I am just receiving my equipment and looking to keep the system running optimally. I realize that ST is really driving the bus of reliability but I’m wondering if there are any routine maintained items that I can perform to keep things running smoothly?
If so, can they be automated and happen in the background?
95% of everything happens in the cloud, and there’s nothing you need to do about that. SmartThings doesn’t even provide network mapping tools–they really don’t expect customers to have to run network utilities.
There are two important things that you can do.
1) Battery Management First, come up with a strategy for how you will handle battery replacement for your battery-operated devices. You will get a notification sometimes from SmartThings when the batteries are really low, but it’s not 100% reliable. So there are two common strategies.
1A) put battery replacement on a schedule. This is what I do. It’s like the idea of changing the batteries in a smoke detector twice a year when the time changes. I change the batteries either annually or twice a year depending on the device. The old batteries get taken out, checked for charge, and put in a rack we use for nonessential devices like game controllers and TV remotes. So we don’t waste the batteries, but the critical devices should always have a good charge.
1B) Wellness Check Reporting. Or you can use one of the several “wellness check” smartapps that community members have written. They’re all good, they just have slightly different features. Some just check the battery. Some also give you a notification if the device hasn’t reported for a while so you can check to see if it’s off-line altogether. Several use the account logs rather then polling the device directly which helps lighten the load on your network and makes sure you don’t use up all the batteries just asking “are you still there?” all the time.
You can find these by using the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki.
Oh, and you probably already know this one, but many battery powered devices report battery level in tiers. Just something to keep in mind when you’re reviewing the wellness check reports.
Network Maintenance When Adding New Devices
The other thing that you can do is make sure each device’s address tables are up to date after you add new zigbee or zwave devices to your network.
For zigbee, add however many new devices you have, then leave all the devices powered on and unplug the hub and take out the hub’s batteries. Leave the hub off-line for at least 15 minutes. This will cause all the other devices to go into “panic mode” once they realize the coordinator (the hub) is not available. Then when you bring the hub back onto power, the end devices will start updating their neighbor tables. This can take a while, so you might not see improvements until the next day. But it’s an important step to help keep your network healthy after you’ve added new devices.
For Z wave, you leave the hub on power but you run a special hub utility called a “Z wave repair.” Again, you may not see the full results until the next day.
So this is just something to keep in mind as you add new devices over time. By cleaning up the network tables after you’ve added new devices each time, you will keep the mesh routing efficiently.