New low-wattage device detected in washer

device-detection

#1

Device 2 as a new device started popping up a few weeks ago. I have isolated it to the clothes washer, a recent-vintage low-water usage agitator-less machine (Kenmore). Device 2 comes on several times early on in the wash cycle when the washer is trying to sense the size of the load. When this is going on, the tub is moving around some, on and off, and there is also a humming sound. Device 2 usage has always come up at 20W (which makes me somewhat suspicious as to what all Sense is calling Device 2), although the Power Meter display does show a spike at the beginning of the on cycle. I’m about to call this something like “Washer - load sensing”, but I’m wondering what all other than the main motor is involved. Anybody out in Sense-Land up on how this load sensing works?


#2

Could it be the water solenoid valve? Is the washer filling with water during that time?


#3


#4

My money’s on water valve. My HE washer fills with water, tumbles clothes around, fills with some more water, tumbles, etc. until it decides things are wet enough to wash. Does it happen again when the rinse cycle starts?


#5

I don’t hear any water coming in. Just the humming sound and the rocking back and forth of the tub. I think the washer is trying to measure the inertia of the load. Later on after a few minutes of watering the load and packing it down, it will measure some more. It’s like the first five or ten minutes is spent sizing up the load, and only then does it get down to the business of washing. It’s kind of a fascinating process. The last time I watched a washer going through the motions so much was when I was a little kid. I guess I should’ve been a Maytag washer repairman.

It’s pretty audible when the washer is taking in water. It seems to fill a reservoir, and from that it sprays water into the tub.


#6

I don’t think it’s doing it at the rinse cycle. Only at the beginning of the entire washing.


#7

Sounds like you have a front loader. I wish we had gotten a front loader, but this is a top loader.


#8

I would agree that it is the sensing mechanism that measures how heavy the load is, how the weight is distributed, etc. It does spin the drum around for that in a low rotation mode so Device 2 is probably the Drum Motor at the low rotation mode. The motor will run at a higher rotation mode (with a different power signature) during the “regular” washing cycles so it’ll be detected separately (if it hasn’t already).


#9

I’m out of ideas. @frankwin.hooglander seems to have a plausible explanation. Though I’m not sure what the humming sound you describe could be.

Yes, mine’s a front loader. The only powered components are the drum motor, the pump motor, and the water solenoids. Sense did manage to ID the drum motor, which is surprising since it has a very irregular usage pattern, depending on the speed of rotation, clothing load, etc.


#10

Yes, I could go with the idea of the humming sound being low wattage on the motor. When the main washing with agitation is going, the power consumption of the washer is bouncing all over, like up to maybe 200-300W. The Sense graph shows a rather spiky waveform, and during that time Sense cannot identify the microwave in the kitchen being on - it just goes over to the Other bubble; however, resistive loads such as the kitchen kettle it seems to identify. Also, Sense has not identified the main washer loads, only the washer water heater (if the Sanitize cycle has been selected), and this new Device 2. Maybe Sense is zeroing-in :thinking: on the washer? I’ve had Sense up and running for a little over a year now…


#11

I think front loaders are best. Get the clothes the cleanest with the least water usage. Can handle bulky comforters better. When I was doing student living back in the 80s, I went to the good laundromat that had diff sizes of front loaders, and they did an impressive job. But my wife didn’t have the extra couple of hundred dollars in our budget for one when we bought our appliances.


#12

We have a recent (2 years) vintage Amana Bravos XL high efficiency top loader. Here’s what t typical cycle looks like on an HS110 smartplug.

And here are the details from the front-end of the cycle.

Sense never picked up any components of the washer over the two years I have had the Sense in service. But I can understand why.