How do you use notifications?

I’m working on some general instructional content for new Sense users (just finished up one on the Power Meter, which I’ll share soon). The next one is on notifications. I’d absolutely love to feature actual user examples rather than ones from my or my fellow team members’ homes. So…

How do you use notifications? This can be simple on/off notifications or more custom time-based ones.

I’ll start with a couple:

My water heater randomly decided to not work this past Sunday. I’ve since reset it and now have a notification setup to let me know when it turns on, so I can be sure that’s it’s working properly.

Chris, our VP of Product, has one set up to let him know if his septic pump runs longer than 1 minute, which can be indicative of a problem.

Sense identified a “light” in my home but I have absolutely no idea what it is. It is not a light and I can’t figure it out based on the usage patterns.

I set up a notification to tell me when this device is turned on so I can hopefully associate it with whatever I am doing at the time.


I use them to try and home in on a device Sense has discovered yet I have no idea what it actually is. Or to confirm a device actually is turning on/off in the real world the same way Sense claims it is.

If Sense ever detects the other components of our electric dryer I’d use it to notify me when a load of clothes is done. So far all it has detected is the heating element which turns on/off as the load dries. I’d like to be able to get a notification based on both the tumbler & heater element being off for X minutes.

For the latter one, couldn’t you still set one up for the heater if it’s been off for, say, 30 minutes? I’d imagine the time between “run” cycles is smaller than that.

I suppose but it wouldn’t be as helpful. The dryer cycle is normally 48 minutes for our normal clothes run, but it usually lowers itself based on detected moisture. It may run for 25 minutes, full 48, or something in between.

If I set a reminder for the heating element being off for 30 minutes and it ran for 30 minutes then it would be alerting me at 60 minutes after it started which is 12 minutes longer than a full run. I may as well just walk up to it and check myself. :slightly_smiling_face: This is why I’d prefer the tumbler be detected and be able to know the whole dryer has shutdown.

Well, you’re a less lazy man than me. My laundry is a floor below and I’ve been known to forget about it for hours. But, fair point!

I use the custom notifications primarily to detect failures or issues since my Sense is in a home that goes un occupied frequently

Fridge has been off for 4 hours (did it die?!)
Fridge has been on for more than 2 hours (did someone leave the door open)
Septic pump hasn’t run in 2 days (check the back yard to see if its squishy!)
Furnace condensate pump hasn’t run in 36 hours (Did we lose heat?)

Then historically I have used the generic Device Turned On/Off when hunting unknown devices.

Fridge (on Wemo): OFF for 1h
Water Heater (native detection): ON for 1h
Toaster (native detection): ON for 3m
Goals (pseudo notification for over-current): under 9,600 watts
Goals (pseudo notification for over-current): under 9,000 watts

Because the Fridge is on a Wemo and I’m worried about inadvertently switching it off I’ve also got Sense telling Hue to turn a bulb to RED via IFTTT.

And a “silly” notification I set up to play with using IFTTT was 3 Hues in line like a bar graph which essentially mirrors my toaster’s LEDs (it’s a Breville Bit More). You can never be too careful with toast.

1 Like

Out of curiosity…why is your fridge on a Wemo?

Explained here:

Still waiting for the data to accumulate so I can do some analysis.

Here are my notification use cases:

-Notify when a detected but not identified device turns on
-Usage is over 24kW (main breaker rating)
-Fridge is off for >3 hours
-Fridge is on for >6 hours
-Well pump is on for >5min
-Wine cooler off for >3 hours
-Boiler off for >12 hours


I’m similar to pswired:

-Notify when a detected but not identified device turns on and off
-Usage is over 8,500W (trying to get an understanding on my peaks for general interest. If the alerts get annoying I just increase the value)
-Fridge is off for >2hours (to save the food)
-Freezer is off for >2hours (to save the food)
-Mini Fridge is off for >2hours (to save the beer)

1 Like

Rule for Washing has turned off for 5 minutes. When it works it lets the wife know to go and switch.

1 Like