TP-Link KP115 Disconnecting - Community Experiment?

OK, I caught one in the act, sort-of… I finally got around to trying to trap my Washer HS110 transitioning between Off and Standby to see if I could figure out at what power threshold(s) that occurs. First, I turned on all three alerts (On, Off and Standby) for the Washer smartplug.

Then I let it go for a few days to see if there was a pattern. It looks like there is some good hunting in the morning !

Next I set up the CollectKasa.jar utility to sample my Washer HS110 smartplug every 5 seconds. More on that utility and links here.

Finally I looked closely at the Power data coming out of my Washer HS110 close to the 5:30AM and 9:11AM timeline alerts above.

I’m able to see the event that likely caused the 5:30 AM transition.

But I came up empty on the 9:11AM event. Then again, I was looking at a 5 sec. sample so I might have missed that one crucial data point.

Then again, it might not be as simple as that. If I look at a bigger stretch of the morning, it sure looks like there should have been some other transitions detected, that weren’t. Hmmm.

Still experimenting with what power level or other causes Sense to oscillate between Off and Standby for my HS110 on my Washing machine. I’m doing occasional scraping of my web app Timeline to pull transition points and chart. I had charted earlier, but the choice of bin size in histogram makes a big difference in what one can infer from the same data - thoughts ??? This is a chart of how many transitions take place (timeline alerts) in each part of the day.

Bins = 24 - one for each hour

Bins = 7

My first post here. I came for the exact topic you are talking about. I have three KP115s that drop out about once a week. The first two times this occurred it was between 7:30 and 8PM but I do not remember the exact time. The last two times this happened it occurred at exactly 7:55 PM. All three plugs go at the same time. They show N/A on the device page. The Kasa app sees them and can control them. The Sense app does nothing. The only method I have tried to get them to respond is by unplugging them from the wall and re-plugging them.

I’ve got a TP-Link router which I switched to just before I installed the KP115s for the first time.
So as I am reading this thread, I go to look at the devices and they are off line at exactly 7:55. Two of the plugs had TV’s on them with a 100 watt load or higher. The third plug had a 2-watt load on it.

The fact that it dropped out at least twice at the exact same time makes me believe it is a router or app interface issue but that is just a guess at this point.

I bought the KP115s to track the tvs. Two of them are plasma’s and they are noisy beyond belief. I haven’t entered any info on what is connected to them as I didn’t think it would make a difference, but I see in another thread it helps the AI software,

Any help in solving this issue is appreciated.

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I have problems (still) with the 3 KP115s I am using. The Kasa app sees them with no problem and reports the power they measure, but Sense loses them. The only thing that brings them back is unplugging and re-plugging them.

Like you, I have a TP-Link router. Mine is a Deco M9 Plus mesh system (2 units). On the Deco forum there is a thread about Wemo plugs losing connection; the solution was turning off beamforming. I tried that but it only brought the KP115s online for a few hours and they remain off (to Sense) since that time.

Also, my three plugs disappear from Sense the same moment as each other. I have looked at the power meter graph and have seen two of them (the third was powered off and not drawing anything) stopped being recorded within the same second of each other. One is on my refrigerator, one on the garage door opener, the third has the lights over my workbench.

@bobnarad , @demiller9,

A couple things to look for…

  1. Some of my temporary disconnects, as you describe (Kasa works, but Sense is seeing n/a) happen when there is also a momentary dropout fro my Sense monitor. If you can identify timeframes for missing Kasa/Sense data, take a look at the main Sense Power Meter for that timeframe to see if it also had short outages like below.

  2. The fix for me in some cases has been turning off NDI, then turning it back on. Occasionally I have also just power cycled the Sense via it’s breaker.

@kevin1
I have looked at the power meter for the time when the plugs stopped reporting usage, and posted screen shots of that here ( KP115 worked 2 days now missing from Sense - #8 by demiller9 ). There is no gap in the power meter, yet the timeline told me (shown in post #11) that the refrigerator and the garage door opener went offline at 5:40 AM.

And just slightly off track, I replaced the workbench KP115 with an HS300 which has been in since Jan 27 (8 days) and still appearing in Sense. The KP115 I took off the workbench is now plugged in elsewhere with no load at the moment.

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I discussed this with @RyanAtSense and he confirmed that we’re aware of the issue due to a set Standby → Off threshold of .5W. We’re aware that this could present some issues with On/Off timeline notifications and are exploring ways to address this in the future.

If you’re seeing the issue, please write in a ticket to support@sense.com so we can track it.

Thanks @JustinAtSense,
That explains a lot given the power values I see coming from my Washer HS110. It’s also not such a bad choice giving the range I’m seeing for the standby power of Washing Machine. Only a little of the tail dips below 0.5W, or off.

So no issue - merely “functioning as intended” for right now. I might try to see whether setting a threshold of 0.5W gives the same timeline results, but I suspect not for a couple reasons.

  1. My 4 sec samples aren’t the same as the 6 sec samples that Sense is pulling form the Kasa, and there’s really no way to force them to be the same, even if I were to stretch my sample period to 6 sec. Given the way the data bounces around, there’s no guarantee that the next periodic sample is going to be close to the previous one.

  2. I seem to remember from Jonah, that there also might be a little “hysteresis” in the incoming data so that it is smother and filled when there is some small amount of missing data. But he didn’t share the size of the hysteresis window. So no way to duplicate that.

Thanks again. I think I will add a Wishlist Item to add a Standby → Off similar to Standby → On threshold.

And I can check off the intermittent data export output for my Washer and for my Sony TV as being related to this threshold.

Thanks to @JustinAtSense at Sense, I can close out my 2 week+ reliability testing of Sense with my Kasa devices. Over the past 5 weeks I have had Sense/Kasa hourly exported data dropouts for the following 4 reasons:

  1. Kasa plug manually turned off for most of the time for devices “KP115 Roamer”, “Ford Energi Charger”, “Sonos Dining”. Unfortunately, this means I wasn’t really looking closely at the long term reliability of the only KP115 in my house (Next step ?)
  2. Kasa plugs oscillating between “Off” and “Standby” for “Sony TV”, “Washing Machine”. The current threshold is 0.5W. These devices have “Standby” usage that is occasionally less than 0.5W. That’s where no data was exported.
  3. Sense monitor issue that caused some dropped Power Meter data. Also caused dropout of 2 hours worth of exported data for all Kasa smartplugs.
  4. Mysterious issue between Sense and 2 entire HS300s. Unknown origin, but both HS300’s remained visible in Kasa app throughout. Solved by power cycling Sense monitor.

Conclusion: Current reliability chart looks good once two issues are addressed. It’s important to also realize that there are several legitimate reasons for Sense/Kasa to fail to report data for specific hours in the export file (manual off, drifting below off threshold). No major glaring issues with Kasa/Sense reliability, by this measure.

Next steps. Rearrange usage to better test KP115. Look more closely at Kasa data during this period of any other anomalies.

On Feb 8th, my three KP115’s fell off the Sense app at 7:56PM. One minute later than the previous drops. I thought for sure they would drop again on Feb12, so I eagerly waited for them to drop at 7:56. Nothing. Turns out I was a day early because they dropped on Feb 13th at 7:56PM. It cannot be an accident that they drop at the same time. Again the Kasa app could connect to them just fine.
So I have some questions, if anyone happens to know.
Do the KP115’s communicate directly to the Sense app or do they go to the Kasa app first?
Are they polled or do they just broadcast their info?
Thanks in advance.

Kasa smartplugs are polled by the Sense monitor every 2 seconds using a broadcast “emeter” request packet. All Kasa smartplugs with power monitoring respond. The Kasa app does similar but it sends several requests, including a request for daily energy and monthly energy.

Get Realtime Current, Voltage and Power Reading
{"emeter":{"get_realtime":{}}}

Get Daily Statistic for given Month
{"emeter":{"get_daystat":{"month":1,"year":2021}}}

Get Montly Statistic for given Year
{"emeter":{"get_monthstat":{"year":2020}}}

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I just swapped my loan KP115 over to a new application where I will have it turned on all the time. So I’m just beginning my reliability experiment with it. We’ll see how it compares to the other Kasa devices in my houses. In this year the HS300’s have proved touchier than all the HS110s I use.

And the Sony TV and Washing Machine operate at Sense’s margin for standby vs. totally off, hence the intermittent colors.

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OK - So far my lone KP115 has shown great reliability, at least at the hourly reporting level. Ever since I transitioned the smartplug from my subwoofer, where I had the KP115 off most of the time due to my use model, to one of my three garage door openers, it has reported good non-NA values for all of those hours. The KP115 has been running for more than the ~1 week that @drjb suggested and it has been 100% rock solid despite being in the middle of my garage, fairly distant from all access points.

If I look at the KP115 Power Meter for that same period, I do see 4 very short dropouts (blue circles), plus one weird drop in Aways On power of my garage door opener (in yellow), but that level of dropout could have come from me rebooting access points, new Sense firmware, etc.

When I push down into to those dropouts, I do see very short lapses like the ones below, but those are in the realm of a access point reboot or a new load of Sense firmware:


**Update - Still no drop by my KP115 after 2 weeks **

The verdict - My KP115 on my network is very reliable (so far).

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I’ve found the KP115 to be VERY reliable … and the Wemo Insight plugs to be very UNreliable.

I had noted some general random disconnections of random devices after adding ~a dozen or so devices on the network (bring the total between 50-60 IP addresses … with all the “known” devices having ‘fixed’ IP addresses assigned to their MAC addresses in the DHCP server). The random disconnects were not limited to WiFi devices, either, which led me to investigate the DHCP server more critically.

Sidebar on the network: TP-Link router (router/DHCP server/Firewall only, no WiFi), connected to switches. Deco X60 & X20 mesh running in AccessPoint mode, with 6 of the 7 nodes hardwired to the switches.

After some reading on the TP-Link forums, I decided to replace the TP-link router with a Ubiquity EdgeRouter-4 … and so far the random disconnects have disappeared. The EdgeRouter-4 handles much higher traffic peaks; my reading of the TP-Link issues was that its DHCP software was not 100% solid.

The jury is still out on the Deco mesh; I haven’t had enough time to judge whether the router replacement has ‘fixed’ all the WiFi issues or not.

None of that, however, really directly relates to the Sense limitations in having more “ground truth” reporting devices than the current Sense device can reliably handle (~20 max).

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I updated the firmware in my Deco router 6 days ago and my 3 KP115 plugs are all working solidly now. I have had them since early January and they would not work more than 2 or 3 days before Sense stopped reporting them, although they looked fine in the Kasa app. (I have posted an update on the thread I started in January about the problem KP115 worked 2 days now missing from Sense - #30 by demiller9).

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@Dan.C , @demiller9, thanks for your insights. Seems like both of you have traced disconnects (not limited in some cases to KP115s) to router issues. @demiller9, thanks for kicking off this whole investigation and @drjb for suggesting experiments. I’m going to try to summarize results for Kasa smart plugs so far.

  • Sense doesn’t differentiate between “Off” and “disconnected” in output value of the data (0 in all cases). So users seeing data “dropouts” to zero could be experiencing any one of the issues below.

  • Different possible scenarios for a perceived disconnect (zero value data) below, can be further diagnosed from the smart plug’s indicators in the Devices list:

A Real Disconnect
Button shows “n/a” - likely networking problem. Could be anything from WiFi issues, router issues, too many smart plugs or an unpowered smartplug.
image

Smart Plug turned off
Botton shows “off” - No surprise here, the smart plug is turned off.
image

**Smart Plug / Sense combo sees “zero” power **
Button shows “on”, but icon is greyed out and there is no power reading. Power has fallen below Sense’s threshold for “off”, 0.5W (may change in the future).
image

You can compare to a smart plug’s working “on” behavior below.

image

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I’m having some issues with the KP115 smart plugs. I have 3 of these. I want to be able to monitor my Freezers, incase they don’t come on.
I have the Unifi Dream machine Pro. My Access points are the Unifi U6-LR.
not sure why they keep dropping off and Sense can not see the plugs. they show N/A in sense. however I can login on the TP-Link app and see the plugs just fine. I have multicast enhancement, enabled. I’m not sure what the issue is here. As, when I had a Asus Router Sense and the smart plugs worked just fine.

Sense doesn’t use Multicast unfortunately. Sense uses a link local broadcast message (dest addr 255.255.255.255) to poll the KP115s. This is blocked by default in the Unifi controller.

Assuming you are running a current Unifi controller…

In the Unifi controller go to Settings > Wireless Networks and edit the appropriate wireless network. Look for a setting labeled “Block LAN to WLAN Multicast and Broadcast Data” and turn it off. If you don’t see this option in the Wireless Networks settings, go to Settings > Site and turn off the “Automatically Optimize Network and WIFI performance” option, then return to edit the Wireless Networks settings.

I have no specific knowledge of the “Dream Machine”, so YMMV.

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I determined if the Sense and the KP-115s are not on the same Access Point(Even though they were on the same IP network, it will cause drop outs (Regardless of the AP settings). I had to put a separate AP in my house on the inside wall near the breaker box just to increase the coverage to my Sense as I have weak signal issues with it being on the other side of a brick wall.

In the end, I set up an separate SSID on my additional access point and moved the sense and all KP-115s on to the same SSID/AP which cleared the problem.

The only way I see around this would be to find a way to punch a whole through the wall to bring the external sense antenna inside the house, I can then put them all back on my main Wireless Access Point.

Hope my experience helps.

I did the same thing. My Wifi WLC was blocking some of the packets and I didn’t have time to work out how to fix it. I simply added a dedicated WAP for sense and Kasa and they have worked well for years. I even dropped the speed down to 11mb/s/802.11b and put it on an extreme edge channel (1 or 11) because we have so many WAPs in our neighbourhood.

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