IKEA Parasoll door sensors battery drain problem

Hi,

I purchased two IKEA Parasoll door sensors a while ago. I installed them directly via Home Assistant (ZHA). After about a week (or maybe two) with them hardly being used (the closet doors they are attached to is only used once every few days), they became unvailable. Both sensors were totally unresponsive, and only when inserting a new battery they became responsive again. I thought it was some sort of fluke, made sure that the new batteries were actually fresh/unused and put them to work again. This time I kept one of them in another room. Now, little over a week later, same story for both. Again, batteries have been fully drained. Looking at the logs, it again was around the same time that they became unavailable.

Now, I have quite a few battery-operated sensors, and they all go happily for months or years without any issue. It’s not normal for battery operated sensors to only hold out for 1-2 weeks, right?

Any idea what may cause this issue? If it was one sensor that could be a manufacturing problem, but with two devices failing the exact same way, that seems far-fetched.

Anyone else had this problem with the new IKEA door sensors?

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Yes I am experiencing similar behavior with my parasoll window sensor. I have it in use for like 5 to 6 weeks now it it turned unavailable.

Hmm, since I transferred the sensors from ZHA to MQTT the problem has mysteriously disappeared … at least for now.

Any possible explanation for this?

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UPDATE:

Okay, while MQTT is somehow much friendlier on battery life than ZHA, the battery life is still only about 6 weeks now. Any insights from others?

They are made for rechargeable batteries.

We understand that, but it can not be the case that you have to recharge such sensors every other week. If they do not last at least a year on a charge those are not for me.

Dang, just bought 5 of these. I will let you know if i’m having the same behavior

Similar behaviour here. I am happy I have just 1 of these and in a non-critical place. But very disappointing nonetheless.

I’ve had a potentially similar issue with Vallhorn with IKEA Ladda batteries and zigbee2mqtt. One day, the batteries looked empty (8 % IIRC) and the sensor notified me with red light. After changing the batteries, I’ve tried to measure them, they were definitely over 1.2V/cell (IIRC even over 1.3V). So, I changed them back, without recharging, and they work well so far. So, this seems to have been some temporary issue that was solved by reboot.

Not sure if this applies to your parasoll, too, but you can try it. If you have a voltmeter, you can measure the voltage. In this case, measuring without a load is probably OK, as I don’t expect the sensor to have a high peak load. Or you can simply reinsert the “empty” battery and see if it helps.

Note that after changing the battery, sensor stopped blinking, but it took some time (maybe a hour) to send the battery state to Home Assistant.

That’s another problem for me, the battery status stays at 96-100%. Next time, I’ll try “replacing” the same battery to see if that works.

Francis, just out of curiosity: what would be the difference in this behavior with normal or rechargeable batteries?

I have read several topics (here and on Zigbee2MQTT’s github) that the new IKEA devices don’t work well with alkaline batteries, e.g. false triggering, while changing to rechargeable batteries makes them behave correct.

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just checked, but my 4 parasol sensors are all at 100%. And functioning properly, so no suspicion yet.

installed some months ago, and did so via the Ikea Dirigera hub, which is integrated in Homekit device integration.

replacing the same battery is a trick I always do in any device, that is, after having checkled they are not completely depleted. Even ‘poor’ reading batteries can take months to finally result in a dead sensor…

btw, I Never use Ikea batteries, learned it the hard (yet no very expensive) way. they simply are below par.

Strange that the batteries affect this or is this to be expected?

There are so many topics with problems concerning zigbee devices, this makes it more difficult to distinguish:

  • is it a bad device by design
  • do the batteries/voltage play a role
  • is it the integration
  • does the coordinator not play nice with the chosen integration
  • is the mesh not covering the area
  • interference

Rechargable AA/AAA batteries (usually NiMH) have different voltage curves from single-use batteries. And battery status reporting relies on this curves. So, when battery the device is designed for other type of batteries, it will probably report wrong battery status, even if the device works well in other aspects. And since IKEA recommends Ladda batteries (i.e., NiMH), it is apparently designed for rechargable NiMH batteries. Maybe it can detect battery type and adjust battery status reporting (some devices do that, although it probably has some limitations), maybe it will report wrong battery status.

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What did you use them for? Assuming they were IKEA Ladda AA or AAA batteries. They might be great batteries or terrible ones, depending on what you use them for:

a. Intensive use, e.g. you put them in a headlight and expect to deplete them in weeks or even overnight. In this scenario, they aren’t good, because they have low capacity rating.
b. Long-term use, e.g. a low-power sensor that is expected to run many months or even years without recharging. That’s where they often perform great (better than many higher-capacity batteries), because they are low self-discharge. They seem to be from the same factory as Eneloop ones.

What to also consider with Ladda and other Eneloop-like batteries:

  • Made in Japan are reportedly better than made in China. Globally, you can find both. On your local market, you can probably find just one of them.
  • AA batteries have multiple capacities. The lowest capacity (usually about 1900mAh) are usually the best at low self-discharge. It’s a tradeoff. Thicker layer of separator implies lower self-discharge and lower capacity at the same time.
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I used them for the promoted use… Just like Ikea provided them, or suggested them with the devices cr2032, or the AAA.

it’s as simple as that.
I now only use high quality batteries and have no issues of depleting batteries within a month or 2. Even the former type of motion sensors remain without change for far over 1 year, several even more than 2…

IKEA CR2032 is probably single-use battery, and very different from IKEA Ladda. I don’t know much about them.

Also IKEA has offered various AAA batteries that they no longer offer. They’ve offered single-use Alkalisk. They’ve also offered 900mAh AAA Ladda (rechargable NiMH). I don’t know whether they are Eneloop-like, but even if they are, they will likely have a higher self-discharge rate than the 750mAh ones.

So, I don’t know what IKEA AAA batteries you have tried. So far, the 750mAh Ladda batteries (made in Japan) perform well for me (mainly in Styrbars) and outperform some higher-capacity batteries, probably due to lower self-discharge.

Same here, I bought two of these contacts for my entrance doors. After some days of AAA rechargable battery use they show as unknown before having a battery low state. They immediately work with newly chaged batteries.

Now I started to test with single use VARTA batteries because of the voltage Delta and they seem to work longer for now.

BUT the cool thing of teh IKE one was that they CAN be used with a rechargable form factor. Otherwise the aquara one is not much more expensive but smaller.

I Use Z2M through a Sonoff Stick on a HASS VM on Unraid (for Context)