Pool Pumps the Forgotten Device Detection


There are a number of threads here asking about EVs and solar panels so they get a lot of attention and rightfully so as they are up and coming technologies. The one device I see little attention paid to even though it is generally the #2 electricity users for many households is the pool pump. Maybe pool pump owners don’t advocate enough for these devices or the number of sense users with pool pumps is low but more people in the US have pool pumps than solar panels or EVs. The bests stats I can find are here which lists 10.4 million households as having pools: https://www.thespruce.com/facts-about-pools-spas-swimming-safety-2737127, many of these households have more than 1 pump for additional cleaning or water features. It’s understandable that variable speed pumps are harder to detect than single speed but single speed pump detection still isn’t working for many users. Additionally pool pumps are unlikely to have much intelligence so you won’t find them connected to “smart” devices such as an echo, Google home, or smartthings so there isn’t an integration that will help I pool pumps. In my state of AZ 1 in 3 homes have pool pumps and they are very prevalent across southern climates like so Cal, Texas, and Florida. What can be done by pump owners to help the sense team with detection? As I mentioned earlier other devices like EVs and Solar have numerous threads but pool pumps have only a handful, one being a survey that sense sent out last year. Is progress being made on this front, does another survey need to go out, and can this be discussed on the next company conference call?


I have been waiting for mine to be detected as it runs about 12 hours a day. (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) I can see if come on, I can see it go off… It has a schedule. My Sense has detected 10 things in a week. I was surprised when it detected the Garage door opened and Condensate pump before the pool pump was discovered. I too would like this to be detected as I know it costs me a lot of electricity to run.

If there is something I can do to assist in the detection let me know. My pump runs daily from 6am to 9am, from 12pm to 3pm and from 9pm to 3am. Very distinctive signature., as its steady as opposed to ups and downs.

EDIT: Within 24 hours of posting this… it was detected as “Device 1” with most Sense owners suggesting it was a pool pump… I must have jumped the gun on this. Still fascinated though!


Hasn’t detected my pool pump either and I have been running it 24/7 to clear up the pool after all this rain.


This is a great question for the upcoming conference call @senseinaz! Make sure to get registered: Customer Webinar - 8/17/2018

I’ll get it added to the list of questions.


Great news here. 1 of my 2 pool pumps has been detected! The variable speed model hasn’t been identified yet but the pump that was found is used by my pool popups and is much higher in energy consumption. I wish I could provide more detail on the pump itself but it’s a no-name rebuild. Good luck to everyone else. I’ve had sense installed for 6 months.


Hi there - I too am interested in pool pump detection. My sense still hasn’t detected mine despite a regular daily schedule.


Add me to the list of wanting pool pump detection. Mine runs 6-8 hours a day, 365 days a year unless we haven a hurricane that takes the power out for a few days.


+1 to this hype. None of my pumps were detected 2 months since Sense installed. I don’t agree that Variable Speed Pumps are hard to detect. VST pumps has got very clear pattern to them. 1) priming (usually at max RPMs) - the wattage rises as pumps build up the pressure pushing air out 2) Once plumbing is pressurised it settles down at semi-constant wattage which has also clear patterns to it. When underwater nozzles open and close it creates pressure fluctuations which reflects to pump wattage draw in very clear and constant pattern.

HECK, I can isolate VST pump starting and continually working out of all noise with my eyes only :smiley: It one of the easiest devices to detect.


Definitely not what the head of Sense R&D and CEO told me when they were explaining why Sense couldn’t work for me months ago. Visually to a human very clear, Sense algorithms can’t handle it at all.


Pattern detection is very sensitive to the time resolution and time window one is using to search for the pattern, and (no surprise) both have to well matched to the dimensions of the patterns themselves. If you were looking at a VST pump waveforms in microsecond time samples using a 1 second (or so) window, I’m betting that it would be a hard recognition for any human (or machine)… Same for machine learning or a human spotting an on-signature for an incandescent bulb with the default Power Meter resolution, 1/2 sec, and window of a few minutes.


I too would really like to see my pool pump and polaris pump. When I lived in NJ I had Sense for over two years and it never picked up my pump. I chalked this up to it being an Intelliflow Inverter driven pump that I operated at a very low speed 24/7 during the pool season. Now that I am in Florida with a crappy standard single speed pump that runs 6-8 hours a day I don’t understand why Sense has not picked this item up :frowning:


I’ll be adding an HS110 to my pool pump wiring come spring - I have a high end Pentair variable speed pump which I do not exact Sense to be able to detect since it runs at different speeds at different times of the day, has a variable ramp up that can change depending on different situations, etc. In short, it’s signatures are something I don’t anticipate Sense being able to pickup easily and reliably even if it was detected.


Can you post a picture of this once you’ve done it? My Pentair variable speed is directly wired into an old intermatic timer. It would be great if I could figure out a way to rewire it and take advantage of an HS110 for power monitoring.


Wire an outlet with one hot per side and tie the ground in


Since wiring 220v into a 110v outlet violates every building code, and is HIGHLY dangerous for the next folks (imagine inadvertently plugging in a 110v appliance to a 220v outlet), you should label it VERY clearly. You should also hope you never have an occasion for insurance (or fire) inspection, because doing this would void your homeowners coverage and your occupancy permit.

A much safer (thought still questionable) approach would be to use a standard 220v outlet and build a pigtail to the HS110. That should be soldered to the HA110 prongs and covered with shrink wrap. Again, labeling would be very important.