Smart plugs are convenient devices that allow you to remotely control electronics and appliances in your home through an app on your phone or voice control. However, sometimes, when you get a new router, your smart plugs may stop working properly and lose connection.
There are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to get your smart plugs up and running again with the new router.
1) Resetting the Smart Plug
The first troubleshooting step when your smart plug is not connecting to a new router is to reset the smart plug. Resetting the smart plug erases previous WiFi connection information and allows you to set up a new connection.
How to Reset a Smart Plug
To reset the smart plug, locate the reset button on the side or bottom. Use a pin or paperclip to press and hold the reset button for 10-15 seconds until the light on the plug flashes, indicating it has been reset.
After resetting, go through the process of setting up the smart plug again according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves downloading the app, creating an account, and connecting to the WiFi network again.
2) Checking Router and Smart Plug Compatibility
If resetting the smart plug does not solve the connectivity issues, the next step is to check compatibility between the new router and the smart plug.
First, check the router’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz network names and make sure the smart plug is trying to connect to the 2.4GHz network specifically. Smart plugs usually connect to 2.4GHz networks only.
You’ll also want to make sure the new router is dual-band. If it only offers a 5GHz network, the smart plug won’t be able to connect at all. Check the router settings through the router admin page.
In addition, check the smart plug and router specs to ensure the router supports the WiFi generation of the smart plug. For example, if you have an 802.11ac smart plug, it won’t connect to an old 802.11n router.
3) Updating Firmware
If the router and smart plug are compatible, connection issues may arise from outdated firmware on the smart plug or router.
Check the router admin page and smart plug app to see if any firmware updates are available. Keeping both devices updated to the latest firmware can resolve connectivity problems introduced in older versions.
When updating router firmware, carefully follow the prompts to avoid interrupting the update process. For smart plugs, initiate the update through the app if available. The update may take several minutes as the smart plug resets and upgrades.
4) Changing the WiFi Channel
Interference from nearby WiFi networks and devices can sometimes disrupt the communication between smart plugs and routers. Changing the WiFi channel on the router is one way to troubleshoot interference issues.
Log into the router admin page and locate the wireless or WiFi settings. Run an analysis of nearby wireless networks to see which channels are most congested. Then, switch your router to a less congested channel, preferably at least 5 channels away from other occupied channels.
After changing the channel, reconnect your smart plugs to the network. Often, this simple change is enough to resolve wireless interference that was causing connectivity problems.
5) Adjusting Router Location
If you are still experiencing wireless signal issues between the router and smart plug, adjusting the physical placement of your router can make a difference.
Make sure the router is centrally located in your home, not tucked away in a corner or basement. Place it high up, avoiding ground level, which can impede the wireless signal.
Check the location of your smart plugs and move the router closer toproblem areas if possible. Limit physical obstructions like thick walls or large appliances that can degrade the wireless strength between the router and plugs.
Proper router placement goes a long way in maintaining strong mesh networks that keep smart devices connected.
Troubleshooting Unresponsive Smart Plugs
If your smart plugs connect to the new router but become slow or unresponsive, there are more troubleshooting steps to improve responsiveness and control.
1) Clearing App Cache and Data
Over time, bugs and glitches can accumulate in the app that operates your smart plugs, leading to sluggish performance.
Open the app settings and clear the cache and app data. This forces the app to restart fresh, which can eliminate quirky behaviors, lag, and crashes.
After clearing the cache and data, re-launch the app and set up your smart plugs. This often resolves app issues that were interfering with proper plug functionality.
2) Checking the Plugs Remotely
Before assuming your unresponsive smart plugs are malfunctioning, use the remote access features in the app to check the status of the plugs when you are away from home.
If the plugs are operating normally when accessed remotely, then the issue lies with your local WiFi network rather than with the plug devices themselves. Troubleshoot your home network and router for connectivity problems.
However, if the smart plugs are also unresponsive when remotely accessed, you can narrow down the cause of a fault within the plugs. Contact customer support or consider replacing malfunctioning units.
3) Automating Schedules and Rules
As you add more and more smart devices, managing them all individually through the app can be tedious and complex.
Utilize automation features like schedules and rules that allow you to program smart plug behavior instead of manually controlling each one. This simplifies management of multiple devices.
For example, set schedules to turn plugs on or off at certain times each day. Or create rules like “When I arrive home, turn on these plugs.” Automation saves time and improves responsiveness.
4) Adding a Smart Hub
Expanding your smart home ecosystem often leads to network congestion as more devices connect and compete for bandwidth.
Adding an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart hub can help coordinate all your smart devices through a single point of control. It serves as a traffic cop, improving response times.
A smart hub also extends the WiFi range for smart devices located far from your router. Consider adding one to boost connectivity and performance across your smart home gadgets.
5) Switching to a Smart Switch
If you continue having issues getting your smart plugs to work reliably, replacing them with a more robust smart switch solution is the next option.
What are the Benefits of Using a Smart Switch?
Smart switches hardwire into your existing electrical system behind switch plates, operating like regular light switches. This integrated, hardwired connection provides several benefits over plug-in smart plugs.
Smart switches enjoy more reliable connectivity and longevity since they don’t depend on WiFi range. The hardwired relay is safer and can handle larger loads up to 15 or 20 amps.
In addition, smart switches keep access to the manual wall switch, whereas smart plugs block them. Smart switches can be three-way compatible.
Overall, smart switches are a pro-level upgrade over entry-level smart plugs in terms of connectivity, functionality, and convenience.
How to Install smart a Switch?
Installing smart switches requires working with your home’s electrical wiring, which should only be done by a licensed electrician unless you have wiring experience.
Find an electrician familiar with smart home tech who can properly replace traditional switches, ensure correct wiring, and integrate any 3-way switch compatibility.
Ask ahead what smart switch brands the electrician recommends or prefers to install. Compare costs between electricians to find competitive pricing.
Proper setup by a professional electrician allows your new smart switches to operate safely while giving you the upgraded connectivity and convenience you want.
Troubleshooting your smart plugs when they won’t connect to a new router involves several progressive steps, from resetting the plugs to replacing them entirely. Carefully work through resetting, checking compatibility and firmware, adjusting WiFi channels and router placement, and ruling out app issues. If problems persist, upgrading to more robust smart switches can provide a permanent solution for maintaining connectivity and control. With some guided trial and error, you’ll have your smart home running smoothly again in no time.