Unplug hub versus turning off smart switch. The same?

As the title says is there a difference between completely unplugging the power versus turning off the power from my Iris smart plug. The intent is to power cycle 15 minutes so the zigbee routes can update.

(A few of my lights are not responding so this is why I’m doing the 15 min power cycle).

Which model hub? The V2/2015 model has optional batteries…

To directly answer your question. Electrically there is zero difference between the two scenarios you described.

However as @HalD says if its a v.2 hub make sure you pull the batteries. I dont keep batteries in my v.2 at all.

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I removed the batteries due to the corrosion issue and the fact I had to remove them when power cycling.


Well, first of all, when you perform a zigbee force heal, you should power off for 30 minutes. And second of all, when you do this, all your lights might not respond right away since they are still forming their new connections to the hub. So, you should let your mesh settle for 24 hours before getting too worries about things not responding correctly.

And third of all, if your smart plug is connected to your ST hub, how will you turn it on again if your ST hub is off?

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I can have the plug turn on and off outside of ST (Alexa)

Uhm…no, you can’t. Your IRIS smart plug connects to ST which connects to Alexa. Unplug your ST hub and your alexa cannot control your ST devices anymore.

I don’t think that is necessarily true. There are/were Zigbee Iris plugs. Some models of the Amazon Echo devices can directly control some Zigbee devices.


I wasn’t aware that Alexa supported Zigbee HA 1.2 devices. I thought it was only ZLL.

If so, then you would not be able to turn the switch off from within ST, only Alexa. So I am still left wondering how they are going to achieve this.

Yes. Exactly. That’s what the OP asked about.

  • Plug the SmartThings hub into Iris outlet that is not controlled by SmartThings
  • When needed, use Alexa to turn the outlet off, wait 15 minutes, turn the outlet on
  • SmartThings hub reboots and due to passage of time, rebuild the mesh for its Zigbee devices. Which would not include the Iris outlet

At least that’s how I understand the request.

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Which would have nothing to do with SmartThings since the plug is connected to Alexa and Smartthings is being powered down. So, the request is purely an Alexa question. You could use any wifi plug that connects to Alexa, you wouldn’t need to use an iris one.

But since there is no automation platform in alexa, you can’t automate the switch turning back on. You would have to do it manually. The only other option would be a custom wifi device like a Sonoff flashed with tasmota which allows rules to be written into the firmware.

Alexa routines include the ability to wait for a specific time. So a single Alexa routine could

  • Turn off the outlet
  • Wait 15 minutes (or whatever duration)
  • Turn on the outlet

I’m pretty sure the OP has this all sorted out. The only question posed was if shutting off the outlet was electrically the same as yanking the power cord out of the hub.

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A specific time…not a duration from another event.

I would love to see the solution then.

No argument from me there!

But for this very specific need, it’s sufficient. All that’s necessary is to turn the hub off for a specific length of time.

Which I don’t understand how they are doing from within Alexa. That is my point. How can you do that? Unless you schedule both the off and the on to occur at the same time every day/week/month, then there i no way to do this.

Updating the zigbee routes isn’t something you have to do on a routine basis. So, if that is what the OP is doing, they are actually destroying their zigbee mesh every time they do this. A force heal is only something that should be done in the rare case of adding a lot of new repeaters or moving a lot of devices around. Which means you’d want to do this on-demand which means the specific time schedule will not work.

What you would want in this case, is a virtual switch that you could turn on that would cause the outlet to turn off for 30 minutes and then back on 30 minutes after the virtual switch was switched. Which is not possible in Alexa, to my knowledge.

All good points.

I have no idea why the OP would want to do this. I have no idea if it is intended to be done automatically or on-demand.

Alexa routines can be triggered by voice command, run on a schedule, triggered by location, motion sensor, and a couple of other things.

Perhaps @bboy486 will drop by and discuss why this is needed

Then why would you say that they have a solution? Answering someone’s question and providing a solution are two very different things. I would suggest that unless you have an answer to the questions I asked, that you not say that the question doesn’t matter.

In either case, you are not helping at all.

Um. Wow.

The OP had one very simple question: is turning off the outlet the same as unplugging the hub.

That was it. No indication any other help was needed. No more questions from OP is a clue to me that nothing else is needed.

My guess, given that the OP stated the switch could be controlled by Alexa, is that it’s a Zigbee outlet and OP has the correct Alexa device to directly control the outlet.

If that guess is correct then an Alexa routine, triggered by a voice command (no virtual switch needed), would be sufficient.

You’re really overthinking this!

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@HalD with all due respect you are the one completely over thinking this, and over stating the OP’s technical abilities. The OP got found out, he was trying to cover himself, so he mentioned Alexa, it was a troll comment and you bought it. He thinks turning off a smart plug may leave residual electricity running through it :rofl: