What is this device?

device-detection

#1

i have installed sense at my office, so there are many components which are not in the average home. With that said, my sense has identified its first device and I cannot for the life of me figure out what it actually is! If you have any ideas please let me know.

IMPORTANT INFO

Sense is currently calling it “Heat 1”, but its currently August in Southern California, we are not running the heat. Possible other options from Sense include: dryer, light, aquarium heat, AC, floor heater, dehumidifier.

This device is on during almost every hour, however it turns on and off very quickly. Sense says its on for only 2 hours a day, but is on during every hour of the day. This makes me think its some sort of computer, which is waking up, running a small task, then going back to sleep. Its energy usage is also only 0.5kwh a day, which is crazy tiny! This makes me think its not AC, lights, or any other major thing like that.

My list of possible ideas: 1) security system (monitoring stuff), 2) some sort of temperature gauge which takes the temp every hour, or 3) some sort of server onsite which is checking the status of things every hour.

Does anybody have any theories?

Thanks a ton.


#2


Hi @jonboone1. Welcome to the Sense Community.
Can you please post a picture that resembles this screen of that newly discovered device? :slight_smile: .


#3

I own a tech consulting firm. I doubt it is a server running a task. You usually don’t have servers wake up to run a task.

I like what @MachoDrone is looking for. Interested in seeing pattern for the running of it as well.

You are right, being an office, you have a whole different set of objects to think about that are used differently. In my office, I got white noise generators, vent dampeners for circulating air, TV’s, lots of switches, PCs, gadgets, etc, seeing the usage might be helpful.

Have you discovered many devices?


#4

Look at the other stats

  • 98x over 2 hrs - On for slightly more than a minute each time on average

  • 0.5kWh over 2 hours - 250W on average when it is on.


#5

I’m curious if there’s a tall leading power spike counted in that average :slight_smile:


#6

Thank you for the replies so far! Below is the screenshot @MachoDrone asked for, looks like the same usage every time, just a bunch of small intervals.

And @jasonemoyer, yes you are right, there are so many more devices at an office rather than a home. I love and hate this all at the same time. Its kinda fun to investigate (I like the challenge), but it would also be nice if it was easier to figure out, lol.


#7

Here’s also a more zoomed in version to see the individual spikes more clearly:


#8

Neat. It’s so frequent, you could quickly figure out turning off whIch breaker would cause an obvious interruption and narrow it down to that circuit.


#9

I’m betting on your aquarium heater if you have 65-100 gal aquarium…


#10

Lol, good bet Kevin :slight_smile: I too was a bit surprised to see aquarium heater as an option, lol.

And yes that is a great idea, I can definitely turn off a breaker and go from there. Now, stupid question, how do I tell what is on the breaker? Besides of course reading the notes from the electrician.


#11


You’ll quickly discover what’s not working in the building. Imma hoping it’s a device that’s plugged into the wall and not a hardwired device. You can carry around this tester or a lamp, plug it in to the wall to see if you have power. Generally, a breaker feeds a region of the building, like one room, but sometimes it’ll feed outlets of other nearby rooms, especially shared walls.


#13

I deleted my last response because after looking closer at my HVAC fan signature, it looks different. Mine has a spike at start up. I guess it is still possible…is there a correlation with any other devices?


#14

@MachoDrone’s device is great and I think every homeowner/renter etc… should have one. You’d be surprised how often they come in handy.

But if you are playing the “find the circuit game” one of my favorite tools is an old alarm clock radio. Set it to a station and turn the volume up loud enough to hear from the breaker panel. That way you can flip breakers off until you hear it turn off. Then move it to another outlet, and head back to the panel and start turning breakers on again. Two circuits detected with only 1 round trip!


#15

So my thoughts are, what if you turned off several breakers, then noticed the Sense power meter went quiet on this unknown device. If you turn on those several breakers again, that’s a chance that device won’t be active… Or it may take a very long time before you see activity from that unknown device again. I’d turn off one breaker, wait awhile, then go back to the breaker box, turn that breaker back on and move on to the next breaker. Repeat.


#16

Thank you everyone for the replies! I like the idea of systematically going through breakers until I find the one connected to a certain outlet. I think I might do that this weekend (can’t during the week since its an office and stuff). I’ll keep everyone updated!


#17

Personally, I MUCH prefer to use a “breaker finder” (there are many manufacturers). These devices have a module you plug into an outlet and a sensor you scan down your breaker panel(s). The sensor beeps when you get to the beaker with the module’s signal on it. So, you can match outlets to breakers without turning anything off. I’ve mapped out many homes this way, and the one thing that’s consistent is that electricians (even in new construction) hook circuits up in very funny ways.

Once I know which breaker controls what outlets (and the attached devices), I can then run experiments with Sense, or other home power monitoring systems.