An Alexa question

This has nothing to do with HE but I thought I would ask as there is a diverse group here and maybe someone would have an answer.

My Mom and Dad don't really want home automation but I have gotten them a few things that they have found useful. When we would pick them up to go somewhere they would always have to remember to go in and get a a remote for their garage door. That is the only way they enter their home. So I found a blue tooth device they could add to the garage door so they could use it to open and close the door without having to take a remote. I had to convince them that it could only be done locally with their phone. They did not want anything that was tied to the cloud.

I also got them a Alexa plus with a outlet so they could turn on the lamp behind the couch without having to lean over the back of the couch and manually turn it on.

They were telling me a few weeks ago how they sometimes forget if they closed the garage when they leave and I said I could add a contact sensor to the door that would allow them to check it. It still would not allow them to close over the internet but it would tell them if it was closed or not. The Alexa plus only uses Zigbee and I wanted to get a tilt sensor but the only one I could find was out of stock so I bought an Ecolink Zigbee contact sensor.

I got the Zigbee sensor paired and it does what they want, they can look on the Alexa app on their phone and see if the garage door is open or closed.
The question is, they should be able to ask the Alexa plus hub for the status of the contact sensor, but it always says the device is not responding.

Anybody have a suggestion why that might be. If they open their phone and check the device it will show the correct status.

What is the name of the garage door contact sensor in Alexa? And, exactly what phrase are they using when they ask Alexa about the garage door?

I have a contact sensor in Alexa named “Kitchen Door”, and I am able to say “Alexa, is Kitchen Door open?” And she will tell me the current status successfully. I can also ask “Alexa, is Kitchen Door closed?” which also produces the correct response.

Just to be clear, my contact sensor is paired to Hubitat, and then exposed to Alexa. Not sure if this matters or not.

Name everything with with room than what it is. Example, Garage Door. If you must Garage Automatic Door. Also group every device into a room. This clears up alot of Alexa's confusion.

You could always set up a routine to have Alexa notify them ( Phone or Speaker or both) every time the door opens or closes. Maybe put a small delay so they notice it, like after enough time for them to back up and be settled in on their way.

The sensor is called Garage door. I am pretty sure I tried renaming it to see if it was a name issue. Maybe I will look at that again. They would not be interested in routine to inform them if it were closed or open. It's really not a big deal as they really don't need Alexa to tell them and to be honest they probably would never use it. It just bugs me that it doesn't work.

Yeah I have the same and it works well for me. So I assume it would be the same if paired to the Alexa hub

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Is the Garage Door in the Garage group?

I think alexa could be set natively to respond to a contact sensor being open for a period of time. So if it's left open for more than 30 mins it could announce every few minutes that the garage door is open... I'll have to check mine in a bit

I am pretty sure it is not, Dad doesn't have any groups, I will check that and see if it makes a difference, it's worth a shot, Thanks.

That is not something they would want. They leave the garage door open from the time they get up till they go to bed. It's been that way for almost 50 years now.


Maybe a routine to remind them to check the garage door a half hour before normal bedtime?

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Download the Hubitat app