Keen connections unreliable? Tried several DTHs

I have 12 keen vents in my home, both 4x10 and 4x12 inch size. They are connected to my smartthings hub. I’ve set up zoning using Ecobee Set Zones with Schedule smartapp @yracine to set up a zoning system using Ecobee 4 and Keen vents.

The temperatures went haywire in many of the rooms. Smartthings Classic app kept reporting that the vents are fine (connectivity is fine, battery around 50%). So I spent a lot of time reviewing the logs for the zoning smartapp (and also the vent dth logs) - but couldn’t find what was wrong.

Today, I stood right next to the vents and tried opening and closing them from the devices section of Smartthings classic, they wouldn’t open/close even though Smartthings Classic said the command is sent. I tried changing the DTH - I tried DTH from Keen, from @yracine and 3 different ones from jcdevhandler (v1, v2 and domsim mod). None of them worked. No warnings in either device health or battery status. I even have the Low Battery Status smartapp from rboy, no alerts even there.

Finally, I tried to release/reinsert the battery holder, and then reset the keen vents by pressing the reset button - no response at all. None of the lights would blink on reinserting the battery holder or pressing the reset button. So, I changed the batteries and they finally came to life. The old batteries were completely dead.

FWIW, I have several Ikea Tradfri zigbee repeaters in my home and I don’t think zigbee signal is the issue.

  1. Why is smarthings saying device connectivity and the battery are fine when they are not?

  2. Some of the DTH have healhtchecks but apparently they don’t work. What’s the point of the healthcheck then?

  3. Smartthings says commands are being sent. Does it not check for or receive any acknowledgments from the Keen vent (or any device in general)?

This is being an exercise in frustration and a waste of time so far. I’m extremely frustrated at smartthings. I’m not sure if any of this is keen vents’ fault but I’m concerned about Keen also. Why are they releasing such unreliable hardware/software?

Hi, this topic has been addressed before.

In brief, you should use some zigbee repeaters to avoid disconnects. The Keen Home bridge can be used as a repeater.

Also, if you find that your vents are using too much of your battery life (as they poll every minute by default), my Keen Home DTH and jcdevhandler DTHs use a less agressive polling value (every 5-10 minutes for temp/pressure readings) which drastically increases the battery life.


  1. which device handler are you using for the vents? The default or a custom one?
  2. do you have device health turned off in the Classic app?

Hi @nort, the DTH’s from my old repo (jcdevhandler) haven’t been updated for the new app, and I have no plans to update the handler. I’ve gone back to using ST’s stock handler.

A couple things to be aware of:

  • The stock ST handler works in the Classic app, but not in the new app. The dimmer control always shows 0 in the new app, but it still allows you to control the vent position. It just won’t show it correctly.
  • Depending on your vent’s firmware release, there’s a bug in one of the versions (0x21095A10 I believe) that will only allow you to close the vent, but not open it. Keen’s firmware isn’t accepting the zigbee “on” command correctly, so to open the vent you need to use the slider, or stick with my latest release of the handler that includes a workaround.
  • Over the last year or so I’ve had 4 vents completely die, and Keen only replaced 1. They’ve all had the new battery cartridge too. I took one apart and discovered the wires from the battery area were barely connected to the circuit board. That was an easy fix. I haven’t looked at the other 2 dead ones, but I suspect it may be the same issue.

These things do eat batteries the older they get, or so it seems. Kinda wish I spent my money elsewhere to be honest.


Thanks @prjct92eh2

  1. I tried both default and custom DTHs - same issue with all. The devices report the battery level and vent status on smartthings classic, but they weren’t really talking to the vents.

  2. Smartthings Classic - Device health is on. But it doesn’t report any issues. It says commands sent under recent activity, but the devices don’t respond to any commands, and the device UI on smartthings shows as if everything is fine.


Thanks for your great work. I’ll use other DTHs then. I’ll check the firmware version.

The issue is not just the vent getting stuck closed. The issue is that the batteries are completely dead - the lights won’t even flash if I press the reset button, and the smartthings classic UI as well as API logs pretend as if everything is fine.

Thanks @yvesracine for your response. As I wrote in my original post, I have several Zigbee repeaters - Ikea Tradfri - 6 of them to be precise.

The default DTH properly handles device health and reports when it is offline for me. If you look at the device in the IDE, is there a checkInterval value set?

Have 11 in my home, and rarely lost any when I was using all of them, so likely you need to strengthen your Zigbee mesh to keep them going, if they are truly falling off your mesh. Now, I have had 5 or 6 that constantly lost connection to their batteries. If yours are installed in the ceiling, you may be dealing with the same problem.

I share the same “love” for these devices as @johnconstantelo. I wish I would have spent my money replacing my old GE switches, to be honest, instead of constantly feeding batteries to these battery eating monsters :slight_smile:

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Thanks @HA_fanatic. My issue is not as much as them falling off the network, but falling off silently but the smartthings app pretending that they are all fine. Devices falling off the network with clear indication is allowable. But devices falling off without any indication but the HA system acting as if the devices are fine is just not acceptable - this makes the whole system unreliable.

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That is likely a case of devices losing the connection to the batteries. Depending on the DTH you are using, this should not happen unless the DTH doesn’t properly handle device health as @Automated_House mentioned above.

OK, I’m doing an A-B comparison. Actually, A-B-C-D comparison of the 4 keen vents in my great room. They are all on the floor and there’s a zigbee repeater in the middle of the room (on the bar between kitchen and living area). They are all SV02-412-MP-1.0 model, firmware version 0x21085A10, bought at the same time (March 2019).

  1. E - Keen DTH
  2. NE - yracine DTH
  3. NW - jcdevhandler v2 DTH
  4. W - jcdevhandler domsim DTH

E vent’s next hop is Tradfri Control Outlet, whose next hop is ST hub. The other three vents’ next hops is ST hub. I replaced batteries in all of them today. I’ll post back with comparative evidence of my tests.

If any of them dropoff silently again without the ST Classic app, web IDE device status or logs noticing it, then we have a real problem.

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hi @Automated_House, among my 4 vents:

  • E - Keen DTH - checkInterval = 1320 (seconds I assume? 22 minutes? I can reduce this for testing)
  • NE - yracine DTH - no checkInterval parameter, health check capability IS NOT listed under device handlers.
  • NW - jcdevhandler v2 DTH - no checkInterval parameter, health check capability IS listed under device handlers. Not sure how often it checks.
  • W - jcdevhandler domsim DTH - no checkInterval parameter, health check capability IS listed under device handlers. Not sure how often it checks.

So, is it OK to use jcdevhandler domsim DTH if I want health check capability (to find when a vent is offline), or am I limited to the default Keen DTH for this capability? I like the domsim DTH because it shows the vent open percentage in the device listing page, but I can switch to a different one if it doesn’t support health check as well as the Keen default DTH does.

You could try mixing it up. Put the most problem on in the default DTH and see if it reports offline. If so, that would indicate a mesh issue.

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I’m curious what ever became of your test of the four different Keen Vent device handlers? I’m going through way too many batteries and looking for something to fix the problem when I stumbled upon your post. Which of the DTHs is best at this point? I’m still using the classic app for most things.

These things eat batteries regardless of the DTH, at least from my experience. I’m back to using ST’s stock handler, and it really didn’t make a difference.

Quite frankly, these have become more of a novelty device than anything practical. Over half of my original vents have died and have been replaced or just removed completely. All of them are battery hogs, regardless of the version, battery cartridge design/redesign, and/or placement. My money would have been better spent elsewhere.


@Nort My experience is different.

I’ve had the same 16 Keen Home Vent for the last 5 years. So far, I’ve had to replace one vent because of the battery corrosion issue that happened with the original batteries.

All I can say is that I’ve changed the batteries only twice so far, so the batteries can last more than 2 years if you change the polling interval from 1 minute to 5 or 10 minutes.

During the installation of my DTH or jcdevhandler DTH , did you press on the configure button for each smart vent?

If you don’t press the configure button, the polling interval will stay at every minute and this could drain the batteries for sure.

Another thing that I found strange in your comparison is that, no matter the DTH you’re using, all of them should be able to use a nearby repeater if available. The DTH code is not so different and the zigbee protocol is the same regardless of the DTH used.

When you did your zigbee experiment, did you re-pair each of your vent so that the vent can use the nearest repeater?

Re-pairing means pressing at least 5 times on the black button at the bottom of the vents for a reset first, and doing the pairing again.

You haven’t given any details on how you have done your zigbee experiment, so I cannot comment on your process, but your results don’t match my experience at all.

Maybe the quality of the manufactured product has changed over the years, that would be the only explanation…

And, I’m not a Keen Home employee or affiliated with them…

BTW, the offline status under the IDE doesn’t mean that the device is disconnected… The only way to know if a device is disconnected is to check the history of events and see if it has recently reported some temperature or pressure event in the last x minutes (according to your polling interval). Most of ST users don’t use the health check feature as it’s not reliable…


Got any 10"x6" you want to sell? :smiley:

All mine are 4x’s, sorry!

I have taken one apart that I never sent back, and I was able to fix it. It turned out that a couple of my vents had a terrible solder joint from the battery compartment to the main board (which isn’t much). You could literally touch the wire and it would pop off. I’m wondering if all the temperature changes these go through if it caused some of other vents to have that area eventually fail.

I will add that how I use these vents isn’t too bad. I don’t control them “in partnership” with any thermostat, but instead when a door in a room opens or closes, which doesn’t happen all that much anymore since we’re empty nesters now.

Just adding my two cents here, I recently installed 15 of these vents w/ fully charged Eneloops. I have SmartThings Zigbee outlets in each room w/ vents acting as repeaters. So far I’ve had no issues with network drop-offs though a couple of vents’ batteries have died. I created an HVAC dashboard in ActionTiles to help me monitor the performance of my system (including the battery life of each vent):

I use @yvesracine’s DTH and SmartApps to control my Ecobee Thermostat + Keen Vents. I was only able to hit the config button on half my vents before the SmartThings Classic app stopped working for me; however, as far as I can tell all the vents are correctly reporting at 5+ minute intervals. Not quire sure what’s going on there:

I am still trying to figure out how many of these dead batteries are caused by my not so “pre-charged” Eneloops vs an actual issue with the vent configuration. I have however noticed that the ScheduledTstatZones app does make a lot of frequent adjustments to the vents while the thermostat is running and that makes me a little worried about the long-term battery life. Not sure if there is some way to debounce the adjustments so they don’t happen more than once every two minutes (for example).

In case this helps folks, here are a few interesting things I’ve learned so far from this process:

  1. Keen support is quite responsive and were super helpful in sending me a replacement battery compartment for one of the Ebay-bought vents which had significant corrosion damage.
  2. Ecobee works way better than Nest in these setups (especially now that Works with Nest is gone). I ended up replacing my Nest with an Ecobee after getting frustrated with the delays introduced by the long polling intervals for the Nest APIs and Nest’s completely inflexible remote sensor options.
  3. The Keen Vent battery readers are based on voltage drop so they don’t work very well with Ni-MH batteries like the Panasonic Eneloops. Essentially the voltage on these batteries is constantly shown at 50% and then suddenly drops to 0% when they die.