I really want to like Sense but,

I’m guessing that after a couple of years I need to give up on Sense identifying much more than two refrigerators. I purchased Sense when I did primarily to track the cost of using my 6 Kw sauna heater. Sense still can not tell the difference between the Sauna and the dryer. I can’t even give Sense a hint. Oh, well …

Did you reach out to support?

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AFAIK many high wattage dual-phase devices like a sauna heater (and hot water heaters) can have complications with detection if Sense, for whatever reason, is not “matching” the phase current detection properly, along, perhaps, with the load balance on each phase. There is maybe some kind of threshold that can be calibrated outside of the ML.

I have an irregular panel supply (2 of 3 phases = 208V@120deg) and I believe Support tweaked things in the calibration to accommodate that … after contacting Support my hot water tank was detected. What we see is a nice waveform representing energy use of a specific device but there are layers of calibration that need to happen before that is possible. Even getting the mains Power Meter precise is not particularly straightforward.

Not that you have that issue (2 or 3 phases) but as @senseinaz suggests, yours looks to be a Support case.

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I’m really surprised @harold that
Your Sauna has not been properly detected.
Sense usually does really well with heating elements.
As others have mentioned, support may be able to really help with your situation.
I’m guessing, with so few detections, you have a variable pump of some kind?

More than once.

I pretty much go by the Joule–Lenz law P = I^2*R
That’s been working for me for the last fifty years.

Thank you for responding.

I have a variable speed compressor in my Lennox HVAC which has not yet been identified. I am disappointed that most of my electricity goes for “always on” and “other” after two years.

I’m confused - is Sense totally missing the Sauna Heater, or identifying it and your Dryer as the same thing. Just can’t tell from your explanation. Or maybe it’s more complicated than those two alternatives ?

That variable speed compressor almost surely won’t be detected but shouldn’t be “noisy” enough to prevent detection of other devices.
I’m not familiar with how sauna works, component wise, but assume it’s a simple 6kw resistance element similar to a water heater. Water heaters are detected very quickly usually.
I’m curious as to the answers support has given you.
I can see where in the first few months that they would say to give it time. But, after two years, I feel performance for your monitor is subpar.
I admire your patience!

Meaning you’re expecting Sense to do live resistance measurements per circuit in addition to current on the mains and voltage on the input supply to interpolate an obvious resistive load like a sauna heater?

I would try and reach out to Support again because as @samwooly1 points out that’s a rare case, I believe.

@RyanAtSense is very responsive to these issues as well and will put in a word to Support I suspect because he’s monitoring here closely.

@kevin1’s point is a good one: If the sauna has been identified as a device already then the issue is with the initial on signature most likely being confused with your dryer. Again, that could be fixed by Support perhaps.

Thanks for replying.
A little of both. I think that both the dryer and the sauna have more than one resistive element. At least one resistive element appears to be identified with the wrong device or possibly identified with both devices. Most commonly Sense will identify the dryer as the sauna but not always.

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Reliable detection of only two devices after multiple years is very abnormal. Unfortunately, Support can’t really force detections to happen (trust me, all of us here wish we could). Do you mind if I take a look at your tickets? I may be able to get the team to take a fresh look into your issues.


P also equals V*I, where Voltage and Current have phase values for loads that are not purely resistive due to capacitive and inductive reactances in the load. So instantaneous Power is the instantaneous Voltage times the instantaneous current. Which is what Sense measures to get Power and Phase information. Of course this is superimposed on all the other devices’ Power and Phase values. The Energy is the integral of the instantaneous Power curve over time.

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Well today is my 2 year anniversary with Sense, can I say I’m pleased : No!
Would I buy it again : No!

78.2 % of my usage is either always on (31.5%) or Other (46.8%)
So sense has " detected" apx 21.8% of my usage. Mostly low usage items so kind of hard to optimize or save power.

I’m up to AC 5 even though I only have 2 AC Units. I did merge a few, but I keep getting new ones and the old ones seem to drop off.

I have a total of 5 pumps, but only really have 2.

It identified my TV which is good except for when it is not my TV (probably more than half the time). Same with My garage lights (which were the only lights identified in 2 years)

It is accurate about several devices (obviously these must have “good” signatures"):
Garage Door
Coffee Maker
Food Disposal
Rice Cooker
Vacuum (Well as long as you pick one of the 2 it identified)
Instant Water Heater
Water heater Vent Fan (water heater is gas)
Dehumidifier (although It thinks I have 2)
Hair Dryer
A couple of Saw. (My table saw, and maybe my compound miter saw)
Kasa smart plug (but how hard is that since the plug gives the information)

But that’s about it. for the most part all small load devices that are run infrequently.

Overall It turned into just an expensive total power meter.
It’s nice to look at it sometimes and see that my Solar is greater than my load so I can get some instant gratification. (My solar inverter only updates a couple of times a day)

Could I do a lot of work and track down what each of my loads are? Sure, but wasn’t this what Sense was supposed to do?

Could I buy a lot of plug switches/monitors and get the power usage of each of my items that are plugged into the wall? Sure, but wasn’t this what Sense was supposed to do?

Could I hook the Aoen home energy monitors back up on My AC/Furnaces and get a better picture of how much they are running and how much power they are using? Sure, but wasn’t this what Sense was supposed to do?

Could I have my Solar inverter converted to Ethernet monitoring instead of cellular so I get instant updates? Well at least Sense does that! (Well give or take a few %)

Overall Sense over promised and under delivered! I was supposed to be able to see what was going on with the power in my house without having to run around with a watt meter and figure out what was using the power. 2 years in, I still don’t have great insight. Will I continue using Sense, sure I paid for it. Did it meet my expectations not by a long shot!

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Ten characters.

Just like Gary2, I have multiple, trivial identifications - coffee maker, etc.

I think your detection list is great. I do understand your frustration with the bigger load items being missing though, those are really the most important to most of us.
The deal with your A/C makes sense to me. I’m guessing all these new W/C detections are those same 2 units but are looking enough different to Sense to call them a separate detection. I believe this is due to the weather. Changes in outdoor ambient temperature play a role in how a heat pump or A/C runs. The higher the temperature outside, the harder the compressor works.
What I would do in your situation is to merge all the A/C into a single device.
Yes, you have two, but this would at least give you a total cost/usage for cooling. As Sense finds another A/C, check the “stats” to see if it’s close to the same in watts as the others, if it is, merge it also.
Not the best for complete accuracy but might alleviate some of your headache.

Well, maybe it’s a good list, but it really isn’t how sense was advertised.

Knowing that my coffee maker, vacuum, microwave, garage door, washer, dryer … are on is cute, but isn’t really giving me a lot of information about my home energy use, especially since these are things that I know when they are on anyway and most of them aren’t big energy users.

Looking over a year I have only really 2 higher energy use (>10%) devices identified. HVAC and dehumidifier, and I get far more useful HVAC information from my 2 Ecobee thermostats.

I have like 3 other items that are over 1% energy usage, and 16 items that are at 0% (I guess that means less than 0.1% usage )

It’s cute, maybe it’s even fun for a while, but is it worth $300. I probably would have got more useful information with $300 worth of smart plug and Aeon energy monitors.

I rarely look at it any more, except when I get a new email from sense.

It’s not the only home automation miss I had. I bought a wink hub before I switched to Smarthings. I bought a Skydrop sprinkler controller which was/is great, but they went bust.

I guess I was expecting more. Maybe I wasn’t realistic, maybe I should have waited, but I guess I really expected that Sense would provide more useful information than it did.

Maybe if I buy a bunch of Kasa’s I can get more useful information by putting some higher wattage devices on them. But that is really a function of Kasa, not of Sense.

I don’t want to be a complainer, but the reality is Sense did over promise and under deliver. Others may have had better results. Good for them. Do I have major regrets, no! Would I buy it again or recommend it to others, no!

I share your thoughts on marketing/advertising to a degree. I believe they could do a much better job explaining things that can cause problems and especially how individual results can vary GREATLY.
They don’t really make any promises for detections but they also don’t give examples of what someone should expect realistically either.
When they show detections on their website for devices, that is the expectation they are setting. Oh, Iv’e got a garage door opener, so it will detect mine.
Now that they have the inventory feature, they could quite easily compare what someone has in their home to what is detected in that same home.
This would give them the ability to say 50% of this certain device is detected. Or this device is known to never be detected.
sense is still my favorite electronic tool/toy and at $300 is a bargain. I’ve wasted more than that on a single supper for four.

That 31.5% Always On could probably probably be mostly known if you wanted to do the legwork. Sense gives you the tools, but not the automation.

And a few strategic smartplugs might help drop your Other substantially. They have worked for me.

But I can understand how you might have had turnkey “detect everything” expectations.