No large appliances detected (including GE heat pump hot water heater)


I’m seeing a large Unkown value from Sense after about a month of usage. The largest contributor to this is my water heater ( . I’m surprised this device isn’t in the database as it’s one of the most popular electric heaters and a large draw on my electricity.


Just because it’s one of the most popular heat pump hot water heaters on the market, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s likely to be well represented in Sense’s install base. Even if that’s so, the same product will sound different to Sense based on the wiring and other appliance differences in each home. Based on what we’re seen so far, not every device from a home-model makes it into a useful aggregate model for device detection.


I’m only interested in why this doesn’t work because I’m an enthusiast. For this device to go beyond the set of early adopter tinkerers it just needs to work better than this. So far none of my large appliances - hot water heater, electric car, clothes dryer, convection oven - have been detected. The machine learning tech behind this is neat but doesn’t seem ready. The equivalent to my experience so far is if my voice reco software detected a few specially crafted obscure phrases but didn’t understand the words I use most often - that’s a neat demo, but probably not a mainstream product.


I also have the GE red HPWH. 50 gallons. Although I assume the 50 and 80 would look similar from a sense perspective.
Although mine is also set to heat pump only - no resistance heating.
Using an ammeter, I found the HPWH pulls 288 watts in heat pump mode, and 4,020 in resistance mode.
My setup is well pump --> 50 gal HPWH --> 50 gal propane. Setting the GE to 140 and propane to 130.
The propane one uses a 120v motor for the fan, and sense did find that.

This provides us with 100 gallons of hot water, heated 99% by a heat pump :slight_smile:
(propane one came with house).


If you’ve seen any of my posts with charts of Sense device learning progress for my home, you’ll know that I agree with you, Matt. Sense hasn’t come close to their product promises and have more work to do.

So far the devices Sense has never found include - gas furnace, dishwasher, dual-fuel range, washing machine, music amplifier, music components, flat screen, receiver, blu-ray, Xbox, Tivo, four computers, four halogen lighting systems, lamps, etc.

So far the devices Sense has learned and forgotten include - hot water heater, toaster, espresso machine, heated floor, dehumidifier, and steam iron.


I have is same hot water heater and sense did fine it the heat pump part and the electric heating elements


In terms of Sense not detecting a specific, fairly common/popular water heater model, @brianmur had a pretty good summary of why Sense may detect it for some users but not others. To provide some more context: though the water heater described draws a lot of power and is on both channels, it is possible that a particular house is “noisy” (a lot of other devices turning on or off) or has a lot of 240V devices. Factors like that can make Sense’s job of creating models for certain devices easier or harder in different homes.

In regards to Sense forgetting devices: I replied to Long Running Devices recently in regards to this. It really shouldn’t be happening so frequently, so please contact our support team so our data science team can take a look at the models for these devices.


Hilario - come on lets be honest; i’ll say it first. This product is not ready for prime time. After nearly 2 months with what I now consider an orange brick tied to my electrical box; Sens has failed to provide anything useful. It learned a bunch, conveniently forgot them, and is now extremely confused and can’t makes heads/tails about my house. There is no user friendly way to start over, to delete/forget devices. I’ll be honest, i gave up paying attention to the app, because it gave up.

A far cry from the perfectly calibrated home you demonstrated on national TV (Ask This Old House Hour)…product looked amazing and it worked flawlessly - even integrating with a washer.

In reality the device has been a pure waste of my money and time…


I tend to agree, the initial ships to get the data needed to make this a reality should have been closer to $100 not $200 or $250…

It still hasn’t found the thing I bought it to find (my Tesla). let alone any of 2 TVs or 3 computers. And it’s also “forgotten” my heat-pump.

It’s a cute toy, but the expectation is way off from reality… and at the end of the day… what’s the point? I’m not turning my fridge warmer. I’m not using less hot water, and I’m not going to turn off my TV.
PA power is $0.11/kwh, and gets the job done. I’m all LED lighting, heat pump, heat pump water heater and an EV.

so… it’s a neat gizmo, but I don’t see it having any “OMG my hot tub uses electricity?!” I’m going to turn it off moments…


While I agree the device detection is not ready for primetime, that does not make it a useless brick. I will have paid for the device in under a year with just two things I learned from it. First it found a bank of four recessed lights that were up about 15 feet. I was shocked to see the amount of power they were using as I thought I had replaced the bulbs with all CFL bulbs but it turned out three were still incandescent bulbs. I have since changed them out to LED bulbs.

I also always ran my main computer 24/7 until I used Sense to show me how much power the computer with multiple monitors and external drives was consuming. While not recognized you can look at how the total changes when you turn something on and off. I now have the computer go to sleep when not in use.


Seconded. I won’t argue it’s not yet living up to all the claims, but then again I can’t think of any piece of tech this new that does right off the bat. The important roadwork - componentry, etc. has been laid out. What needs improvement is the software. Like a number of other smart devices out there these days, I trust that will happen in time. I expect some iteration of the Sense device to someday give really helpful “health checkups” of many major appliances (if they listen to their early users and make necessary changes, of course :wink: ).

I have my criticisms, but my aim is to improve the product. In the end, it has shown me how frequently my hot water heater was running and without that, I wouldn’t have made some changes so that we’re just making enough to use. That alone is saving me at least $20 a month. We’ve got a newborn as well - and instead of the wife running her hair dryer or vacuum cleaner a couple hours a day to get the baby to calm down, we have white noise pumped over small speakers to do that. The information, while it could be better at this point, has been providing some useful information.


Hi Matt, we too have a GE hybrid heater, 80-gallon size. After about 5 months Sense detected part of it - a 165W motor. I cannot tell if this is the compressor or cooling fan. Sense doesn’t always detect it running, but when it does, it can run for 6-11 hours non-stop. This is in pure hybrid mode and with kids who sometimes take long showers.

With only 165W associated, Sense still has more load to discover from the heater. Also, the electronic controls would be part of my “Always On” load, I presume.

Here’s what the heater’s 165W load looks like today, for example:


Thanks Jim. Here’s hoping that the signal data from you unit is shared up to the Sense cloud and gets the rest of us monitoring :slight_smile:

But, until the machine learning tech is more solid, what I’d like to see Sense do (cc @HilarioAtSense) is create a product with a few more clamps so that we can monitor individual large appliance circuit breakers. My water heater, electric car, etc are all on dedicated breakers.


I have the red GE heat pump water heater - 50 gallons. Set to Heat Pump Only mode. (output goes to my 50 gallon propane water heater, before going to house)

Using an ammeter:
heat pump only mode: 288 watts
Resistance Mode: 4020 watts

amazing how few watts this thing pulls. It’s saved me a TON, TON over my propane one.

50 gallons, even at 140 won’t keep up with my house, so I left the original propane one in place, and now have 100 gallons heated primarily by heat pump.


I have two GE GeoSpring heat pumps in Heat Pump only mode. Will Sense be able to detect them? I’ve had my Sense for 2 days and only 2 devices detected - my well pump and Keurig coffee maker.


If you have had it for two days and have two devices then it is working AMAZINGLY well for you. I had my first unit for six months and it never found either HVAC system and my replacement has been running for over a month and has not found either but found a third fridge that I don’t have. Hopefully yours will continue with the amazing rate of discovery you have seen so far - I am serious, two things in two days is much better than most.


The reason I bought the Sense was primarily to identify ways to reduce energy usage. I think I’m on track to save at least $600/year because of what I learned in the first few days. Everything else is gravy but I am definitely curious to see the data…


That’s amazing to hear, @rori! Would love to hear more about what insights you gained to save that much.

With regards to heat pump detection, I can’t speak to specific models, but I can say that those with variable speed compressors can take longer to detect.


@BenAtSense, well… it’s embarrassing to admit but we just moved into a new house and were shocked at the electricity bill. We knew we needed to switch to LED bulbs at some point but a quick walk around the house with the Sense app showed we were burning ~1,500 watts for hours, unnecessarily, during the evening. And the HVAC fan was constantly on in one of the zones (367watts x 24 hours a day). We fixed that with a fan isolation relay.

Add those two together, plus the unplugging of some devices that really do not need to be plugged in, and I am confident we will save $600/yr.

I like that I can see instantly the impact of a device when flipping the switch - no guessing.


Thanks for sharing Rori!