Computers behind sine-wave UPS will never be found?

Based on my reading it appears that anything behind a UPS is never going to be found. Not all of the outlets, just the line-interactive ones. Sense has found the laser printer that is plugged into a surge only outlet. My computer is automated via Good Night/Good Morning Google Home routines. Our son’s is almost always on. The mac is often off (used for graphic arts by our daughter and school paperwork by my wife). It wouldn’t even bother me if the entire backed up side of the UPS identified as a single device (computer, monitor, anything else plugged in those spaces). If it’s in those slots it’s related in some way.

I am very disappointed in how little Sense has found of the ‘Always On’ at 90 days. Most of those devices have clear patterns of on and off (automated house plant lighting 5 fixtures total to keep clear air so I don’t have to use inhaler so much) / Overnight landscaping lighting). It found my old upstairs AC, but it never found the larger heat pump. The new upstairs AC has only been running 5 days so I understand why it isn’t found yet.

I also found that the “link” to IFTTT is exceptionally misleading. As devices are composed of multiple identified devices, then the triggers are worthless until all are found (and we don’t know how many there will be - we don’t even know when they are all found). I’m know they can be merged, but it has to find the all first. I don’t want to know when the heat stopped in my dryer. I want to know when it’s done (tumbling, heat, and whatever else) so the next load can go in, or the work clothes can be hung immediately.

Most devices you’re likely to be plugging in to the backed-up outlets on a UPS are probably not going to be detected by Sense even if the UPS wasn’t part of the equation.

My advice would be to get a single smartplug (HS110 or Wemo Insight) and use that: plug all the low-power devices that are on the UPS into a power strip and then plug the strip into the smarplug and then the smartplug into a UPS backup-outlet. Alternately you could use an HS300 power strip in the same way but you’d get per-device information.

I have things like a combo washer/dryer on a smartplug (it’s 120V and relatively low power so within the smartplug tolerance); likewise a fridge & OLED TV.

I put an HS110 on a multi-speed vent hood so when it goes on (at any speed) it can trigger a room-to-room fan (also on a smartplug) to switch off via IFTTT.


I have tons of smart plugs already of various manufacturers and sizes. Some are multi-outlet, and some even support energy monitoring. However they are all Chinese Tuya based clones and so aren’t supported.

Having said that if I buy more plugs they will not be wifi. Not that I have a better hub, any plugs are going to be zigbee or z-wave. Not only do I get more control in the hub for rules and scenes, but they work even if the internet is down (which happens more than I like here in the middle of a National Forest). Also it shifts all those devices and their bandwidth off of my wifi network.

Rather than ask Sense to support Tuya clones (KMC, gosund, hasbell, smartlife, etc). I’d like to see Sense provide an open API for our hubs to feed the power consumption data. It’s unrealistic to expect them to write a driver for each hub that exists, but if they provide the endpoint then that hub’s community can write the code to feed it.

A few thoughts:

  • I second @ixu’s suggestion to put a smartplug on the input to your UPS
  • I think you are misusing the “Always On” definition if you apply it to devices that switch between a standby, to active, then off again. Those devices are not “Always On” devices, but instead have “Always On” components to them. Sense has a way of figuring out the sum of the Always On components of all the devices in your house. But the Always On component will never be “detected” by Sense using on and off signatures, since that is the component that never turns on and off.
  • Sense also has a way to break out the Always On component of specific devices (or a outlet strip/UPS full of devices) on a smartplug
  • You are right about the challenges of IFTTT and different device components. At the same time, Sense has got to identify individual components before it puts together the combined device.
  • Not that it helps, but there is a good blog article on why heat pumps and variable speed AC systems are more difficult for Sense to “detect”
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