Unexpected benefit from Sense

I didn’t expect this, but Sense detected my pellet stove igniter. It doesn’t use a whole ton of power (which I didn’t know and now I do), but one way it really helps is when the burn pot gets clogged with clinkers it will not ignite and you can burn out an igniter quickly. I now have an alert to let me know if the igniter is on for more than 10 minutes. Already saved me a couple of times. I am hopeful it will eventually detect the fire blower. Overall, pretty satisfied with this device.


Awesome! And welcome to the forum! :partying_face:

1 Like

I like long showers (sorry) and given I have an electric hot water system I can see (up to a point), historically, how long. I guess I expected something like that with Sense but what’s not immediately obvious is that you can use custom notifications on the Device (Water Heater) to notify you, as I am now doing, if the heater stays on for more than a certain time. Looking back over the history I decided if the heater is running for more than an hour I’m either going beyond decadent in taking a shower or I’ve left the hot water on or there’s a leak somewhere.

Thinking about this more closely I realize that potential a small hot water dribble from a faucet might not actually keep the heater running so I wonder if there’s a more sophisticated Sense monitoring that could detect something like that in the same way that, in theory, Sense could detect your fridge compressor is about to die?

Another thing sense can point to when it comes to water heater running too long is called “Crossover”. I’ve seen this too many times to count because it’s not visibly apparent. If any shower have a single handle or any single handle faucet for that matter, are prone to crossover. When you turn on cold somewhere in the house, hot water will back through the cold pipe and cause a mixing. Most of the time a heater running a little long is the only clue.
I have one I’m my house to fix now.
On a side note, I don’t think my water heater ever runs for an hour even when two showers are taken at the same time. And I have a recirculation system.
If yours is running an hour, something may be going on.

1 Like

Meaning, I see that I’ve never had the heater running for more than an hour (not even close) so if an alert is sent when it is running over that then I could be confident it’s due to some abnormality. I could probably set it nearer to 30 min. Makes me wonder if there’s an optimal alert time that could be inferred by ML on my heater.

Yes, I had thought about the crossover thing. I have an industrial kitchen sink (with a restaurant-style sprayer) and I’ve seen those prone to crossover to the point where on a centralized oil boiler in a large building they keep the boiler running 24/7! Eventually the building’s cold water starts running hot! Read: BAD. In my case I keep the spray head (which has separate mixer faucets) on cold-only. On the rare occasions when I want to spray hot I close the cold and open the hot faucet. Still seems like potential to screw things up though.

1 Like

I’m glad your heater is t running an hour, you would have a problem.
I think tube best alert time to set is to look at your history on the device page and see when it ran the longest. If it shows 25 minutes then 39 minutes would be perfect in my opinion.
Until you brought this up I hadn’t thought of it so you actually helped me out as I’m setting an alert also now, appreciate it!

1 Like

I think I understand now what crossover is (I’d not heard of this before), but I don’t understand why this is bad or what the implications are. Our shower has a single knob, but we have gas heat.

I’ll point you to this link as everytime I try to type it out, I can’t make sense of my own explanation. I actually used this link to help me find my problem and have it identified, just not yet repaired. It’s on the mile long list of other things right now close to the bottom…

If you have crossover it like having a dripping hot water faucet anytime you turn cold water on somewhere else. It may be minimal but any loss of hot water will cause the heater to run more often. Would t cost you electricity but would cost you gas

1 Like

The link was helpful. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a problem I’m having yet.

1 Like

Did you get an alert setupnfor your water heater?
I have two. I set The first to 15 minutes but the wife and son took a shower at the same time and that triggered it. It ran for 18 minutes so I set the new one to 20.
I wish there was a way to delete custom notifications/alerts. I believe thi is a definite flaw in the app. Being able to add but not remove could turn into a real mess.

Just click on the notification (not the toggle box) and it will give you a delete option. I had the same thought until I realized that.

Back to back showers and dishes keeps the tank on for over 30min sometimes so I’ve set it at 45min.

1 Like

Thank you Sir, I thought it was wild that this was t available. Apparently it is but not very intuitive to find for sure.

I set alerts for a few things:

  1. Range burner on for more than 45 minutes. It’s goes off for long simmering sauces, but that’s fine. It’s saved me from leaving the burner on a couple of times. I’m surprised I haven’t burned the house down before now.
  2. Towel warmer on for more than two hours. This is really just a backup for the automation I have that automatically turns the towel warmer off after an hour.

I think it would be great if we could have a thread (or even better a wiki-thread) with examples of good alerts to set.


Good idea!


Wish a gas range had the same alert potential … though thinking about it more I realize mine has a thermostatically activated fan in the oven at least so if the oven is left on there is a traceable electric signature that can initiate an alert. I suppose if you had a gas cooking setup and a detected AC unit in the kitchen you could also potentially see signs of having left the oven/burners on because the AC would be running more than it should! Endless possibilities.

I like the backup of automation on the towel warmer. Better automation is inevitably self-correcting …

Which leads me to this: Eventually Sense will incorporate automated alerts that you’d never think of or easily be able to manually program. We tend to think in linear/bipolar fashion about Systems but AI/ML allows for unexpected monitoring of itself and predictive behavior. I think this was clear in the original goals Sense had, to do things likes tell you your fridge compressor is about to die. There hasn’t been any evidence of that yet (or am I wrong Sense?) but I expect it’s slowly forming to the point of deployment.

There are obvious Sense-wide alerts that could happen without individual input:

  • Your fridge has been off for longer than it should be and is approaching the likely food spoilage temperature.
  • Your oven has been on long enough to burn a 100lb turkey.
  • Your pumps could be flooding the house.

… and so on.

1 Like

Nothing I can share :upside_down_face:

But we have a bunch of user fault detection stories, so the possibilities, as you note, are definitely there!

I love this idea. Start it! You have the power.

I had an appraisal done on my home yesterday. The appraiser said she was going to make a positive adjustment for having Sense installed.
That is an I expected benefit