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ecobee3 Sensor Disappointment [solved]

a2ma2m CO, USMember
edited June 2016 in ecobee

Hello,

First thanks in advance for any help, apologize for the long post but I want to be as detailed as possible so others can relate or not to my situation.

After some research I decided that he ecobee3 was the right solution for my two storeys home + basement (usual US built, drywall walls, wood, etc.)

I ordered the ecobee3 + 2-pack sensor bundle off Amazon and swiftly installed the ecobee3 and placed the sensors and everything worked for 20 minutes, then the sensors started to disconnect (sensors show N/A).

The ecobbe3 has the latest firmware version 3.6.1.576.

I came to the forum, ecobee FAQ, and do everything that is suggested: remove the batteries, pried the board contacts, put the battery back upside down, waited 5 minutes, put it back on, removed from the ecobee3, added them again, removed the ecobee3 from the wall & put it back, bought new batteries then sensors worked for another 20/30 minutes and again they got disconnected so I repeat (everything but buying more batteries).

I measured the sensors distances and the farthest is about 25 feet direct distance (upper level so ceiling/floor in the middle, maybe we can account 3 walls), the other 2 are less than 20 feet away 1 wall between them and the sensor.

So I contacted ecobee support, did again all described above, let the sensors sitting 6 feet away from the ecobee3 for 24 hrs and they disconnected and reconnected periodically; ecobee support asked me for the sensor codes and let me know that there is a recall and I need to return the sensors to Amazon (as a reminder one of the sensors came within the ecobee3 box, so I need to return the whole thing, leaving me without thermostat for a few days at CO, US).

I explained the issue returning all sensors to Amazon and while I wait for an answer I went to Best Buy and bought 2-pack sensors that I need anyway but I planned to buy later.

Came home, placed my new sensors, they stayed connected for about 6 hours overnight and they also got disconnected, if I move them closer they re-connect but I can not be playing the move them closer game. Remember they are less than 25-20 feet away.

I even unplugged a cordless and a CFL lamp that were on the adjacent room to the ecobbe3 thermostat.

So I wonder:

1.- Are these new sensors also affected by the recall ecobee's Support mentioned? should now the process be return them to Best Buy or Amazon, get new ones, test and repeat?

2.- Maybe is the ecobee3 what is malfunctioning, how can I tell?

3.- Why ecobee does not have a webpage where it is possible to input the sensor code to check if they are affected by the recall.

Does anyone can provide any advise? ecobee any comments from you?

Many Thanks

Comments

  • KRUZNBYKRUZNBY Raleigh, NCMember

    What firmware are you running? Supposedly some of the early versions had more issues. I would have thought support would have suggested to push you the latest.

  • a2ma2m CO, USMember
    edited March 2016

    Thanks @KRUZNBY

    I should had written that in my original post, I have the latest 3.6.1.576. (I added this detail to the original post).

    I installed it three days ago and I think it updated as soon as I installed it or came with the latest.

  • MikeyAMikeyA TorontoMember

    Are you getting this issue with all your sensors connected to the ecobee? Do you have anything i your house that broadcasts on 915MHz, like a cordless phone or baby monitor? You might be experiencing interference.

    But if not, let me know and I can take a closer look!

  • a2ma2m CO, USMember
    edited March 2016

    Hello @MikeyA ,

    I thought about interference on the 900Mhz band so Thursday night I unplugged the cordless phone and temporarily connected a corded one (we really do not use it, just keep it for emergencies - I updated the OP).

    No baby monitor on the 900Mhz (the one we have is a 2.4Ghz WiFi WebCam) or any other wireless device transmitting on the 900Mhz spectrum.

    I opened a request, do you work at ecobee? I can PM you the request number where you can read additional detail.

    After checking the sensor codes I was told the first three are affected by the recall I have not received additional detail about the last two from the Best Buy's 2-pack.

    At this moment all 5x sensors are less than 10 feet away to see which ones stay connected and which ones disconnect being at that short distance.

    Thanks for your help.

  • a2ma2m CO, USMember

    ecobee Support is sending me a new Thermostat, I will post later how it went with the replacement.

    Thanks

  • PhotoplexPhotoplex Calgary, ABMember

    If they're disconnecting from 6 feet away with clear line of sight, I all but guarantee it's RF interference or a faulty RF receiver on the thermostat.

  • a2ma2m CO, USMember

    @Photoplex I ruled out RF interference, I basically went room by room to check if I was forgetting an RF device installed and can confirm that no RF devices should be interfering.

    My cordless phone is DECT 6.0 (1.9Ghz), the home's WiFi (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz), and the Water meter which could be the one creating an RF problem is located on the far end of the basement, opposite side where the thermostat is located, this is the only possible source of RF but I doubt that is the cause of the problem.

    Since I installed the thermostat and had issues with the sensors I unplugged the cordless phone (just in case) and Sunday night for troubleshooting I even turned off the WiFi with similar sensor connectivity issues.

    ecobee generated an RMA and is sending a new thermostat, I will post the status once I replace it.

    Thanks

  • a2ma2m CO, USMember
    edited October 2016

    Problem Fixed

    First at all, thanks to ecobee email support, the following does not take away your effort to help me.

    1.- I received directly from ecobee a sealed box with a new ecobee3 which was not new at all. Came without plastic screen protector and an scratched screen, obviously not a new thermostat though I was told by ecobee support that they only ship new thermostats for RMAs. Bonus detail: I had read many posts mentioning a green sticker, the box for this RMA had one.

    2.- I still installed to test it, linked the sensors and placed them in the assigned spots (15ft, 15ft, 25ft, 30ft, 35ft); I did not have a single disconnection in the 18 hours I have had it connected regardless on where they were, unlike the other thermostat it kept the connection at all times.. great!, the issue is the thermostat.

    3.- I will go to a local retailer and buy a new ecobee3. As the faulty one is within Amazon return period (I bought it less than 2 weeks ago), I will return it to Amazon for a refund and also return to ecobee the refurbished they sent.

    4.- I was told by ecobee support that three of the sensors (after testing and sharing the sensor code) were subject to a recall, with the new thermostat they are working just fine. Understandably their support script put more of the blame and troubleshooting on the sensors and do not consider the thermostat as possible source of the issue, maybe an RF diagnostic option, noise level, unique signals, etc could help, but it would depend on how many faulty thermostats they have every year.

    Now everything is working as I expected, and I am sure that an ecobee3 was the right selection for me.

    I look forward to see continuous improvements to its features, IFTTT APIs and Portal.

    Thanks to everybody that help me.

    Photoplex
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