Exclude vs. Remove vs. Remove and Reset

The z-wave radio in my V1 hub died and a new V3 hub is arriving today. I know I need to exclude my existing devices before I can pair them with the new hub but since I can’t communicate with them via z-wave from the old hub, how can I do that?

Can I just remove them in the IDE, do a factory reset on them and then pair them to the new hub? Can I use the new hub to do the exclude somehow? I’ve been perusing the forum but there’s a lot to take in and I’m more confused than I normally am (which is saying a lot).

So the question is, do I just remove and reset and is an explicit exclude required? If it is, how will I do that with a dead z-wave radio?

Also, has anyone documented the steps they took when migrating to a new hub? If so, any info is appreciated. I’ve got 80 devices, 50 webcore pistons and a handful of SmartApps so I’m hoping lots of planning will prevent what I suspect is going to be complete sh8tshow. TIA.

You can do it from the new hub :slight_smile:

You will need to remove all the existing devices from IDE. Exclude the z-wave devices in the new app and pair. For zigbee devices, you will need to reset them and then pair.

there is a ST support article on this. (which I can’t seem to find at the moment)


The people who developed Zwave understood that there might be times when the original hub was not available. Maybe it had become defective, maybe you were buying a device used, maybe a brand new device arrived from the factory having been previously paired with a test network.

So they created a command called “general exclusion.“ This allows any Z wave hub to issue a general command which says “if you can hear this, clear your network information when instructed to do so.“

The way you instruct an individual device to do so varies from device to device and it’s up to the manufacturer, but typically it requires a physical button press in a particular tap pattern on the device itself. So what makes the process secure is the fact that you have to have physical access to the individual device.

And what keeps a general exclusion issued by a hub in apartment two from clearing the network information in a Z wave device in apartment four is that nobody in apartment four is going to press the button in the right tap pattern at just that moment. Hopefully. :wink:

So you can issue the “general exclusion“ from your new hub and as long as you do the right physical manipulation of the device, it will clear its old network information. And at that point you will be able to include it to the new hub.


Prior to 2016, many manufacturers used the term “reset“ to mean reset all of the configurable parameters to the original factory defaults, but not to remove the device from the network. That worked well for professional installers.

However, it turned out to be kind of confusing for mass-market customers, so a lot of the companies have now switched and if you “reset” a device you are also clearing the network information. So then it’s back to how it was when it came out of the box before it was joined to the network.

Smartthings changed their own implementation A couple of years ago to match this same idea so that when you remove A device from the hub’s network table you also issue an exclude for it automatically.

Speaking as a network engineer, personally I don’t like this new approach as well because I don’t have as much control over things and in particular I can’t replace the device with itself anymore. That’s not a big deal, and most people won’t care, and I understand why it’s less confusing to make it all one step from the customer’s point of view, I’m just saying when it was two steps it made more sense to me as a technical process.

All of which is to say there are no standard meanings for the term “reset“ and it may vary from model to model as to whether that includes an exclusion or not. But removing a device from your network using the smartthings utility is supposed to issue an exclude as well. If that fails, then you can just do a general exclusion later to clean things up. :sunglasses:


Thanks for your feedback, @JDRoberts and @jkp. I’ve started documenting what I’ve created and it’s a bit of a monster.

I have Blue Iris talking to SmartThings, SmartThings talking to BIue Iris, 25 Ask Alexa macros, and 50 WebCoRE pistons running. And just for good measure, I have IFTTT, Netatmo, Harmony, MyQ, Event Logger, ActionTiles and LANnouncer thrown into the mix. I’m sure I’ll be a huge PITA, err, frequent visitor here as I deconstruct, reconstruct and simplify things.

Cheers, Mark.