Unused Christmas Devices

What should i do for all of my outlets i only use during the holidays? I only used these indoor/outdoor outlets for my Christmas lights and they are in a box and not used. Is there something i need to do in the app to disable them so they will not mess up my mesh?

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Zigbee, z-wave or both?

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outdoor is zwave and indoor i think is zigbee

Yup, you should remove these from SmartThings if you’re not going to leave them plugged in. I just leave mine plugged in all year because they’re well hidden behind landscaping, or are not really noticeable from the street.

I hate to be that guy but I have an outdoor GE outlet that I paired in August then I unplugged it and put it in the closet until early November when it was put in to service for Christmas. I did not have issues before or after (other than the ST app often reporting the unplugged device as ‘on,’ lol).

I am sure it comes down to whether your devices act as repeaters for other permanent devices. In my case I guess I got lucky.

And what happens when you run a Z- Wave Repair while it sits in the closet?

For me I can’t answer that as I can’t get a repair to work without errors these days so I don’t do them anymore. It seems I am over the number of devices where ST claim the repair utility is no good (don’t shoot the messenger - who knows if that’s a true statement or not).

The text book answer would be your mesh rebuilds any links that may have gone through the unplugged device.

Truthfully, in my case I think the outlet probably linked direct to the hub as it’s very close where I paired it. Still funny that the ST app would occasionally show it as ‘on’ while it sat in the closet.

Good idea. I could plug mine in inside very near where it usually sits outside so added bonus.

Thanks, I did not know that. And more reason to keep them plugged in somewhere so you get a true state.

Purely from a mesh standpoint, disregarding any smartthings peculiarities like the default state reporting, It’s fine to remove devices from power. Just run a Z wave repair or zigbee heal on a regular basis so all the remaining devices are up-to-date on which repeaters they should use. That’s kind of the whole point of mesh: that humans shouldn’t have to keep track of what is or isn’t on the network. It’s a “self healing” topology (Meaning humans don’t have to manage the address tables).

Vera and homeseer both recommend running the repair every night, for example. It just keeps the network efficient. Yes, you get error messages for anything which is off power but that doesn’t affect how the network runs.

So that’s the usual “best practices” advice for Z wave and zigbee. If you need something as a repeater, keep it plugged in. If you don’t, it should be fine to store it without removing it from the network.

However, as we all know, smartthings does have its own idiosyncrasies and I honestly don’t know If they would introduce any problems in this regard.

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If you simply unplug them and store them, make sure nothing tries to access them (e.g. smartapps, routines).

We’re currently having some remodeling done and the z-wave switches that were in the room are currently removed, waiting to be put back in when the work is done. I had some routines access them ( to set lights on dim for the night and bright for the day, as well as turn on exhaust fans based on humidity). Then I would run these routines, they would not work properly with the switches still in place–they did not simply ignore the missing ones. Also, switches still in place would stop responding properly to commands. I was about to get a new hub, thinking it was going bad. Repairs did not help. Rebooting the hub only helped until the next time I ran one of the offending routines. Finally, I realized the routines may be getting hung up on the missing devices, so I just stopped using them and my system has been fine since.

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My GE-Jasco outdoor zwave switches are endpoints; nothing else is relying on them for communication . So I will unplug them - and after labeling them by location, put them away indoors in order to preserve their functionality for more years than if left outdoors.

Apparently I have few enough (less than a dozen) z-wave devices that repair is not necessary.