Suddenly Lost HS300 Outlet Recognition

I replaced the surge protector in our master bedroom with an HS300 a few days ago. The six outlets are occupied by a TV, Deco X55 unit, Roku, soundbar, white noise machine, and air purifier. When I installed it, it worked flawlessly at recognizing the devices plugged into each and tracking their usage. My only disappointment about it was that I failed to realize that I wouldn’t be able to get the automation to respond to simply turning the TV off with the remote, since the remote wasn’t controlling the switch itself (I had wanted the TV, Roku, and soundbar to all be linked). I realize I can accomplish that by powering it off with the app, but that isn’t wife-approved, and isn’t really me-approved either. That’s a problem/wishlist item for another day unless somebody has advice.

Today’s issue is that it’s suddenly not recognizing what is connected to any of the outlets. I noticed when I was away from the house that the noise machine was being reported as being on, though the Kasa app said otherwise (and a quick text to my wife confirmed it wasn’t on). Through many cycles on and off, two hours later, Sense continues to display a 15w bubble attributed to the noise machine. Meanwhile, the TV is no longer recognized as the TV, but is getting dumped into Other. I had turned off the buttons to switch these devices on and off in the app (I don’t want need Sense to control them, just to monitor them). When I re-enabled the buttons for the TV and noise machine, they didn’t work.

Is this something that happens sometimes? Anything I can do to get the correct identification back for all of those outlets, and anything I can do to prevent this from happening in the future?

Interesting problem. It might be helpful if you shared screenshots of the TV and noise machine in action, specifically the Power Meter for each of those devices from within the iOS or Android app. An example for my Video Server on an HS300 below.

There are also 3 things you should know about a device on the HS300 (or other smartplug).

  • There is no detection per-se - The smartplug measures usage and sends the data to the Sense monitor which tracks the power usage of the device plugged in.

  • There are really two different On/Offs associated with a smarplug. The “control On/Off”, the button in green/On or gray/Off next to the device, tells and controls whether the smartplug is allowing power to your device. And the “bubble on/off and standby” which shows what is happening with a device when the smartplug is turned on. Sense makes smartplugs devices bit more configurable for on/off since most electronic devices never go entirely off - they typically have a low power idle or standby power usage. Sense let’s you set the value of standby to on threshold based on your device and tries to intelligently set the standby/on if you don’t step in. This is important, because is standby didn’t exist or was set incorrectly, a typical piece of electronics can read as either stuck on (continuous bubble) or always in standby (no bubble). So you need to pay attention and understand the transitions. I find it useful to turn on “Show on Now Timeline” when first looking at new devices on smartplugs so you see a history of when it goes from off to standby to on.

  • The most common Sense / smartplug issue is communication - periods of time when either the smartplug stops reporting or Sense stops listening, or even an intermediate home network disturbance. That typically manifests itself as data gaps that you can see in the Power Meter in my first screen shot (there are 4 of them), where the smartplug data gets zeroed out. That looks like a full off to Sense. For me, these are typically short and sporadic and I haven’t been able to fully isolate. Some in the past have come from an overburdened Sense monitor, but other times my home network seems to be the troublemaker.

First, re: the standby/on threshold settings for devices, that’s something that I’ve only started playing with, but recognize the importance. For example, as soon as I set up this HS300, it became apparent that I really wasn’t interested in seeing a bubble for my bedroom Roku, soundbar, and mesh Wi-Fi unit. I think I’ve got those items handled appropriately. I’m still wrestling with the air purifier – it’s on 24/7, but is that the “Always On” in the way Sense means it? Or is that dedicated just to devices drawing power when they’re NOT on? Complicating things a bit (perhaps) is that it’s not a constant wattage, but ranges from about 32w to 37w to 42w depending on what setting it’s on. Or is that distinction moot since it’s now on a smart plug, and my only choice is whether I want to manipulate the on/standby threshold in order to remove it from my bubble display? A similar conundrum (not solved by smart plugs) is the 5 ceiling fans in the house, 4 of which are “always on” this time of year, though not always at the same speed/power draw. I assume Sense will never organically be able to detect or distinguish between them, especially since the 4 upstairs that are “always on” except during the winter are all the same model. I haven’t decided whether that wattage belongs in Always On or Other, or if I should be doing anything to try to force it to one or the other.

Here is the noise machine’s power meter:

It shows that I installed the HS300 on Wednesday night, after which the noise machine ran Wednesday night until Thursday morning, Thursday night until Friday morning, and then Friday night until…forever. It was turned off by 8 a.m. or so this morning, yet it shows that it is still on.

Here’s the TV power meter:

It shows the TV being on Thursday night, briefly Friday morning, and Friday night. To its knowledge, it hasn’t been on at all today, though it was on for a bit of time this morning and I’ve turned it on and off for a few minutes at a time throughout the day to try to get it to register, but nothing.

I understand that Sense isn’t actually doing the measuring of wattage here, only incorporating the data it gets from the outlets. With that in mind, is the duration that this has been ongoing potentially a sign that I’ve got a faulty unit? I bought it from Amazon, so I’ve obviously got a bit of time to evaluate it and return it hassle-free for a new one if things don’t get sorted out.

So just now, I got simultaneous notifications that the TV had turned on (it’s been on for a couple hours) and the noise machine had turned off (it’s been off for 10 hours). So it’s reporting correctly at the moment. I hope this isn’t a common occurrence.

I’m guessing that you are not seeing HS300 hardware issues, but some kind of communications / sync issue between Sense monitor and HS300. How many smartplug outlets do you have going in your house - Sense has a limit of about 20, beyond which the management of smartplug data can possibly overrun the Sense monitor. I haven’t seen a situation where smartplug values remain stuck in the on state - if the monitor isn’t seeing data due to communications issues, I have only seen Sense fill with zeros, but your case could be different.

I wasn’t aware that sense had a limit on the number of kasa smart plugs it can handle, I’ve put a lot out around my house, like 25 devices in total but 10 of them are on 2 hs300 power strips, so actually only 17 kasa plugs. Is this “20 device limit” based on kasa devices or sense devices? What happens when there are too many plugs? I have a whole other hs300 strip on hand that I haven’t even used yet.

The limit of 20 outlets is in the Frequency Asked Questions on Sense Smart Plug Integrations

Not sure how I missed your reply a couple weeks ago. It shouldn’t be a problem with too many smart plugs… I have just the one 6-outlet strip and four KP115s. I haven’t seen this exact behavior again, but it is apparent that I’m getting occasional breaks in communication with one smart plug or another. Today, my 24/7 Plex server kept reporting that it was turning on and off between about 2pm and 6pm. It’s been “on” now for a couple hours, though I’m sure I’ll see the same pattern with this or a different plug again soon.