Presence sensors: erratic and unreliable

I raised this with support this morning but thought I’d post to see if it was just me. Both my presence sensors had another crazy night. I woke up this morning to 15 notifications for one of my sensors being in and out all night and looking at the logs for both they were registering false events all evening (although oddly and subtly different times which suggests to me this isn’t a local issue to my setup).
Is anyone else experiencing this horrible reliability with a key tenant of the SmartThings platform?

Hub close to wifi router?

Or shielded by anything?

No problem with either my Android Galaxy S5 or my brides iPhone 4s


This had been an ongoing problem since the beginning. Some users never have a glitch, others never get it to work. It’s very frustrating.

In my time here, and through experience, I’ve seen that must users resolve this problem by using a third party smartapp.

I would like to recommend life360. It’s supported by ST and it works good. I’ve been very happy with it.

Give it or any of the others a look over and see if it helps.

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I use both. ST and life 360. It gives me a backup in case either one fails, which hasn’t happened in quite some time but had happened. I would also recommend Life 360 as it also gives you shared shipping lists and semi-real time location tracking, which is a bonus.

Absolutely. I’ve had this problem a number of times.

Arrival sensors that sit stationary in my house will mysteriously depart and arrive – sometimes numerous times. (And my hub is not near my wifi router, the hub is fairly close to the usual ‘resting place’ for the sensors when they’re home, and there’s no obvious source of wireless interference.) The really odd thing is that - when the sensors truly do arrive at home - they are remarkably accurate and have fantastic range … out to the sidewalk in front of my house. Why they go wonky when sitting still, inside my house, near the hub, is a mystery.

When combined with the frequency of misfires in my other SmartThings hardware (i.e. my MP sensors erroneously thinking a door has opened, and motion sensors erroneously sensing motion), it really damages my faith in my system and my ability to trust it for home security.

In my most recent support chat on arrival sensor issues, a really helpful ST support rep suggested that I try changing the presence timeout via the IDE. Here are his instructions:

Click on My Hubs and you’ll be taken to your Hubs info page. If you have multiple Hubs, you’ll have to select which Hub you’d like to modify. Scroll down and click on View Utilities. Under Presence Timeout find Update Presence Timeout (Minutes) and click on the drop-down menu. We recommend you try 5 minutes to start but you can increase it up to 10 minutes. Once you’ve selected the new timeout from the drop-down, click update. To verify the new timeout, you can click Get Presence Timeout.

I haven’t had mine changed long enough to know if it actually makes a difference, but it can’t hurt to try.

I’ve always had my timeout at ten minutes. I don’t need my departure tracked any quicker than that, and if I’m gone for less than ten minutes I don’t really need the house to shut down for that short of a time.

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