Pre-Edge Alexa integrations need rework

Just sharing my experience as I go through this process today: every integration my ST had with Alexa has needed to be deleted and rebuilt. For reasons unknown, simply replacing previously existing virtual devices in routines with new Edge virtual devices causes those routines to not work.

By deleting the old Alexa routine, and building an otherwise identical new routine around the new Edge device, Alexa now produces the desired result.

I’m not sure “Pre-Edge” is exactly the right descriptor. I have devices that were present (and named) pre-Edge that still work when controlled via Alexa. Routines and Scenes (now called “Manually run routines,” for reasons known only to SmartThings and NOT the rest of the industry) in some cases have needed to be re-built. But then again, I’ve changed some philosophies on what I wanted done over the years, too…

Sometimes stuff controlled by Alexa–Sonos is a great example–just quit working! Having to re-authorize the connections or even deleting the Alexa skills and re-installing have been necessary to get things going again. YMMV, I suspect…

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The cause itself might not be correct, but the timeframe is.

In any event, I rebuilt one of my fave little Alexa warnings: if the dishwasher is being opened for the first time after a load has been cleaned, Alexa says “the dishes in the dishwasher are clean” - to help prevent the accidental loading of dirty dishes among clean ones.

My wife thinks I do it for her sake… but the reality is that I’ve almost made that error myself, so I’m just helping out anyone who might erroneously pop the unit open and start trying to load dishes without considering whether the ones in there are clean.

It’s an easy routine. When the washer starts, it sets a virtual switch to ON. There’s a contact sensor which opens when the door opens, and when that sensor opens for the first time after the virtual switch has been turned on it turns that switch off. When Alexa sees that virtual switch turn off, she makes the announcement.

The trickiest part is the location of the contact sensor. The magnet is a powerful little neodymium stuck onto the metal hinge arm, while the sensor itself is Velcro’d to the cabinet wall. The whole sensor has to be removed in order to replace the battery.

This s the sort of thing one imagines a smart appliance might do.

There’s one other cool feature: if you have to reach into the clean dishwasher for a particular thing but cannot empty it in the moment, like I will need do at 6am tomorrow to get the coffee pot and screen etc while not waking the rest of the house rattling dishes and flatware, you can say “Alexa, turn on Dishwasher Flag”. And it resets the flag to ON, so the announcement triggers for the next person.

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