Kasa Issues After A Power Outage: What You Need To Know

Power outages and rolling blackouts are the smart home tech fans’ worst nightmare. Every smart device brand has trouble when the power is flickering, but there are some specific Kasa problems that we need to look at.

Kasa smart devices can experience connection problems during a power outage. These devices will automatically reconnect to the internet when the power is back on assuming everything goes well. If it doesn’t, try resetting your Wi-Fi or mesh network and re-pairing your Kasa devices to the Kasa smart app.

The power might be out, but the solutions are on. Let’s get your Kasa devices fixed after a power outage.

A Quick Guide to Kasa Smart Tech

Front of a TP Link Kasa Smart Plug
Front of a TP Link Kasa Smart Plug

Kasa from TP-Link is one of the most popular brands out there when it comes to smart technology. They have everything you need from lighting to security cameras and even smart switches.

Kasa has carved out their niche in the smart home landscape thanks to their affordable technology as well as their wide variety of options. Even though Kasa is very affordable, this is far from a budget brand. Their technology is very reliable and performs on the same level as bigger brands like Ring and Philips Hue.

Even though Kasa is incredibly reliable, it’s still susceptible to bugs and glitches during a power outage.

The Problem With Power Outages and Kasa Devices

Someone lighting a match due to a power outage
Someone lighting a match due to a power outage

There are a few problems that you can face when your Kasa device experiences a power outage.

The first thing you’re going to notice is that there’s going to be some connectivity problems between your Kasa device and the internet. This means that you won’t be able to control it with any of your smart apps and your Kasa device may even start behaving strangely because it can’t update to the correct time.

Another problem that we need to consider is that each of your Kasa tech independently connects to the internet. They don’t connect through a central hub (like Philips Hue’s Bridge), which means that they’ll all be scrambling to reconnect to the internet after a power outage.

This could exacerbate connectivity problems during a power outage and lead to some devices getting lost in your mesh network rather than connecting to the internet and getting back online.

The power outage can also do physical damage to your device. This is pretty rare thanks to the design of modern electronics, but a power outage could short your device depending on the specifics of what happened.

How Can You Tell if Your Power Has Gone Out?

The easiest way that you can tell if the power went out for your Kasa devices is to try communicating with them (such as through the app). If your Kasa devices don’t seem to be able to get connected to the internet, there’s a good chance that your power might be out.

Kasa devices do not have a built-in ability to notify you when the power is out. This is simply because the device loses power during an outage which means it can’t send you any information. Your Wi-Fi network will also likely be without power which further adds to these communication problems.

Advanced Tip: There is a clever workaround you can try. You can use a third-party system like SmartThings or HomeAssistant to create a rule that notifies you when a device loses connection to the internet. This won’t directly let you know that there’s a power outage, but it will give you a strong indicator if all of your devices suddenly report a disconnected status.

How to Fix Kasa Issues After a Power Outage

Let’s go over a few of the most common ways to fix Kasa smart switch problems after a power outage.

Kasa Device Can’t Update Time

Setting Away Mode times for a Kasa device in the app
Are your Kasa devices now failing to follow time-based automations?

This issue is a little technical, but the good news is that the fix is going to be very straightforward.

Plenty of Kasa users experience this problem. The power goes out, your Kasa device loses connection to the main power, and once power is back up, your Kasa device cannot get the right time.

This problem is being caused because the Kasa device cannot connect to the NTP server. This is the Network Time Protocol server that your Kasa device communicates with in order to ensure that it always has the right time.

In fact, most devices get their time updates from an NTP server. If any of your internet-enabled devices are ever showing the wrong time, it might be because of connectivity problems with the NTP server.

In order to fix this problem, you first want to check your Wi-Fi. This issue is being caused because your Kasa device cannot communicate with its servers which could mean that you’re experiencing Wi-Fi problems.

If it’s not your Wi-Fi, you’re going to want to do a factory reset on your Kasa device. An unexpected power interruption could cause some internal bugs that a factory reset will fix.

Device Stays “On” After Power Outage

Smart Light with Orange Lighting
The controller light is still on after an outage.

Plenty of Kasa fans noticed other devices tend to stay on when the power comes back on. This isn’t always a problem, but some users want their devices to default to the off state when power returns.

However, this is something that’s hard-coded into all Kasa devices. This means that there’s no fix for this problem, but let’s take a look at what’s happening inside your Kasa devices programming.

Your Kasa device is coded to remember its last known state when the power goes out. This means that when the power comes back up, your Kasa device will resume functioning from the last point it remembers.

If your Kasa device was off when the power was cut, it will be off when the power comes back on. Kasa devices were active when the power went out, they will remain active when the power returns.

Mesh Nodes and Kasa Device Wandering

Here’s an interesting problem that happens to Kasa devices when the power goes out. Sometimes, they get stuck wandering between different nodes in a mesh network:

A screenshot from my BT Whole Home WiFi app
My BT Whole Home Wi-Fi with four nodes (discs).

Kasa devices are programmed to automatically reconnect to a Wi-Fi network after a power outage. As long as there’s an available network that your Kasa device knows how to connect to, it’s going to attempt to stay connected to the best of its ability.

Mesh networks are the most complicated kind of Wi-Fi network you can have for your home. They provide total coverage, but they are still relatively new and there were some kinks in the system.

Case in point, after a power outage some users experience their Kasa devices constantly reconnecting to different nodes in the mesh network. In a sense, your Kasa device is trying to connect to each node in the mesh network as if it was a competing Wi-Fi signal. Kasa attempts to reconnect to all of the nodes rather than integrate into the network itself.

The only fix for this is to reset your Wi-Fi network: which might mean restarting each Wi-Fi mesh disc, too.

Reset and Reconnect

If your Kasa device isn’t communicating with the app on your smartphone, you’re going to need to pair it again in the app. Here’s a quick guide for connecting Kasa smart devices to the Kasa smart app for Android and iOS.

  1. Open the Kasa Smart app on your phone
  2. Log into your Kasa account
  3. Tap the “+” icon
  4. Select “Add a Device”
  5. Select Your Device
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions for your device
The Add Device section of the Kasa app with options to add a Device or Group
The Add Device section of the Kasa app with options to add a Device or Group

Reconnecting your device to your smartphone should get you back in control of all of your features after a power outage.

Damage to Your Kasa Device

There is a rare chance that the power outage you’ve experienced did some physical damage to your Kasa device.

Power outages can often come with unexpected fluctuations in power. This could be from a lightning strike or a surge of electricity. There’s a chance that this might have damaged your Kasa device which is preventing it from working properly.

Now is a good time to get familiar with the warranty for your Kasa device as well as the return and exchange policy from the retailer you bought it from. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for a damaged Kasa switch other than to use the warranty or exchange.

Power Outages and Wi-Fi Problems

WiFi faulty error sign
WiFi faulty error sign

The most common source for smart device problems after a power outage comes from trouble with the Wi-Fi network. Let’s walk through a few step-by-step fixes to troubleshoot Wi-Fi problems after a power outage:

  • The first thing you want to do is power cycle your router. All you need to do is unplug your router for 10 seconds and then plug it back in. This will give your router a quick reset and allow it to shake out any bugs that might have been caused by a sudden power outage.
  • You also want to check on any Wi-Fi range extenders in your home. The power outage might have disrupted their connection to your central router and this could be preventing your Kasa smart devices from connecting to the internet.
  • Power outages often come with other service interruptions. You should check with your internet service provider to make sure that there isn’t also an internet outage in your community.
  • There’s another problem that we need to consider. After a power outage, all of your devices are going to be struggling to connect to your Wi-Fi network. This could overload the capacity of your Wi-Fi router, and prevent some smart devices from being able to fully connect.

Let’s take a look at using some of Kasa’s competitors that can take the burden off your Wi-Fi network.

Try Using Lutron Caseta or Philips Hue Devices

A Philips Hue starter kit (B22), and four E14 White Ambiance bulbs.
How I got started with smart lighting: a starter kit and four E14 candle bulbs.

It’s always a good idea to diversify the smart devices in your home. This usually only applies to when the servers go down for one particular brand, but it can also have an impact when it comes to power outages.

Lutron Caseta and Philips Hue do not use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. They connect to a central hub using alternative technologies like Z-Wave and ZigBee. Only the central smart hub connects to the internet while the rest of the devices connect to the hub instead.

After a power outage, only the hub will be hastily trying to get back online. The rest of your devices will just attempt to connect to the hub itself.

This traumatically lowers the burden on your Wi-Fi router and increases the bandwidth on your Wi-Fi network. Adding some Lutron Caseta or Philips Hue devices into the mix as a great way to future-proof your smart home ecosystem from power outages.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

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