ST Multipurpose keeps getting triggered without any vibration

I’m using a ST multipurpose sensor on my dryer with the Dryer smart app. It seemed to work reasonably well, but starting this last week, the thing is going off all the time. There is no vibration, nothing is happening in the machine.

I have the Dryer smart app configured to turn on several lights to let me know the dryer is finished, including bedroom light. Well, that was a mistake. A second night with SmartThings waking me up.

Even removing the bedroom light doesn’t fix the problem. Anyone have any idea of why this thing continues to sense vibration when there is none? For it to trigger the dryer app, it has to sense vibration for at least 20 minutes.

Is this a software thing? Or just crappy devices?

I have had this happen in the past, and have posted some screenshots to the forums. It would happen for about a week and then just stop on its own. I reported it to support, but they were never able to figure out what the cause was.

There are several possible causes so what you do next depends on how much time and effort you want to put in.

One) it could be a bad device. It happens, although the smart things sensors seem to be quite well engineered. The easiest way to test that is to take the battery out of that particular device so it’s offline completely, replace it with another device of the same type, and see if you get the same problem. If you do, it’s not the device, so go on to the next steps.

If you don’t get the same problem take the original device, change its batteries, and see if that helps. A lot of people will start with changing the batteries first, it doesn’t matter. It’s true that you’re more likely to have a bad battery then a bad device.

Two) it could be environmental. This happens even in commercial systems. The first thing to do is to open the case and just look and see if everything looks good. Has the battery corroded? Is there an ant or spider inside the case? Is there dust or water inside the case? Any of these things can happen.

If everything inside the case looks good, you look around the area to see if there is something other than your intended trigger which might be setting it off. That sounds unlikely in your case since you are testing for vibration, but something as simple as a new sound system in the room next-door could do it. Thunder sometime sets off vibration sensors. Somebody learning tap dancing. (OK, that one is kind of an engineers’s joke, but it could happen. :sunglasses:)

To fix this, you first identify the problem, and then see if you can return everything to the way it was when the rule was working.

  1. software failure in the cloud. This is when messages are repeated, lost, delayed, or even when one account gets messages intended for another.

I haven’t mentioned this one before because i’m not 100% certain that it happened, but I’m about 90% certain that when we were having a problem with sensors going off about every minute with no apparent trigger, we actually had taking the batteries out of one of them and the rule that was triggered by that sensor continued to be triggered multiple times. :scream: The reason I can’t be 100% sure is because I didn’t do any of the physical stuff with the devices myself, I had other people helping, and some of it was in rooms that are hard to get into with my wheelchair so I didn’t even see exactly what they were doing.

If this did happen, it would obviously be a software problem, since the system thought it was getting messages from a device that was off-line. That’s a problem with the message processing, not the device.

The way to test that again is easy: take the batteries out of the sensor and see if the lights keep coming on.

If that’s the problem, you might be able to fix it by deleting the rule and re-adding it. But you might not be able to fix it, you might just have to wait for something to change on the platform side again.

  1. i’ll just mention local network errors here. If a device were failing to report, we’d probably look at local network issues first, starting with a network heal. And then looking at the question of whether any other devices have been added or removed lately. But network errors won’t cause a device to report too many times, so it’s unlikely to apply to your particular situation.

So you could just do nothing and see if the problem fixes itself. Or you could start with any of the investigations listed above. Good luck! Let us know if you find anything.

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Wow, thanks JD for the excellent answer.

I’ll try the battery thing. I’ve pretty much decided to bag the app anyway and just Amazon’s Echo timer, but I really did like the lights coming on when the dryer was finished. If that’s the issue, then can try the re-install.

I recently did an update on several smartapps. I’m beginning to wonder if I broke what wasn’t broken by doing so.

Anyway, thanks so much for the detailed response. Onward to the battery.