Space Heater and Resistive Element Detection Confusion


I have a space heater with three settings (low ~700W, medium ~1100W and high ~1500W). I know that this is a tricky thing for AI to figure out, because the signature is not the same going from off directly to high heat, off to medium heat, off to low heat, or keeping it on and changing wattages. Understandably, this is a little too complicated for detection. I’m not asking for Sense to detect this perfectly. I usually only use it on the high setting for this reason, for shorter periods of time. Regardless, it detected the space heater’s high setting last winter.

I also have a 1500W electric kettle, which must have a very similar signature. Haven’t used it until the weather cooled off (only like hot beverages when it’s cooler out). This was not detected for a while, but recently it’s been telling me the kettle is the Space Heater. I get it - they’re both resistive elements and 1500W… What is the best approach to sort this out? I don’t want to forget the device because it’s detected reliably.

Additionally, if I switch the space heater from off → low heat, Sense sometimes thinks it’s my gas oven ignitor. This one should be a little bit easier to distinguish tell because the space heater is ~700W and my ignitor is about ~450W, but when the space heater comes on, it sees that as 450W + ~250W in the other bubble. It’s also confused it with my dishwasher heating element at times (~1100W), possibly on the medium setting, but nothing is consistent.

Any ideas on what I can do to sort this out? I know there was recently new firmware and improvements to the model, so I’m wondering how the data team can continue improving from examples like this


In my mind, this is a hard problem because the transitions for pure resistive heating elements are hard to tell apart when they are nearly the same wattage and on the same leg/phase in you house. There’s just any waveform features that distinguish the transitions from the different devices. I suspect if your space heater and kettle were plugged into different legs/phases, Sense might separate the two.

You might want to try that experiment, though it requires knowing the legs for each of your outlets in your house and might also require an extension cord. Plug them into different phases, and delete the current space heater device. See if the kettle and space heater are detected separately.

ps: @JustinAtSense , has Sense done any enhancements to detect the same 120V device / transition on each leg (i.e. say a vacuum cleaner). If so, that would render this experiment moot.