Hair Dryer turning on with no one home?

I have Sense installed for over one month now. I know, without question, when my wife’s hair dryer is turned on because Sense detected it and I can clearly see the bubble instantly pop on when the dryer is turned on, and then pop off once she turns it off. It registers about 1650 watts (even though it is an 1875 watt hair dryer). It has been consistent every day now for over 3 weeks. However, yesterday, when no one was home, the bubble popped up that is was turned on and then turned off after about 50 seconds. Is it possible that sense is detecting something else with the same distinct signature? Of do I have a ghost that likes to dry his hair?

I’ve had similar issues and it seemed to work for me to click the “device not on” when it’s bubble pops up when it’s not on. You may have a ghost :slight_smile: or it could be another device. Be sure someone isn’t home during the day though.

1 Like

@jokeefe, it is possible that Sense may have accidentally conflated the hair dryer with another device. Woops! We’ve occasionally seen this happen with some heating elements and is something that should happen less and less as our detection algorithms continue to improve.

1 Like

I’m certain it was a ghost. :wink:


I have a similar problem… When I turn on my wife’s hair blower it may identify it as the dryer, the oven, or a part of Other. I assume this is because the signatures have not been fine tuned yet and in time may be definitively identified as a separate device. That said, is there a way to speed up the identification process?

1 Like

Hi @stevesbe, and welcome to the forum!

As Ben mentioned above, this kind of confusion can happen occasionally between heating elements with similar on/off signatures. The best thing you can do when that happens is to tap “report a problem” and then “device is not on”. This will help refine the device identification so that we might be able to distinguish between those devices more consistently in the future. That being said, it can take quite a while (and a lot of data from a lot of different homes) before you start seeing that improvement. This will get much better with time, and along with that, the identification process should speed up.

Sorry for the frustration, and many thanks for your patience as we keep improving!

1 Like

I had this happen today but in the reverse. last night Sense detected the electric heater in my laundry room thats built out into my garage. I named the device as such as it was clearly the heater based on the steady ons and offs. This morning I had an alert that the laundry heat was on but it was actually my wife’s blow dryer (same watts). is there a way to tell sense its seeing a different device?

Good question @jhastings2

The best thing to do when this happens is to report “Device is Not On” as it’s happening. That way, the algorithm can get a heads-up that it got that indication wrong. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean the conflation of the two devices won’t happen again, but it should get better over time. Worth noting here that you can only mark “Device is Not On” when the device is actually on, you can’t go in later on and mark it as ‘not on’. Does that make sense?

Sorry about that!

ha ha, yep makes “Sense” thank you

In my house I call this device “no-Sense”, “none-Sense”, and “Sense-less”…my wife has much harsher things to say about it. We got three new devices today, NONE of which had any power what-so-ever, and NONE of which had any runtime what-so-ever. So, either the algorithms are botched, or the reporting is botched. Sure glad I don’t; own any stock in this dog, and really really wish I’d not wasted the money on it.

I work in the data analytics industry, and I’d be ashamed of this junk!

It sounds to me as though you aren’t giving it a chance. I haven’t yet seen Sense detect a device in one day. It has to see it going on and off for a few weeks before it starts recognizing it. Give it a chance!

When I said “we got”, I ment “it discovered”, sending notification and adding them to my devices. I do not understand how Sense can be adding devices with zero times on and zero power consumption. Either the algorithms are buggy or the reporting (both phone and web) are buggy.

This is what Sense shows for one of the three newly “discovered” devices.

This is not the first time I’ve seen this problem, and reported it last year…but still persists.

when sense notifies you of a new device its not because its on at that time but rather it has enough info to make a guess at what it could be. If you turn on notifications for that device sense will let you know when its on or off, you can then easily track them down and give them the right name. the key is to let your house run normally, Sense is looking for unique power signatures, for example the surge of power when a microwave kicks-on to its steady flow and power off mixed with run time to make a guess. You might have more then one device that acts similar, same as my electric heater and blow dryer

I’m fully aware of what Sense is saying, and do have alerts turned on. One problem is that Sense keeps reporting devices found, but with ZERO power and ZERO runtime reported. As someone who works in the area of data analytics, I find it very very strange (actually ridiculous) that Sense is reporting devices found but with no data for those devices. Either the detection algorithms are wrong or the web and phone reporting is wrong. See one of the examples, below. Also note that changing the view timeframe has no effect.


That’s too bad. I’m getting lots of data for all my devices. I had to change my CTs around a bit before I got them all in a good place for strong readings I have solar CTs as well. Not sure what Sense would say about this but you might want to try a factory reset Start the data gathering from scratch. I haven’t had your issue. Sorry I can’t help

I’ve never had my Sense report any usage when a device is first discovered. That is, it doesn’t report anything about the data it used to figure out there is a new device there. It will start reporting data for the device only when the device turns on again after it’s been reported as discovered. I remember a post a while back where they hoped to have that historic, pre-discovery data reported as soon as the device was discovered but I guess they didn’t get that working the way they wanted.

1 Like

Hmmm. Many, if not most, of my handful of reported devices found over the past year had runs and power reported, but definitely not all. My most recent “discoveries” are all showing zero run times and zero power after a number of days since discovery. Certainly both the fridge and the icemaker have run many times since then.

After a year, we’re still seeing only a half dozen (of our 57 electric consumers…not including lights) reliably reporting. There another half dozen “found”, but only occasionally reporting.

Hey @andy - sorry for the troubles you’re experiencing here!

As you mentioned, I believe newly discovered devices should be backfilling with data from the past few days/weeks, but I’m going to double check with the data science team just in case I’m not understanding this correctly, or in case there might be an issue.

Stay tuned!

@andy - just noticed your screenshot from the web app. Would it be possible to check those devices on iOS/Android to see if that information is successfully backfilling there, but not in the web app?


1 Like