New device question

I have been using sense for nearly 4 years now. I have ceiling fans in every room. I was always a bit miffed why it never detected them (it’s a motor that goes on and off). That is just the background.

So the other day I got a popup of a new device detected. Reviewing the highest possible suggestion was Fan @ 46%. I was like cool, it finally found it so I added.

However, it showed active despite no fans running. I noticed a few more things:

  1. It seems to come on every few minutes (up to 10) for about 2-3 mins at a time
  2. Always uses 96W
  3. Happens throughout the day (i’m not home now but its going on and off every 10-ish mins)

When I was home and it was coming on, I was doing nothing out of the ordinary.

Any thoughts on what this could be or how to figure out what it is?

Do you have any laptops, or other batteries that might just being doing a trickle-charge?
My ceiling fans only pull about 45W continuous, prob double that on startup.

Also, don’t trust the data from the new device; that info is what Sense thinks the device is using; the true view is the Meter view. You can try to compare the on/off times to the actual meter view and see how much the device is actually using, that may (or may not) help.

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There may be a hint to your mystery device identity in the list of other suggestions by Sense. You said Fan was the top suggestion at 46%, but what were the others? You can return to that list at any time by going to the device page, then Settings (the cog icon in top right), then the > arrow next to Name.

Sense was able to identify my bathroom exhaust fan, which has tiny blades hidden behind a grill. The bathroom fan uses 52W when in use, and Sense was 97% sure that it was a Fan. Sense also identified my kitchen exhaust hood above the stove, which again has small blades hidden inside a duct. The hood uses 200W when in use.

Your description of running for 2-3 minutes at a time every ten minutes makes me think it is something automatic. If it really is a fan, could it be an exhaust or ventilator in attic/basement/crawl space/garage?

Another way to track devices that run frequently is to turn off breakers one at a time, then wait for the mystery device to fire. If your mystery device never does, then you have at least found which circuit it is on, which may give a clue as to what or where it is.

Thanks, when I look at the choices:
Fan 46%
Furnace 23%
Pump 15%
Condensate pump 6%
Humidifier 1%

Of these Furnace has not engaged this season, I dont have any pumps that im aware of, HVAC is off, and HUmidfier (one in the crawl space) but its very dry here so doubt it would be coming on that often and 24 hours a day

I guess my only option is the circuit breaker option

Btw my ceiling fans do make a blip on the meter page.

THanks !!!

Ok, so Jeff great advise

As soon as the “fan” came on I started flipping breakers. I found the one where as soon as I flip it off “fan” disappears off sense and comes right back on when I flip the breaker on.

Few years ago I had my electrical panel updated (thats when I had the electrician add sense). When he was done we tried our best to identify what each breaker did.

The one that causes “fan” to go off and on is labeled “furnace / back outlet”

Scrolling up Furance was the #2 choice @ 23% - so I guess that’s it. But here is the big question, my furnace isn’t running, so why is it coming on every 10-12 mins and staying on about 4 minutes? The wattage used is always 96W.

FYI I am in a single story home. Furnace is located in the crawlspace. The only electrical device down there is a dehumidifier. But with this fall dry weather I would think it’s not coming on (or not every 10-12 mins). I could have sworn way back when a different “new device” was the dehumidifier. I live in the south, so that thing has got to be running all summer long. In sense app when I click demidifier, there is no history for this year. Might as well delete that

So the choices sense app gave me again were:
Fan 46%
Furnace 23%
Pump 15%
Condensate pump 6%
Humidifier 1%

Could it be the humidifier at 1%? It just cant be the furnace as its off

update: crawl space dehumidifiers take WAY more energy than 96W.

So now i’m perplexed what it could be?

I vote for condensate pump at 6% likelihood. Condensate pumps are a component of furnaces. That would be a lot of condensate for the pump to have to run that often, but you may have a bad sensor which is triggering it more than necessary.

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Thanks… Its time for the fall service check up, so I will ask them

But what’s tripping me is that with the fall weather here neither AC or Furnace has been on at all, let alone constantly.

I will ask them to look at then when they do the maintenance

Could you post a screenshot of the meter view of this device running? That may help.

But it does sound like the dehumidifier is going bad; maybe the motor has seized and it’s not doing anything, until the motor overheats, turns off, then tries again.

Please let us know the outcome.

Not sure if this will help, but here are some screen shots. You can see the device came on at 11:37

Did those screenshots help?

They do help; you can see there’s no spike on start so that indicates it’s a resistive load, like a heating element or battery charger or something, not a motor (and not a seized one).

I’m not sure what it is, but did you unplug your humidifier to verify that’s what it is?

I dont think I can unplug it. It is under the house in the crawl space and may be hard wired. I can take a look to be sure. Great suggestion !!

Well folks the mystery has been solved.

As you may recall I recently started noticing a device show come on and off ALOT and always for 96w usage. With your help I found it was under the house, which all that is there is furnace and dehumidifier.

This new device came up with this:
Fan 46%
Furnace 23%
Pump 15%
Condensate pump 6%
Humidifier 1%

I went with the higher one, Fan.

Yesterday I had my normal HVAC inspection. I told him about this. Turns out it was a defection condensation pump for the furnace.

During winter months not much water comes out. However, if this had been the summer with AC going all the time, I would be looking at some water down there.

All replaced now :slight_smile:

So Sense actually did in a way help me avoid a big problem