Going Back to SmartThings


#1

I’m going back to SmartThings.

For many of you, Hubitat has been a really solid and stable platform. For me and my family, it’s been a complete disaster. Stability has been an elusive and unobtainable goal.

Last night was the last straw and the nail in the Hubitat coffin.

We were both started awake at 4:30am by a crew of city firefighters standing in our bedroom. Yes, a crew of firemen in full gear in our bedroom at 4:30 am telling us to evacuate.

There was an electrical fire in the furnace for the rental unit. Only a hint of smoke had made it into our unit, so none of our detectors were going off. But the Halos in the rental were screaming away. Yet, Hubitat was blissfully ignorant. No alarms or lights were ever triggered. No events were reported. The cause? The Zigbee mesh issues I’ve faced and reported since day 1.

The boss was absolutely furious. And she’s absolutely right. I was absolutely beyond embarrassed. I was mortified. The fire chief saw all of the sensors and started asking me about the system. Imagine having to explain why thousands of dollars of smart home technology failed. Luckily there weren’t any code violations found.

I was asked what is the point of having all of this advanced technology when it doesn’t work in an emergency? I mean, isn’t the point of Hubitat to avoid the foibles of the cloud and internet? Unfortunately reality doesn’t always live up to hype.

Im not trying to throw any of the HE team under the bus or otherwise disparage their hard work. But I feel I must express a warning based on our experience last night that just as with SmartThings, Hubitat should NEVER be used for anything in which safety or property damage is at risk. I believe this to be even more true for Hubitat as it has not yet reached the level of maturity that similar platforms offer.

It’s been a heck of a ride. I know we made progress in tracking down some of the Zigbee issues using Wireshark captures. I’m certainly willing to stick around and help with some testing. However at this point, I am well under way migrating back to SmartThings which will remain as my main home automation platform for the foreseeable future.

Thank you all for your support.


#2

The most important thing is you and your family are OK.

I do agree with this statement. Nor would I use ST.
I read on forums of people using ST or HE for controlling locks, smoke detectors etc.
Not for me I'm afraid.
Both systems work well, one cloud, one local.
For fire pretection etc. it's a bespoke system. I'm not saying HE or ST won't get there but some things have to be left to stand alone systems IMHO.
Each to their own I suppose.

Not wishing to repeat myself but the important thing here is you and your family are OK.


#3

Sorry to hear that your troubles have continued.
Like many, I've been following your experiences with great interest, in the hope of a successful resolution being found for you.
As @bobbles says, you and your families safety is top priority so I'm glad of that.
Moving platforms, well, you gotta go with what works for you and clearly Hubitat was not !
All the best.


#5

Thank you! We are both fortunate that there was no damage nor injuries. The furnace will need to be replaced but that’s just a “thing” anyhow.

I’m in a bad spot on this. I’ve been using the hub to trigger alarms from the rental in my place. The property has 11 detectors total. I installed Halos last winter when I renovated the rental. Those are all interconnected to meet code. The company went under before I could replace the rest. The property still meets code, at least until I have to replace any of the First Alerts.

I’ll probably end of going with Nest this year.


#6

Glad that you are alright and that damage was limited. I am using mostly Z-Wave devices and so far I haven't had any issues, but I do also have some ZIgbee for temp and lighting, and so far so good,

But I see that the Xiaomi Aqara seem to be problematic deviecs (not sure you have those), but I assume they work well with the Xiaomi controller. Could it be a good idea to use the Xiaomi controller for Aqara devices and then connect Hubitat to that ? Similar to the Hue connection.


Pros and Cons of Xiaomi Zigbee Devices
#7

2 posts were split to a new topic: Pros and Cons of Ziaomi Zigbee Devices


Pros and Cons of Xiaomi Zigbee Devices
#8

Sorry to hear this happened. I agree you shouldn't rely on either platform for true safety and security. I don't do locks or sirens. I DO smoke alarms though, but it's only an added convenience if they text me and other things happen when they go off. Otherwise they're just noisemakers. Either way I hope ST works for you. I have a few friends using ST still and it's simply a different approach with the same end goal in mind. Best of luck to ya.


#9

No Xiaomi devices here. I make it a point to stick with supported devices as I simply don’t have the time to chase after issues caused by 3rd party devices.

SmartThings is the more stable and reliable system, as least for a system as large as mine.

My night time routine under Hubitat for the past 6 weeks... This is not an exaggeration. Press a SmartThings bedside button to activate night mode. Wait as about half of devices fail to switch. Go into a special dashboard to try to control devices failed manually. Finally, get out to bed to walk around the house, moving furniture in some cases to get at Smart plugs to turn them off. Time spent: 5-10 minutes. (Nightly)

My routine last night in SmartThings.... press the bedside button to activate night mode. Search through the app to find devices that failed to respond. Locate one device that didn’t switch. Press the button in SmartThings and watch as it turned off. No need to get out of time. Time spent < 30 seconds.

Anything less than perfection for device control errors is not acceptable. However at this point I’ll take a 30 second nightly routine going through the ST app versus walking around the house and moving furniture.

I’m certain that will not be the case forever. Through testing and capture the devs know the reasons for the Zigbee instability. They have however also cautioned any fixes won’t come soon, the second motivator for moving back to ST.

I am not bashing Hubitat. I will certainly have another look at HE when it’s matured and and reached a demonstrated level of stability for a system of my size.


#10

@srwhite - Thank you for taking the time to write up your status and findings. It is through efforts such as yours that we will all benefit in the long run. I hope to see you back on the Hubitat forums some day in the future. For now, enjoy your stability and peace of mind!


#11

I too am glad you and your family are ok as the most important thing. I switched to Hubitat from SmartThings and for me the the exact opposite is true. My Hubitat system is much more stable and reliable than SmartThings ever was for me. But not everyone has the same setup, devices, etc. so things can be different. I only have 85 devices of mixed protocols. I also agree with the others though that I would not rely on SmartThings or Hubitat for safety. I see any of the smart home systems at this point only as a convenience although obviously they aren't if things don't work correctly. Again, very glad you and your family are safe and well and you had no major damage.


#12

srwhite,

Good to hear that everyone is ok.

P.S. Sorry to hear you are throwing in the towel on HE.

To All:

My job for 25+ years has been maintaining and testing fire alarm systems at a Clinic/Hospital setting. It's a good idea to keep life safety devices (Smoke, C02, etc) separate from systems that are not listed for the purpose.

I would advise anyone that is using Life Safety devices connected to any system such as HE or ST should be periodically tested to make sure they are working (As designed by the manufacturer) and performing the function you have programmed. I would also recommend that every time you change programming or a firmware update occurs, retest! Batteries should be changed per the manufacturers recommendation.

I know I sound like a NFPA/Fire Marshall preacher. I just want everyone to be safe.

NFPA - National Fire Protection Association


#13

Grateful you and the family are safe, dam that is the stuff nightmares are made of.

"Fixes won't come soon" is not what I wanted to hear. Shouldn't stability be item #1 ?


#14

I have SmartThings control the fire sprinkler water valve at my house. I had the sprinkler pipes leak twice so now I only have the valve turn on if my Nest Protect detects smoke. I'm reliant on Nest Cloud, ST Cloud, Internet Connectivity, Power, and my Z-Wave setup.

But I monitor that everything is working on a daily basis since ST reports device health. Does Hubitat have a similar feature?


#15

That sounds like too many points of failure for something that you should be able to rely on to save your house and even your life. With Hubitat you could try to figure out a solution that is fully local and reduce those points of failure to the minimum and even then I would be hesitant...

This is the reason why I decided to keep my DSC alarm panel and make it smarter / interface to it with an envisalink. My perimeter sensors, smoke sensors and soon water sensors all work with it independently from may home automation, it is a proven and reliable solution specifically designed for this that works by itself yet now I'm able to add automation to its without interfering in it regular operation...


#16

I agree, subjecting something as essential as a fire sprinkler system to the vagaries of the SmartThings cloud sounds like a scary idea.


#17

A couple things:

  1. You are taking this comment out of context, it was made in the context of "oh boy that looks like a lot of work needed to fix that, so we won't have a fix out anytime soon" it does not mean its not important and that we are not working on it.
  2. I'd recommend you read the rest of the forum, we are working with srwhite and are testing fixes for his problem, which he has posted about in other threads.

#18

The nature of the work that is being done by @chuck.schwer and tested by myself is pretty involved. I’ve got a 400+ device system... The amount of testing going on is significant... It has to be...

What was meant by “fixes won’t come soon” was an acknowledgement that this isn’t a trivial fix. It requires development effort and significant QA testing to ensure that the fixes that improve performance in my environment do not break in others.

I assure you that chuck and the team are focused on this and other stability fixes. I have personally been working intensely on this for a few weeks now. It would be an understatement to just say I’m pleased at the amount and quality of support that has been provded. I can also assure you beyond all doubts that the issue is 100% fixed on my system, and that those ZIgbee performance enhancements will eventually be released for all.


#19

About to buy a house and thinking that I would rather go with standalone security rather than continue to exclusively rely on HSM. Looks like DSC + envisalink could be a good choice -- but I'm not clear if sensor status is available to Hubitat. e.g. do DSC sensors show up as devices? Is there much delay? (e.g. open basement door, basement lights come on). Sorry if these are stupid questions, but the threads on envisalink are a bit convoluted given my current understanding :slight_smile:


#20

I twice swapped to Smartthings and regretted both times. I wouldn't use hubitat or smartthings for security or emergencies. Home automation as a hobby is fine but this technology has a long way to go in terms of reliability.


#21

You could also consider doing a traditional security system + Konnected. (konnected.io)