Sometimes after doing a Z-Wave repair you’ll notice error messages on your logs from unknown devices which only have a device id or when you’re looking at the device routing table you’ll notice an Unknown Device listed. These are ghost device, i.e. devices that are no longer paired with the hub and not recognized but still remain in the network routing tables.
The problem with ghost devices is that they can create issues with the mesh, unresponsive devices, slow communication, delays and other issues.
There are two way to identify ghost devices, either by looking at the routing table for the device (which shows only the last used route for that device) or for Z-Wave devices looking at the Z-Wave Repair events.
How to check the routing table of a device for intermediary ghost devices
To do this, open the IDE -> click on My Devices -> Click on your device . Scroll down and look for Route.
A healthy network route should look something like this:
- This Device ↔ Hub
- This Device (5C) ↔ TV Audio System (D8) ↔ Water Valve (D7) ↔ Hub
An unhealthy network with ghost devices will look something like this:
- This Device (5C) ↔ Unknown Device (40) ↔ Bathroom Light (A0) ↔ Hub
- This Device (5C) ↔ Unknown Device (BA) ↔ Unknown Device (F2) ↔ Tree Lights (A7) ↔ Hub
These Unknown Device are ghost devices. You will need to make a note of each of their ID’s (in brackets) as you will need these to get rid of these ghost devices from your network routing tables.
How to identify all ghost devices on a Z-Wave network
Run a Z-Wave Repair
Log into your IDE
Click on My Hubs
Click on List Events
You’ll see the beginning event entry for the start of the Z-Wave Repair saying Z-Wave network repair started
Wait for the Z-Wave Repair to complete (5 to 30 minutes), you’ll see an entry saying Z-Wave network repair finished.
NOTE: You’ll have to manually refresh the page to get the latest event entries
Look for entries with the Name
zwNwkRepair, in the Displayed Text column you’ll see messages from the z-wave repair operation. If you see an entry here WITHOUT a device name and just a device id in brackets, e.g.
[0A], these are Ghost devices and their ghost device ID’s (within the brackets).
Examples of GHOST devices, only displays the [ID] with no device name
- Network repair for [0A]: Could not update neighbors
- Network repair for [0A]: Could not delete old routes
- Network repair for [0A]: Could not assign new route
Examples of VALID devices, displays a device name before each [ID]
WARNING: DO NOT DELETE VALID DEVICES OR YOU WILL HAVE TO EXCLUDE AND PAIR THESE DEVICES AGAIN
- Network repair for Aeon Switch [0A]: Could not update neighbors
- Network repair for Aeon Switch [0A]: Could not delete old routes
- Network repair for Aeon Switch [0A]: Could not assign new route
Note the device ID’s for all such ghost devices and then remove each of them as explained below
How to remove a ghost device from your Z-Wave network
To remove a z-wave ghost device, follow these steps for each “ghost” device:
- Log into your IDE
- Click on My Devices
- Click on + New Device
Nametype in some random name (e.g. Ghost Device 1)
Device Network Identer the ghost device id you had located earlier
- Select Z-Wave Device for
- Select the
Locationwhere you found the ghost device
- Select the
Hubin that location where the ghost device is present
- Click on Create
- Open the ST mobile app
- Open the device, click on the 3 dots on the top right corner and select Edit
- Click on Delete at the bottom of the page and confirm, then wait while it tries to exclude until it presents you with a Force Delete option and then tap on it
- After the device has been successfully deleted, now run a Z-Wave Repair
NOTE: If you have multiple ghost devices, it’s better to delete all the ghost devices first and then run a Z-Wave repair at the end to update all the tables since Z-Wave repairs can take from 5 to 30 minutes.
You will need to repeat this for each ghost device you have. After running a Z-Wave repair, you can verify the network route for the affected devices using the process above to ensure that ghost devices have been removed.
How to remove a ghost device from your ZigBee network
- Power down your SmartThings hub (unplug the power cable and remove batteries if applicable)
- Unplug/turn off your ZigBee devices which are affected by the ghost devices
- If you come across any ZigBee devices in your house which you know are connected to your hub but not showing up in the list of devices under My Devices, unplug them also or pair them with your hub and then exclude them to a clean start.
- Wait for 30 minutes and then plug the hub back in and power up all the devices, this forces the ZigBee mesh to rebuild it routing tables and should remove any ghost devices in the routing tables
How to improve the performance of the Z-Wave mesh
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