified all the usual suspects. I guess now the dryer, fridge and mini split will be considered Vampires too until when or if they are ever Sensed.

I just don’t see a functional use of a huge estimated bubble thrown in with actual accurate Bubbles on the main screen. That is unless it is renamed or has a different color to show it is just an average over time and not Items that are “always on”.


You’ve had an interesting experience - you’re the second user that has posted recently that has a device with a large load that seems to be on for very long periods, or with several large load devices with long overlapping use periods. If you don’t have a window in the day, or better yet the nighttime, where these loads are off, you are going to have an Always On that reflects the usage of those large load devices. If the mini-split is running for very long periods, there are a couple of things you might be able to do to get a better understanding of Always On

  • Automatically turn off the mini-split for a hour or so at night to create an “observation window” into other underlying loads. Probably best at 3 or 4 in the morning depending on your home’s activity levels. Other big unknown loads like the dryer or the refrigerator are unlikely to to have the same effect as the mini-split - the dryer because it isn’t run as frequently and the refrigerator because it would typically have duty cycles that get more spread out when the door stays shut late at night (hopefully). This would have the benefit of normalizing your Always On bubble.
  • Sounds like you have already done a bottom up estimate, though you might be able to do even more if you used a traveling Sense-compatible same plug. Throw each device on the smart plug for a couple of days (unless the dryer is 240V) and Sense will provide you with an Always On number for each. I’m betting that all your big loads have a true Always On associated with each of them.

If you really want to make the most of your situation, you’re going to have to learn what Always On represents - It’s not a 48 hour average as you suggest.

Always On is the near-minimum or low-watermark house usage for the past 48 hours. Here’s a visualization of Always On based on data from my house for the past 48 hours. It is based on data sampled from my Sense every 2 minutes (1440 samples), instead of the every 1/2 second analysis Sense uses, so my results will be a little different (higher) than what Sense comes up with.

Here’s the past 48 hours on my Power Meter

And here’s the sampled power data in Home Assistant.
The top looks similar to my Sense Power Meter for the same period. The bottom is the same power data samples charted in a histogram, where each bin is 200W.

The average/mean power for the 48 hour period is 3020kW. The statistical value Sense uses, the 1% bin, is the value where 1% of all the samples are less than that number. That calculates to 560W, very different from an average, and very sensitive to just the smallest usage numbers in your household.

I now treat the Always on bubble kinda like the scroll on the bottom of the TV. It may have some useful info in it but after a few seconds I just ignore it. Actually my overall usage (considering the season) is not to bad. I don’t think I’ve come close to pulling over 10k watts in any moment, yet! The power meter averages around 2k at o dark 30, and around 6 to 7k during the peak heat of the day. It is early in my monitoring and I’m still collecting data.

I don’t have the luxury of shutting off the Mini-split for a hour of so. Last night it was 81 with 84% humidity @ 3AM. When I did trip the breaker for the circuit tests it sounded like someone punched it in the gut and it took about 15 minutes to recover. As you know a mini split is complex, even more so for a multiunit. Even if you turn it off inside it is still “on” doing its smart thing and talking. Thankfully no heater pan element to contend with. Although…it may of been helpful the last couple of winters here. They were brutal by Texas standards.
Confident the dryer is not a factor. It is 240V. It hasn’t been on in a week. I did smart plug its companion washer and the plug never came off standby mode.
The fridge is still on my suspect list.

I did get smart plugs. 5 in fact. A TP115 and four EP25s. I have them scattered among the UPSs. TV, comp, routers, etc.

I still have a positive view of the Sense and willing to give it time. Actually this morning it found what it thinks May be the heat pump. We will see how that goes!

Thanks for the insights and I completely understand not wanting to stop your mini-spit. I guess the next best thing is just to realize that the mini-split is truly an Always On device, at least through the summer and hope that it never is detected otherwise it could get partially double counted (in Always On and detected device), and that will unnaturally shrink Other, probably even making Other negative sometimes. Just realized that running with the mini-split as an Always On will trace the near-minimum power usage of it over the past 48hrs on top of all the other Always Ons. All the mini-split usage above the near-minimum baseline will go into Other.

I have to admit I have no idea what you are trying to say. It either confirms my belief in the worth of always on…or…I have not truly grasped its value yet.

I’m pretty sure I did mention in a prior post I suspected the mini split is already being detected in other and always on. And now something? was detected last night that Sense feels by consensus is a heat pump. Problem is that was for a few times around 0230 and it has seen nothing since. I am very doubtful it was the mini split now. I will monitor that. Also, I have seen my other fall as low as <50 sometimes. Usually late at night.

Also FYI a mini split with heat pump (such as mine) will often pull as many watts in the winter. In the simplest terms its just the AC running backwards. Same draw unless it is very cold and then a defrost cycle is added in approx every 50 minutes. So effectively it is running consistently same as it does on these 100+ days .

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  • Always On’s value is that it is a tool for measuring and categorizing a house-level component of power / energy usage that won’t be found or included in traditional Sense native on/off detections.
  • Just to be clear, Always On and Other are calculated values based on measurements and detection data, not actual detections themselves.
  • The heat pump detections might be upticks and down ticks from the baseline. Who knows.
  • With a good-sized Always On that reflects much of your mini-split and all the other Always On components of all the devices in your house, it is reasonable to have a small Other (Total Usage - Always On - any detections)