Amazon smart plugs are excellent products that provide convenience to users of the Amazon ecosystem and Alexa.
However, when these devices stop working as intended, it can be frustrating for the user.
What are some reasons these plugs stop working?
If Amazon Smart Plugs fail, it’s likely due to an out-of-date device or app, issues with the smart plug, Alexa, or outlet, errors, router problems, or the need for a factory reset. To fix it, update the smart plugs and the app, fix errors, check outlets and router settings, or reset the plugs.
In this article, I’ll be talking about the reasons Amazon smart plugs stop working.
I’ll also provide common reasons they stop working.
What Is an Amazon Smart Plug?
Amazon smart plugs look like regular outlets but carry extra features.
They use WiFi to connect to an Alexa device, and you can use voice to turn them on or off.
“Hey Alexa, turn off my lamp,” will cut off the power to the outlet, for example.
7 Reasons Smart Plugs Stop Working
As handy as smart plugs are, they’re still electronics. Electronics are complicated devices, and lots of things can go wrong with them.
This is frustrating when you just want to turn things on and off! Thankfully, many of the problems are well-known and documented.
1. Smart Plug Is Out of Date
Smart devices have bugs, and it’s unavoidable.
Before checking for any other fix, make sure the smart plug is updated to the latest software version.
Out-of-date software can cause many problems with a Smart Plug, including complete failure.
Normally the smart plug will auto-update, but sometimes weak WiFi can make it not update.
Fortunately, it’s an easy fix.
How To Fix
To fix an out-of-date smart plug:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Select your smart plug.
- Click the gear icon to enter settings.
- Check the software version.
From there, you can compare the software version to the latest available version.
2. The App Is Out of Date
As with the smart plug, the Alexa app can get out of date too.
Developers update apps to optimize the interface, enhance security, or fix any bugs or errors.
Bugs, errors, and security issues can prevent the app from working properly.
If the app doesn’t work properly, the smart home devices might fail as well. Therefore, it’s important to keep the app updated.
How To Fix
When you suspect that your Alexa app is out-of-date, you’ll need to update it.
Android users should open the Google Play Store, whereas Apple Users will need to open the App Store. From there, type “Alexa” in the search bar. Open the app’s page.
If an update is available, there should be an option to update on the screen.
Alternatively, it could be an issue with the WiFi connection in the app.
Smart plugs won’t work right if the password was inputted wrong on the Alexa app.
This can occur when routers are factory reset, and they sometimes automatically change their passwords.
Another possibility is if someone changed the password without your knowledge. It’s possible you just made a typo!
3. Smart Plug Is Blinking Red
When an Amazon Smart Plug has a blinking red light, it typically means that the Smart Plug is out of WiFi range.
Alternatively, it may be too far from an Echo device.
Anything that uses WiFi works best closer to the router. Being far away from the router can make smart plugs function poorly or stop working altogether.
Every router only transmits WiFi so far.
How To Fix
You can reset the plug by unplugging it for ten seconds and plugging it back in. If that doesn’t fix the issue, adjust the router’s location.
A central location in your home is ideal for even WiFi distribution.
4. Alexa Says Smart Plug Isn’t Responsive
If the Alexa app says your smart plug isn’t responding, it’s probably an easily fixable glitch.
Smart devices sometimes “act up”—it’s a normal part of technology. Fortunately, this is one problem that doesn’t require much effort to resolve.
How To Fix
For this error, unplug the plug for 30 seconds to a minute and plug it back in.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, try checking the device’s software version to ensure it’s up to date. Being up to date prevents these errors in most cases.
If all else fails, do a full factory reset on the device. I’ll detail how to do this a little later in the guide.
You may also wonder: Do smart plugs use electricity when turned off?
5. Provisioning Failure Error
One odd error the smart plugs can throw is “Provisioning Error.”
This may sound complex, but it just means that the smart plug can’t connect to the internet.
That’s it! This can be for various reasons, from incorrect WiFi settings, router problems, and more.
If your WiFi settings are messed up, this can make your smart plugs not work. One example is what WiFi frequency you have: 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz?
5Ghz is faster for phones and computers, but Amazon smart plugs don’t support it.
How To Fix
First, try unplugging the smart plug for a minute or so and then plugging it back in.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, move on to the router and reset it as well.
If you changed your WiFi frequency recently, this could be the issue.
If not, check anyway: it’s possible someone else changed it and didn’t know it would cause problems.
If you like the speed of 5Ghz frequencies, look into dual-band WiFi.
This gives you two networks, one with a 5Ghz frequency and the other with a 2.4Ghz frequency that smart plugs are compatible with.
6. The Outlet Has No Power
Sometimes electrical problems make outlets stop working.
If the outlet has no power, the smart plug won’t work at all.
If no other solution in this article works, consider checking the outlet.
How To Fix
Plug other devices into the outlet. If they don’t work either, the issue is electrical.
It may be a blown fuse or breaker or bad wiring. In that case, you’ll need to call an electrician.
Some homes control outlet power via wall switches. If your home has these, make sure the corresponding wall switch is on.
Bad wiring between these wall switches and outlets can also be a culprit.
Finally, check your home’s circuit breaker.
Continue reading: Can You Plug a Smart Plug Into a Power Strip? + Safety Tips
7. Router Communication Errors
Router glitches can cause smart devices like smart plugs not to work correctly.
These issues are fairly common, especially with smart home devices. Again, this is another easy fix that can be done in minutes.
How To Fix
First, check if other WiFi-capable devices can access the internet. If not, the router could probably use a reset or power cycle.
To reset a router, unplug it from the modem (if you have one) and then its power supply.
Wait at least 30 seconds, but preferably as long as a minute or two.
Plug the power supply back in, followed by the modem cable.
Wait until the router turns completely on. Most routers have indicator lights that show if they have power, internet connection, and so on.
If all the lights are green, you should be good to go.
BONUS: It Needs a Factory Reset
Sometimes a smart plug just glitches for no reason. In such a case, try restoring it to factory settings.
Restoring the device to factory settings can help clear up any weird anomalies preventing normal function.
A word of caution is that restoring the plug to factory settings will deregister it from your account, and you’ll have to set it up again.
How To Fix
To factory reset your smart plug, hold the button until it starts blinking red and blue. This typically takes around 10-15 seconds.
From here, try to set the device up again in Alexa and see if that did the trick.
It’s annoying when your smart plugs stop working, but there’s good news: most issues they have are well-known and come with relatively easy solutions.
At worst, you’ll need to fiddle with some settings or do a factory reset, perhaps mess with your router a bit.