My SmartThings renovation is complete!
Last night I successfully completed the migration of 360+ devices from my old v2 hub to the new v3 hub. It took a week to complete, but was necessary after the v2 hub experienced Z-wave failure last week causing most devices to go offline or randomly disappear altogether. I decided to go v3 as the prospect of spending days reconnecting Z-Wave devices to a questionable hub was not an option. While I was at it, I also replaced dozens of the most troublesome devices, like the 1st generation Jasco/GE which need frequent air-gapping to stay operational.
The Hit List:
- SmartThings V2 Hub - Replaced with v3 Hub
- Some SmartThings v2 Motion Sensors - Replaced with ST v3 Motions
- All Jasco 45XXX 1st Generation Dimmers & Switches - Replaced with Jasco Z-Wave Plus switches/dimmers
- All PeQ Leak Sensors - Replaced with ST v3 Leak Sensors
- All Iris Smart Buttons - Replaced with ST v3 Buttons
The v3 hub doesn’t get a lot of deserved love here, but I can say it’ a worthy upgrade which has a HUGE improvement in Z-Wave performance. My system in installed in a 3 story duplex with a basement and a detached garage. I was able to successfully pair EVERY Z-Wave device in place. This included 44 Iris Smart Plugs (Z-wave repeaters), 41 Jasco switches, 6 Z-wave door locks, 6 Smoke/Co’s, Sirens, Glass Breaks, etc. This includes 2 switches, a motion detector on the detached garage.
Remarkably, not once did I have to move the hub or bench-pair any device. This was NEVER possible with the v2 hub. The process was the same as when I rebuilt Z-Wave last December. I started by connecting devices in the same room as the hub, working outward. A Z-wave repair was ran for every 10-15 devices connected. The process of reconnecting everything took about a week, but never once did a device fail to connect.
Here’s the back story… Ever since the beginning of my time with SmartThings I have never experienced a significant level of long term stability with ST’s Z-Wave implementation. In fact, things got so back in December 2017 that I removed every Z-Wave device and started over again. The system was relatively stable up until the last hub update came out I noticed a sharp increase in the frequency of disconnected Z-Wave devices. Being that we travel most of the summer and fall I didn’t have time to investigate this further.
About a week ago I was trying to pair a new Schlage Touch Screen Deadbolt and a Schlage lever lock for the rental unit in my duplex. The deadbolt would not pair. When I checked the event logs, every time I put the lock into discovery, the log would indicate “Device blah blah [2H] has rejoined.” Thinking the lock may had been previously used, I did a Z-Wave exclude, reset the lock, then was able to successfully connect it. The problem is when I did that, another Z-wave device was deleted off the network.
I repeated the same steps to connect the lever lock and once again saw the same “Device blah blah [1B] has rejoined.” message. It couldn’t be possible that both locks, from different stores, could be returned?? I ran exclude again and was able to connect the lever lock. I didn’t notice right away, but later on I found another Z-wave device to be completely gone from the system.
When I was done with the locks, I re-paired the 2 lost devices and ran a Z-Wave repair which took over 12 hours to finish, and had dozens of errors. Worse, a handful of Z-Wave devices, all over the property were not reachable after the repair. I started using the “replace device” feature on the disconnected devices, and each time I tried, I would get a message “Device blah blah [2H] has rejoined.”, but the device and ZW address in the log did not match the device I was trying to reconnect. The system behaved as if the Z-Wave address table was corrupt.
That’s why I upgraded. We all know locks are difficult to pair so I was surprised to see them connect successfully a solid 40-50 feet away. In contract, when I rebuilt my v2 system last year, I couldn’t get any Z-Wave plus devices (and even some non-plus GE wall switches) to pair unless they were within 20-30 feet of the hub. My detached garage is an easy 70 feet from the hub, yet those switches paired right up.
What is different about Z-Wave with the v3 hub?