Time based events failing?

So, I’m reading through ask if this and I’m trying to find the trend. Which of course is impossible because I have incomplete data.

For everyone that is having all of these problems, there must be something, or multiple somethings, that is in common.

Are each of you using the harmony integration?
Is there are particular device, our virtual device, that you are using?
Are you using the new hue hub?
How many devices are connected via a third part hub? Hue? Harmony? Wink?
Are you using wifi based devices? Thermostats?

It could be any number of things.

But, I believe that the majority of individual here actually have faith in the system, even with the bugs, glitches, lack of timely support, etc… Or ST would not have been alive for this long.

I’ve personally only had two routines not fire for me. It was one time each. I’ve noticed a delay in a locally run app one time. Other than that, it’s ask run as designed.

I have GE switches, GE link bulbs, Wemo switches, hue v1 integration, echo integration, gd00z garage door control, Phillips bulbs, Leviton plug in dimmers and switches, iris contact sensors… I have only 4 custom apps installed. I have a couple of custom device types too.

I have about 8 routines running. About 15 smart lighting routines. I do not have misses changing, except at night to turn on security and in the morning to turn it off. I switch between home and night only.

Roughly 45 devices with about 5 virtual switches.

I’m not having the same problems.

Posting this kind of information, while knowing the company employees are actively viewing (maybe not responding) this forum will go a lot further toward improving our investments…n. Than calling them names and threatening to run away to the competition.

I step down from the soap box…


It’s good to know that is random and not happening for everyone. My problems are related to timers and setting light levels. Can you confirm if you can dim your GE link bulbs using Smart Lightning and from routines? Also, do you have any GE dimmers set to turn on with a contact or a motion sensor and then off after x minutes using the Smart Lightning?

Should you install a local timer for the water heater?

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I have both SmartApps and Smart Lighting dimming my GE Wink bulbs. I also have a motion detector turn on a GE Wink bulb and turn it off after 30 min. It only happens after sunset and before sunrise. It is all working.

I do predict Smart Things will be out of business in less than one year. There is no way a company with this many reliability issues will stick around. I am going to switch as soon as I find a better solution. All this is very low tech. It is using timers to turn devices on and off. 40 year old technology.

With all due respect, several of us have been able to communicate with support on open tickets this week, and SmartThings staff have posted to the forums that support requests have spiked by the thousands in that period. There’s no obvious pattern based on the customer’s setup.

The same device may work twice, then fail 3 times, then work again.

SmartThings has had known problems with schedulers failing for over a year. It had a name in the forums “SSDS” (sudden scheduler death syndrome) and a very active thread about it. Things improved in that regard in August 2015. All the result of Backend platform changes. Nothing to do with any one person’s individual devices are configuration.

There was a major platform architecture change this week. That was the announced outage.

These problems started showing up right after that maintenance. That’s the pattern.

We went down the road of trying to figure out exactly which devices/smart app/requests/whatever might cause one individual to be affected when the next person was not doing all of the sunset time based outage is that occurred during SSDS. And it turned out to have nothing to do with the individual. It was a totally random game of musical chairs occurring in the cloud. If your system happen to be routed into an area of high traffic, you were more likely to have problems, but not guaranteed to have them.

In particular, if the fix for the problem, even if temporary, is to change something, anything, in the smartapp and save it, that’s actually telling you that the fix is to restart the scheduler in the cloud. Not specific to the device. Which means the only people who will be able to detect a pattern are the people who have access to the full cloud data: the SmartThings staff.

So while I would certainly encourage anyone to post about a specific pattern that they do see in their own home, like dimmers failing, which might be helpful information to others, I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere just trying to collect the 5,000 data points from the local installations as to who has harmony or not. That’s not the pattern that really matters here.

Here’s the link to the SSDS topic for those interested in that history.

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We’ve been saying that for some time. I had my sights on Fibaro Home Center. However, go to their forums and they have similar issues.

If or when you jump ship, please report back here so we can get off this life raft and join you.

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I am happy to report that things are back to normal this morning for me. Both Smart Lightning - turn on and set level, as well as “dim lights to this level” in the routines are working for both the GE link bulbs and GE dimmers. As for ST going out of business, I surely hope it will not happen. Overall, is the most flexible platform on the market at this time. The things you can automate are only limited by someone’s imagination. With that being said, I do wish that they stop pushing out things on Saturdays, or at least let people know things will get haywire. After experiencing major hiccups in the past few weekends, I am seriously thinking of just unplugging the hub every Saturday morning and plugging it back in on Sunday. At least I won’t end up chasing Saturday ghosts that go away on Sunday!

My bedroom lights are set to come on at 530 pm at 70%. They are Phillips hue bulbs. They have failed to fire only once.

My porch lights are set to come on at 530 pm and off at 1100 pm. They are set to come on at 30%. Between 11 pm and 6 am they trigger from a motion sensor and turn off after 2 minutes of no motion. They are ge link bulbs and have failed to turn on at 530 pm only once.

I have several GE link bulbs that turn on an immediately of with an iris contact sensor. They have not failed, but one was delayed by about 1 second last night.

The garage GE link bulbs turn on with an open iris contact and off with close unless there is motion. They then stay on until motion stops. So I can open the garage door, look in, close the door and they go off after two minutes. If I walk into the garage they will go off 5 minutes after motion stops.

All of the rest of my lights are just used as on/off lights via GE in wall switches our via echo.

My morning wake up routines that change my dimmers on some lights, turn off fans, and turn on multiple lights at different times and levels have all been firing.

I have had only one morning time routine fail. That was the morning of the last update. I am central time and the update was not done when they should of fired.

Also, I tell echo goodnight and she turns off ask downstairs lighting, changes the miss to night, and arms SHM. A routine disarms SHM in the morning and changes the mode to home.

My system is not that complex. Though technically it is a very complex amount of programming in the server side, I know there are systems that are much more complex than mine.

Also, I’m in Alabama. Is there a possibility of server location being an issue? Are there multiple server locations? Is ST located in only one place? Are they using Samsung servers around the country?

It is possible they are having a server corruption and the system is failing to properly utilize the redundancy.

Yes to both of these. See my previous post.

I’m very happy that your system has been working for you. But the reasons why yours has been working and my own has been failing likely has very little to do with our individual set ups in our own homes.

I agree with what you’ve said, with some exceptions.
We are not gathering the infirmary of 5000 different points. We are posting individual data points that give the possibility of developing an arrow pointing at a problem. With the high hopes that someone at St is paying attention.

I spent 20 years in naval aviation. I spent a great deal of that time in quality assurance and specialized in trend analysis. I do not believe in a detail that is too small or is not relevant. You provide the right people with the enough random information, then the problem will stand out like a sore thumb.

I understand about SSDS. I understand that the problem lies in the cloud. But, the cloud would run perfectly if there were users with devices taxing the cloud. Therefore there is most definitely a problem that exist between the cloud and user interface. It’s obviously not the users. But all of the seemingly random problems are not so random when you’re on the server end.

I’m certain people at SmartThings are paying attention to the problem, but only because of the literally thousands of support tickets that have been opened.

SmartThings staff do not monitor the forums for data points on service problems. They just don’t. It’s not the same group of people, and they don’t consider it to be statistically as helpful as the official support tickets.

For one thing, as they work on individual tickets they can look at the details of the specific account, including the message traffic through the cloud, none of which is available here.

So I would encourage anyone having problems to go ahead and put in a ticket at support@smartthings.com. Even if the solution is in place by the time you ticket gets opened, it will add to the trend statistics. Which posting in the forum will not.

So post if you want to vent, praise, condole or report something new that you are observing. We just don’t need to use a forum thread to collect data points on who has a particular device as part of pattern analysis for a cloud-based problem that ST engineering is already working on.

Submitted with respect.

edited to add

If you do truly want to see 500 people respond with their individual device configurations, I would suggest setting up a separate thread for data collection. That way those who want to read through those posts can, and analyze them in fine detail if they find that of value. And those who wish to bypass them can do so.

Who knows? Maybe you will find the critical detail. Just for the sake of us who have to listen, rather than read, give it its own thread. My brain will thank you. :sunglasses:


I hope that SmartThings is learning from these issues. Just putting out this fire is not enough. They need to explain and understand the cause and how it was fixed. And more importantly they need to clearly spell out how they will prevent this and/or a similar issue from happening in the future. And then they need to communicate to their users. I’m not saying they have to spell everything out to the users, but they need a clear explanation and follow up that is reassuring.

I don’t think they have a clear post-mortem process yet. These things will keep happening until they do, in my opinion.

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While I’m sure you are absolutely correct, I can only hope that you aren’t. Smart money is to not only fully utilize the trouble tickets, but to also use this forum. This company is not so large that this forum is a minuscule amount data.

I can assure you that there were countless times I was led to a problem, not by following the official data tracks, but by talking to those that were hands on with the aircraft systems. The end user is a plethora of insightful data, even when the user is clueless.

Plus, as a user on this system there is an amount of knowledge that is required. I look at how others have there hardware set up as well as their programming. I like to see where others are having problems.

I like to learn from the mistakes of others, add add their successes. I prefer to only have success on my end, vice having to learn from my own mistakes. I mean, honestly, this stuff is expensive.

And @JDRoberts , I fully understand that we have two completely different reasons why we are here. Your frustrations with system failure impact your luge in ways I can not even begin to imagine. And I fully understand the frustrations of others.

What I am trying to do is to help find the problem, even if it’s because I post what I’m using and what I’m doing with it.

I know for a fact that my posting my successes, system design, and problems are infinitely more helpful to everyone than saying that I’m fed up, the ceo should be fired, predicting the company will be out of business in a year, and all of the rest of the negativity.

Bitching gets a person only one place, more pissed.

ST doesn’t “need” to do any of this, nor will they. You may “want” that they should feel this “need”, but they don’t. They won’t explain this, nor communicate to their users. They never have before. It is what it is, irrespective of these threads.

Adjusting your own expectations is possible. Changing ST is not.


I’m not trying to change SmartThings, just making an observation. I definitely don’t think Ben or anyone at SmartThings is going to read my post and say they have “seen the light”. I suspect they already know what they have to do but are so busy putting out fires don’t have the time to implement them.

They are still a nascent organization even though they are under the big Samsung corporate umbrella. I keep looking for that proverbial “hump” so to speak where once they get over it things get better. Once we see a good post-mortem process is in place, I suspect we will be over that hump.

I don’t think they have time for a post-mortem, there are always new dead bodies being created (bugs that screw things up for users). That’s a pattern. Fix one thing, break another. Every backend upgrade introduces new problems to be solved in the next one. Every new feature comes with bugs, that drive people crazy, demanding a fix. These are the loop invariants I see.

My family is PISSED. I assumed it was me, until I found this thread. I was out of town and NOTHING worked reliably. I don’t like getting woken up in a different time zone because the expensive automation solution is a disaster.

Where’s the reply to this thread? How can it go 3 days without an emergency fix?


They don’t read these threads, and they don’t do emergency fixes. There have been problems around scheduled events for many months.

The best thing you can do is simply reinstall any automation that fails. Sometimes, that fixes it.

Just one thought I have and is just my opinion but I have a feeling a lot of the ST staff don’t post on here a lot because whenever they do they get attacked.
I get upset when stuff does not work but with every update there are always going to be bugs. I rely on my ST setup but maybe not as much as others so I get why some get really upset. With that said it’s nice when one of the staff do chime in just to let us know it’s being worked on.
Everything for me had been working pretty much for me. My outdoor timed light did not fire last Wednesday but then I read of an update overnight so I wrote that off. Last night my timed bedtime mode change did not fire at 11 but my timed lights and everything work so it’s definitely sporadic. That was the only issue I had. I’m confident they will get it fixed.

Alternatively, you can press the ignore button and do nothing, as it will be fixed sooner or later. It all depends on your curiosity level, ambition, time available and appreciation of what ST provides, even if it doesn’t always work as it should. Sharing on this forum what works, what doesn’t and most importantly what fails, is not venting but alarming others to be on look out that things are not smooth sailing.