Several sensors unavailable, yet no notifications of this, and system says "everything is ok"

Basically any zigbee device that is mains powered will act as a repeater for zigbee signals, which is the protocol your water sensor is using.

Doesn’t have to be ST branded, but their smart power outlet would do the trick. There are other brands to choose from too, like Lowe’s Iris.

You’re asking reasonable questions, it’s just that you’ve encountered some limitations of the ST platform.

Unfortunately it’s not a set-and-forget or plug-and-play system, except maybe in very smalll homes with only a small number of devices.

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You can refer to the “works with SmartThings” list to see which devices are officially supported.

Community developers write code that you can load onto your hub (not that hard, I’m not a programmer myself) to get other devices supported too, if you’re interested. Also there are custom smartapps that can do what you’re asking (ie proactively notify you if it’s been x time since a device checked in).

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My concern isn’t that the system requires setup. It’s that after the setup, apparently I have to go around and trigger sensors once a week to make sure they’re still working.

I had the Wally system and that was extremely good at telling me if anything was amiss: batteries, range issues, etc. But the Wally had other issues so I had to abandon it.

Check out this smartapp.

And here are instructions for using custom code.

  1. If you had device health turned off, you wouldn’t see in-app warnings that SmartThings couldn’t communicate with the sensors.

  2. Currently device health doesn’t generate notifications but that is good feedback.

OP makes a great point that even when he did have device health turned on, SHM status on the dashboard was “everything is ok,” which maybe it shouldn’t be if at least one monitored device is unresponsive. It’s also not that helpful to report the status of the device but expect the user will regularly trawl the device list checking for the possibility of finding an unresponsive one.

I replaced all my water sensors with temp reading in them. This way I don’t have this crazy unavailable or long status update. I know this doesn’t answer your question but just something to keep in mind if you are replacing them.

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