Looking for "Motor 2" - 280 Watts

Been looking everywhere to identify “Motor 2”, recently isolated from “Always On” by Sense’s AI.

The system says it is a Motor, likely a freezer or a pump. It runs exactly 280 Watts all day long but at 7am it turns off then on again, and at 7pm it turns off and then on again.

I have had Sense + Solar for about a year now and have used a number of techniques to identify the devices. In this case, “Motor 2” has alluded me as I have turned every freezer, pump, refrigerator on and off several times to see if that causes a fluctuation in the Sense reading – so far nothing yet.

280 Watts and the timing seem very specific. Any ideas?


Freezers and refrigerators need to regulate how much they run in order to compensate for changes in the external environment, so I can’t imagine either of those being Motor 2. A pump could run all the time, however, so I focused on that in your description. Do you have municipal water or private?

280 Watts corresponds to about 1/8 horsepower, which is smaller than most pool or sump pumps. It is also larger than most fans, but an attic fan or a whole-house fan could be that big. Have you tried flipping breakers while looking at the Power Meter (not the bubbles)?


Do you have your blower motor on your furnace to always stay on? If your thermostat schedule is at the 7am/pm it might trigger it to cycle on and off.

Something that runs constantly is tricky. Like @jefflayman said, it’s not gonna be an appliance and it’s not large.

Could also be a computer, although the brief on off is strange unless it’s just a glitch in the monitoring.

I would even consider filling a tech ticket because a classification of “motor” shouldn’t be a steady 280. That classification might be in error.

A screenshot of the power usage might help.

This sounds more like a fan/blower, running off a computer control. Do you have things like ERV, filter system, etc?

One useful technique I’ve used for long running devices is to turn off breakers while carefully watching the Sense total power chart. Don’t watch the device bubble because turning off breakers isn’t the same as the devices normal signature.

Once you figure out which breaker the mystery consumption is coming from, you can then narrow down the list considerably.

1 Like

I have a well and a well pump. That device has already been identified. In my role as a device sleuth, I have shut off the well pump but noticed no fluctuation in power levels or the bubbles (the well pump turns on intermittedly, as needed). “Motor 2” shows a constant 280 W use throughout the day.

I thought this was a solid candidate for my elusive 280 W “Motor 2”. To test that theory, I turned off the breakers to the furnace and the AC and did not notice any fluctuation in “Motor 2” or my power levels (the AC was not currently blowing as I would have seen something.) The furnace fan would have gone off when I turned off the breakers.

It turns itself off and back on again every 12 hours, around 7:30 am/pm.

Here is the profile for “Motor 2”, top to bottom.

I agree – it sounds computer controlled. It is too precise.

I either turn it off at the source (unplug a candidate device and wait a minute or two) or shut down the entire breaker. I have been shutting off breakers all over the house recently to help get to the bottom of this mystery device. So far, no dice!

That is an abnormally perfect energy usage. I see where they think it’s a pump or motor because it has startup power indicated by the initial quick spike. Then it stabilizes and stays at a perfect 280.

I’m at a loss because there’s not much out there that should stay on 24/7 at that power consumption holding steady as can be. I mean it’s normal to have always on devices, but one singular thing at 280? That’s a decent amount of power. It would bug the crap out of me and I would definitely just do one breaker at a time until it cuts off. That would isolate the circuit and then you could go from there.

What if it is a motor that is somehow blocked and thus not starting.
Onboard electronics try to “emergency restart” it every 12 hours?

280 watt might not be enough to “burn up” but is a nice heater 24/7 (minus 2 dips)

Or does the shape of the peak then lower usage, a second peak and then flat suggest it was a successful start of the motor?

Could it be one of those Radon fan under the house ?
update just googled but they seem to be more like 60-80 watts what i found

Flip all your breakers till you at least know what group it is.

1 Like

I’ve noticed that all my long-running natively detected devices have a flat “tail.” A sample detection is included below for the motor in my dehumidifier, which ran three times last night. I believe that the AI engine in the Sense mainframe, when it detects a new device, assigns it a wave-form pattern (probably based on the average of the instances it analyzed). From that point onward, each time the local Sense monitor notices a certain device come on, it displays that waveform as the device consumption.

Notice how the waveform pattern at the beginning of each ON instance are exactly the same shape. I believe the waveform pattern definition has a maximum file size, so for long-running devices, when the time frame included in the defined waveform has elapsed, the Sense app displays a constant value. This does not mean that the device now has a constant electrical demand. It is merely the limits of the interface technology.

Do I believe that my dehumidifier wattage actually stabilizes at a constant value after running for 20 minutes? No. In fact, in a few of my devices that have native detection behind an HS300, I have seen the integration continue to report zig-zags after the native definition has leveled off. I can’t put my finger on an example at this moment, but I have seen it multiple times.

Conclusion: Motor 2 probably does not have a constant usage of 280 Watts throughout the day.


I had never bothered to look before at a singular long running device, but now that you said this I looked at the heat pump and sure enough it has the tail. Some things however don’t, like the dryer.

Thanks for the information @jefflayman. TIL :smiley:

So then back to the OP. I think the consensus here is to flip breakers one by one until you can isolate it. Good luck!

1 Like

Over the weekend, I recorded an example of what I was talking about above. The native detection has a flat tail, while the integration continues to record little variations.

Seen it many times.