Strange behavior from OpenCart 2.x email functions

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There is a history relating to my account in OpenCart from our server. I reviewed this post within the community but it is leaving me with as many questions as answers. One issue is can we confirm absolutely what the correct email settings and related server settings should be for OpenCart on my type of server? (I'm

The system has issues where it is inconsistent in processing email responses based on settings within OpenCart. One in particular which has been troublesome is "Additional Alert Emails" which don't appear to be working for this client.

Another is that the previous mail sent using OpenCarts mail tool should have sent to 71 people on their list, in opencart it only showed 20 had been sent and the mail logs reviewed to show that 30 had been sent the email.
Something I saw in the logs indicated - Warning: Sender rate 30.3 / 1h - with the last message that went out (which happened to be #30?) That number began at 2.0 per hour at the beginning of the run. Additionally it processed slowly. First email generated at 17:31:43 the final at 17:34:08 (a difference of 2.8 minutes or so, is the system intentionally throttled at 10/minute?)

There followed additional error messages like "2016-08-26 18:59:40 [11725] dovecot_login authenticator failed for …" and more, the log entries include attempts to authorize with email address from the domain but with not existing email addresses. The additional log entires continued into the AM and may simply reflect outside parties attempting to send mail through the system by guessing email usernames. (which is why I always use oddball email usernames).

Also it appears that some email alerts were not sent correctly from cart orders. For example client has indicated that orders which navigate through the paypal process were not being sent to his inbox and makes it harder to know if those invoices are going to clients. I know this is a long post and my history with support on this is already extensive. (and similar with OpenCart directly) We really need to determine why the email issues exist within our OpenCart installation and confirm once and for all the best settings and possible limitations of OpenCart within this hosting context.

-PS: Last page I reviewed (the one which led me here) indicated to provide as much detail as possible. I hope this wasn't too much and all helps you understand the related details in one swoop. I apologize if it's overkill.
Hello StormDesigns,

Sorry to hear you are having issues with your OpenCart email. Although we are unable to troubleshoot account specific issues here in the public forums, we can give general advice for you. You can take this to Live Support and as they will be able to check logs or perform live tests for you.

Be sure that you have selected SMTP as the protocol for the emails.

Double check your credentials for authentication. Though if your emails work sometimes and not on others, this should be fine. Otherwise, it would fail every time.

The message ' Sender rate 30.3 / 1h' should be nothing to worry about since default sending rate is 250 per hour. This is more informative. Still, having Live Support check your setting to ensure it is set would not hurt.

"dovecot_login authenticator failed for" would relate to the SMTP settings. Live Support should be able to check logs and see which one of the settings is failing.

If you are aware of any specific emails that do not appear to be sending, Live Support can watch the logs as you trigger them for any additional abnormalities that may be occurring. The server should be able to report what happened as long as OpenCart tried to send them. If no information is in the server, then this indicates that OpenCart did not even try to send the email.

I know this does not give an definitive answer, but it can help narrow the range to help find the cause of the issue.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M