Mistrust in system


(Andrew Beers) #1

Over the past week, I’ve come to lose trust in my SmartThings hub. Daily things drop off the network, even things in the same room. ZWave repair tends to do nothing, and I often have to power cycle the entire unit. Door sensors show “open” when the door is closed, and don’t really start to work again until I pull the batteries. That anyone could monitor their home with SmartThings is starting to feel a little far fetched.

Is anyone having great success with this? What are your secrets?


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #2

Sometimes devices can dropoff due to less than 50% battery. If you notice a set of devices you bought around the same time doing this frequently it might be the cause. Otherwise I am out of ideas. Haven’t had any major issues.


#3

Some people are having great success, but there are no secrets. Most of the problems are occurring randomly in the cloud, and probably have to do with “hotspots” in the databases there. Consequently when the problems occur, they hit different people randomly. Very little that can be done on the customer side to avoid these issues.

The company is very aware of the issues that have said they are making improved reliability their top priority.

I believe their sincerity, but they’re not there yet. Search the forums for “reliability” or “stability” and you will find many discussion threads. But unfortunately no magic answers.

There are some things you can try in case it is a problem you can solve:

And it’s always a good idea to get in touch with support@smartthings.com and see if they have any specific suggestions.

But there still some cloud issues that just randomly get different people at different times. For that we just have to hope that the company’s efforts to improve stability will succeed.

In the meantime, each person has to decide for themselves which specific use cases they want to trust to the current state of the system. Personally, I now only use SmartThings for convenience cases like a notification if the guestroom window was left open when rain is expected. I’ve moved critical functions over to other systems for now.

SmartThings remains my favorite home automation system when it works as intended, but personally I just don’t find it reliable enough for anything critical right now. I do hope that will change in the future.

FWIW


(Ben W) #4

What are the devices? Zigbee? Is your wireless router close to your Hub? Uses the same frequency so that can sometimes cause issues. Make sure the antennas are not obstructed by cabinets or pointed a less than optimal way (Hub v2 Antenna Orientation)

Overall I have pretty good success. Had devices dropping for awhile (zigbee) but that went away couple months ago. I have lots of zwave light switches so the mesh is pretty strong. I also picked up a few zigbee outlets to boost the zigbee mesh.


(Andrew Beers) #5

Thanks all. All devices are > 85% battery. The door sensor in question is at 100% battery. My Wifi router is on a different floor. I get why some devices (those farthest from the hub) are struggling, as I don’t have enough devices in some parts of the house to serve as repeaters. But the devices in the same room should be total champs, but sadly aren’t. Of course, if the issue is in the cloud then the local network matters not.

Are there tools to see the mesh network that the ZWave devices have formed?

I do have the hub in a cabinet, so I may try moving it elsewhere. I think all of my devices are ZWave
Andrew


(Ben W) #6

Just place the hub on top. There was a guy a while back that had all sorts of issues on moving it away from his stereo equipment cleared it up.

There are tools, but are made for windows with a zwave stick. Zwave does have interference issues too, but are usually less.


#7

Unfortunately, no. SmartThings does not provide network mapping tools at the present time.

If you give us the brand and model numbers of your devices, we can tell you whether they’re zwave or zigbee. They also should have the appropriate logo on the device, but sometimes it’s inside the battery compartment and it’s a pain to check all of them.

As far as siting the hub, yes, get it into an open space, preferably at least 4 feet off the ground, and at least 10 feet from your Wi-Fi router. That will maximize the signal availability. :sunglasses:

Here’s the standard checklist for when a sensor gets “stuck” but to be honest for the last couple of months most of the problems seem to have been cloud problems, especially if multiple devices are involved . It can’t hurt to run through the checklist though:


(Marc) #8

I’ve noticed while installing a bunch of open/close sensors this week that the iOS Mobile app doesn’t display the open close status accurately unless I refresh by swiping down. Has anyone noticed this recently?


(Andrew Beers) #9

For me, it varies quite a bit. After a restart of the hub, I’ll see changes to open/close sensors immediately. This doesn’t last, and then the refresh becomes required.


#10

And these are all Z wave sensors? That particular behavior is more typical of Zigbee and has to do with how zigbee devices check in with the network Coordinator. What’s the brand and model of the sensors that you’re having problems with?


(Andrew Beers) #11

These are Samsung’s own multi-sensors, which I guess are Zigbee.


#12

Yes, those are zigbee. A zwave repair isn’t going to have any effect on those. I would get in touch with support@smartthings.com and see if they can see anything from their side.


#13

Check the zigbee channel your hub is using and the channel for your router… I was having zigbee issues also a few weeks ago. Moving the hub away from my second router and changing the channel of my router resolved most if not all of my zigbee troubles.