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.

15 y.o. water heater replacement

Device: Water Heater
Make: State
Model:
Estimated Savings:

One of the primary reasons I wanted to get a Sense was to see how my 15 year old water heater was doing. After the first month of Sense data, it was looking like the water heater alone was about 15% of my electrical use.
I had already made the decision that when the water heater needed to be replaced, I’d replace it with a hybrid model. As if on cue, and only a month after the Sense was installed, the water heater stopped working.
I decided it would be better to bite the bullet and replace it without attempting a fix. Yes, the hybrid is significantly more expensive, but it should pay for additional cost over traditional electrical water heater w/n five years.

Sense helped find leaking hot water heater

Device: Water Heater
Make: Ariston
Model:
Estimated Savings:

My outdoor kitchen has a 6 gallon under sink hot water heater. It normally consumes 1.3kW at 1:30 duty cycle, so 1.04kWh/day. Yesterday morning it started to cycle on much more frequently…maybe a 4:10 duty cycle, thus 12.48kWh/day. I investigated and found the water heater leaking maybe half a gallon of hot water a minute into the drain under the outdoor sink. At an average of $0.25/kWh, this increase in electricity usage is $86/month. The water leak itself is 21600 gallons/month. Thank you Sense for helping me find this problem quickly; I may not have noticed otherwise until mid-Spring.

Sense identified a bad dryer relay

Device: Dryer
Make: Maytag
Model: MCG8000AWW
Estimated Savings:

I noticed a 1200W spike in the Sense energy monitor that would cycle on for 2 minutes and off for 10. They cycle repeated for about 24 hours before I noticed it. I looked around the house for any appliances that someone may have left on like a space heater or coffee maker. I couldn’t find anything so started turning of breakers one at a time until I saw the cycle disappear. It was the circuit for our drying center. It’s a natural gas dryer on the bottom and an electric dryer rack on top for drying delicate items like sweaters. I turned the breaker back on and the cycle continued. The dryer control panel was dark indicating that the dryer was off but the upper cabinet was warm. The blower fan was not running. The found that heating element was on all the time and it was cycling off when the temperature reached the high limit. I traced the problem back to a relay that was stuck on.

Identified Water Leak

Device: Water Pump
Make: 1hp
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Like many people here, I had wasted power, so I bought Sense. I just built my home within the last year and I am on well water. My new house was built to be fairly energy efficient. My power consumption on my new house was more than my 20year old prior house, significantly more. The houses are roughly the same size. This got me pretty curious as to why. The first day I installed sense it had not recognized any devices yet, which was fine, I was able to see a spike of about 2000 watts every 30 minutes or so, for about 30seconds each time. I knew my well pump used roughly that much power.

First detection saved flooding of basement

Device: Pump
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

The first device detected was a sump pump the was turning on for a few seconds every 2 to 3 minutes, so I assumed the pump was detected or broken. There was moisture drops on the windows and it appeared to be unusally hot and humid downstairs. Upon viewing the pump I could see a steady flow of water in and didn’t know if this was normal, so I called a plumber. While waiting I went into the furnace room to see water flowing from the spout in the bottom of my hot water storage tank. That meant water was constantly flowing into the tank, triggering the furnace to attempt to heat the cold water constantly flowing through the tank. Finding this in time saved my water bill. My heat bill and solved our not enough hot water temperature problem. I only found it after they put in the sense devise and I saw the behavior and began investigating as I really didn’t know if that is how the devise worked! I may never have found it as the water flowed into the slanted cement floor, around the 2×4 wall which led to the hole cut in the floor for the tub drain pipe to go down to the sewer. That water flowed into the gravel which flowed the length of the tub underground and into my sump pump drainage reservoir which was working overtime to get rid of the water. Because Sense noticed it and brought it to my attention it may have months before water, heat and electric Bill’s would have caused me to look for a problem. This was the best investment I ever made to detect problems immediately instead of months of painful expense as the alternative. SO HAPPY I FOUND SENSE!

Sense helped me find overactive AC unit

Device: AC
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

AC was now running 24/7. Even on nights were the outside temperature was at least 10 colder than my thermostat setting. I had an HVAC company come and perform a system maintenance (clean filters, condensers, add refrigerant, etc.). The difference from July 31 (107.7 kWh) to August 1 (77.3 kWh) was dramatic.

Sense Helped Diagnose Bad A/C Compressor Fan

Device: AC
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

I happened to be checking the energy monitor today and noticed something off when the upstairs A/C unit kicked on. Watts usually jump and level off, but today, they would jump like normal, then continue to climb several thousand watts. Then drop off after a while. So I took my phone outside with the monitor on and started the unit up to see what was going on. Unit started up, compressor started, but the fan did not immediately start up. I could see it trying to move, but it was not getting going. Finally started up and found it to be very hot!! Turn off unit and tried to spin the fan freely, but could feel a lot of resistance. Motor housing was extremely hot.

Don’t think I would have noticed anything amiss without the Sense monitor until it failed completely. Could have been bad if that motor overheated even more!

Installed the new motor and capacitor this morning. Everything looks good now.

I think Sense definitely just paid for itself. Saved me someone coming out to diagnose the problem. If the motor continued to full failure and seized, it could have caused serious problems and additional costs.