Breaker drawing power, and I cant find out where [solved]

Sorry, I was not allowed to post a picture or a follow-up message until now. I still am not able to attach a image.

Hopefully you will be able to see my meter soon. My refrigerator turns on after it’s been off about 40 minutes ALL DAY. It’s just running considerably more efficient than yours (about 230 watts - 70 always on).

I’m honestly starting to think someone is stealing power

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I wish it where so simple. It’s not the refrigerator. I turn off the circuit breaker and the current draw goes away, however, the fridge stays on… so cant be that. I honestly cant find anything in the house that gets turned off when I turn off that breaker…

Update: sense has identified the mystery draw as a heating element. It closest guess is that it’s a floor heater, but to my knowledge, we dont have a floor heater. It’s also a $250 annual bill for this thing…

I was seeing your frequent peaks and the similarities to mine.

OK, I’m intrigued here and interested to see what transpires.

Ideally I’d love to see what Sense does with no input from you but in the meantime you have some potential watts flying out the window so some suggestions:

  • Look in your bathrooms/toilets/kitchen … most likely candidates for floor heating and (usually) a dedicated wall thermostat that could well be hidden somewhere. They are notorious, especially in more luxe construction, for being discovered when they start to battle the AC!

  • For an “average” electric radiant floor heater running at 800W it’s probably a maximum 100sqft room … that wattage would correlate to around 60-70sqft of heated floor area. Kinda the average small bathroom when you subtract the shower/bath area.

Thanks for the info! I get back home tonight from buisness and will start hunting. I would think that it would be a bit more obvious, but I’ll admit now I’m on the hunt. I’m impressed that Sense was able to narrow it down to a likely heater and even suggest a floor heater.

We are in a top floor apartment. Floor heating is already provided by the tenants below us. No need for us to be running one!

Now to find the thing and kill it!

Considering Sense’s likely logic, which uses names weighted by the Sense-wide user base:

  • Heating elements in general are perhaps the easiest targets for Sense detection + tracking because they tend to present consistent and non-ramping power loads.

  • Any given heating element has a characteristic wattage (e.g. X watts)

  • For any given X-wattage device that Sense identifies, there will be a pool of likely names weighted to that wattage.

  • Most space heaters are X = 1kW or 1.5kW so X = 800W may live in the pool of “Floor heat” rather than “Space heater”. Meaning, if your floor heat was drawing 1kW Sense might have confused it with a space heater. Remember, Sense may still be wrong!

In the scheme of things this is simple logic but nevertheless impressive. That Sense has started to reliably detect ramping loads and more complex signatures is what can really get you thinking.

No kidding! Discovering this product has kinda engaged my inner nerd :rofl:

The only thing I wish it could do now was send out roamers down my wires and map where they go! … you know, while I’m wishing… Having the breaker say “washer” and yet knowing it’s not one of my washers… its maddening! I look forward to solving this one

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Here’s a long story about a guy tracking down a mystery device on a mysterious breaker. Good luck sleuthing…

Interesting read! Gives me some ideas for when I get home… it seems it’s only drawing from one of the mains, so I assume it’s not quite the same as his issue and it is in fact a 110v circuit.

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Keep in mind that there are relatively inexpensive circuit (breaker) tracers that will work on live outlets for 120V, like this one. Using that and a process of elimination can get you a good way to mapping things out properly without doing any “electricians-only” stuff. Your floor heater, if it is that, is no-doubt hardwired but knowing what breakers it’s not on should help.

I’ve had many situations with live panels I can’t open where simply tracing unmarked (and incorrectly marked) breakers and outlets has been a quick solve.

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(new user here too!)

You could turn the breaker off and leave it off until you discover some device you need that isn’t powering up?

While my newly installed Sense boots up, I’m searching for posts about how to Sense breaker-by-breaker without leaving them off - I’ve got a big subpanel I’m trying to troubleshoot, some of which goes to the rental unit I’m trying to charge for!

I’m somewhat guessing at what you mean here, but I think you are conflating Sense’s general awareness with some awareness of particular breakers/circuits. Sense, if anything, will get confused when you start switching breakers on and off to attempt identifying devices. It won’t help “train” Sense and, especially in a big unmarked panel, it probably won’t speed up your ability to verify the device identity. Remember also that any given breaker can have multiple devices on the circuit.

Apart from patience and post-detection sluething, these are some good approaches:

I think once I figure out what that heater actually does I would have no issue shutting it off at the breaker for good. My only concern is that it’s something critical, like heat tape on a pipe. I’m in Alaska so it would be important if it was in a area that could freeze. I know that’s not likely, but this is an older building and I somehow wouldnt be suprised by a cheap fix like that for a poor design!

Definitely hoping that the breaker goes to nothing but this element, and I cant turn it off for good once I know for sure.

It’s interesting. The reason I got the Sense was a unknown tripling of the electric bill, and I feel like this is the culprit. Though now I want to penny pinch each watt that I see being used! :yum:

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Got it!!! Turns out there is a small inset space heater that lives in our water closet with the water heater and furnace. Its thermostat was set to a very high temperature and I never noticed the room being unusually warm because… Well… There’s a furnace in there. That thing has been costing a huge amount of money, it’s a huge relief to finally get it dealt with and turned down to 35!


Nice sleuthing !

That’s a great find that you should post to Sense Saves!

Just makes sure that 35F is warm enough if the furnace goes out? There to prevent pipe freezing?

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Awesome! I agree with @ixu xu. This is the exact kind of story that is perfect for Sense Saves. We’d love if you shared it there.