Smartthings - the final nail in the coffin

I posted here back in March hoping to get some resolution to an issue regarding Smartthings, my thermostat, and the erratic inability for Smartthings to choose between Celsius, Fahrenheit, or “unlabeled” temperatures. I wasn’t happy to find out that these sort of problems have existed for months, and seemingly ignored, or given the usual CS rug sweeping.

That being said, I went ahead re-addressed my routines to try and find holes or workarounds. In my particular situation, I can’t have a straight-forward “if hot, cool, if cold, heat” type of routine. My house isn’t segmented into independent zones with central heating/cooling. And several critical use rooms tend to run 6 - 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. I needed a complex set of routines interacting with each other to monitor the different room temperatures constantly, and apply different heating/cooling solutions for each situation.

Two nights ago, I thought I finally had the problem sorted. When finalizing my routines (after checking my if-than logic, I discovered that the old honeywell thermostat was only allowing Smartthings to interact with it’s temperature probe in Celsius. OKAY then! I’ve got an Aeotec multisensor in that room, I’ll use it’s temperature sensor instead. Problem solved!

That night and the next day, the routines kicked in, the house heated with cold, turned off when my studio got too hot, and the air conditioning kicked in when it needed to. The house was finally balancing out and becoming comfortable from top to bottom.

However, I woke up this morning to a freezing cold house. The heat hadn’t turned on since yesterday morning. It was locked into “OFF”. A quick check of my routines showed that this time, the Smartthings button I was using to monitor the temperature in my studio had forgotten what degrees were. All it said in it’s routine was “70”, not “70 F”.

When I tried to re-enter the correct temperature, the button refused to be dealt with in anything other than Celsius.

It has become completely apparent that the problem wasn’t with the thermostat, it’s with Smartthings itself. I’ve tried everything I can think of. Using different devices to create the routines, resetting the hub, changing batteries… nothing solves this problem. And apparently asking for help or pointing out the issue falls on deaf ears too.

At this point, unless there is a rapid fix / work-around, I can’t imagine continuing to use Smartthings in my home. I could handle the occasional wonky light response, an errant sensor delay here and there. But when it comes to “mission critical” house management that directly effects the health and happiness of my family and myself? Not a chance.

I don’t know what’s happened to Samsung lately. In the past year I’ve seen my Samsung phone software forget how to phone, my smart watches don’t reconnect when they should and receive updates every other day that simply get in the way but never seem to fix anything, and Smartthings can’t tell the difference between Celsius, Fahrenheit, or even what a temperature is.

And the worst bit, is that all of these things either get ignored, or the response is completely unacceptable. (For example: in order to allow my phone to actually make and receive WIFI phone calls, I was told that I had to reformat my cache drive after every single phone call.) Hearing that others have reported this exact same issue FOR MONTHS, only to be told “it’ll be fixed in the next update” or to have their posts ignored/deleted is incredibly frustrating and disheartening.

So, for right now, I’m on my way to Home Assistant. I didn’t want to go this route yet. Even though I’ve ordered the zwave and zigbee sticks already, and I’m prepping to re-purpose my raspberry Pi, there’s still a part of me that’s hoping that some solution or some software patch will come through and I don’t have to abandon Samsung.

Honestly, with how Samsung has been across the board latey? I’m not holding my breath.

Please pleasantly surprise me.

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Do you have a Honeywell? Model number RTH6580?

It’s a Honeywell, but it’s a model TH8320WF.

I used to think it was the Thermostat causing the issue, but several smartthings devices started having the same problem dealing with temperature reporting.

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Same thing is happening to my Lux thermostats. I have several tickets in with support and the same excuse every time - it’s fixed in the next release. Total BS… My thermos are useless in Routines, so I’ve cobbled together a SmartApp to help, but it’s still not right.

@SmartThings

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Home Assistant is very powerful, but it requires a lot more upkeep than SmartThings. The biggest thing is: make sure you read the release notes every month, and take any breaking changes into account. Do that and you’ll be fine.

I’ve been using both SmartThings and Home Assistant for (I think) over a year now. All of my ZigBee and zwave devices are still paired with the SmartThings hub, and then integrated into HA. That integration had been rock solid. HA is honestly better at controlling my hub connected devices than SmartThings itself is!

All of my scenes are still in SmartThings, and my more basic routines are as well. But all of my complicated stuff is in HA, along with any integrations outside of ZigBee or zwave.

Before you completely dump SmartThings, maybe try this approach as a stepping stone.

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As I’ve mentioned before, after about two years of use I realized SmartThings just didn’t have the reliability/stability I needed for my own mission critical use cases. Too many undocumented changes creating too many unidentified glitches. (I’m quadriparetic, so I often don’t have the same Plan B as other people: “Walk across the room and turn on the switch manually” are two things not in my repertoire.)

But I needed a really simple system with an MFOP (maintenance free operating period) of at least 6 months. And the ability to defer updates until the day of my choosing. Anyway, I ended up moving most of my critical use cases to HomeKit, which has worked well for me. But I still use SmartThings for some complex logic with less impactful problems if they do fail, and for integration with some devices I don’t have on the other platform. It’s not ideal, but it solves some real everyday issues for me. Choice is good. :sunglasses:

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I’m hesitant to leave Smartthings integrated with Home Assistant, and I’ll tell you why:

Perhaps I just haven’t dug deep enough yet into integrating ST into Home Assistant. I do tend to have a scorched earth approach to things when I feel sufficiently burnt. For example, I once swore off Asus for a good 10 years after the 6th faulty motherboard warranty they refused to acknowledge. I also stopped buying EVGA products after a GPU caught fire the first time it was ever booted, and the next 3 RMA’d cards all had already burnt PCI-E connectors (although I may finally start buying EVGA again, as I have done with Asus).

But in any case, I’m hesitant to leave anything ST software related in my smart home setup because it seems like it’s ST’s software that’s causing every issue. From my vantage point, why would I leave a point of failure in my setup that might just turn around and feed faulty or delayed data to Home Assistant?

Even if ST isn’t “making the decisions,” ST is still passing on the information to the Home Assistant controller. Information that it has time and time again proven it can’t keep straight. Unless I’m completely wrong with how the integration works, and the ST hub and software won’t have any real part in managing the information gathered from the different sensors.

At this point, I can’t trust that ST will:

  • keep my house either cool or warm

  • Monitor my leak sensors that let me know if my sump pump isn’t working, and keeps my basement from flooding.

  • Properly monitor my smoke and CO2 sensors to keep me and mine alive.

  • Reliably inform me when a door is opened, or motion is detected when locked down, away, or asleep.

Those might be extreme examples, but it ST can’t even manage to figure out what temperature scale I want to use, how can I trust that it even bothers with a negative or positive result? I can’t tell you the number of times my door sensors haven’t triggered a response, or how many times I’ve had to dance like an idiot in front of a motion sensor trying to trigger a light (all while the app is showing motion detected, it’s just not doing anything about it).

Again, forgive me if I don’t fully understand how that wouldn’t be an issue with an ST integration in Home Assistant, but it just seems to me like it’s introducing another point of failure in a “mission critical” system. A point of failure that might have disastrous consequences.

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You don’t have to. You can implement HA TODAY with a cloud connection to ST and it can start controlling your stuff. When your sticks arrive - plan and migrate.

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I hate to pile on the bandwagon, but I started my migration to hubitat after a multi-year rock solid smartthings installation just want absolutely bonkers last week and was unable to get any support. Chat support was fantastic and has almost always fixed ghost devices, or pointed me to a misbehaving “smart” thing, but apparently it has been removed as an option.

Email support took 5 days to get back to tell me to pull the batteries from my hub… etc etc. Which I had included in my original ticket.

I’ve always wondered about this approach. Isn’t the SmartThings integration with Home Assistant cloud-to-cloud? So you’re still dependent on the SmartThings Cloud to be reliable?

Technically, yes (although I wouldn’t necessarily call it cloud to cloud as it is my local HA talking directly to the SmartThings cloud, so only one cloud*). But maybe it is just my experience, but this integration has been rock solid. I think it was even written by a ST employee. Also, I think there is something to be said about HA just pulling in the data (again - to be technical, the ST cloud is initiating the connection via a webhook into HA when event data occurs) versus having the ST cloud not only hold the event data, but also doing all the logic and processing of rules. It seems like a lot of the ST cloud “outages” are with routines, scenes, etc and not always just with the cloud connection itself.

* Unless you access your HA instance via Nabu Casa, in which case I think it would be cloud to cloud, but I manage my remote access myself instead.

Long term, I may migrate this stuff over to HA directly - but that will probably be down the road a bit. I’m waiting for now until HA becomes zwave certified (they just brought on a new staff member who’s objective is getting them certified) and also until all the Matter stuff shakes out.

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Interesting, good info!

He wasn’t at the time, but he was hired shortly after from what I remember. he happened to live in Minneapolis too which was convenient. He’s director level at SmartThings. @andrew.sayre

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I have a SmartThings hub sharing a z-wave network with a Home Assistant hub, it works.

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What really makes a big difference, is HA has a release notes and bugs get worked on it quite quickly.

Smartthings has never provided an up to date documentation, things are changing continuously undocumented. And regressions are happening all the time. Changes are pushed out on the cloud side on a Friday afternoon in the US which can break functionality for Saturday morning in Europe, when nobody cares about anything, because SmartThings support works only 9 to 5 weekdays in the UK.

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I am not really a fun of the idea to be certified, if it works.

There has been so many oversights in the Zwave certification process between versions and different interpretations of the standard, that makes things worse.
Just remember when SmartThings tried to comply with it and most of the Fibaro/Qubino devices failed to work as before. It caused a lot of headache for many people, both users and developers.