Scenes triggered by automations not running consistently (2021 app)

Hello ST Community! I have been using ST since 2015 but this is the first time I’m creating a community account and posting because before now things seemed to work great with my old hub and the old app. Now, I’ve upgraded to the latest app and upgraded from my old v1 hub and while it was kinda fun to set things up from scratch, I’m having trouble with some of my scenes.

I have really basic scenes set up: one for each location mode to transition manually to that mode, one to turn some of my main lights one, one to turn all my lights off, and a few that simply set the thermostat to different temperatures.

The scenes I am having the most trouble with are for my thermostat (because when they don’t work, it really sucks). A little background for my setup:

  • I have a time of use plan with my electric company through which during the hours of 15:00 - 20:00 (referred to as peak hours), electricity is charged more per kWh
  • The basic automations are: 83 degrees when I’m away, 78 when I’m home during the day, and 74 at night. The thermostat is turned completely off at the beginning of peak hours and turned on again at the end. It is also pre-cooled before peak hours because I live in a very hot area. Since there are many permutations of the time of the day and my presence status, there are at least a dozen of these automations

The automation to turn my AC off at the beginning of peak hours does not invoke a scene but rather adjusts the thermostat directly since there are no other contexts where I need to turn it off completely. This works 100% of the time.

However, the automations for everything else trigger scenes. I am finding that when I look at the history tab I will see when an automation ran as well as the fact that it triggered the relevant scene, but after that I will not see any events for adjusting the thermostat. It doesn’t always fail to adjust my thermostat but at this point it’s often enough to be very inconvenient. When my place warms up to 90+ degrees because the scene was triggered but didn’t do anything, one could say I’m upset.

Additionally, if I invoke the thermostat-related scenes manually, they often do nothing as well. I never see any error messages saying something was wrong so I can’t figure out why this is happening.

I believe I could get these automations to run perfectly 100% of the time by skipping over using scenes and just adjusting the thermostat directly in the automation. But I want to get the scenes working if I can; it’s useful to only have to adjust a temperature in one place rather than half a dozen places if I decide 78 isn’t comfortable enough or whatever the case might be. Also being able to change the thermostat to a preset temperature without going to the device itself saves a few taps on my phone screen…

TL;DR scenes which are set up to just adjust the thermostat fail to do so and show no visible errors.

Has anyone had any similar issues with scenes? Have you been able to solve them? If so, what did you do to fix them?

Thanks everyone for your help!


Me too. I have a Zen Thermostat which for the last few months has been somewhat hit and miss occasionally when trying to set the Auto/Off mode from either the device directly in an Automation or using a Scene in an Automation. I had both SmartThings support and Zen support on the same email string with each other, but nothing came off it since both where just replying with standard helpdesk knowledge base responses. In fact at one point I thought they were both were using artificial intelligence engines in their responses since some of their responses seemed to be triggering the other when I had not even responded to anything.

Also, since it’s been somewhat unreliable and it’s important to me that it’s Off when I’m away since I can manually deal with it when I’m home, I created a Thermostat Away Automation. The Automation triggers a notification If I’m Away for at least 5 minutes and the Thermostat is still in Auto, then send me a notification and set the Thermostat mode to Off AGAIN since it should have set the mode to Off after the main Away scene was executed. At least now when I receive the notification, it alerts me to check the Thermostat’s status and make sure it is in Off mode, and if not after two Automation attempts to do so, then just do it myself manually.

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