FAQ: Get a Notification if Something is Left On, Open, or Unlocked for X Minutes (2020)

People frequently ask “how can I get a notification if a contact sensor is open for 10 minutes?“ Or “how can I get a notification if my door is unlocked for more than five minutes?“ Etc.

There isn’t anything in the official features for the V3 app that will do this, but over the years the community has developed multiple ways of accomplishing this. Some require paying a license fee for third-party app, but then are very easy to use. Others are free but have a more complicated set up.

Because this is 2020, please limit discussion in this thread to methods which will work with the new V3 app.

  1. RBoy Apps. $40 lifetime license grants access to the entire library.

This is a collection of very popular, highly sophisticated smartapps which work with smartthings and provide many different features and choices.

@rboy , The developer, is very active in this forum as well and gives lots of free advice in addition to answering questions about his products.

The notifications app is: [RELEASE] Door Chimes and Notifications for Doorbells and Sensors


  1. SharpTools. The SharpTools.io Rule Engine is a highly polished visual interface for building rules and automations. The Rule Engine is free and includes a wide variety of notification options. If you’d like to use SharpTools dashboards, variables, or built-in SMS, you can upgrade to the premium offering. Like Rboy, developer @joshua_lyon is very active in this community and gives lots of free advice here.

    Note that there’s also a SharpTools for Android app that provides Tasker plugins, but the SharpTools.io Rule Engine is web based and can be accessed from any modern browser like iOS, Android, and Fire OS.

SharpTools Notification Channels include:

  • Email
  • SMS (Premium, North America)
  • Twilio SMS (International)
  • Pushbullet
  • Pushover
  • Device integrations (Sonos, Echo Speaks, Google Cast)


  1. Webcore. Free community created rules engine. Can do almost anything, but setup can be pretty complicated if you are not used to programming languages. However, it’s very popular and they have their own forum with lots of people who are happy to help if you get stuck.

Here’s the specific “piston“ (Webcore calls their rules “pistons.“)

https://community.webcore.co/t/door-left-open-reminder-configurable-by-individual-contact/1179

And if you aren’t familiar with Webcore, here’s the FAQ on that:

FAQ: What is WebCoRE? (And what was CoRE?)


4.Custom Smartapps. Free. @johnconstantelo is a community member who has contributed a set of free smartapps which can do most of the notifications of this type that people are looking for. Basically you are going to copy his code and paste it into your own account and then you will have your own copy of the smartapp to use. So it may look daunting initially, but it’s actually a very simple process. Once you have pasted in the code, it will look like just another automation screen in your smart things mobile app. (This is also true for the Rboy apps option one above.)

Door left unlocked notification (2020)

And here’s a screenshot showing what @johnconstantelo ‘s smartapp looks like once you are ready to create a rule:

So there you have four different ways to do this. I can’t say that any of them have a really easy setup (sharptools is probably the easiest), And they all offer a somewhat different set of features. But in all four cases there are people who will be very happy to help if you get stuck at any point. :sunglasses:

@blake.arnold

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Just realizing this very basic feature is missing. I am trying my best to force myself to start using the New App Rule Engine but it keeps falling short.

I still have plenty of old CoRE Pistons that I am retiring but so far, this very old App is still WAYYYYYYY more powerful than the New App’s Rule Engine. Seems like there has been an issue with every rule I attempt to make. I either end up using SmartLighting or webCoRE. CoRE was one of the reasons why I fell in love with SmartThings. They actually hired the Dev so I just can’t understand why the New Rule Engine is so limiting. :man_shrugging:t5:

I think when you say “new rule engine” you are referring to the new app’s Automations and not the new Rules API (which can only be accessed outside the app at this point), which should eventually be as powerful as webCoRE (e.g., Advanced Automations with the Rules API).

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I’ve tried that and couldn’t wrap my head around all of the ziggly lines. :weary:

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This is an option for door left open:

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