Identified 2 appliances about to die!

Device: Fridge
Make: Kenmore
Model: 106.8772681
Estimated Savings:

We had a very old freezer — more than 35 years old — which we thought was “still going strong”. After installing Sense and get a number of devices recognized, it was clear from the usage that this freezer was not only a major power hog, but the power meter also showed it was running about 55 minutes (or more!) every hour. Recognizing the savings potential, we took our time shopping around and settled on a new ‘basic’ freezer, which “paid for itself” in less than a year; Sense shows that its “on” cycle is ~20 minutes/hour (vs 55!) AND the power while on is about 1/4 of the old one.

Fast forward a year later: our old (but not as old as the freezer) analog fridge (which we loved the inside layout of) started making noises louder than usual at times; cleaning the coils did not help. Looking back over ~6 months at the Sense “Trend” data, it was clear that the “on-cycle” times started getting longer about 6 weeks earlier.

Then, one day it wouldn’t start after a brief power outage … panic! Turned it off, back on — whew. It started back up.

We’d been casually looking at possible replacements, but with the added incentive of the Sense data showing a recent gradual increase in the “duty cycle”, we knew we had to decide on a replacement. It took us almost 3 months to agree on one and get it in — but we didn’t have to make a “rush” to decide and get the quickest one available. We also were able to wait for a good sale (praying the old one wouldn’t die before we could get the new one in!). The new fridge has the latest cooling technology and runs at about 1/3 the monthly cost of the old one … and no scramble to “salvage the contents” of a failed fridge.

While most new replacement appliances will give a power savings, Sense allowed us to plan for replacement and wait for a good sale — which was about an additional $800 savings between the two appliances!

Real implementation of AI/ML

Device: Other Device
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Most technology firms seem to be using Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning [ML] all day long and the future in computing. Sense on the other hand, instead of stating it as the future has made it the PRESENT.

Sense is great al learning about devices by itself in an extremely noisy environment ( read about how Sense device detection works). In my case, it was able to correctly identify the following devices which was astonishing
1. Condensate Pump
2. Microwave light bulb
3. Refrigerator Light Bulb

My story points to these devices, as most of these devices turn ON for fairly less than a minute. So it’s not just about being able to detect the big appliances like an Air Conditioner or Furnace Fan or washing machine or heater.

In my case, I was ready to replace my Condensate Pump thinking it’s faulty and the reason for water around my FURNACE and in my garage. I put in a bucket to catch water, but Sense ENABLED me to see how many times a day it was running. I could then look-up videos on YouTube to clean my pipes ( and actually redesign the outlet from the HVAC to the condensate pump.

There was still a lingering question – I need data to know if the condensate pump still works, and how much have things changed, because of a change in cleaning and updating the pipes.

I could see that my condensate pump worked about 12 times as opposed to 3 times a day, and the run time increased from 12-14 seconds to 19-29 seconds. I knew at that point that I can use data to rely and know if something is going bad.

I also had a Furnace Fan going bad, and suddenly drawing 2x the amount of energy to run. Sense was able to detect it as a “new” furnce fan. Had some HVAC issues, and the HVAC technician spend about 5 hours to finally deduce that the FAN was going bad, causing the issue with cooling.

Now Sense Enabled me to look into historical data, and current data to confirm if the HVAC technician was right or was just looking to make more money from the current gig.

SENSE EMPOWERS AND ENABLES for now. It will soon be able to predict about failing devices much better

High usage alert found a water leak!

Device: Water Pump
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Got a “new high energy use” alert – took a look at the app and saw 6,000 watts more use than typical. Made no sense. Went through the house looking for anything and none of the usual suspects were on….

Then I went outside and saw some droplets of water splashing over the gutter (it was a clear day).

Sure enough, the rooftop water heater had sprung a leak, causing our water pumps to run non stop and the electric water heater to try and keep up. Shutting off the water immediately stopped the leak and the energy use.

I honestly don’t know how long it would have taken to notice this leak… could have been days or even weeks – instead, it was 30 minutes start to finish.

Identified a failed well pressure tank

Device: Water Pump
Make: PumpWorks
Model: PWJET50
Estimated Savings:

I was notified of an increase in day to day usage by Sense. I called up the offending device and saw it was my well pump. Went to the basement, and sure enough, it was cycling on for 2 minutes, off for 30 seconds, over and over. The high cycle rate is indicative of a failed pressure tank bladder. A quick test showed that to be the case, so off to the local hardware store for a new tank. Installed and working. Because of Sense, I was able to quickly catch a problem that could have resulted in a well pump burnout, which tends to get expensive to replace. Thanks Sense!!

Sense helped trouble shoot bad neutral

Device: Other Device
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Recently my fridge in kitchen, pond fountain pump has been noisy

Along with few other strange things going with lighting.

I noticed on my sense monitor a voltage imbalances between L1 and L2 of up to 30 volts at times

Refrigerator Issue

Device: Fridge
Make: Viking
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Last month sense sent me a notification that my Always On had increased by 48%. Around the same time we noticed that the ice cream in our freezer was not really frozen. The refrigerator is at least 15 years old so we knew it would need replacing someday. But we were able to get our meat and other food out of the freezer before it spoiled.

Sense helped identify fridge’s continuous run

Device: Fridge
Make: Maytag
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Sense has helped identify needed maintenance on our fridge including cleaning near the compressor.

If cleaning the fridge does not improve the its behavior, it may be time to replace. We could not have (easily) determined this without Sense.

Sense detected fire hazard.

Device: Other Cooling
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

My whole house attic fan has a three way switch in the house. In the late fall I cover the fan with an insulation blanket to keep heat from escaping from the house into the attic.
As a safety device, I installed an on/off switch in the attic as well.
This year I failed to toggle it to the off position.
Sometime this winter the switch in the hall got toggled to high speed. The blanket was keeping the fan from spinning.

Failed check valve

Device: Water Pump
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

My sense monitor was off-line because of powerwall installation. Around the same time I had to replace the well pump (Yes, it was an expensive month!)

After weeks offline, I finally reinstalled my sense monitor and I can see a weird appliance coming on every 30 seconds for 1 second at about 1kw, days and night.

After investigating, it turns out the check valve on my pump is broken and the pump runs constantly to keep up the pressure. Very happy to have found it, the wear on the pump would have killed it much sooner than expected, and the early fix is only a $20 part!

Started with a flooded basement

Device: Well Pump
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

After some heavy rains I woke to a flooded basement. I got out the pump, dried everything out, next rain, same problem. Called out a waterproofing company and got a quote for $6200 to keep it dry. Then the bad news. I’d have to fix the collapsing wall first. The wet dirt had caused a basement wall to crack. There is an expense! Called out a foundation specialist, said the wet soil needed to be fixed. Called in a grading company to help divert water away from the house, but it was too muddy, they would check back in a few weeks. So, I was playing with my sense and realized my well pump was coming on every 2 minutes. Looking back almost 3 months, it was only coming on about 40 times a day. As you guessed, the soggy part of my yard was where the water line ran from my pump house to my basement. Replaced the water line, a week later the yard dried up and the basement never leaked again. Ended up costing $2200 for a simple basement wall repair, but could have been much worse and more expensive. My pump is now back to running only a fraction of what it was.