Installing sense in main house disconnect with ability to restart

installation

#1

My solar feeds into my house at the main house disconnect, not the breaker panel. I was able to successfully install Sense in this box, and it has largely been working fine for six months now. However, there have been a handful of occasions when the Sense goes offline and I need power cycle it to get it working again.

The box is designed so that it cannot be opened without shutting off power to the entire house. (Also, they way I currently have it wired, I have to shut off power to the house to restart Sense.) I’d like to come up with a way to restart Sense without killing power to the house.

Can anyone think of an electrically-safe way to get a switch outside of the box that I could use to cut power to Sense?


#2

Hey Gavin. I can’t comment on a switch solution, but the ideal way to fix this would be to prevent Sense from needing to be power cycled in that way. We’re working on a hardware fix for this problem. If you shoot me a private message we can possibly get it sorted out.


#3

I can’t tell where exactly is your Sense getting power from. Is there a breaker inside your disconnect box? Have you thought of installing a switch in an outside-rated enclosure and powering Sense from that?


#4

Sorry, @serovner86, I should have called that out in the picture. Follow the gray wire coming out of the Sense up to where it splits into red/white/black wires (below middle of the picture, just below the green ground wire). I crimped spade connectors onto the ends of the wires, and you can see the red and black screwed down near the tops of the fuses if you zoom in.

As for a switch and outside-rated-enclosure…I hadn’t. I assume there is such a thing as a 240V wall switch, but I’d not thought of one before. Thanks for the idea, I’ll hunt a little in that direction.


#5

Thanks, @RyanAtSense. A hardware fix that required no future interaction would definitely be the most ideal solution. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to figure out how to send a private message on this forum. (I had assumed there would be a link from your profile, but don’t see one there.) Can you give me a hint? :wink:


#6

If you click my name, you should get a little popup with a Message button. :+1:


#7

If you click my name, you should get a little popup with a Message button.

Hrm, not seeing it. I’m guessing that perhaps because I’m a new, low-rep member, spamming people on the forums has been removed from my list of abilities? :slight_smile:


#8

Wait … so you don’t have any overload protection on the Sense connection? I believe your Sense unit is powered directly of the mains or your solar array. This isn’t good. If something shorts within the Sense unit, you are only breaking the connection when something burns through (most likely a trace within the Sense box or one of the Sense wires).


#9

Whoa. Weird. That’s new to me. I’ll look into it and shoot you a PM in the meantime


#10

Wait … so you don’t have any overload protection on the Sense connection? I believe your Sense unit is powered directly of the mains or your solar array. This isn’t good.

Correct on all accounts. :grimacing:


#11

Yikes! Is the breaker panel right on the other side of the wall? You might be able to feed another circuit (protected by a breaker) through the conduit that is being used to connect to the house breakers ( you’d have to check your local codes on what is possible) and connect the Sense unit to that.


#12

The main breaker is about 15-20 feet away, unfortunately. Still might be possible to get an electrician to feed wires through. I appreciate your concern and horror, as it’s convincing me that I need to get protection on this.


#13

If you’re not worried about meeting code (which wouldn’t allow you to install in this box anyway) and just want to protect the Sense wiring, you could add an in-line fuse holder to both legs and put in a small fuse - 5 or 10 amps.

Double pole switches for 240 volt circuits can be had for less than $10 at most home stores.


#14

Agree that you should install inline fuses on the lines leading from your disconnect switch taps so that sense has overcurrent protection. A more elegant solution might be a terminal block fuse holder:

https://www.arrow.com/en/products/l60030c1sq/littelfuse?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=g-shp-us-littelfuse-manufacturer&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=PRODUCT+GROUP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyYLjpavn2wIVSiSGCh0rfQq5EAQYBCABEgLbb_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CLXsvaer59sCFRNaDAodzAsBmg

Note that you only need to interrupt one of the two Sense power legs (the black one) to reset the unit. If I were you, I’d knock out a new hole in the bottom of your disconnect enclosure, run a short section of conduit down to a wet location switch box mounted under the disconnect, and install a normal 15A single pole switch in there.

You might also want to read this thread: