ST Automations + Water Sensors

Hi all!

Fairly new to the community and only been using ST a short while now but like the potential of a smart home.

Because of recent water events at my home I’ve installed several water sensors. A couple different kinds (including the ADT sensors), suddenly they all went offline within the last week sometime.

This seems to be something that’s been noted by the community for years with no real explanation and few workarounds besides removing and re-adding the devices. So, unfortunately I decided to do that but also noticed my automations related to my water sensors was gone!

So, I set my automation up again (which notifies me via text and sounds an alarm). I then dropped and re-added one of the water sensors, which took fine, but when I went to check the automation to ensure it was still in the list, the automation was gone again!

A bug when you remove a sensor in an automation? Dunno, maybe.

So, a couple questions hoping folks can help me out:

  1. Is there a way to keep the sensors from going off line? If not, is there a way to easily add them back in?
  2. Is there a way to ensure your automations don’t disappear when dropping devices?

I’m using the 3rd Gen ST Hub with ADT Water Leak Sensors, and the my ST app is v1.7.51.42 which I plan to update soon.

Thanks in advance guys!

check in the IDE to see how they are routing back to the hub. you might need some routers/repeaters. a good rule of thumb is to have at least 1 zigbee/zwave outlet (outlet plugin) in each room.

Hi Awestun! Thanks for the info. If I understand you, your thought is that distance may play a part in the communications for the sensors.

A couple thoughts on that:

  1. For at least one of the sensors, it’s is in the same room as the hub, very close.
  2. After further digging, it appears this issue only occurred for the ADT sensors (no other devices).
  3. Non-ADT Sensors are much further away and none of them had an issue.

So…it seems it’s only related to the ADT water sensors, even if they’re close to the hub. Really weird.

The good news is, after dumping all the sensors and re-adding them and then setting up the automation again, everything is holding fine. Wouldn’t be good if that happened when I was on vacation or something though! Hopefully, a one-time deal, wondered if anyone else was experiencing the same thing.

Installing Simple Device Viewer will allow you to monitor devices that have gone offline and notifiy you; it does MANY other things as well.
I use it to tell me when XIAOMI devices go OFFLINE.

Sorry, been away, but thanks Daven! I think the device going off-line is only a part of the overall problems:

  1. The devices have no reason to go off-line (if other devices are not). This would seem to indicate an issue between the sensors and the hub (driver/software).
  2. When they go off-line, there’s no easy way to get them back online.
  3. Of course, when off-line, you’re at risk (well, for water sensors).
  4. Probably a bug, but if you delete a device from ST that is in an automation, the entire automation disappears. I’ve confirmed deleting the device from the automation first then deleting the device causes no issues.
  5. Lastly, my feeling regarding this lately especially when couple with a recent incident (one tripped as wet, was in an automation, did send a notification but didn’t set off my alarm) is that the overall system is somewhat unreliable. I’m hoping I’m proven wrong on this one!

I’m so looking forward to a smart home but am not sure I can trust things like security or water damage protection to devices that are prone to failure.

Here’s hoping!

Forgot to mention, they did all go off-line again :dizzy_face:

Is the ST hub near any networking equipment or other items that could cause interference (TV, device with usb, nearby neighbors, etc)?

as for removing a device from ST, it is a known issue where any automations that contain that device will be also be removed. It is not known if or when that issue will be fixed.

The hub is right next to the wifi-router and a network switch. Nothing else.

I could be wrong, but I would think other items would be seeing the interference as well (or perhaps the ADT water sensors are just extra sensitive?).

you may want to try moving it at least 10 feet away from those items and see if it resolves the issue of devices falling off-line (if they are zigbee)

I could certainly try it and see if it has any effect.

My other water sensors and devices seem to be working fine with a mix of Zigbee and Z-wave. It’s just the ADT water sensors. Seems really weird to me or again these devices are somehow different.

Thanks jkp!

I am sure @JDRoberts will pop by and offer more assistance :slight_smile:

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I’ve had the same problem with ST leak sensors for years. They randomly disconnect and I’ve probably re-paired them 100’s of times (likely more) by now. What I find interesting is the ST app can see when these go offline, but i don’t receive any notification (unless I check the app). I’ve been using Simple Device Viewer for quite some time to monitor this problem and it has done a pretty good job (although, recently, it’s been saying non-water leak sensors are going offline, but they aren’t actually offline.) Not sure if that has to do with the transition to the new app.) In any event, I’m going to try one of those IKEA usb plug outlet zigbee repeaters and see how that goes.

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Unfortunately, the answer to both of these is no. The second one is not considered a bug, it’s just the way smartthings is designed. They don’t allow you to have an automation unless the devices in that automation are known to your account.

The first one is an ongoing issue with SmartThings. You’ll find literally dozens of threads about it, but there’s no known resolution. Supposedly engineering is working on it.

Although the original dual logo ADT/smartthings hub had special security features, the hub that you have just isn’t intended for any kind of real security system. That’s not just my opinion, the company says so themselves in the product usage guidelines:

Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed. Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests.

If you need a reliable security system, even for water leaks, get a purposebuilt security system. There are a number that are in a similar price range, including the ring security system, Abode, or even ADT Blue.

As far as this:

My other water sensors and devices seem to be working fine with a mix of Zigbee and Z-wave. It’s just the ADT water sensors. Seems really weird to me or again these devices are somehow different.

There are multiple things that can cause the offline bug, so some people even have three devices of the exact same model and only one of them keeps going off-line. :scream: Personally, I suspect it’s an artifact of the cloud architecture, but we don’t really have enough tools on our side to tell.

Thanks JD, I have the Flo by Moen with 3 of their sensors, but they’re expensive. The nice thing about them is that they both notify me and shut off the water. I went with the other water sensors in less dangerous areas hoping to get a notification for which, if necessary, I could turn the water off (even remotely) using the Moen app. Works great when the sensors are working correctly.

My guess on the ADT sensors was, even though folks say it works with the ST hub, is that it really works best with the ADT system and everything else was a gamble (though I hoped there was simply something I was missing).

Fortunately, I also have a separate security system that works great as well but that I was hoping to integrate ST with it. I’ll keep hoping but not rely on it at this point.

Thanks again!

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Most of the ADT/smartthings dual logo sensors won’t work with any other hub, and they use a different frequency. But the leak sensor is just a relabeled smartthings device.

If you can post a picture of the labels, which will be either on the back of the device or inside the battery compartment, we can tell you more and which repeaters it might be using. But that won’t necessarily fix it. :thinking:

Good deal, here’s a pic.

The sensors does hook up to the hub and do function but it seems it’s just a matter of time (days) before they all fall offline.

Thanks JD!

OK, that’s a relabeled Nortek Zigbee device. Not on the proprietary ADT frequency. That’s why you were able to connect it to your hub. You can use the IDE to look at one of the recent message paths and probably see who its parent is. But it’s on your zigbee network, so that’s where you would need to troubleshoot.

I’ll need to let other people help you further with this, the new forum theme gives me a headache, literally. :disappointed_relieved:

Tagging @johnconstantelo

Haha! Thanks JD :slight_smile:

Hi @ChuckM, what DTH did that device pick up when it joined? Also, what is it’s proximity to the hub or another zigbee repeater?

@JDRoberts, this new theme is horrible.

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Indeed, I can’t even look at the page without instant headache. Mark ended up coming Wednesday instead of Tuesday this week so he’s checking the forum for me right now, but there’s not much I can do anymore.

Community Theme is unreadable (10 Nov 2020)