Zigbee devices flaky -- anyone else?

I have 3 gen 1 multi sensors and a gen 1 motion that’s been acting up for the past few weeks. The multi sensors are pretty good at reporting Temps but contacts and acceleration are hit and miss. I’ve tried powering off my V1 hub for 20 minutes but that didn’t help.

I use one of the multi sensor for a mood cube so you can imagine how frustrating juggling a cube trying to make lights change colors to no avail.

I’m waiting on a reply from support, so while waiting I figured why not pick on the community brains!


I have dozens of ZigBee devices from multi sensors, motion sensors and power outlets. All rock solid. But that may be typical as one group of people have no problems while another group is crashing and burning.

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I have the Smart Things zigbee contact sensors and they suck.
Constantly having problems with them registering as open or close.

I did every possible troubleshooting I could think of.
Moving hub away from router, moved hub closer, no obstructions, etc.

I have not done anything new to my network that I know of that’s different from when I first set them up. I might have repurposed them for something else but that’s about it. My house is small enough that distance from hub to device is not a real concern.

Is there such a thing as zigbee interference? I thought I glanced at something a day or two ago about WiFi channels and zigbee.

Absolutely! Your wifi router, other zigbee hubs, wireless phones, and wireless TV set top boxes to name a few. You can try changing channels on your router, and a few other things; but the best thing I found to improve performance of zigbee devices is to add a zigbee repeater. I personally have just under 100 zigbee devices, with an Iris Smart Plug in every single room acting as a repeater.

I have not tried excluding devices and adding them back in. What is the proper procedure? Do I remove them from Smart Apps first then go through the process of exclusion and inclusion?

So a little experiment on my end last night when I was getting desperate to try and make the blasted thing work. I removed the multi from the associated apps and removed it from ST. Got it included back in and I was thrilled that it worked. Sensor was reporting open/close, vibration, orientation etc. This morning, I looked at the event logs and all I got were temperature reports, wth, the door was used in the morning with no events associated with it. What a waste.

This sounds like a range/interference issue. Out of curiosity, could you relocate the sensor to as close to the hub as possible where it would be used frequently so you could monitor and eliminate any range/interference factors?

Hmm, ok, I will move the hub itself to another spot in the house, hopefully it doesn’t bork the sensors that are currently working.

On another somewhat related question. What other brand sensors (zwave maybe?) can I get that has the three axis capability?

If it does, you probably have a range/inference problem somewhere. Seriously, if you do experience more problems invest in a couple Iris or ST Smart Plugs that are zigbee repeaters.

I’ve been using ST since it first came out, and I don’t know of another brand besides theirs that does this. Others may know, but I haven’t come across one yet.

You were right about the interference… I got the longest ethernet cable in the drawer and moved the hub across the room temporarily. I got contact activity!

The latest time stamps is when I left, it didn’t even register when I came home an hour before! I need to find a different more permanent location, hmmm… :thinking:

I will be observing this door for the next few days.

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as the batteries burn down in the ST Multisensors and the O/C sensors, I’ve noted that the contact closures have stopped reporting, but the temperature reports keep updating. I replaced the batteries and the contact closures returned.

Strange that you were getting temperature updates but not closures, that was resolved by shortening the range… probably just missing a bunch of temperature updates too, right?

The battery on this Front Door is down to 38% but it started reporting contacts just from moving the hub and yes I found it strange that it was doing the temp updates, I was expecting it to stop communicating altogether. It might have been missing a bunch of them like you said.

What I cannot understand is

  1. Why is the system so flipping sensitive. Do we not have any fault tolerance or error checking built in?
  2. Why it cannot auto recover when a mere reseating of the battery fixes it (what’s the point of leaving it frozen)
  3. Why does the system not even warn you when it cannot contact the zigbee device. One of the key advantages of zigbee is the two way communication!!?
  4. Finally, if ST is so freaking dependant on good signal strength and quality, why is there no way to check this is in the app or device?!!! AFAIK only the arrival sensor has something you can look at. Instead we have to guess or go overkill and put a repeater every few meters in the house.


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After a few days of bliss, with the hub still in its temporary location, my two laundry room zigbee devices are failing to report again. This is a motion with new batteries and a multi sensor with 38% battery that is reporting temperature activity only. The other two multis are still working as expected.