Unknown Motor/Fan - help identifying


Sense identified a device as “Motor 1” but I am having trouble figuring out what it actually is. It draws about 500 watts when it runs, but it only turns on for a few seconds, a few times a day. Right now, for the Week, it’s turned on 23 times with Total time on of 2m 19 sec, or an average of about 6 seconds. When I look at the Community Names, I already have my Sump Pump identified, and we don’t have other pumps. I can’t figure out what kind of motor/fan would run for such short periods of time. We have an attic vent fan but that isn’t likely to run in the winter in western NY state :wink: unless it’s high humidity, but then I believe the fan would run more than a few seconds which is what’s been identified for this device.


Possibly a cooling fan in a big appliance?


Have you visually confirmed it actually turns on that much on your device timeline? I did just submit a ticket to support for one of my devices that according to the “stats” runs on average 95x a month, but in all actuality only ran on 2 days in September and hasn’t run since so I wouldn’t “trust” those numbers as they do not seem accurate.

Here’s what my “Motor 1” stats look like on the web console:

However the “Motor 1” was last used on September 15:

I’m pretty sure this is my chop saw, which I did probably indeed used for the last time around that time when I was building shelves in my garage.

So yes, maybe in the month of September this device was on 95x that month, but you can hardly call that a “monthly average” if it wasn’t used for the 3 months after that.


Yes, it seems that the device does turn on the number of times that’s reported. I just found the Export capability in the web version of the data display, but unfortunately that just reports Avg Wattage and kWh in one hour increments, so it doesn’t supply the details of exactly the timestamp when it turns on and turns off.

My Sense installation is only about 10 days “old” so lots of discovery is yet to take place. However, this device, as reported in the Export by Hour has only turned on between 0600 and 2100, so that seems to be perhaps related to me (or my wife) being “up and about”, rather than events during the night.


Hmmmm interesting. Maybe some kind of fan that comes on when you open your refrigerator or some other appliance?


I’m trying to see what big appliance that might be, with a fan that only runs for 6-8 seconds or something. In the reply below, I noted that from the Export by Hour report, the device is only turning on between 0600 and 2100 so that seems to be correlated to when I’m awake.

I tried to examine the Power Meter display in detail but it seems like the web version does not label the “data spikes” like the iPhone app does, which is unfortunate because it’s a whole lot easier to examine the details in the web version. Also, the iPhone app does not consistently label the data transitions. In some places I see fairly large percent changes without any label and then there’s a +15w and -14w transitions labeled on a total value of 1,025 watts. Is that a feature or a bug?


Have you tried the mobile app instead? I see lots of differences between what’s reported on my Android and what’s reported on the web app. The web app is far more recent and seems to lag in both features and bug fixing, which is too bad. Big screen and PC capabilities are both major benefits.


it could be a stage of a fan… some “smart fans” and multi-stage devices can have different levels of power and have a different signature on the power grid in your home… it could be a higher stage of a fan that you already have defined… that would explain the high wattage and very short run times… see if the device matches up to another motor/fan you may have running… that fan could be running mostly in lower stage, bump up to high stage only to find out its not needed and drop back down…

just a thought… hope this helps…


I appreciate all the feedback comments and suggestions. I thought about a stage of our high efficiency gas furnace, which has not been identified yet by Sense. I was able to locate one of the events in the web browser view and in the iPhone app, and here’s a link to the Windows screen shot, which looked the same on the iPhone (but I am better doing screenshots on the Windows computer :wink:

The “event” doesn’t show an initial spike that I expect from a motor starting, but that may be “washed out” in the way the data are rendered in both apps.


OK, I figured out this device. It’s a drain pump for an old laundry sink in our basement because the drain line goes out through the cellar wall about 3’ above the floor. The reason it was only running during normal waking hours, so to speak, is the primary water comes from the furnace condensate pump (identified by Sense as another device) this time of the year in upstate NY, but the thermostat is set back overnight and if it’s not too cold outside the furnace doesn’t run overnight.


that makes sense… in CA, basements are rare… but when you have them, you have to have a pump to get discharge water back up to the city sewage height… something that a lot of us would overlook…