T

Sun, Nov 7, 2021 4:21 PM

Nights are getting cold. Some sensors reporting "Low Battery" but voltage is at or near 3V...

It's getting cold at night.  Some of my sensors are reporting "low battery." The base station is suddenly "talking to me about it" in the middle of the night, which is unnerving...  

1. The entry sensor on the back door of an unheated garage is reporting low battery intermittently, particularly at night.  My voltage meter reports 3.07 volts for its CR2032 battery.  Doesn't 3.07V indicate a fully charged battery?

2. One of my glass-break sensors is also reporting "low battery" intermittently.  It's in a storage room (inside the house) that I do not heat regularly.  The battery is a 123 (CR17345) and the voltage tests at 2.78 volts.  Isn't a reading above 2.5 volts viable?
 
I think the cold temperature is a factor.  Please advise.  And for future reference, I'd appreciate knowing what voltage is considered "dead or near-death" for CR2032 and CR17345 in these particular applications.

Thanks,
Tom

Captain

 • 

4.6K Messages

Il y a 9 m

@TinFW  First, the disclosure part: except for very few Simplisafe hardware items (aux siren, outdoor camera, doorbell pro) none are rated for outside use, which also includes a tight temp operating range. Using enry, glass and motion sensors in an unheated area is at your own risk, out of spec.

Okay, now that is out of the way, I have used a motion sensnor and entry sensors in my unheated garage for multiple winters (motion for 3, entry sensors for 1. Since I live in the greater Chicagoland area it gets damn cold, one of the those winters included the "polar vortex" and the actual temp (not windchill) got to -38).  My garage was in the low single digits and the motion sensor did quite nicely. Ditto last winter with the entry sensors on the garage doors. No battery issues or warnings either.  As far as being warned in the middle of the night, shut off the voice on the base. Mine is silent, no lights etc to avoid detection.  I suggest replacing the batteries and if still an issue, swap them with sensors in your home.  In my case, motions and entry work fine, however, cannot comment on the glass break as I do not have one in an unheated area.

2 Messages

Thanks for your thorough, helpful reply, Captain11.

Hmmm.  I had extensive discussions with SimpliSafe in the process of buying the system.  Nobody mentioned the aforementioned interior-spaces-only caveat.  A support rep with whom I spoke today said the sensors/batteries are good down to 20 degrees F, and we haven't broken that this year.  We went below 20F lots of times last winter, though, and no problems.  FWIW, my system purchase included a siren for the exterior of the house, which is more 'outside' than the garage door entry sensor...and certainly more outside than the motion detector in the seldom-heated storage room.  Surprisingly, no 'low battery' warnings yet from the outdoor siren, so the pattern, if any, escapes me.  =]

That said, I take your point regarding potential differences in energy draw from different kinds of sensor.  And your suggestion to swap batteries with some of the interior sensors is a great idea.  Thanks for that, and who knows...this might just represent differences in individual batteries.  I'll bet there are variances in any 10-pack you buy.

I want to keep my base "vocal" in case someone really does enter while I'm asleep.  It IS startling though, when "the voice" issues an alert in the wee hours...  Ha.

I double-checked the timeframe, and find that I installed this system about a year and nine months ago.  SimpliSafe documentation says entry sensor batteries should last up to 10 years, and motion detector batteries should last 3-5 years.  

https://support.simplisafe.com/hc/en-us/articles/360029801311    

And yeah, I feel your pain with regard to winters in or near The Windy City.  Brutal.  I'm east of you and a little south of The Great Lakes, so I get it.  =D

Captain

 • 

4.6K Messages

@TinFW  East of me is as cold, whether you be in IN, OH, PA   BTW, when I said to swap I meant the battery and the entire sensor. (Sorry for not being clearer on that).  Also, want you to know I repalced all of my batteries at 4 years for entry and 2 years for motion/glass break. Don't want any issues with them.  Good luck with your troubleshooting!

Advocate

 • 

417 Messages

Il y a 9 m

Regardless of whether SimpliSafe claims their products work at 20F, it's a fact that battery performance drops off as the ambient temperature drops. For instance, you can see at https://data.energizer.com/pdfs/lithiumcoin_appman.pdf that the service hours of a 2032 battery at 70 degrees is roughly 225 hours. At 32 degrees that number drops to 150 service hours. This is with a 1mA constant discharge which isn't the case with the SimpliSafe equipment but it gives you a good idea, relatively speaking, of how cold affects battery life.

Cold weather is 100% a factor in battery life. How much of a factor is it in your specific situation, temperatures, etc. I can't exactly say but it's a very safe bet that you're going to see diminished battery life in the cold and I don't find the warning messages at night (when it's super cold and the system might think the battery is near death) a surprise at all.