Five Things to Know About the Signals Section (under Settings > System)

The Signals section is a bit hidden under Settings > System, near the bottom, but it’s a great tool to better understand what’s going on with your Sense Monitor and your home. A few things to know:

  1. Closest to the Details Inside Your Monitor - The Signals section contains the most detailed real-time results streaming from your Sense Monitor, that users are able to see. I say “results” rather than “data" because, as I have already described here, the raw data the monitor acquired has already been substantially transformed into something simpler by the time it reaches your app (or web app). The Signals section shows the real-time power flowing through each sensor (CT-current transformer) plus the voltage on each of the two “legs” or passes in your home, plus the measured frequency of your alternating current (AC - hopefully around 60 Hertz). Non-solar Sense users will see 2 power values, 2 voltage values, plus frequency. Users with solar will see two additional power values. It should be noted that for solar installs, the mains power in the Signals section will reflect the Total Usage flowing into your house, even if your sensors/CT are on the mains flowing out of your meter.

  2. Great for Debugging - If you are seeing strange results in your Power Meter or Now bubbles, the Signals section is one of the best places to start debugging because it shows the details. A few things to look for in all the detailed power, voltage and frequency values:

  • Dashes for all of the values - indicates your Sense is offline, and not talking to the Sense mothership.

  • Zeros for any of the values, except perhaps solar power at night - indicates there’s some kind of measurement problem. If the voltage is zero for a leg, it’s likely the corresponding mains and solar for that leg will be zero as well (that’s how the calculation works).

  • Negative values - Properly configured, the Sense monitor should never produce negative values, except possibly for some very small negative values on the solar legs on at night (mine are -2W at night). If you encounter this issue, Sense support can typically validate and re-configure remotely. Negative values make a real mess out of the Now bubbles and Power Meter, because everything displayed is expected to be positive.

  • Voltages more than 10% below or above 120V - If you see this, take a look at the Power Quality view under Sense Labs. If you see erratic voltage levels, you might want to try a power cycle “reboot” of your Sense monitor.

  • Frequency more than a few Hertz away from 60. If the frequency is off by more than a few cycles per second, you might want to try a power cycle “reboot” of your Sense monitor. If that doesn’t clear the problem check in with Sense support.

  • Highly unbalanced values between legs - Unless your home is wired very strangely, the power on each leg should be relatively close, within 20% of the whole house load, unless you have a very power-intensive 120V device running on one of the legs. A typical solar install should show both legs being very close, within 100W. FYI - Sense has an internal tool used by support and R&D that offers a “Power Meter-like” display of all 2/4 power components one sees in the Signals section. That helps them diagnose any issues you might have, but only with your permission to access your data.

  • Solar deviations - if you have Sense and a solar install, your solar must be measured with Sense, in most cases, for your grid signals to be measured correctly. Your two solar signals should display roughly the same amount of wattage at any given time. If you notice a dramatic deviation of over 50 to 100 W or more, then there is likely an issue with your solar not being measured correctly. This may have the knock-on effect of causing solar to be measured in your main lines, causing measurement and device detection issues. If you notice this, please make sure to contact support so we can verify any possible issues and work to provide you with suggestions on how to make adjustments.

  1. Cannot be Screenshotted on Android App - Currently, there is a known issue that Settings > System view cannot be screenshotted in the Android App for security reasons. An easy workaround for screenshotting the Signals section is to go to the same Signals view in the web app ( or in the Power Quality view under Sense Labs.

  2. Accessible via the informal Sense API - There’s an informal Sense API that enables Python-savvy users to read all the Signal section real-time values within user-created apps, via the "update_runtime()” call. I have found this useful for doing real-time alerts plus charting when voltage or frequency goes outside normal range. Here’s a simple example - note that it is important to limit how often you call update_realtime to every 60 seconds or longer.

  1. Available in Home Assistant - The Home Assistant home hub used with the Sense integration employs the same “update_runtime()” call to log the same data. So you can generate charts of separate L1/ L2 power and voltage directly from within Home Assistant, instead of writing your own code.

The Signals section is a real wealth of information.


I just wanted to chime in here to thank you again, Kevin. The signals page is a great page to do some of the same troubleshooting we do in support, and knowing what to look for and how to get there can really help resolve potential issues or determine a bad install vs. a good install!

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I totally disagree with this statement.
As I have discussed many times, the only constant known is change.
The field of PV is constantly changing. In California you are now obligated to install batteries.
You have the Elon Musk groupies who can only think in Tesla solutions and than there is the rest of the world.
There is a thing called hybrid AIO (all in one) PV inverters with batteries.
Once you hook those up, you have to hook it up through the PV clamps since it will provide energy back to the grid when batteries are full. On the other side, at night (no PV) and batteries empty, it will draw whatever load the inverter is feeding through the PV CT’s.
I have mentioned many many times that Sense chooses not to work with those signals.
They have all the information needed to work with setups, they just choose to ignore those people.
I have mentioned this many times here, including with you.
And now you make the bold statement
Properly configured, the Sense monitor should never produce negative values

So you are suggesting my negative values are a result of improper configuration ?
You seem almost part of their Promotion team , ignoring all the facts.

There are approved 120 volt PV inverters out there. They are older, all modern stuff is basically split phase where the PV part uses only 240 volt, but I think your statement is mostly correct, but not 100%

It is rare, but I have installed Sense with customers where your statement isn’t correct.

Thank you for the rest of your comments, they are very helpful for both new and experienced users.

Two good points there.

  • I guess the real disclaimer should be “for a properly configured system that doesn’t include battery storage”. The “properly configured” was meant to be a descriptor for the configuration on the Sense end, since that can get scrambled or sometimes even start out wrong. In my books, since Sense is only a 2 CT pair system and you can have 3 different energy sources with a battery, you really can’t have a properly configured battery Sense system.
  • Thanks for reminding me and other users that there are 120v inverter systems and that they can be set-up with Sense.

Hey @dannyterhaar

I guess my two cents on this are not that any of your points are incorrect, per se. But we are specifically talking about Sense and the current configurations and setups Sense supports at this time.

Generally speaking, the way we’re set up now, we want everything to be monitored as expected; we don’t want to see any negative values. This can have issues with filtering out solar signals connected to a panel.

Not all solar setups in energy configurations are compatible with Sense. Kevin’s point for this blog is to ensure that most customers can self-troubleshoot and know what to look for when issues arise. So this is definitely important to have out there.

If we change anything in the future, it might be important to update this, but currently, as it stands, this helps ensure that users have a general idea of what should be “correct” on their signals page.

Currently, we don’t fully support battery setups. If someone has batteries on their system and is worried about their signals or configuration, please contact support.
Currently, we don’t support 120V solar in most situations. If solar is being sent through the panel, it will create interference with one channel on the mains, which will cause issues with correct monitoring and device detection. Solar, in this case, must avoid the main panel altogether. If this can be achieved, 120V solar may be viable.

Please be aware this is for most users with some of the most common and typical setups available today*. If you have a fairly unconventional or complicated setup, it may just be worth sending in a ticket to support. Please make sure to provide a schematic of your solar setup, photos of your Sense monitor, and a clear indication of where the current sensors are connected to the breaker on the panel that Sense is connected to and any other details that could help us look into the issue.


  • If a typical sense user sees negative “main” signals, they can know it’s likely affecting their device detection and accuracy for what shows up on their dashboard.

  • If a typical Sense user sees imbalanced solar, outside of possibly bad data and install issues, the user may also be having signal problems on their main channel even if the main channel doesn’t show negative.

I’m aware this may be a little simplified for some of our more techie users. Still, I don’t want to discourage most users who are trying to make sure their Sense is working as expected to be discouraged from assuming this post is incorrect when trying to verify if their Sense is working as expected.

If anyone has any doubts, send me a private message or file a support ticket, including a detailed description of the concern and a link to this community page.

I get that the industry is changing, and at times, we may not be able to accommodate new setups as quickly as expected. But we should at least make sure folks we do support have the best chance to ensure everything is working great with Sense.

Thanks so much.

*Danny, I’m aware you may be cringing at this sentence, sorry. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

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I am missing that information at the website where Sense is trying to sell the units.

If people have an electrician help install the unit, they will have costs before finding out it is not compatible with their “solar setup”

Same thing about the fact that any device behind an AIO hybrid inverter will never be detected by Sense since the electronics of the AIO inverter will make detecting the voltage/amps/phase shifts impossible.

Sense is a great product, I like it.
But sales department seems to be ignorant with the shortcoming of the product in certain situations.
Management should instruct the PR department to reveal those shortcomings imo.

[water under the bridge]

Hi again,

I understand what you’re saying; for me, I want to ensure the success and happiness of users who get Sense to work as expected. This, of course, means not being shy about telling someone when something doesn’t work. I’ll let the other team know (if they aren’t already aware). What happens after that will be TBD.