Disappointed in device discovery


I’m sorry you also feel the pain of being shouted down in this forum @don1.
If not singing the highest praise about the device and instead questioning the claims versus experience, you will experience being an outcast for sure.
You are not alone in your feelings.


I’ll leave your specific issues to Support. I’m not familiar with specifics, but 10 devices after almost a year is certainly rare.

But this is unsettling and sits squarely in my domain:

I really don’t see anyone being “shouted down” here. I see other posters offering deeper explanations of how Sense works — and perhaps exposing that it doesn’t necessarily work in an intuitive way — but I don’t see other opinions being ignored or, worse, castigated. We have a thread devoted to discussion about training Sense that goes pretty deeply into the limitations of machine learning. As a company, we’ve publicly discussed the limitations of machine learning and why what we’re doing is challenging. On this forum, anyone is welcome to disagree with that, as long as it’s done so constructively and not in a manner that harasses other people here. If you (or @samwooly1) feel like you’re being harassed to the point that you’re not willing to voice your frustration, that’s a problem. Flag the relevant posts and I will handle it.

This is just not the case. Sure, there are lots of fans of Sense here, but they’re hardly all singing our praises tirelessly. I’ve been involved in online communities for a very long time, and one of the things I love so much about this place (both as an employee of Sense and as a user of Sense) is that it’s frequently both critical and constructive. I’ve been a part of a lot of other product-based communities that are a lot more black and white, either chock full of negativity, but without anything constructive to say, or simply too positive. This place sits nicely in the middle: criticism often comes with ideas for better solutions (some of which we’ve implemented) and positivity often comes qualified. Sure, there are posts here and there that rave about Sense as a perfect product, but those are incredibly rare and you won’t even see us at Sense saying things like that.

Like I said above, if you feel that you’re being treated unfairly by other members here, please let me know by either flagging the relevant posts or PMing me.


I respectfully disagree.
The first complaint I had with sense and “wifi” was where I got a taste of it.
The member abov and myself are not the only ones that have felt this way and mentioned It. I personally take your above post as a “shout down” by saying it doesn’t happen.


If you want to flag previous posts where you were being flamed or attacked, I will deal with them. If you ever feel like you’re being harassed on here over an opinion, flag the post and either I or the moderation staff will handle it.

I’m not saying that this does not happen. It certainly does, and that is why the flag feature exists. That said, this is an overwhelmingly calm community compared to many others. Looking back over the history of the community, only a single member has ever been banned and even flags are pretty rare.



I have been one of the voices in favor of Sense’s “aggressive reliance” on machine learning and neural networks. I hope you haven’t taken that as shouting you down or invalidating your experience. I have only tried to point out that outside of the Sense form of machine learning, or putting CTs on all the important circuits in your house (there are products that do that at a much higher price point), there aren’t any other solutions to know what is going on in your house. The machine learning approach is a challenge given the state-of-the-art, and we’re still seeing results closer to 2009 image/facial recognition than 2019 image/facial recognition in many cases. But I’m fairly certain the the machine learning approach to energy disaggregation is far more productive and general than other assorted algorithms.

Good luck with your search for other solutions.


As long time participants in this forum are aware, I’m also one of the “disappointed” users of Sense, with two years of experience and quite poor results. Late in the first year Sense’s chief architect sat down with me, carefully looked at my situation, and she told me that one device (the constant pressure deep well pump…a BIG part of my geothermal systems operating cost) in my home has made Sense almost impossible…not just for that one device but for my system in general. Turns out she was 100% correct.

Had I been aware of that restriction in the first place (there’s a not very long list of things Sense simply can’t do and isn’t planned to do for a LONG time, if ever…would have been nice to know that) I’d never have made the investment in Sense, electrician cost (twice), and literally hundreds of hours of my time.

Regarding “products that do that”, shortly after I built my 100% electric geothermal home up here in the woods of NH, I invested in welserver (www.welserver.com cheaper at the time than Sense is now), which monitors device on/off and things like temperatures for very very low cost per node once you purchase the web server/sensor interface and it can also monitor power consumption per circuit with an additional somewhat higher cost metering device add-on (TED5000, eGauge, WattNode, etc). The welserver has done a GREAT job, fulfilling 100% of its product claims for almost 9 years. It doesn’t monitor power for every device, nor does it claim to.

So, with welserver running and doing a good job of monitoring things (including my solar system, why did I buy Sense? Simply put it was their (actually a TOH show) claim that it could detect and monitor the individual devices in my home, 137 of them at last count, and as Kevin notes below it simply wasn’t feasible to put power monitoring devices on any significant % of those. So I took the plunge. And as this thread has shown, there are others with similarly impossible devices and some amount of frustration.

Oh well.

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Yes @andy, I have read a lot of your posts and we agree on many things. While my home is all electric, I don’t have the same energy efficient device like your geothermal unit. My satisfaction is up and down. I’ll have a few good detections followed by them being somehow forgotten, lost, deleted or whatever it is that Sense decides to do with them. I currently have 23 active detections after less than 2 months. But I’ve also had over 10 disappear. A detection means nothing if it’s gone with the wind in a few days.
Sense biggest problem is marketing in my opinion. As you’ve also stated, the claims and screenshots just don’t match what we experience.
I don’t want to read about what it COULD do in a perfect world but rather what I can realistically expect.
I’m glad you’ve been able to have someone with support take that deep a look into your home, sure hasn’t happened with me. I’ve been in contact with them a few times but the number of reports or issues we send in compared to how many responses we get is ridiculous. They should also let buyers know upfront what they can expect from support. I know I’ve been told how they are a “small startup” but I wonder how long that designation last. What timeframe are they considered a “startup” I’ve been in business and if your not making money after this many years, your business has failed. I could deal with all of it better if like you said, it didn’t require so much out of me or purchasing other gadgets to do the job it says it will do.
My complaint in the beginning about WiFi was met with comments like “99% of the world knows WiFi means internet”. I was treated like I was an idiot for not knowing they meant WiFi and internet by them only stating WiFi for viewing real time use on my phone. Sense isn’t for 99% of people or it would be on an end cap at Walmart, it’s for people more technical and I read what they printed as it’s intended for that audience.
I’ve stopped recommending sense for the marketing and for the community. I would t want someone to ha e the same poor experience as others, come here and be met with the attitude and defensive comments that many other s have.
I say that but there is one person in particular that no matter what, is ALWAYS respectful and helpful. Even if someone is completely wrong he will treat them with the upmost respect, give good advice and help them in any way possible.
I’m sure I’m not the only one appreciative of @kevin1.


@andy - While I should be in the same constant nagging boat as you, I choose to help vs hang around and gripe. I too have open loop geothermal that uses the same ‘deep well’ variable speed pump and controller. Detections are definitely hampered but that isn’t stopping me from trying to help. How do you think they added electric car chargers that ramp? Time, $, and enough insight from users of such devices.

@samwooly1 - I believe most of the ‘shouting’ you have been involved with is because of your approach to letting out your frustration. I respect your aggressiveness, but I can see through it, others cannot.

At the end of the day, it’s a forum and we’re grown individuals. Say what you feel and be prepared for someone else to do the same.


As always @samheidie I respect and appreciate you posts and comments. You have indeed been very helpful not only to the community but to me even when we disagree.
I don’t quite understand seeing through my aggressive nature ( it is instinctive and doesn’t always come out as intended) but whatever it is your seeing, I appreciate your willingness to understand.
You know, I had a couple that got onto me for “complaining”, do you know how they did it? By complaining about me or others complaining. That’s why it comes across as always defending the product and anything that has to do with negative comments. If complaining were the problem, they wouldn’t complain.
This should be a place where thoughts, feelings and experiences can be shared across the board. Not everyone will agree (note the name “”Discourse”). The complaints I’ve had I feel are valid and I’ve also praised the product when it was deserved. I don’t have a problem giving credit where it is due.
If someone doesn’t like my approach or anyone else’s, they can skip by it and not respond or flag it and let the community manager delete or bury it somewhere.
My comments started on this because @don1 I believe was giving up. While I’ve stopped recommending for now, I hate to see anyone give up on the product. It is not my intention to and I don’t forsee it in the future. For every customer that leaves that’s one person that will tell others not to purchase Sense and make things like Ev’s and device detection slower than it already is.


Wall to wall sunshine here and going to 30 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Looking forward to the warm up. Had minus 35 degrees below in the last two weeks… Forecasting 40 degrees next week, Enjoy… Gerry


You were 100% right about us not being clear about the need for a consistent internet connection and I made that change in the Help section of the site. I’m curious how you’d like us to be more upfront on these points? We have an FAQ that auto-opens on the site that notes that Sense will not detect all devices in a home. As for Support, their auto-reply notes their hours. If there are ways you think these messages can be improved, I’d be happy to bring them up with the Marketing and Support teams.


Yes @RyanAtSense, you absolutely acknowledged and had corrected the WiFi internet issue. It was awful nice to have someone on the Sense team take notice and was greatly appreciated.
I think on device discovery and as stated in the FAQ where it clearly says not everything will be detected, it does say “we are able to detect many”. How many is “many”. So if I have 150 devices or electric components in my home and it detects 25, that’s less than 20%. We don’t really get an idea on how many to expect. But there are other pages at sense.com that show screenshots of thing like sump pump, garage door, microwave and iron that I have all of but have not been detected. Maybe a list of devices that CAN be and have been detected with an a note that these are the possibilities but are not guaranteed and everyone’s results vary. I don’t know how to look at it from a professional point of view, only as I actually see it as a customer.
When it comes to support, I’ve tried to figure out a way to block the canned automatic replies. I haven’t been successful unless I block all support email. In this day and age, I feel confident anything sent to support makes it to them and the reply from a team member is what I would rather see.
A lot of times I send a ticket to support through the app it’s just to log the issue and I don’t expect a response at all. When several issues have built up or may be connected, they will email me at that time. I had requested this from them as to not bog them down and it has worked really well so far.
What hurts sense support department is not their fault and out of their control. In a world with these huge players like Amazon, Apple and Google it sure places my expectations for support higher than they should have been. Sense is more like a mom and pop than the big boys but by visiting the website, you would never know. The site is very well designed and out together and appealing to the eye, there is no impression that it’s a startup.
Thanks for listening Ryan


Thanks for the ideas. I’ll do some brainstorming.

For the device detection one, we already do have a prominently displayed FAQ that notes that detection varies across homes, but I can try and augment it a bit. The problem with any sort of device list is that they vary so much across homes. All of those devices you mention — we can find them and have found them in many cases, but homes vary. I’ll bring it to the team and see what we can do.

As for Support, I hear you. We certainly can’t compete with a company the size of Google or Amazon (though I’ve certainly had my share of frustrating support experiences even with large support teams). We might be able to more prominently display Support hours somewhere on the webpage.


Somebody else has mentioned this but I can’t remember where it is.
Their idea was to let people know what types of devices are difficult or impossible to detect and hinder detection in general.
Sense has trouble with inverters for example, so deep well and geothermal pumps make those homes very difficult. Hopefully they can find a fix for this because almost all appliances now have inverter driven 3 phase motors. I believe I’ve experienced trouble because when the inverter went out on my washer, I got 4 detections. When I put a washer back in (also with an inverter) all 4 of those detections were removed by sense.


I would like to add to this comment that this reality has been clearly mentioned back to the very beginnings of Sense. There never was a claim or guarantee of 100% detection.


@oshawapilot Where is there an instance in this thread of anyone expecting 100% detection?


I was mainly directing that at others, some of whom have expected such in the past, and expressed disappointment here at that lack of achieving it. Despite it never being a promise.


Then there are those of us with less than 10% reliable detection (and not many of our biggest loads) after two years!

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Percentage wise I’m sure To be in the same range considering each individual component. I’m showing 23 active today. A lot of them are reliable but also have a lot of other unreliable or conflated between devices. I’m less than 2 months in. I’ve lost about a dozen detections and wish we had a choice about keeping them or not before sense decides to remove them. I’ve had good ones removed and haven’t come back


The only way devices get removed is if (1) they have not been renamed since Sense found them or (2) they have been renamed but have been ‘marked as a Guess’. Otherwise, for a device to be removed, it has to be done manually on our side, which is not done without informing you. If you’re seeing devices get removed outside of those criteria, you should let Support know.

See Device Detection Update: Device Updates!