Bad Z-Wave Switch, Bad Z-Wave in hub, or network connectivity issue?


(Erik B) #1

Hey Guys,

I am having a ton of issues with my Z-wave devices and I am trying to narrow down the cause. It could be a faulty GE Z-Wave Smart Switch, it could be that my hub has a bad Z-wave radio, or it could be a connectivity issue with Z-Wave in my house/neighborhood.

To preface before I dive into the issues here are a few points for considerations.

  1. This is my second hub. I bought a Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit before going on a vacation (as there weren’t any hubs available in my local area in the timeline i needed). So once i got back from vacation i returned that and bought a hub by it self as this suited my needs better then the kit. I don’t know if the Z-wave issues existed or not on the first hub.

  2. The zigbee devices in my house work great. I have two samsung smart things multi purpose sensors. The closest one is a few feet away from my furthest Z-Wave switch. The second one is another 20-30 feet away from those two devices and is the furthest device from my hub and it works great and reports status instantly.

  3. I have removed my Z-wave devices and re-included them, I have restarted my hub, I have repaired my z-wave network via the IDE (and it always fails every attempt).

So here are my Z-Wave devices:

  1. GE Z-wave Dimmer Switch
  2. GE Z-wave Smart Switch
  3. Utilitech Z-wave Siren
  4. Utilitech Glass Break Sensor

and here is my situation that leads me to be unsure of the problem is the hub, a specific switch or my local environment.

I have the dimmer in my bedroom (approximate 10-15 ft from the hub). I then have the smart switch at the bottom of my stairs (maybe 30-45 ft from my hub and 30 ft from the dimmer) The switch is to control outside porch lights and i bought it with the purpose of having it turn on and off the porch lights and sunset/sunrise. This switch is the one that is next to the closer multi purpose sensor. This switch is easy to exclude and easy to add (no problems and done it multiple times) and if i set up a smart app to turn them on at sunset that usually works and that command usually gets through fine.

It is once that command is sent that everything starts to go haywire. Basically once that command is sent all my Z-wave devices lock up and all control is lost over my z-wave devices. Once that command is sent i can no longer control my dimmer in my bedroom and when the off command is sent in the morning it sends but the lights do not turn off. The app also does this weird thing where the “Things” page will show the right status - lets say on, and then i will turn it off - nothing happens but the “Things” pages show off. If I click on the device to view (lets call it the device detail page) the device will still show on. So basically i have no control and conflicting device status reports.

The only things that seems to fix it is enough time passing to where it starts working again, never really sure when this will occur, so devices just don’t work until the magically do again. Or if i restart the hub this seems to fix it.

While all this is going on (Z-Wave not responding) my zigbee devices still work perfectly.

At the same time as all of this (both when the Z-wave devices are working and not working) I have tried with no success to get the ultilitech z-wave sire to pair correctly. It pairs all the time but just not correctly, i only have off options and there is no device status found in the IDE, which i was told means it did not pair correctly. i have excluded and re-paired about 15-20 times now and always the same result.

So i am not sure where the issue is and what is causing this. I also know that i can buy zigbee switches and dimmers to replace the z-wave ones, and I’m not against that, but I intentionally bought the z-wave ones since a majority of the compatible devices are Z-wave and i figured it made more sense to have Z-wave repeaters then zigbee repeaters since most of the non samsung smartthigns devices I add will be Z-wave.

Now I’m debating if Z-wave is viable at all in my house. If it’s not this will greatly limit what I can do with smartthings as most things will not be available to me, if i cannot get Z-wave working consistently in my house…

As far as the glass break sensor, i got that to pair correctly as far as I know, but I have no actual idea if its working or not lol, but it at least has a status found in the IDE unlike the Siren.

I would appreciate any help, feedback and ideas from this great community.

Thanks, -ey3ball


(Ray) #2

Have you contacted support yet? They are usually really good and most likely can fix this. I would think it’s likely the hub is the problem or you have ghost devices due to bad exclude/include. Only people could help you with this is support. Maybe place the hub at a different place. Look in IDE for devices you don’t have and delete them.


(Erik B) #3

thanks Ray, yes i contacted support at the same time that I wrote this post, and we are currently working on the issue.


(Ray) #4

Please do share the result or fixed just in case one of us here get this similar fault. Hopefully nothing serious.


(Jonathan) #5

@ey3ball Did you ever resolve your issues? I am experiencing exactly the same thing with my z wave switches. They refuse to work on smartthings even after being paired.


(Erik B) #6

@reboot sorry for my super delayed reply. Im not exactly sure how to describe how I got my issues resolved.

its been a while but if I remember correctly after contacting support and having them reset or reboot or doing something along those lines to my hub multiple times with no improvement and running the repair zwave network multiple times as well with no improve - both of these were something that I had already tried many times myself. A third or fourth effort from support doing those same things randomly fixed all my issues.


(Jonathan) #7

It has been a while for me as well but I wanted to check in. My issue ended up being my baby monitor. My son had gotten his hands on the baby monitor base and pressed the “change channel button” which just so happened to change it to a channel that interferes with Z-Wave frequencies. After many hours of troubleshoot and headaches I finally changed the channel on the baby monitor back to the default and all my Z-wave devices started working again. I just couldn’t believe it was the problem, but it was!


#8

In the US, baby monitors and older cordless landline phones are the most likely culprit in interfering with Z wave. I’m glad you found yours! They can be hard to track down. :disappointed_relieved:


(Erik B) #9

That is good to know as I’m about to have my first child in July.


#10

These days most people who can afford them use A Wi-Fi camera with a sound sensor as a baby monitor, in which case the interference potential is with Zigbee, not zwave. But the older style audio – only baby monitors that operated in the 900 MHz bands can create interference with Z wave devices. :sunglasses:


(Erik B) #11

Thanks for the info @JDRoberts. Ive still got about 5 months so I haven’t done my baby monitor research yet. But I will keep that in mind.


#12

These days most people who can afford it use a Wi-Fi camera with an audio sensor for a baby monitor, so those are more likely to interfere with zigbee than with zwave. But if you happen to have one of the audio only baby monitors that operate in the 900 MHz band, it can interfere with Z wave.