GE Hinge Pin Door Open / Close Sensor (32563) - Review

In another thread deep in the bowels of this site, I mentioned that I would order a GE Door Hinge Pin Open / Close Sensor and try it out. Well, it arrived today.

Installation was not as easy as an external magnetic sensor that just sticks on the door, but it was easier than the Aeon recessed door sensor. This sensor required no drilling, but you do have to play with it a bit. First, you have to decide if you have a left or right swing door and adjust for that. This is accomplished by unscrewing the top and removing the white cap. Under the lever there is a gear that you may or may not have to turn upside down. The gear is marked “left” and “right” so it’s easy to know which way it goes in.

Next, you can adjust how much the door should be open to trigger the sensor by moving the lever on the gear. Also easy to do, but you may want to do a little trial and error. You can pretty much dial this in before you install it if you give it a little thought.

One you have the gear and lever all set, screw the plastic top cap back on and you’re ready to pair it. Pull the little plastic sheet out from the battery. There is a small button and green LED. You just put ST into include mode and press the button. You may want to do this near your hub, before you install the sensor on the door.

Finally, you hang it onto the door. You have to pull the hinge pin out, of course, to do that:

Now, when I open that door the lights in the garage go on.

First impression, I don’t care for it. It seems to work but I find it ugly with no aesthetic advantage over an ordinary magnet based sensor. I may send it back, but I’ll give it a few days.

Pros:

Somewhat easy to install
Seems reasonably sturdy and well designed
Simple design should be reliable
Works without any dependence on magnets, if you care about that

Cons:

It’s big and ugly
Costs about the same as the Aeon recessed sensor
Harder to install and more expensive than a simple magnet based open/close sensor

One last note… I was motivated to try this because I find my Aeon sensor to be unreliable. I would think this should work reliably but still, ugly!

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Did this pair up and use the default DTH it found?

Thanks for this. I am actually in the market for something as I just installed a Schlage lock and need a door sensor so RBoy’s DTH can take over autolocking and notifying me if my front door is locked. I was about to get this, but am now rethinking due to aesthetics. The door is a nice stained wooden door with glass inlay which is why I was trying to steer away from sticking anything directly on it. But this monstrosity next to it isn’t much better. I’m curious, but have you thought about putting it on the lowest hinge (if you haven’t already) to bring it less out of sightline and maybe a little less noticeable? Did this help at all?
My next choice was going to be the recessed sensor, but it sounds like you’ve had connectivity issues with yours. Is this the only device you’ve had trouble with connection issues or have you had others? I have lots of Z-Wave devices all over and haven’t had any connectivity issues luckily, but trying to gauge if there’s been issues even with very strong signals.

Since it has moving parts (a spring), it will wear out (not that the others won’t, just maybe faster depending on door use).

Consider this version, it’s sold at Lowe’s as well. I’m thinking of this one for my front door to pair with Yale YRD240 lock so it will auto-lock when door is closed.

I did yes, worked fine.

Actually my very first thought was to mount it on the lowest hinge but I had trouble getting the lowest pin out, so I gave up. Mostly because it was late when I started the project and just wanted it installed.

I agree, I also found it to be much bigger and more ugly than I expected when I ordered it. There are color change kits available, but I doubt it will help much. There is another sensor to try:

This one would be completely hidden and requires no drilling. It has a 10 year battery. Only downside I can see (if it works well) is that it’s a bit pricy, but if you have a $2,000 door, well, it’s a small incremental increase.

Actually this is the only sensor I have had trouble with, and I don’t think it’s a connectivity issue. The same room has a GE Fan Control Switch, a lamp module and an Aeon Labs hidden dimmer. Right through the door is the garage which has 4 Z-Wave bulbs and all these work nicely. So I think its the sensor. Perhaps it’s just this one sensor and not a problem with the design, but I don’t know because I have just the one.

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I looked at that one also but chose against it because it’s a different color than my other hinges and also it’s Zigbee. This door will be well away from my hub and I don’t have any other Zigbee devices. I’m not saying it won’t work, just that I don’t know. I also didn’t know if it would be a direct replacement for my existing hinges or if I was going to have to break out a wood chisel.

I have many different contact sensors, so I speak from experience. I have the Nyce Hinge one’s from Lowe’s as well as the Sensative Strips mentioned above. I can say the Nyce Hinges are the most visually appealing, but I have had some false positives that requires me to adjust the metal contact sensor. The Sensative strips so far have worked perfect on my outdoor gates,and are visually appealing as you only see them when a door is open, but are pricey.

I remember this from seeing it on Amazon but can’t find it there now.

They have color change kits for the GE Hinge Pin.

http://www.ezzwave.com/z-wave-products/z-wave-plus-hinge-pin-smart-door-sensor/

Scroll about three quarters down the page and you will see them.

If aesthetics are big issue, you can consider either a recessed sensor (but then you have to drill a hole in the wall for it) or the sensative strips.

The strips are less than 3 mm thick, and they fit in the door frame. They are weatherproof and can be painted. So they really become almost invisible. And they work very well.

The only downside is that they are expensive. About $60. They have a ten-year non-replaceable battery. So you get some of the cost by not having to replace batteries every year or two. But still it’s one of those things where you have to decide if the extra cost is worth it compared to other sensor types.

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/211360866-Sensative-Strips

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I did also look at the Sensative Strips, but was turned off by their price. I’m also just a tad bit wary of new technology. At least with the recessed sensor, it’s not exactly new technology, they’ve just changed the radio. The Strips is pretty cool and really tiny, but at the same time, smaller isn’t always better. I’m also worried I might have clearance issues as the door expands and contracts with the weather and there’s only a very tiny gap sometimes.
I’m not that averse to drilling a hole in the wall or door. In fact, there’s already a recessed sensor in there currently for my alarm system, but of course, that doesn’t work with SmartThings at all which is pretty annoying. I am averse, however, to drilling a hole only to find out it won’t work right. Now that wouldn’t be fun at all. Maybe I’ll just use the standard stick on one for now. I was planning on taking the door down in the spring and sanding both sides down and refinishing them anyways.

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I installed one too and was not impressed. As you mentioned, it was much, much larger than I expected and a general pain to setup. I’m leaning toward the Sensative strips for my other 5 doors, but don’t trust the reported 10 year battery life considering they only give you a 1 year warranty, and when the battery dies so does the $60 sensor. I’ll probably wait for a sale on the Sensative strips then take the plunge.

[quote=“Nathan_Block, post:13, topic:67981, full:true”]I installed one too and was not impressed. As you mentioned, it was much, much larger than I expected and a general pain to setup. I’m leaning toward the Sensative strips for my other 5 doors, but don’t trust the reported 10 year battery life considering they only give you a 1 year warranty, and when the battery dies so does the $60 sensor.
[/quote]

This is my fear, too. I’m afraid of the sensor getting into some sort of loop and it bugs out and just reports itself to death. $60 down the drain.

Ditto. $60 is just too much. If they were $20 I’d probably buy 10 of them. At $60, nada for me.

If my experience had been better with the Aeon recessed sensor I would probably use that on all my doors. I suppose I should make a bigger effort to diagnose it, but it’s so intermittent that doing so will be difficult.

Its strange that i hear a lot of complaints about Aeon recessed sensor. Some of my friends have even reported the same problem but i have not had any issues with my 4 recessed sensors. 3 of them are on external doors and 1 on internal door. My sensors are drilled into the door and the magnet is on the frame. I am using a custom device type and have never had any problems except when the batteries go low.

The strips can be a good solution for the windows but i totally agree, cant justify paying $60 for 1 contact sensor.

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Geees that GE Hinge sensor is WAAAAAAY bigger than I thought it was going to be! Oh well, crossing that one off my list. As for the strip, it’s ludicrously priced, sorry, I just can’t see it selling. I think the upper limit would be $40 individual (I personally still wouldn’t buy at that price) or more realistically $60 for a two pack, I personally still think that’s far too insane (my ideal price would be $20/strip) but it’s a price point I’d start buying at.

Give it a year, poor sales will likely drop the price.

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The sensative strips have been selling quite well, first in Europe and then in the US. The price is high, but they are a patented design and offer some features that their competitors don’t have. The price may come down or may not, but choice is good.

Most home electrical devices fall into a good/better/best range. There’s a market niche for each of these.

If the sensor doesn’t provide value to you at its price point, don’t buy it. But while there might be some eventual price reduction as the company matures, I wouldn’t expect to see a lot. This is just a different kind of device from the box sensors.

JMO :sunglasses:

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@mmcglynn264 Have you tried this? I’m wondering if the door needs to be open all the way to set open/close or is it adjustable?

Thanks