Monitor Lights Going Offline

I am trying to monitor the status of an outdoor switch that is connected to a GCFI outlet. Sometimes the GCFI trips and the switch goes “offline”. Part of the reason I want to monitor this is that the garage freezer is on the same circuit and if the GCFI trips there is no power to the freezer. In the Classis SmartThings app, I am using Simple Device Viewer that polls devices every 30 minutes to see if they are online. This does notify me if the outdoor switch goes offline. However, I would like something more immediate. So, I created a rule in the SharpTools Rule Engine, but can’t get it to work. I’ve tried watching DeviceWatch-DeviceStatus and healthStatus to check if the device goes offline. When I trip the GCFI outlet, I do not get any type of notification (I set the Rule up to send me an SMS). I have another rule that monitors a sensor and it works great. Notifies me as soon as the sensor is open. Am I trying to monitor the wrong thing to get a notification if the switch goes offline? Thoughts on how to get this work? Thanks

@RichB Unfortunately, the SmartThings device status is just known to be unreliable, so you may want to try an alternative solution by monitoring the freezer’s temperature directly, and send you a notification if the temp rises. It depends on how far your freezer is away from your hub, but there are many folks found Iris v2 sensor or ST multi sensor work well for them that the sensor inside in the freezer transmits data to the hub no problem. (See here.) People also use the Fibaro FGK101 + a temp probe to monitor the freezer temperature by placing the probe inside the freezer but leaving the sensor itself outside to avoid the signal transmission issue. (See example here.)

I put a SmartThings multi-sensor on the freezer door (the unit is actually a Samsung three-drawer fridge with a freezer on the bottom) and created a rule to warn me if it’s open for more than five-minutes (which means a teenager didn’t shut it properly). I looked for temp sensors but thought that putting one inside the freezer might not work so well because it would freeze. What if I plug a switch into one of the GCFI outlets and have a rule that tries to turn it on and off every half-hour or hour? Would it return an error if the rule wasn’t able to turn it on or off or would the rule just run anyway? I did look at your example links. My freezer isn’t the same as the Fibaro example (and I don’t think I’m adept enough to wire something like that, anyway). In the end, I suppose I might just have to stick some type of sensor in the freezer itself. But if there’s another way? Thanks.

I’m a licensed electrician. A freezer is going to periodically trip the gfci for ever. My recommendation would be more mundane. Eliminafe the gfci. National electrical code allows for a dedicated freezer circuit to be non gfci for that exact reason.


Since he is looking for something that notifies him more quickly than the 30 minutes polling with Simple Device Viewer, the temperature approach might not work well as it will take a while for the temperature to rise enough to be noticeable (as long as the freezer door stays closed).

I recall seeing a variety of approaches discussed on the SmartThings community. I think one of the more common approaches is to attempt to monitor the ‘heartbeat’ of the data to make sure the smart device is alive and reporting similar to what @RichB mentioned in the first post.

I believe Device Monitor might accomplish what you are looking for:

The other approach I’ve seen (but can’t find right now) uses a ‘dumb’ device specifically designed for monitoring power outages on a circuit - the approach involves connecting a contact sensor to the output of the power monitor in order to integrate it with SmartThings. A key thing about this approach is it can only really monitor a separate power circuit than your hub is on as it requires the hub to be powered and connected in order to work. Though the argument is that if your hub goes offline, you should at least get the hub offline warnings which serve as a bit of a ‘canary in the coal mine’.

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Thanks for the link to Device Monitor. I haven’t seen that before and will have to try it.


Has anyone figured out how to fix this? I can not get SharpTools to see if a device has gone offline. I’ve tried everything. I can see the attributes in the device in rules and set it to look for a change to OFFLINE. but nothing! I’ve yanked the battery and nothing. Smartthings app sees it offline but not Sharptools. This makes no sense especially with monitoring for water leaks. So if your sensor goes offline, too bad, so sad. HELP!

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Hi @jaywilli2020, yeah I can understand the pain of missing the leaking notification due to dead sensor. It’s just the ST device status has been known to be unreliable, so I wouldn’t recommend creating notification based on that. I personally have rules to notify me when battery is getting low, so I can change the batteries before they running out. And if your leak sensor also reports temperature values, I’d suggest to try the Device Monitor mentioned in this thread and check for stale temperature readings to determine if the sensor is offline.

@James, Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately I’ve tested both of those suggestions and the temperature and the battery level continue to report the last know value LONG after the battery has been pulled. I have all my batteries being monitored, that works no problem. But how do you monitor and safeguard yourself from a complete sensor failure? That is a problem. My basement could be in a foot of water. Would love a solution to this. Thanks!

@jaywilli2020, can you clarify that your leak sensors continue to report the last known, do you mean the sensor keeps “sending” events to the hub with the last known value, or you saw the same last known value in the app or anywhere? (I assume it’s the later here, but please correct me if that’s not what you meant.)
The Device Monitor is based on the “events” sent by the devices, so it will consider it offline when the device hasn’t sent out any events after x hours. (I set mine to report offline if no events for 8 hours.) And you can also configure it to use “Online/Offline” status in the Device Monitor as well, so it will report which ever is considered offline first.

@James , I see the last reported value. Even in Smartthings app it still says the last known values.

Where are you seeing that “Leak Sensor Monitor” screen? I don’t see that anywhere.

I am using Smarthings HUB and Smartthings Leak Sensors.

It looks like the community developed Device Monitor SmartApp that James linked in his previous post:

I installed that, but I admit I’m not understanding how to link that into a dashboard.

I don’t personally use it, but I don’t think it has a way to feed data back to a dashboard (or virtual device). From what I understand, you tell it which devices you want to monitor and it sends notifications based on a device going offline.

Personally, I still manually check my moisture sensors every few months to make sure they’re working as expected

I walk around the house and manually activate them (a small drop of water on a fingertip, then touch the contacts is usually enough). Otherwise it’s possible that the device could still be communicating in with the hub and even sending secondary data like temperatures, but the water sensor part could be fundamentally not working.