Sense install on outdoor panel

I just moved into a new house that has an outdoor electrical panel with the main breaker, and the breakers for both the outdoor A/C units. The panel indoors feeds the rest of the house including the furnace/blower, etc.

Obviously I want the full picture of my home’s electrical usage. Can the sense monitor be installed in the outdoor box? Going to guess it can’t withstand the below freezing temps and summer temps > 100 degrees.

I think my only option is to install inside but I’m hoping the group has some ideas. The picture below is the outdoor box.

What’s the distance between the outdoor and indoor panels? (Long CT cables are possible as is extending the voltage sensing wiring and power for the Sense monitor)

Do you have adequate WiFi signal in the outdoor panel location?

It’s probably 30’-40’ to run wires through the roof and walls


Most likely Sense in your existing outdoor panel would be fine but the other option would be to put it in a more robust NEMA housing exterior to the outdoor panel.

I would worry more in the heat and moisture realm … the Sense will keep itself warm and dry in winter as long as the outdoor panel is waterproof. Overheating could be an issue if sun is beating down on the panel but it would have to be quite extreme.

More info from here:

Environmental Ratings

Relative Humidity: < 90%:
IPX0 rating, no water ingress
Temperature: 32-140ºF (0-60ºC)
Elevation: < 6562′ (2,000m)

Unless you are in Death Valley … go for it.

Ya…I think I’m going to give it a try. I have a wifi access point about 15’ away and hoping it can penetrate the walls and metal enough to be functional.

The upper temps are fine…not sure how it’ll handle the single digit nights of the winter…

The antenna is waterproof and if mounted carefully you could have that outside the panel.

Don’t worry about the lower temps … in the enclosed box it will stay warm enough. In theory you could insulate things but I won’t suggest that here. I didn’t suggest that right?

External case of my Sense, which is exterior to my panel and in a conditioned space, hovers around 115F so is dissipating a reasonable amount of heat.

Looks like you have ole ty of room in that outdoor panel, install it there. I wouldn’t worry about temperatures and humidity as the electricity will be putting off some heat at all times. I would only be concerned about extremely high heat.

I have my sense in an exterior panel in Utah We have below zero temperatures sometimes. And above a hundred sometimes I haven’t had any problem. I did mount the antenna external. It has been working since May of 2017.

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I have a similar outdoor panel (in the SF Bay Area of California), and I’ve not had any issues with my Sense installed in there over the past couple of years. My panel is embedded in an exterior wall, so I used a knockout to poke the WiFi antenna up inside the wall behind my panel to keep it out of the elements.

I have a similar setup. The meter feeds a panel outside which feeds a panel inside. I installed Sense in the outside panel with the antenna out the bottom of the panel. Been working great for over a year now. I live in Central Florida too and no heat or humidity issues.

Alright…I installed it outside. We’ll see how it handles the winters. I’m in Utah as well so glad to see it’s working for @Snowguy.

One more question for the group though…

As I mentioned in my original post, the outside panel has the main breakers, and the breakers for the A/C. I kicked on my A/C and Sense doesn’t seem to be picking up the electrical for the outside unit. It only seems to pick up the air handler and evaporator coil. I’m not seeing nearly the electricity spike I’d expect. I’ve stared at that panel and cannot figure out why it wouldn’t pick up the electricity for the outside condensers.

You are looking at the mains Power Meter in Sense, right, and not the AC device detection?

Yep…when I turn my A/C on and am looking at the main readings I only get a total sustained jump of ~800W which would account for the air handler.

Do you have a picture of the installed Sense clamps?

You know which of the breakers is the outdoor unit?

I assume the 4-gang is feeding the indoor panel?

Yes, the 4-gang shuts off everything to the indoor panel.

Clamps on outdoor panel

Here’s the outside of the outdoor panel (Sorry I have to do multiple posts as it won’t let me add multiple photos to one post as a new user). The 2-gang at the top is the one I added for the Sense monitor