Is ST Possessd? (July 2021)

In the last 24 hours I’ve had three odd events for what has otherwise been a fairly stable system. I do sue Google, but don’t recall any interactions that would have caused any of this.

  1. My Ecobee 3 thermostat went to “on” fan mode on its own. I have no automations set this way, and never use this mode. In fact the temperature control was so bad in this mode, I thought the AC had broken down until I realized what was going on. This even was recorded last the ST history.
  2. My Greenwave advanced power node 6 smart power strip randomly started going on and off. No activity was recorded in ST. Only one device is programmed and it is on/day and off once a day.
  3. I have a GE enlighten combo dimmer/occupancy sensor that controls downlights in my office. It randomly went on once in the middle of the night. This was recorded in ST. No people or animals were there or even close by. The blinds were closed. The only possible issue is if the air from the AC triggered it, but I’ve never seen that and it would happen multiple times.

Has anyone else seen anything like this? Is it time to call in Ghostbusters?

The forum term for this is “poltergeist.“ Search for that in the forum and you will find a lot of entries. :scream::ghost:

They haven’t been too many for the last year, but there have been some in the last month or so. Some of these were explained by platform issues reported on the status page, most typically delayed events. But some were just random.

Here’s one recent thread:

Devices randomly turning off

Sometimes there’s an explanation. If you use Alexa, make sure you check the routines and hunches in the Alexa App: it’s a little too easy to authorize the system to create an automation for you.

Also, presence-based automations are particularly likely to misfire if your cell phone briefly loses connection.

But sometimes there isn’t any explanation other than that the platform is acting up. :thinking:

As I’ve mentioned, several years ago I myself had an issue with a Z wave doorlock that kept unlocking in the afternoon. It did this every day for several weeks, and senior engineering staff looked at it but couldn’t figure out why. Eventually I ended up removing that lock from my smartthings set up, moved it to a different zwave hub, and never had any more issues with it. :face_with_monocle:

Then there was a community member who was getting alerts based on a “dining room sensor“ when they didn’t have a dining room! That one ended up looking like database corruption in the cloud.

Sometimes you never know what’s causing a poltergeist problem, but you can do some detective work to see if it’s anything obvious.

un-backed-up power surges can cause random things.

I checked my ups logs and it did not record any events in the last 4 days.

Glad to know the official term! I’ve definitely seen lots of one- offs posted, but for three things in one day (with the system up) , it seemed awfully odd.

So far my investigation has not yielded much. I’m almost thinking the outlet strip is now possessed and I need to “exorcise it” (or just get a new one)…

Perhaps google picked-up something for the tstat, but even that’s not clear (and Google usually doesn’t do what I want it to do).

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I forgot to mention another one that’s recent…

After the changes to the new 2021 version of the app, if you tap on a smartthings widget on an iOS device it may run multiple scenes instead of just the one scene the widget is for. Doesn’t sound like what you’re running into, but it’s a known poltergeist issue right now. :disappointed_relieved:

No- its not the widget issue, as I’m avoiding using it until there is a fix.

I’m trying to troubleshoot issue #2 as I’m thinking Goggle could have done #1.

For the Greenwave powerstrip, evidently this issue has been observed by others (in the Hubitat forum). Lot of discussions about DH and network. I’ve used the DH provided in this forum for 5 months on three of these and the others work fine, so I’m assuming that is not an issue. I moved the device around, and interestingly enough the self mode changes vary by location, although checking with ST, it is has not communicated in 5 days (when the `poltergeist visited). My electrical system is relatively new- so I’m fairly sure everything is properly grounded. So I looked at the Device info in the IDE and I see the warning " Current Leakage Detected ". So does this mean: 1) that I can re-set it? 2) The one device plugged into it went bad (does not appear to be the case) 3) that the poltergeist zapped the strip and the only exoneration will be the e waste recycling bin? Any thoughts?

Current leakage likely means power is flowing to ground.
If this device is a surge arrestor, one of the arrestors may have fired due to a surge and is leaking power to ground. If that is the case the strip is probably junk. You could try unplugging it to see if it will reset.

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Thanks -that’s what I was afraid of. The Zooz strips are rather pricey, but may need to get one of them.

Opening this thread again. I have a lot of poltergeist events after the app upgrade. The most annoying one is a light that turns on itself even if I turn it off. It is off for half a second and then it turns on again. This is not happening every day, but perhaps 3 days a week (I have not found any pattern).

I also have reverse poltergeist effects, some days another light just won’t turn on. If i turn it on manually it is correctly reported, but it is impossible to turn on via SmartThings. The next thing is the doorlock, it is not turning on via the automation 13/14 days. But that one is easy, it is not in the app a lot of the time. But then suddenly it is. Repairing did not help, it was in the app immediately after, but then got lost again.

I also have spurious events of lights turning on and off.

Is there any way to troubleshot this? I would like to know what the trigger is to allow for some divide and conquer. I am about to throw SmartThings out the door as it is right now. I have roughly 100 units in the network and really don’t want to start from scratch…

Not sure I can offer up much help. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, the event logs track status only and the live events, even if you were to catch the issue in real time, seems to be of little use.

In my cases above, I think I’ve figured out what happened in each of these cases, but definitely not easy to track these down without better troubleshooting tools.