Author Topic: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???  (Read 637 times)

Offline leedavidr

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I have included Fibaro Flood sensors (FGFS-101 [included as Gen5, since they didn't work under the non-Gen5 inclusion]) on my Vera Plus with the latest update of UI7.  Theses are located in a vacation house in AZ from which we are gone 10 months out of the year.  Temperature sensors are included as child devices with these 8 flood sensors. Since these were included in mid-June, the battery life has decreased to 80-86% in the 8 sensors, and if it continues to drop at this rate, the batteries will be dead before I arrive there again this coming winter.

So the question is how do I slow down the battery decline on these devices from afar?

I can think of at least three different solutions.

1. Disarm the flood sensor on the devices since the inside water is already turned off manually and through an installed Fortrezz Water Flow valve.  Will this extend the battery life, since the devices are still reporting temperature?

2. Delete the child temperature devices.  I don't need the temperature reported from all over the house.  However, I am worried if I delete the temperature sensor portion, the flood sensor will also be deleted.  Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.

3. Decrease the frequency of polling on the devices.  I am not sure this is a great idea, because I would want it to report flood information as quickly as possible.  Perhaps the polling could be decreased just on the temperature sensors?

If anyone has any insight as to which of these are possible and would be helpful regarding battery life or any other ideas, please let me know.  I have disarmed a couple already, just to see if the battery decline slows.  Thanks.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 11:37:46 pm »
Disarming the flood sensors did not seem to help the two sensors that I disarmed maintain battery life relative to the armed sensors, so perhaps solution #1 doesn't work.

I deleted one of the child devices (temperature sensor) but it also deleted the flood sensor.  So that solution (#2) doesn't work.

I don't know how to go about changing the polling so if anyone can help me with that IF that a reasonable potential solution, please let me know.

And of course if anyone has a better idea, please let me know.  Thanks.

Offline aa6vh

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 10:03:52 am »
I believe the sensors will "wake up" when they are triggered. Like locks, polling is only needed to check to see if Vera missed the earlier alert message from the device.

Rapid polling of my locks (it was accidently set to every two minutes) would drain the batteries within a month. Turning off the polling, and the batteries last over a year.

You probably need to check the specifics of your device, but I suspect you could turn off polling completely. That would probably fix your battery issue.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 08:48:56 am »
I believe the sensors will "wake up" when they are triggered. Like locks, polling is only needed to check to see if Vera missed the earlier alert message from the device.

Rapid polling of my locks (it was accidently set to every two minutes) would drain the batteries within a month. Turning off the polling, and the batteries last over a year.

You probably need to check the specifics of your device, but I suspect you could turn off polling completely. That would probably fix your battery issue.

I have gone in and looked at the polling and wakeup interval on these flood sensors.  The wake up inteval is 1800 seconds so every 30 minutes.  They don't list the default polling interval in any of their online manuals that I can find.  I contacted Fibaro to ask how to extend the battery life on these devices and to request the default polling interval (which I have changed on one of the devices to never).  I received the following email  response:

"The wake up interval can be updated with Fibaro gateways and also through other gateway as long as they provide such option. It is usually there, device which works on a battery must have a configurable wake up interval and gateways suppose to support such change. Any questions regarding Vera interface or how to change the interval should be addressed to Vera support."

So they didn't address my question regarding the polling interval but apparently have suggested that changing the wake up interval could extend the battery life of these devices.

Can someone explain the difference between polling and wake up intervals to me and how these might impact the functioning of these devices???  In other words, if I were to set the wake up interval to a much longer time, would that seriously impact the ability of this device to report water and immediately shut off my water valve in the house?  And would decreasing the wake up interval probably extend the battery life in these devices?

I could see how the temperature function that these devices also provide could be affected by changes to polling or wake up interval.  For the temperature devices, the settings don't provide a way of changing the wake up and polling intervals other than default or not.  My guess is that these are controlled through the parent flood sensor devices.

Thanks so much for any help you can give me on this.

I do realize Fibaro has suggested the default for manufacturers of zwave devices: check with the manufacturer of the controller which is this case is Vera.  I will probably do that as well.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 08:54:46 am by leedavidr »

Offline leedavidr

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 03:53:43 pm »
After more communication with Fibaro tech support, it appears that Vera resets the default wake up interval from 6 hrs to 30 minutes when these devices are included, which might drain the batteries a little.  I have reset those wake up intervals to 6 hours on the devices which interestingly has changed the polling intervals as well.  At any rate, the Fibaro tech assured me this would increase battery life on the devices and that it wouldn't affect their response time to water detection but would affect their temperature reporting.

Offline jswim788

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 04:20:43 pm »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think you can poll a battery powered sensor.  Battery powered sensors come alive only when something they are sensing changes, or their wake up interval happens.  For the wake up interval, it sends a message to the controller saying "I'm awake, do you have anything to tell me?"   This is when the controller is allowed to make configuration changes.  (Unless you manually wake it up by activating it.)  My understanding is that it won't respond to a poll as it is asleep and is not listening to the Z-wave network.  So I think you are correct that increasing the wake up delay will use less battery, but I don't think polling interval matters.

That's my understanding - perhaps others know better.

Online zedrally

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 09:10:04 pm »
^^^
You are correct, the only possible way the device could be polled is if it occurred during it's wake up period or if you have activated the 'awake" button.
I'd set the wake up to daily or even longer (possibly no wakeup) as you only want the device to send an alert message if triggered. Do you really need the temp? then set this off as well.
Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 11:29:06 pm »
^^^
You are correct, the only possible way the device could be polled is if it occurred during it's wake up period or if you have activated the 'awake" button.
I'd set the wake up to daily or even longer (possibly no wakeup) as you only want the device to send an alert message if triggered. Do you really need the temp? then set this off as well.

Good to know.  Fibaro tech indicated that he was positive that increasing the wake up interval to their previous default of 6 hours over the 30 minute interval that was inputted when the devices were included on my Vera Plus would extend the battery life.  As indicated above, doing this automatically changed the polling to every 3 h.  I don't know why or how that happened.  If this doesn't extend the battery life sufficiently on these devices, then I can set the wake up interval on them to once per day or never as you indicate.

While I don't really need the temperature reports as I have a flow meter in the house (which BTW is nonfunctional so far in Vera) which also has a temperature sensor, I don't really know how to shut them off.  I tried deleting the temperature sensor and that deleted the flood sensor along with it.  Given that I am doing this from afar, I cannot re-include that flood sensor until I return to the house in December or January.  Can you think of a way to shut off the temperature sensor portion of these devices?

Online zedrally

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 11:37:11 pm »
I'm not familiar with the actual device, but you there may be a Parameter Setting that can turn it off or delay the report.
If it isn't listed in the documentation then ask Fibaro if there is one.
Temp reports will decrease the battery life as a message is sent every time the temp changes so turning it off will extend your Battery life.


edit: You may have to wake the device up to change Parameters, Catch 22. :o
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 11:39:01 pm by zedrally »
Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: How to slow battery life decline in Fibaro Flood sensors (remotely)???
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 10:40:49 pm »
I'm not familiar with the actual device, but you there may be a Parameter Setting that can turn it off or delay the report.
If it isn't listed in the documentation then ask Fibaro if there is one.
Temp reports will decrease the battery life as a message is sent every time the temp changes so turning it off will extend your Battery life.


edit: You may have to wake the device up to change Parameters, Catch 22. :o

So I went into the parameters of the temperature sensor and checked disarm and saved it on one of the temperature sensors.  Since the parent flood sensor is on a 6 hour wake up interval, it took most of the day for this to take effect.  Afterwards on my iPhone or iPad vera app, that particular temperature device is now missing from the device list but is still present on web version of get home get vera.  So I think the temperature sensor is turned off.  What I cannot do remotely is ensure that the flood sensor still works.  I will continue to check how well the battery holds up on the parent flood sensor compared to the other devices which are sensing both flood and temperature.

Hopefully, these two changes--increasing the wake up interval from 30 minutes to 6 hours and disarming the temperature sensor--will greatly extend the battery life of the flood sensors.  Thanks for all of your help.  After 3-4 weeks, I should have a better idea whether these two changes versus only the first, help and I will let everyone know in case others are interested.