“Oh! I forgot to turn off the kettle before I left. Let me just turn it off on my phone.”
Now, more than ever, every home can turn into a smart home.
With smart plugs, you can automate any possible device at your home.
From lights, thermostat, regular TV, to even a coffee maker.
The possibilities are endless.
But…these smart devices, like smart plugs, *whispers* can crash too.
Why does it crash?
Why does it get unresponsive sometimes?
Read on to learn:
- How to set up a smart plug with its app.
- How to restart and factory reset a smart plug.
- 6 common causes of smart plug not responding.
- 8 ways to instantly fix an unresponsive smart outlet.
- If a smart plug can control an appliance with an electronic switch.
- And a lot more…
Why is my smart plug not responding?
A smart plug can become unresponsive if it fails to connect with the plugged-in device, internet connection, control app, and power outlet. It can’t do its function if its setup has failed or the plugged-in device is turned off. Outdated firmware can also cause the smart plug to be unresponsive.
Smart plug not responding – 6 causes & fixes
#1: Smart outlet is not properly plugged in to the socket
It may sound silly, but a lot of users underestimate this possible failure.
Here are three possible reasons why it might’ve happened:
- The wall socket is loose.
- You plugged in the device carelessly.
- Someone has accidentally bumped into it.
When the wall socket happens to be loose, the smart plug won’t be able to receive the electric power it needs to function.
Meaning your device won’t work.
You’ll know if the wall socket is loose if the smart plug keeps on falling. Or if the device keeps on randomly losing its connection.
Learn more: Can you plug a smart plug into a power strip?
#2: The device plugged in to smart outlet is off
A lot of new smart plug users assume that once they plugged in their home electronics to the device, the electronics will simply turn on.
It may be true in some electronics.
But if the device you plugged in has a mechanical power switch, you have to turn on the device yourself first.
Reminder: A device connected to the smart plug needs to be “on” all the time. Or as long as you want to automate the device.
A mechanical switch is a physical switch on your home electronics that you toggle on and off when using.
If the switch is off, your smart plug won’t work.
“Mine doesn’t have a mechanical switch…”
Perhaps it has an electronic switch.
If that’s the case, then your smart plug won’t likely work as desired.
Electronic ones are programmed to automatically determine whether the appliance should be on or off.
When you plug off an appliance that has an electronic switch, it will stay off when you plug it back in.
Unless you press its power button. Which defeats the purpose of a smart plug.
#3: The power outlet is faulty
Another possible reason why your smart plug is unresponsive is because the power socket is faulty.
The electric outlet may have a weak charge. Or no charge at all.
A power outlet can transmit lesser electric charge if:
- The wirings are worn out.
- The outlet has a short circuit.
- One or several wires are damaged.
- Some areas of the outlet fixture are burnt.
Warning: If your power outlet is worn out, have an electrician fix it as soon as possible. As this may damage your electronic devices and cause danger to your home.
If your smart plug is receiving less or no power, it will most likely not power up.
Meaning, you can’t control it remotely or even manually.
#4: Smart plug has lost its WiFi connection
WiFi enabled smart plugs are great in making your home smarter.
Since it requires internet use, your device can become unresponsive once it has lost its connection.
You can still control some settings through the control app.
But if you’re using your smart plug with a voice assistant, a weak internet connection can definitely limit your actions.
Your internet connection can weaken if:
- Your internet has low bandwidth.
- Your WiFi router has software bugs.
- The device is too far away from the WiFi router.
If your router’s frequency range is not compatible with the smart plug, your device won’t work as well.
On average, most smart plugs have 2.4 GHz.
And it should be connected with a router that has the same frequency to work well.
#5: The smart plug or the app has an outdated firmware
Like smartphones, your smart plug has a firmware as well.
And developers upgrade it to enhance the device’s features and security system.
When a firmware is upgraded, a smart plug with an outdated firmware can malfunction.
As it’s possible that the new updates are not compatible with the previous one you have.
“Then, how do I update it?”
Luckily for you, you don’t have to do anything specific.
Smart plugs update themselves automatically. Unless the device ran into some bugs and failed to update itself.
In some cases, the smart plug is not the issue, but the control app.
You set up your smart device through the control app.
So, if it runs into some issues, your smart plug can malfunction as well. As you won’t be able to command any actions.
The most common reason being the control app having an outdated firmware as well.
Reading tip: Smart Plug Won’t Connect: 7 Causes & Instant Fixes
#6: An error occurred during setup
Setting up your smart plug to the control app is relatively easy.
You just have to follow simple instructions like plugging the smart plug to the outlet or selecting the right WiFi connection.
But, some errors can still happen while at it.
The setup can fail if:
- The control app is not updated.
- Your WiFi has a weak or slow connection.
- Your phone battery has drained during setup.
- You accidentally closed the app during setup.
- Your phone is more than 30 ft (9.14 m) away from the smart plug.
If the setup has failed, you obviously won’t be able to control the smart plug using the control app.
How to fix it:
#1: Ensure that all devices are plugged in and switched on
Your smart plug suddenly went unresponsive?
The most basic thing you can do is to check the power connection of your smart plug and home electronics.
Before you panic, ask these questions to yourself:
- Is the switch of your home electronics on?
- Is your smart outlet correctly plugged into the wall socket?
If not, then make sure to plug in and switch on everything first.
If you’re using an appliance with an electronic switch, you have to press its button first.
After that, you can control your appliance as desired.
But if your appliance has a mechanical switch, just leave the switch on.
Note: You don’t have to worry about leaving the switch of your appliances on because that’s the very essence of using a smart plug. Even if you’re away, you can turn it off through the control app. Or set a schedule for it.
#2: Plug the smart outlet into a different wall socket
If the wall socket is the problem, then you have two options.
First, change your power source by plugging your smart outlet to a different socket.
Check if there’s an available socket nearby. And plug your device to that one instead.
If there’s none, consider using a wire extension.
So, you can plug in your smart outlet to a different power source without changing its supposed location.
Second, have an electrician fix your faulty wall socket. Especially if you don’t have knowledge of electricity.
#3: Set up your smart plug again
Hold on! Don’t do anything technical with your device yet.
Consider setting up your smart plug again first. But this time, correctly.
Tip: Have everything ready before starting. Plug in the smart outlet, charge your smartphone, and ensure that the internet connection is good.
Here’s a few reminders to prevent failed set up:
- Turn off power-saving mode.
- Avoid unplugging the smart socket.
- Avoid closing the app while setting up.
- Don’t disconnect your phone to the WiFi.
- Have your WiFi password written somewhere.
- Make sure that you’re close to the router and smart plug.
- Disconnect other not-in-use devices connected to the WiFi.
To set up your smart plug:
- Download and open the app compatible with your device.
- Sign-up or log in your account.
- Go to “Devices.”
- Tap the add (+) icon.
- Click “Add a device.”
- Choose plug or smart plug.
- Then, follow the simple instructions on screen.
Not sure how to set up your smart plug and connect it to your home appliance? Then, watch this quick video!
#4: Restart smart plug
“I don’t think there’s a problem with my power source…”
If that’s the case, it’s possible that your smart plug can’t connect to your WiFi.
Restart your smart plug.
This should solve any possible connectivity problems.
May it be due to some software bugs or slow internet connection.
To restart your smart plug:
- Unplug the smart socket from the outlet.
- Leave it off for about 10-15 seconds.
- Then, plug it back in.
If it doesn’t work, try redoing it 2-3 times.
#5: Update the app
As mentioned, smart plugs can update themselves automatically.
But in case it fails to do so, you can force it to update by restarting the smart plug.
Basically, this refreshes the device’s system. Allowing new updates to enter its server.
While you’re at it, update the control app as well.
Go to your app store and check if there’s an update available for the control app.
Tip: If the app is lagging even after updating, try uninstalling and reinstalling it. It will help delete unnecessary data. Allowing the app to run more smoothly.
#6: Reboot WiFi router
“I’ve tried restarting the smart plug already. But it remains unresponsive…”
This time try rebooting your WiFi router.
Rebooting, also known as cold booting, is kind of similar with restarting, only that it’s by force.
This will help resolve connectivity issues and remove software bugs.
To reboot your WiFi router:
- Unplug the router cord from the power socket.
- Leave it off for about 30 seconds.
- Then, plug the router cord back in.
Note: Rebooting your WiFi router will disconnect all the devices connected to it. So, you might have to reconnect at least the phone where the control app is installed.
#7: Install a WiFi extender
WiFi-enabled smart plugs need a stable and strong internet connection to be able to function well.
If your internet connection is weak, using a smart plug can be nonsense.
As a solution, you can install a WiFi extender throughout your home. This will help ensure that all corners of your home have sufficient internet connection.
This is especially important if you use a voice assistant, like Alexa or Google, to activate your smart plugs.
If your house is multi-story or has a lot of walls, getting a WiFi extender is an advantage.
A study has shown that the internet can only travel fast and free if there’s no obstructions on its path.
And yes, the walls and floors in your home can act as obstructions.
“Where is the best place to install WiFi extenders?”
Electromagnetic waves travel updown.
That said, you should place your WiFi extender directly below your router.
The WiFi extender will be able to receive stronger connections when setup as told.
Check out: Does a Wi-Fi Repeater Slow Down Internet? The Harsh Truth
#8: Factory reset the smart plug
If all mentioned solutions didn’t work, it’s time to reset your smart plug.
Warning: This will delete all your custom settings. So, only do this as your last resort.
To reset your smart plug:
- Press the button on the device.
- Hold it for about 12 seconds.
- And, release once you see a red LED light illuminate.
You’ll know if the factory resetting is complete once a blue LED light appears.
After that, you just have to plug the smart socket back in. And set it up again.