Absolutely right JD. This question is the number 1 question we get from users in many different forms.
I’ll outline the most common symptoms folks experience when using locks:
- My lock is 10ft from my hub
- I can lock/unlock using my mobile app but my codes aren’t being programmed
- Some of my codes are being programmed while others aren’t
- My codes are being programmed but I’m not getting notifications/actions aren’t being executed when the codes are used
- It works in the mornings but not in the evenings
- It was working till recently and now it’s having trouble
- I moved my lock closer/next to my hub but I’m still having issues
- One of my locks is working perfectly, the other one (closer to the hub) is having trouble locking/unlocking/programming codes
Adding a repeater (atleast 1, Z-Wave limits 4 hops per message so while you can have more than 4 repeaters the message will traverse only 4 hops, so make sure that you lock is no further than 4 hops away from the hub), followed up a Z-Wave repair, resolves these issues.
The Monoprice 11995 and 27481 seem to do well with Locks as repeaters. We recommend the 11995/27481 if you have older ZWave Locks and the 27481 if you have newer zwave plus locks.
Another very common misconception is that all devices are repeaters:
- I have lots of Z-Wave devices near my lock, shouldn’t that work as a repeater:
- Battery operated devices do NOT act as repeaters.
- Most AC/Mains powered devices are repeaters, in general you’re safe with a Z-Wave Plus mains powered device or a ZigBee mains powered device to act as repeaters (excepts bulbs which don’t act as repeaters)
A hub alone doesn’t make for a good quality/reliable mesh and locks are beaming devices and often very slow to respond to messages (varies by brand). This puts an bigger load on hub/mesh and having repeaters makes a huge difference.
A general rule of thumb to troubleshoot when using locks:
- Add a repeater within about 20-30ft of the lock (Z-Wave/ZigBee also benefits)
- Reboot/power cycle the hub
- Do a Z-Wave repair (if you have a Z-Wave lock)
- Reboot your router
Sometimes when things are running “slow” even with a repeater, it may have to do with the latency of the internet/mesh. Rebooting the hub and the router go a long way in improving the latency and subsequently you’ll also see a more “responsive” lock.
When there are a lot of Z-Wave devices in the mesh, that too can cause issues sometimes. The hub / mesh aren’t perfect and the mesh tends to degrade over time (from orphaned devices to routing issues). SmartThing, at one point, was looking to detect a degraded mesh and automatically do a Z-Wave repair. Until that feature is deployed it’s advisable to reboot the hub and do a Z-Wave repair when things begin to slow down or have trouble.