Smart Homes Are Always Changing

Cut through the noise with our FREE newsletter, bringing all the latest smart home news, tips and tricks straight to your inbox. I'll never spam you, and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Kasa Devices Keeps Randomly Turning Off And On

The single biggest setback to smart device automation can be a simple bug that turns your devices on and off. What should you do if your Kasa devices keep randomly turning on and off?

To fix a Kasa device that keeps turning on and off, the first thing you should do is to update your device and the Kasa app. Next, make sure that your Wi-Fi network is strong enough to reach and support your Kasa devices. After that, check to make sure that the power outlet is connected to is working properly.

You don’t have to be stuck dealing with a Kasa device that keeps turning off and on. Let’s go over what’s causing these problems and how you can quickly get them fixed.

Kasa by TP-Link—An Overview

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

You might best know the TP-Link brand for making wireless routers, but they also make smart devices.

The Kasa brand strives to be an all-around source for smart devices with an accessible price point. While their smart plugs are one of their biggest hits, they also make a variety of other smart devices like cameras, switches, and lighting.

As good as the devices made by Kasa happen to be, they can still be hit with the same bugs and power problems you find with any smart device.

One of the most tedious problems is when Kasa devices just start turning on and off on their own. There’s a lot that goes into this problem oh, so we’re going to start by looking at the likely causes of devices randomly turning on and off.

Why Your Kasa Devices Randomly Turn Off and On

Kasa goes off and on again
Kasa goes off and on again

The fastest way to solve a problem is to figure out what’s causing it. There are five main causes for smart devices to start turning on and off at random.

Inconsistent Wi-Fi Connection

Your Kasa smart device might not actually be turning on and off at random. It might be behaving like it’s turning on and off because of a bad connection to the internet.

This is typically caused by a Wi-Fi network that isn’t strong enough to reach the device in question. If you work on said device is far away from your Wi-Fi router, and a basement or attic, or on the other side of a wall, it might have a spotty connection to the Wi-Fi network.

This can cause your device to act like it’s randomly turning off, but it’s actually struggling to consistently communicate with your network.

This can also be caused by a Wi-Fi network that’s overburdened. If you have too many Wi-Fi devices trying to connect to the internet, they might wind up fighting for bandwidth and crowding each other out.

Power Problems

Then again, your device might actually be turning on and off at random.

Kasa devices have built-in protection that prevents them from being fried by a sudden surge of electricity. Your device might be overwhelmed by surges of power that causes it to shut down.

A Kasa Smart Plug with totally realistic flames coming out of it (not Photoshopped at all...)
A Kasa Smart Plug with totally realistic flames coming out of it (not Photoshopped at all…)

Damage to the wiring or power outlet that the device is connected to can also cause a shortage of electricity that prevents the device from working properly.

Defective Devices

The Kasa device itself might also be damaged.

Internal damage to your Kasa device could create all kinds of problems that cause it to turn on and off. This could be damage to its ability to communicate to the server or damage to the circuits causing power regulation problems.

The internal problem could also be a software bug. There could be a problem with the recent firmware update wreaking havoc on your device or there could also be a problem on the app you use to control it.

Server Maintenance

Another big problem that smart device owners don’t always consider is server maintenance issues.

Your Kasa device needs to connect to more than just your Wi-Fi network. It has to be able to communicate with Kasa’s cloud servers in order to function properly. If those servers are down for maintenance, then your Kasa device might be behaving strangely.

Scheduling and Settings

Another pesky problem that can be causing your Kasa device to behave like it’s flickering on and off are problems with your settings.

There are plenty of ways for you to automate, schedule, and otherwise customize the settings for any smart device. Any one of these settings, if done improperly, could be causing your Kasa device to act in a way that you just don’t need it to.

The schedule page of the TP Link Kasa smart app
The schedule page of the TP Link Kasa smart app

This gets even more complicated when you add in third-party devices and software (like Alexa) that add new complexity to the automation features you can set up.

How to Fix Kasa Devices Turning Off and On

Now that we quickly ran through the probable causes for your Kasa device turning on and off, we need to look at the solutions. We’ve got five quick solutions that will get your Kasa device working again.

As always, we’re going to save you time by starting with the easiest fixes first and then working our way towards more complicated solutions.

Check Your Wi-Fi

An Eero Pro 6 Wi Fi router
An Eero Pro 6 Wi Fi router

The first thing that you should do is to check your Wi-Fi network.

You need to make sure that your Kasa device is able to receive the full strength of your Wi-Fi network. This means using a Wi-Fi range detector to make sure that your constant device is getting a strong signal. A weak Wi-Fi signal might mean buggy behavior at best, or unreachable Kasa devices at worst.

You also want to do a quick audit of all the devices that are using your Wi-Fi network – you can often do this via the admin panel page, or your router’s phone app:

BT Smart Hub 2 showing connected 5 Ghz WiFi devices
BT Smart Hub 2 showing connected 5 Ghz WiFi devices

This includes things like smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices. You should also check to see if there are any power users like someone live streaming a video game or watching a lot of media on YouTube or Netflix.

A good fix is to add Wi-Fi range extenders throughout your home. These will boost the signal of your Wi-Fi networking to overcome most range issues. You can also upgrade your Wi-Fi router or your internet plan with your ISP to get a more powerful signal to accommodate your smart devices.

If you’re looking to do some large-scale smart device upgrades throughout your home, you should consider mixing and matching the type of connectivity your devices use.

Having some devices that connect directly to the Wi-Fi, and other devices that connect to the network through a Smart Hub (such as Philips Hue ZigBee smart lights, or Z-Wave smart sensors), can help lower the overall burden on your Wi-Fi bandwidth.

Update Your Devices

Now it’s time to double-check that all of your devices and apps are fully up-to-date.

The first thing you want to do is make sure the firmware of any devices that have been behaving strangely are up-to-date. Kasa often pushes firmware updates that patch bugs that could be making your Kasa device behave at random.

Here’s how to manually update the firmware on a Kasa device.

  1. Open your Kasa app
  2. Tap “Me”
  3. Select “Firmware Update”
  4. You will see a list of devices that have an available firmware update
  5. Tap a device to begin the firmware update
The firmware update in the Kasa app in this case showing that there are no pending updates
The firmware update in the Kasa app in this case showing that there are no pending updates

You can also go to your app store to look for updates to any applications you use to control your smart devices. You should also go into the settings of the smartphone or tablet that you use these apps on to check for any updates there as well.

Double-check Your Settings and Schedules

If you’ve got some automated tasks and schedules set up on your Kasa devices, Now’s the time to double-check them.

There are so many different ways to automate smart devices that user error creeps up with even the most experienced smart device power users. Quickly run through all of your schedules and automation settings (in the Kasa app, and any linked apps such as Alexa or HomeKit) to make sure that there’s not a scheduling conflict causing the problems that you’re facing.

It’s often small typos that cause major problems. We’ve seen plenty of users go through complicated troubleshooting only to find out that they set their smart lights to turn on at 3 a.m. instead of 3 p.m.

Also if you have ever shared your Kasa details with a roommate or family member, double check whether they might have added a schedule or routine that you were not aware of.

Check Your Outlet or Switch for Power Problems

An electrician working on an outlet
An electrician working on an outlet

Now we’re moving into some of the more complicated fixes.

The first thing we’re going to look at is power problems that have more to do with the outlet and less to do with the Kasa device.

The first thing you want to do is inspect the power outlet that your Kasa device is plugged into, or the hardwired smart switch on the wall. You should look for any visible burn marks, signs of overheating like a plastic outlet housing starting to warp, or any audible problems like a crackling noise or a buzzing sound.

Any of these signs will let you know that your outlet or wiring has some damage and you need to call an electrician right away. If you own a voltmeter, you can also use that to check the voltage going into your outlet to make sure that it’s where it needs to be.

Each Kasa device also has its own voltage limit. This is the maximum amount of electricity that the device can take before it starts to experience problems. This issue typically shows up in Kasa light bulbs more than any other device, but make sure to check your Kasa devices voltage limit just to make sure it’s not being overpowered.

See if the Kasa Servers Are Down

The last thing that we need to check are the Kasa servers themselves.

You can check the Kasa server status section, or go to one of the third party server monitoring websites, to see if the Kasa servers are up and running. Some of these websites even let you check the server’s recent history and up time so you can see if there were any problems in the recent past.

The TP Link Kasa cloud service status page
The TP Link Kasa cloud service status page

If a server goes down for maintenance or experiences other problems, any device that relies on that server is likely going to experience problems as well. Most smart devices will continue to run with basic functionality even when the server goes down, but advanced functions often start to get a little buggy without the server backing them up.

Unfortunately, the only thing to do when the server goes down it’s just to kick back and wait. It’s up to the IT specialists and engineers over at Kasa to get the servers up and running again.

Damaged Kasa Devices

If none of these other issues seem to be the problem, there’s a good chance that your Kasa device has some physical damage.

Physical damage to your Kasa device can be hard to spot from the outside. Unless it’s something obvious like a warped casing or a burn mark, it might appear completely normal after a quick visual inspection.

If nothing seems to fix your device, it’s time to rely on the warranty or the return and exchange policy of the store you bought the Kasa device from. Always keep the warranty and exchange policy in mind when you’re buying a new device.

Most problems with smart devices happen early in their life cycle. These are factory defects that you can typically spot in the first few weeks of operation.

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).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

Leave a Comment