Some background about your sensor and how it connects to WIFI:
Once you have set up and deployed a sensor in the desired location, it will intermittently “check-in” by attempting to reconnect to your WIFI every day or two just to ensure that it can still do so successfully. This is important because the sensor relies on WIFI to communicate with you via text or email alerts in case a leak/freeze is detected.
If your sensor attempts to check-in and fails after multiple attempts, then it will send you a notification saying, “Device Offline Detected”, followed by the location and description of the affected sensor. This does not necessarily mean that the sensor is no longer functioning, rather it is a warning that the signal may be weak because something is interfering with its ability to reliably connect to your WIFI network.
In most cases this is caused by a one-time disruption to your WIFI, which could be due to a variety of causes. Once normal WIFI signal is restored your sensor will automatically reconnect to your network without requiring you to do anything. When the sensor successfully reconnects for the first time after going offline, you will receive a "Device Back Online" notification via text and/or email.
If the "Device Offline" alerts are recurring, then continue reading for more connectivity-related information as well as trusted solutions to remedy weak or unreliable WIFI signal.
Causes of weak or unreliable WIFI signal:
- The sensor is too far away from your WIFI router – WIFI signals will tend to weaken as the distance between the router and the connected device increases. If you cannot move your sensor closer to your WIFI router, it is suggested that you use a WIFI extender.
- Certain objects, materials, or structures can partially/totally block the signal to the sensor – Large concrete or metal objects between your device and router are known to significantly interfere with the strength and reliability of WIFI signal. Walls and floors can cause the same type of issue, although to a lesser degree, but the signal will generally weaken as the number of walls or floors between the device and your router is increased.
- Having too many devices on the WIFI network at one time – Sometimes having a number of different devices on the same WIFI network can cause interference as they all compete for your network’s resources at the same time. As more devices (smartphones, computers, smart TVs, tablets, etc.) connect to your WIFI it can become too much for your router to handle at one time. This leads to interference and you may notice as a significant slowdown that occurs while loading web pages or using apps, and in some cases, it can even cause a failure to load all together.
Solutions – How to improve WIFI signal:
- Try moving your sensor closer to the location of your WIFI router – the goal here is to keep it close enough to the original area that it will still detect water in case a leak occurs, while positioning it as close as possible to the location of your WIFI router
- Rotate the sensor so the antenna is pointing in the direction of you WIFI router – this is tricky because the antenna is hidden inside the sensor. If you look at the bottom of your sensor, you will notice a rubber stopper located on one end. The antenna is located on the same end of the device as the rubber stopper (if the rubber stopper is not there, you will see a screw instead). To improve WIFI signal you can rotate your sensor so that this end is pointing in the direction of your router. In addition, placing it on its side can change the position of the antenna to help increase the WiFi signal as well.
- Give the sensor a clearer path to your router – large appliances such as water heaters, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. can sometimes block incoming WIFI signal, especially if your sensor is located under or behind an object like this. Do not worry though, because in most cases the signal can be improved with some slight repositioning of the sensor.
- For example, if your sensor is located under your water heater, then you can improve the signal by sliding it out from under the water heater towards the side facing your WIFI router. This way it is not directly under the water heater, but it is still close enough to sense the water if the water heater starts leaking.
- If your sensor is located behind an appliance like a washing machine, and the washing machine sits between the sensor and the location of your router, then moving the sensor to the other side of the washing machine could significantly improve the signal. The sensor would still encounter water from a leaking washing machine, but now the WIFI signal will not be blocked.
How to check the WIFI signal strength for one of your sensors:
There are a few different places in the app that you can check WIFI strength for a sensor. In each of the following places you will see either a WIFI symbol, a negative number (known as the RSSI value), or both. Details about how to interpret these values can be found below.
- While installing a sensor, after you successfully sync the sensor with your WIFI network, you will see a screen asking you to place your sensor in the desired location. Look for the WIFI symbol and RSSI value on this screen to make sure your connection is strong in the desired location for your sensor.
- On the main app screen that shows all of your sensors, you will notice that each one of your sensors displays a WIFI symbol and an RSSI value right below its description and next to the battery level indicator.
- If you click on one of your sensors on the main "Sensors" screen, and then on the next screen select "Sensor History", you will see a line called "WIFI Signal Strength" with a negative number next to it. The value you see on the screen is the RSSI value and tells you how strong your WIFI connection is in that sensor's location.
Interpreting RSSI values:
This is the negative number that you see next to the WIFI symbol in the app, and the values can be interpreted as follows:
-50 to -70: Good
-70 to -80: Weak, but acceptable
<-80: Weak, may lead to connection issues
Interpreting the WIFI Symbol:
3 bars/rings = Great Signal Strength
2 bars/rings = OK Signal Strength, there should be no issues with connectivity if it is consistently at 2 bars
1 bar/ring (or switching between 1-2 bars/rings) = Poor Signal Strength, can lead to recurring WIFI issues and offline notifications
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