What instructional documentation would you like to see?

Inspired by some posts elsewhere in the forum that I’ll merge below.

We have help.sense.com which has a fair amount of documentation, but it’s pretty high level and not crowdsourced like this forum. There’s tons of great information floating across our Community, but it’s lacking some structure and permanence.

So, let me ask you, our awesome Community members: What sort of instructional content would you find useful? What sort of formats would you like to see it in (“catch-all” threads, Community-based Wiki pages, FAQ threads, or some other interesting idea).

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As kind of a junior moderator on this forum, I’m interested in how we might make the valuable information easier to find. I agree that the existing user base has the power to make life easier for new users, even if we can’t answer the deepest questions on Sense operation. What things on the forum might help you, the new user the most ?

  1. An overview of what to expect -
  • how long recognition might take
  • possible conflation and loss of recognition
  • patience is a virtue
  1. Some sense of which devices are easy to find vs. which ones are unlikely to be found
  2. How to respond when things don’t go right
  • devices that aren’t on show as on
  • devices that are on are misidentified
  • devices show with wrong power
  1. something else
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Related to #2 are also those devices that make it difficult/impossible for Sense to find more normal devices. Some of us have one device that masks pretty much everything else…in my case a Franklin Electric constant pressure deep well pump. Sense engineering told me that it’s “noisy” and its signature varies so much (waveform depends on water flow) that it’s not detectable with their algorithms but also makes finding other devices accurately in my home pretty much impossible.

I went thru many months of frustration till the kind folks at support hooked me up with engineering, who completely reset my expectations.

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Great idea @kevin1.
Some description that Your Mileage May Vary would also be useful, along with best guesses so far as to the causes (noisy devices in the home, too many devices, improper installation, etc).

I should have been a little more clear. I will say
That I do sometimes have a hard time finding things
And I think it’s because tags aren’t always attached.
I’m not sure of that but think it contributes.
There is one thing called interactive beginners post or something like that, I have yet to find.
But I’m speaking also of people that have not bought a sense. How many people are upset, angry or frustrated and they get installed? Going back and reading posts, it looks like the majority. If there were a better path for those looking at sense to realize, read and ask questions beforehand it would be nice.
I got pretty upset about being what’s I felt and still feel is misled. It’s the community that has brought me around. I no longer feel the way I did with the help of everyone here.
I had originally thought non users should be able to access the full community. I do t think that way no as some posts may scare them away. But I think there needs to be something in place, like dedicated thread that explains real world experience and the patience it will require. To be able to read about the person with 10 detections a week and the one with 2 a year.
I just put up another topic in general for something I’m experiencing and do not know how to find.
If anyone can point me to the interactive thing
Beginners should do, I’d appreciate it.


As a new user one thing I can say that made me almost drop this once it had an issue is you lack of a solid install guide. You have a fair amount of information but unless you know where to look or read all the useless stuff to find the few gems needed for the install issues. Wether it be a single page/wiki or a pdf that is constantly updated does not matter. I agree not to have it in the box but to have alink to it in the box.
That and the input given by the app or web and what is told by you in the forums do not sync up. In this I mean when my install said it found a problem and to check back in a couple hours or that the initial setup takes up to 24 hours and you state at lease 48 hours. This type of things are what makes a customer lose faith in the product before they even get it operating. Make the times given be what you say not the best possible way it could work in a pristine evnironment.
Take Scotty’s (from Star Trek) method and give the longer time then if it comes in under you look good instead of looking bad for giving a low number.

I could go on but i think that covers my first 5 days and hey I have not quite yet requested a RMA.

Thanks for the feedback, Brian.

I’m assuming you saw the install guide that’s included with Sense (and available online) and the video on our website? If so, I’d love to get a bit more detail on what you feel was missing.

I’ll look into the timing consistency issues you mention.

New user. Installed a few days ago. Already discovered a dehumidifier using too much power. Cleaned the filters and saw a big difference. I’ve been in IT since 1981 and am impressed with Sense. My home is a geek playground with multiple Alexas, Google Hubs, Nest devices, Lutron switches, TP-link switches, LED lighting, wi-fi connected entertainment and a bunch more. My neighbor installed Sense a few months back. After seeing it, I recognized that it would be very helpful to get a handle on my energy usage. Very good product.

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@JustinAtSense @RyanAtSense In every SENSE installation guide document you have the same paragraph:

11 Close the panels

Replace the panel covers carefully to ensure that there is no pressure on the sensor clamps that would cause them to open. Label the Sense breakers with the sticker.

Doing electrical work?

Reattach each sensor to the same service main as before to avoid disrupting device detection.

I would like to suggest that SENSE Support adds the following advice to the line preceding “Replace the panel covers …”

Have the installer take multiple pictures from different angles to document the installation before closing the panel and save the files for future reference.

The same support question always comes up on every new installation. “Do you have photos?” This is a re-occurring theme - no photos were taken. The user now has to call an electrician or open the panel themselves to retake photos.

Under the line “Doing Electrical Work?”

Add the following advice. Also replace the CT clamps in the same position / orientation. Changing the orientation may also disable some of the past history device detections.


Thanks for the feedback. These are great ideas. I’ll take a look and see how we can incorporate.

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As a new user, I found the hardware install instructions pretty good. However when it came to the app and web view I found the instructions severely lacking and confusing. It’s not the the information is not there it’s just difficult to find for new users.
A tutorial of how the platform works when you first install it would be extremely helpful, as well as a link to these forums.
It took a while to realize there actually was a help section under the settings menu, and the little icon only in the power meter tab. The web/desktop version lacks a lot of things the app does, which is odd as you would think the web version would have more. The web doesn’t show the device labels on the meter where the app does. The device tab on the app shows the power meter for individual devices, the web does not. I’d much prefer to use the web version on my desktop instead of the app on my phone, as my eyes aren’t the best at times.
More information should automatically be provided before, or at least the same time a device is discovered, not afterwards. When you should re-name a device, delete a device, etc… I had to go, look all that up on my own and some things are still confusing.
A what to expect after installing sense video (without having to search for it) would be extremely helpful.
There is a LOT of information out there. But it’s extremely easy to get lost, I found myself reading countless articles, threads, etc… about specifics usually containing detailed technical information and became completely sidetracked about the basics.
This information is great and needs to be provided. However for a basic user just starting out or for a non technical person having to sort through all this can be quite confusing. Thank you for acknowledging this. As Sense grows in popularity, structure is defiantly needed for the less advanced user.

This is very helpful feedback, @obscuredtrip. I’m assuming you already went through the Sense New User Resources & Guides post, but if you haven’t the “Getting Started” section has a couple great new user resources that might help you in the early stages.

Either way, I’m going to think about the content that we can create that focuses in on helping new users get started with the app. Appreciate you sharing this.

I have looked at the new user post. a lot of great info in there.
I read a lot and was debating getting Sense for quite some time before finally making the leap. Glad I did as I’ve already found ways to save and have a much better grasp on why my power bill is always so high.

The install instructions that came with it and on the website are great. The “Get Hooked up” video is good too. The install itself is pretty straight forward most anyone could do it, obviously self install is not for everyone, messing around in the breaker panel and all.
For me that was not a problem as I somewhat recently rewired over 1/2 my house, new subpanel and main panel. The electrician I hired to run the mains to the pole was even surprised the inspector found no issues as “he always finds something”.

When it came to the app both web and app, you kind of set up the account and off you go, I was a little disappointed. There is the 4 screen “walkthrough” that briefly explains what Sense is but doesn’t really tell you how to use it.
After I was playing around with it for a while the “Using the Power Meter” showed up in the “now” screen. After a couple days the “Lean what your devices are costing you” showed up.

I thought something was wrong and almost submitted a ticket because I couldn’t find things in the web app that I could using the phone app. Until realizing those features only exist on the mobile app.
The web app I almost needed help to get help as you have to click on you email address then settings to find the help section. I booked marked the web app page making it easier to get to.

I was lucky and a few devices were discovered quite quickly. I knew one was labeled wrong but had no idea what to do. Do I delete it, rename it, label it as a guess. I had to seek out the answer on my own.

A better tutorial possibly a video (that you don’t have to search for) along with a simple in app question mark on the tab and next to the options, that directly links to a help section describing that specific item/topic would be awesome.

I’m not too big on reading manuals, likely because most of them these days seem to be written in Mandarin and horribly translated. Thank god Sense is not like that which is a huge reason I went ahead an purchased it knowing if I did need help I could get it. There really should be be a printed (or an included link) and online manual. Organized with a contents and sub categories to navigate.
Certifications, Safety warnings/hazards (legal stuff).
Hardware Installation.
Software, app setup.
Beginners guide to using Sense.
Discovering devices.
Managing devices, merging, renaming, deleting.
Setting up notifications, trends and goals.
Sense labs.
Sense Solar.
Links to the forum.
Trouble shooting.

Like I said there is a TON of excellent information out there, mostly on these forums, but it’s poorly organized and often takes a bit to find.

For example the thread you mention “Sense new user resources and guides” does contain information about the app but if you didn’t share that link I would have to go to, Sense.com, scroll over “getting inspired”, click on “Community”, click on the pinned post, scroll up to the top of the post, read down to the “getting Started” section, click on “10 Steps to getting started with Sense”, go down to “Explore the Sense app”, click on “The Sense app”, which then brings up a page from July 2017 titled “Getting Started with the Sense App” and includes some videos.
Seems a bit overly complicated having to go through all that to figure out how to use the app. Then navigating all the other links in there to pull up other pages seemingly thrown about over time as a blog.

Have the manual a making sense of Sense of sorts, keep it somewhat basic, don’t go off on tangents or overly complicate it with advanced information. But be sure to include be patient things take time in the meantime check out ___ for more information about Sense, tips and tricks. Have a separate guide for that which would include more information along the lines of what Kevin1 mentioned, getting into a bit more specifics.


I really like this breakdown, @obscuredtrip.
I think that overall, this is what I’m trying to build the New Users Resources and Guide to be. I’m going to continue to add to that, and will take some of the suggestions here to apply over the coming days.

Really appreciate you bringing in a new user perspective here. It’s very helpful to get this point-of-view.


I recently purchased Sense with Flex clamps. The hardware connection is explained in the documentation fairly good. But the software side is lacking in detail. I am looking for how to use the Flex clamps to help identify between multiple “heat” devices that have been identified.
It would be good to take some common use cases where the Flex clamps could be used. How to verify which specific device is it when multiple devices of the same type are identified with Flex clamps. How to identify a new device (or is this not possible?). I need step by step app instructions. I am currently confused about to go about selecting and naming the device with the Flex clamps attached? Can I use the Flex clamps just to observe the power draw on a specific circuit to see if its waveform matches a detected device? I may have multiple devices on the same circuit, so I may have to do some human pattern matching?

Hi @cmarney,
I’m not directly attacking the documentation question, but wanted to share a few insights on DCM with Flex clamps. I have a sub panel in my house purely for 4 240V floor hearing coils. Two of them are the same size (load), one of them is larger and one of them is smaller than other two that are “twins”. I have a Flex Sensor on the sub panel measuring, but also have Sense detections for some of the floor heaters.

I have pulled together different views for the same 2 hours in time, when some of my floor heaters are operating, back on July 9th when it was a little cooler around here in the mornings.

Here’s the main Sense power meter. Note all the on/off activity combined.

This is the Power Meter for DCM measurement of just the floor heater sub panel. You can see it still reflects combined behavior or likely 3 different heating coils.

This is the Power Meter for one Sense detection for my Playroom. Sense get’s much right, but seems to fail where there are two different similar devices (the twins) on top of one another. We have to view the DCM device as the “golden” measurement of what is going on.

Here’s the Power Meter for the Sense detection of my largest floor loop. Sense gets the start right, but somehow drops off and decides to start again only to fall off prematurely. Not sure why.

Hopefully that gives some idea of what you would see with a combined circuit DCM - a mix of a detailed measurement, plus potentially reasonable detections of some of the bigger components.

ps: there is a built-in way to prevent double counting of the native Sense detections and the DCM measurement of the combined devices.

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the reply. The problem where it stops early would be great to have documented where it is easier to find.

You do a great job of explaining the Sense overall meter and how it compares to the DCM meter graphs.

I have a more basic question about how to configure the DCM in the Sense app. Here are the steps that I do and get confused with:

  1. turn off the Sense monitor breaker
  2. turn off the load breaker that I want to measure with the DCM clamps
    3)Place the clamps on the wires in the same orientation
  3. power up the Sense monitor by turning on the breaker
  4. Start the Sense app on my iPhone
  5. I go to settings → Connected Devices → Dedicated Circuit Monitoring
  6. Click Ok on the Dedicated Circuit Monitoring is currently enabled
  7. Click Continue on the Dedicated Circuit Setup
  8. I see the verification successfully pass
  9. The Dedicated Circuit Setup → Installation Instructions
    The installation instructions for the hardware are covered fairly well. Some wording problems with the number of circuits you can monitor between 120 and 240. But there is on one sentence at the bottom of the installation instructions that says what to do in the Sense app.

Go to Settings / My Home / Connected Devices and select “Dedicated Circuit Monitoring” within Sensor Sources. My guess is the hardware team documented the DCM installation and the software was assumed to be self explanatory.

  1. The Dedicated Circuit Setup → Get Started.
  2. On circuit selection is a missing word that should say “[one] 240V” I select one device, because it is a dryer. I have two dryers in my house. One dryer has been detected. But I don’t know which one?
  3. Now is where I get confused. It asks for a device name. Should it be Dryer to match the device it found earlier? Should it be DCM so it doesn’t conflict with an existing name? Should it be Lower dryer to match the breaker name? Of course I don’t know yet which dryer, if any, was identified. Because when I manually turn the on the dryers the dryer device in the Sense app doesn’t turn on.
    The device type is set to 240V.
    Also, I clicked on the installation instructions and it takes me to the same installation instructions for the hardware. Not useful in answering my questions.
  4. This time I enter Lower dryer for the name. Click next.
  5. The verifying installation starts, I turn on the breaker. The verification process starts and the I am requested to turn on the device. I leave my phone near the Sense monitor otherwise the signal can drop. I go to the dryer and turn it on. I come back to my phone see that Dedicated Circuit Setup was successful, and click done.
  6. I go to the Devices page and see the new device Lower dryer.
  7. I select the Lower dryer.
  8. I see a new button “What’s connected to this?” “Help Sense learn and prevent duplication.” More confusion, do I pick the dryer that it identified? But maybe that is the other dryer, or maybe it is not a dryer at all and is another device?

The above two questions are what I am looking for to be documented. Or maybe there is documentation but I just haven’t found it yet?

Chris Marney