Author Topic: Problem: switch doesn't really switch off [multiple switches, multiple brands]  (Read 816 times)

Offline Duncank

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I've been having this problem almost since the beginning of my time with the VeraLite, now about 4 years ago:

Sometimes, when I switch off a wall plug in Vera, the plug makes a slight 'tick'-noise and the status led on the plug switches off, as does the status in the Vera Dashboard.
But the device that is plugged into the plug remains powered.

The 'tick'-noise on a different switch that does disconnect the power is a little bit louder, indicating to me that something more switches physically in that case.

I've had this happen with Fibaro, Everspring and Greenwave wall plugs. Sometimes I turn the device on and off a couple of times and it works again, other times I never seem to be able to get it working again. I've already thrown away some wall plugs because of this issue, others I've replaced but the replacements eventually have the same symptoms.

Starting this evening my Greenwave Powernode 6 joined the club, but only one port out of six. I've reconfigured the node, disconnected and reconnected it and restarted the Vera, only plug number 2 keeps doing this, the other 5 work fine. But of course it is possible that everything works again tomorrow.

I'm getting really tired of this issue and don't know what to do to fix this, or to even get a clue of what is happening.

Is there a log somewhere, or a way I can create one, of the commands and responses that Vera sends and receives? Or does someone know a better way to diagnose and fix this?

Offline Slartibartfast

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What type of load do you have connected to the units which start failing to switch. Are you perhaps overloading the wall plug or connecting something very inductive or capacative.
Devon UK 240V 50Hz, Vera Plus UI7 1.7.2608, TKB dimmers and switches -single and double paddle, Swiid Inline, TKB plug in switched sockets, FGRGB-101LED controller, Sunricher wall controller, Sunricher RGBW Tape Receiver, TKB dual relay, ZRC-90-EU controller. Apps - Pleg, RGB controller, Sonos

Offline Don Phillips

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I think most duplex outlets only switch one of the receptacles. I know my Leviton works that way.
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Offline ember1205

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I think most duplex outlets only switch one of the receptacles. I know my Leviton works that way.

Same experience here. Are these outlets that we're talking about, or are they plug-in switches? If outlets, try plugging a light into both of the sockets, and see one switches correctly while the other does not.

Offline Duncank

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What type of load do you have connected to the units which start failing to switch. Are you perhaps overloading the wall plug or connecting something very inductive or capacative.

Mostly LED-lights, ranging between 4-19 watts in total. The failing Greenwave powernode outlet currently has 3 pc-monitors connected to it, around 300-400 watts in total. Removing the connected loads still doesn't solve it, since the ticking-noise difference is still there even without load.
Doesn't seem that I'm overloading them, right? I know the Fibaro wall plugs can go up to 2500 watts.


Are these outlets that we're talking about, or are they plug-in switches? If outlets, try plugging a light into both of the sockets, and see one switches correctly while the other does not.

I'm talking about plug-in switches. I only have three different types, but have had problems with all of them:
Fibaro Wall Plug, Everspring Wall plug (not the dimmer-version) and the Greenwave Powernode 6

I've tested it with a light bulb and my phone charger etc, it really doesn't switch off while it does make a clicking sound, and the status-led and Vera status both do switch off.

I own a VeraLite on the latest firmware.

Offline rge

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Surely if the device light is off, but the load still receives power, that's a clear indication of a failed relay in the device.

The only exception I can see is if somehow the device light is programmed separately.

If the device is independently controllable (i.e. has an on-off button), you could confirm this by excluding it from your network, doing a factory reset, and then seeing if it works when manually controlled - take the Vera out of the picture.

That step would also help if you want to claim warranty, avoids them trying to blame someone else.

Offline Duncank

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Surely if the device light is off, but the load still receives power, that's a clear indication of a failed relay in the device.

The only exception I can see is if somehow the device light is programmed separately.

If the device is independently controllable (i.e. has an on-off button), you could confirm this by excluding it from your network, doing a factory reset, and then seeing if it works when manually controlled - take the Vera out of the picture.

That step would also help if you want to claim warranty, avoids them trying to blame someone else.

But it is strange that it happens to wall plugs from three seperate brands, all on different occasions. I have one Everspring wall plug that keeps switching on and off very rapidly, making a rattling sound, because it is toggling on and off so quickly. This plug can't be restored to the factory settings I believe and after excluding it from the Vera it keeps doing this. I've got a feeling, don't know if it is possible, that Vera sometimes sends invalid configuration commands thus breaking the devices, but I have no facts to back this statement up.

Offline John M.

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Hi Duncan,


the "ticking" sound is the relay coupling when you turn on or off the switch. Z-wave communication and Vera is built in such a way that it cannot physically turn the device on repeatedly(thus breaking it), or on and off repeatedly very fast. When you turn a switch ON from Vera, Vera sends the ON command to switch, then it does not send a second command, until the first one is acknowledged by  the switch. So even if you try to do that manually from Vera, you would see that is virtually impossible to do it faster than once every 2 seconds or even more.


You can simply unplug Vera, and see if the rattling and fast switching still occurs.


From what you are explaining here, you may have a larger scale electric problem in the location.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 06:13:06 am by John M. »
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Offline Duncank

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Hi John,

thanks for your reply! The rattling, combined with your explanation indeed sounds like a problem with this specific switch itself.

Regarding switches not switching the power off; I figured that the tick I hear is a relay tipping over, but I cannot understand why there would be 2 'levels' in this. A soft 'tick' that does switch the status in Vera and the LED on the device, and a 'louder' tick that actually switches the power off.

For correctly working switches I only hear the louder tick.
While I can understand that one of the wall plugs is broken, I can't imagine nearly every single plug having this problem at least once in the past 4 years, especially since I have no problems with other electrical equipment in my apartment.

Is it in any way possible that Vera corrupts the configuration of a device? This way it could explain that the problems persist after excluding a plug from the Vera and running it on its own (even the rattling one)

Offline John M.

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VeraLite has an old gen Z-wave chip inside it and it does not have the capability of sending firmware upgrades OTA(over the air) to devices.


Only newer VeraEdge/Plus/Secure have this ability and even then we don't do that automatically, and only per support direct interaction and per customer request.


I cannot explain the dual tone tick, maybe the manufacturer of that device can.It's a very strange situation you have there indeed and I would recommend escalating this to each of the manufacturers of these devices as well, and maybe an electrical engineer also. Maybe you can make some sort of a pattern based on the responses of all involved parties.
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Offline Slartibartfast

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Is it possible that the loud tick is the main power contacts operating (open and close) and the soft tick is a control contact operating. The loud tick would prevent you hearing the soft tick. If the main contacts weld shut due to incorrect loads then you could get your stuation.
Just a thought as I do not know how the devices themselves are built.
Devon UK 240V 50Hz, Vera Plus UI7 1.7.2608, TKB dimmers and switches -single and double paddle, Swiid Inline, TKB plug in switched sockets, FGRGB-101LED controller, Sunricher wall controller, Sunricher RGBW Tape Receiver, TKB dual relay, ZRC-90-EU controller. Apps - Pleg, RGB controller, Sonos

Offline ember1205

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It is ALSO possible that the switches themselves are listing a "capability" that Vera does not support and it is interfering with the operation of the device. The Aeotec SmartSwitch 6 devices work perfectly with Vera, but if press the power control on the switch itself, it causes the switch to transmit a new set of capability information to Vera and Vera can no longer control the device. I have set up a scene in my Vera to reprogram the capabilities each time those devices are turned on or off to ensure that Vera always has full control.

Offline rge

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But it is strange that it happens to wall plugs from three seperate brands, all on different occasions. I have one Everspring wall plug that keeps switching on and off very rapidly, making a rattling sound, because it is toggling on and off so quickly. This plug can't be restored to the factory settings I believe and after excluding it from the Vera it keeps doing this. I've got a feeling, don't know if it is possible, that Vera sometimes sends invalid configuration commands thus breaking the devices, but I have no facts to back this statement up.

It multiple brands do it, even when excluded from the Vera, then maybe:

* You have a bad mains socket / circuit?

* You have a broken sensor sending group commands that don't go via the Vera?

But I'd still guess the plug is broken - it's trying to turn on, but the relay driver isn't quite powerful enough (i.e. broken), so when the device also draws power the only-just-on relay becomes an only-just-off relay, and repeat repeat repeat.

Maybe something in your mains circuit caused the problem, hence multiple devices being bust.

Offline ember1205

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Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to put a digital meter in the outlets and determine the true voltage. Overage could conceivably keep devices from turning off properly while and under-volt situation could keep them from powering on correctly. And constant variation of voltage could do odd things all around.

Offline sely

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I think I would check the polarity of the receptacles.  With a volt meter or one of those 3-wire receptacle testers, verify the receptacle and house wiring is correct polarity.