Sense helped me identify a failing circuit breaker

Device: Other Electronics
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I had a circuit breaker that was tripping when I charged my electric vehicle. I was able to tell in Sense that it was drawing 24 amps, and the breaker is rated for 30 amps. I bought a replacement circuit breaker and replaced it myself – I didn’t have to call an electrician or spend time on the phone with tech support for my EVSE!

Monitor irrigation failure remotely

Device: Pump
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My Sense monitor tells me when I am having problems with my agriculture watering system.

Occasionally I get mud in the line which does not allow the individual zones to turn off completely allowing a continuous leak in my watering system.
My pressure pump runs about every 3 minutes when the agriculture watering system is running. My Water System, when it is leaking, causes the pressure pump to run every 15 minutes to 90 minutes. I have to call in a man to repair the damage to the watering system because of this. The system will flood my yards if it is not turned off when it is leaking.

Sense has allowed me to monitor my irrigation system and my well consumption, from anywhere in the world if I know what I’m looking for.

Dirty Sump Pump

Device: Pump
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This is not the usual energy hog story but nevertheless SENSE has other ways of flagging problems in your home. So we all know that sound the sump pump makes when it’s pumping water out that’s entering your sump pit, right? Well the fact is you wouldn’t really know the sump pump stopped working until it’s too late and you had a flood. It’s not like you’re constantly checking for water right. So one of the first things my SENSE found was the sump pump. It kept notifying me one night that it found the sump pump. Over night it had come on and off like 30 times yet I didn’t hear of feel the vibration of it. And I can usually hear it. I decided that either that was not the sump pump it found or something was wrong. I opened it and found a decent amount of water in there which was the first bad sign. I used my hose to flush the pit with water and the Sense went on and off again. I starting removing my sump pump and found the pit was full of debris and so the pump was clogged. All I had to do was clean the pit and hose the pump down. No replacement needed.

Sense saves lives.

Device: Aquarium
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I noticed that the aquarium was using 1000w vs it’s usual max of 650w when the heater is on. It’s connected via a TP-link smart plug so it’s very accurate.

Did some investigating and notice that the heater cable had been pinched in the lid and was broken internally.

So Sense probably saved the life of the turtle inhabitant.

After 15 min. saved about $80/month

Device: Pump
Make: Zoeller
Model:
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Our electric consumption almost doubled since last summer. Why? I just purchase Sense and self installed it. When looking at the meter on the app I noticed a pretty large current draw about every 6 minutes. It looked like a motor signature to me. The water pump controller was perfectly synched with the power draw even though no water was being used! The pressure meter went from about 68 to 58 pounds over the 6 minutes then turned on. I shut off the main water valve and the water pressure held steady. With a bit more looking it occurred to me that it might be our old well and pump were still connected but the breaker was off. After shutting off the valve from that old pump the pressure held. So, I guess the check valve in the old pump or pump line leaks. By the way, the old well and pump still work but have it on standby. No more! The bottom line? Sense makes cent$.

Short cycling A/C compressor

Device: AC
Make: Lennox
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Here is a story you may like:
I got a new A/C and Sense picked it up 2 weeks into operation.
While the new equipment kept the house nicely cool I did not understand why the power meter showed an average cycle of only 4min40sec. Even during a heat wave it still ran for this short cycle and then stopped for 4-5 min.
Not good I was told. Constant stop and go wears down the equipment and condensation water would not drain keeping humidity at higher level than necessary.
I called the installer, a technician came, I showed the data, he came back with a Lennox rep and 2 weeks later the installer swapped the equipment for a smaller size at no cost and cut a check for the size difference! Sense more than broke even instantly only three month after install.

Heat Pump Hot Water Heater

Device: Water Heater
Make: GE
Model:
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I have used the Sense device for two years and have monitored many household devices. Recently I saw a large spike in usage of the heat pump hot water heater. It was caused by the compressor failing and the heater switching to full electric heat. If it was not for Sense I may never had been able to quickly diagnose the electrical use increase. Quick fix under warranty! Who knows how long it could have gone unnoticed! Thanks Sense!

The case of the Ridiculous Power Bill

Device: Heat Pump
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I moved into a house built in 1978, and I have been working to improve the efficiency since I purchased it. This winter though I was in for a real shock when I saw a $350 power bill. For one person. My previous, much newer house my average bill was around $90 with natural gas costs of around $30 This house is all electric, (now with solar panels!) so I was determined to find out where all that electricity was going. Before Sense I really didn’t know if the house wasn’t insulated right, or was my Heat Pump equipment faulty. Given the equipment age I kind of had my suspicions, but when you are talking about HVAC gear or replacing windows, it’s a huge investment to make the wrong call, and I needed to know if I should replace the HVAC unit, or dump that money into new windows. The $400 Sense device, coupled with an inexpensive infrared camera helped definitively solve that mystery. It turns out my 41 year old heater core and 20 year old heat pump were eating away at power like a competitive pie eater during a pie shortage. The windows were actually relatively intact, though I do need a pair of more efficient doors at some point. Prior to installing the Sense I was actually leaning towards doing the windows, which wouldn’t have fixed the issue and would have probably meant it would be a few years of $300 bills before I could fix it. With my new state of the art system I have already seen a roughly $200 per month reduction during the coldest winter months.

Sense identified bad furnace relay = $750 savings

Device: Heat Pump
Make: Thermal Zone
Model:
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We started seeing an increase in our power bills over the Summer months of 2017. It had increased by $150, then up $300 more, by the end of the Summer we had a $900 power bill! I was fervently trying to figure out the problem. I had an electrician come in, he couldn’t figure out the problem. I was beyond frustrated. We use gas heat, so thankfully we got a break in the Winter months. Fast forward to the Spring of 2018 and my electrician mentioned finding a device to read my household electric usage per each appliance and device. After researching online, I found Sense. It claimed to measure the kilowatt hours of each device and record them so that I could view them on the app. After a $900 power bill, what did I have to lose?! My electrician installed Sense, and immediately it went to work. Almost immediately, it was recording devices. We were able to pinpoint them one at a time – it is so detailed it even records my ice maker in the freezer!

About two weeks in, we were really watching the usage of the furnace and hot water heater. In the end, it was the furnace that was causing the problems. The heat strip was kicking on for two minutes and off for two minutes CONSTANTLY 24/7. Who would have thought it was using that much electricity, but it was! With the help of Sense telling me specifically the problem was coming from the furnace, I was able to reroute the thermostat wire to a different relay which in turn fixed the problem.
Without Sense, I would have NEVER found the problem and would still be having ridiculous high power bills. I am so grateful for this system. It’s very easy to use, the app is easy to navigate and very convenient to name all of your devices. I can check the app during the day to see how electricity my home is using during the day. This is a grade A technological device and I very highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to Summer knowing I won’t go bankrupt with my power bills!

Sense convinced renters to switch to gas heat

Device: Space Heater
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The last straw that convinced me to buy Sense was a $400 energy bill when last year it was under $100 for the same month. This year we began renting our basement and a backyard trailer hookup to generate extra income. We underestimated how much energy they may use, and we needed Sense to help us make sense of where we could reduce our bill, and this result didn’t take long.

The day after we had Sense installed, I could tell that for some reason, we were using a lot of energy at night while we were asleep. Sense had not yet identified any devices, but we could easily see with the Sense graph that the energy spiked around 10pm, and dropped again around 8am.

With the trailer renters out of town, we knew that these times correlated closely with when our basement renters were checking on the trailer cat, and when they were turning on the trailer space heater for the cold night. At this point, it was easy to verify we found the culprit by turning the heater on and off while watching the graph drop and spike. At roughly 1500W, we calculate it was costing us at least $60/month. What’s even worse is our suspicion that the trailer renters were not turning it off during the day when they were home, possibly costing us over $120/month.

At this point, less than 2 weeks after installation, Sense has identified 11 devices (2 new devices today). It is easily going to pay for itself with just this one aha moment, but I’m confident our savings has only just begun.