Need help - Zwave switches suddenly not working!

This morning I am fairly confident that all of my Zwave switches were working. This evening while at a JV Football game, I decided to turn on some of the lights at the house. My Garage Lights, which are activated by a Zwave in wall on/off switch would not turn on. I would tap the button, the wheel would spin, the status would show off.

When I got home, the Garage lights were not on. I also have these lights set to turn on when the garage door is opened - again the lights did not turn on.

When I got in the house, I physical toggled the switch - nothing. It’s like it’s dead.

So I then turned on every light in the house, and found that two Zwave plug in switches are also similarly dead. When you push the button on the units - nothing.

There are still many Zwave switches in my system that are working, but these 3 for some reason, decided in the last 15 hours to stop working. Any ideas on what the problem is? And more importantly, any ideas on how to get them to start working again?

Any help would be appreciated!


Have you tried flipping the breaker they’re on off, and then back on?

That didn’t occur to me. The wall switch is in a dual switch box, the other switch is working fine (common flip switch to control hallway lights just inside the back door), and the breaker controls the whole garage - door opener and lights inside the garage are all functional.

I did unplug the modules, and moved them to other outlets to see if they would work - no joy there. And again, other appliances, Bose speakers, lights, microwave, aquarium, etc. that are on the same breakers as these modules are all fully functional.

I will for the sake of experimentation, flip the breakers on these 3 circuits to see if that makes them start working again.

I wasn’t suggesting they have no power, only that removing and restoring it might get them working again. If after that, they still don’t control the load when operated manually, I’d guess they’re fried.

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WOW! Flipped the breaker on the garage lights wall switch to off, and unplugged the 2 modules. Left everything powered down for about 30 minutes. Flipped the breaker, and PRESTO, the wall switch is working again! Plugged in the modules, and likewise - working again!

Thanks for the tip!! I would never have thought to do that.

This is interesting … yesterday I setup a group of lights that I named “Night Outdoor Motion” - it included Garage Lights, Kitchen Under Cabinet Lights, Office Light, Porch Light, Patio Light and Living Room Hue. I then set the group to go off only in night mode, if motion was detected by either of my Aeon Lab outdoor motion sensors (one on the Porch, the other on the Patio). I thought it strange last night that the first 3 lights in the above list, were the switch and modules that I had problems last night. So last night, I uninstalled the group. This morning I powered down the switches, and got them to work.

So, I just added that light group again - same lights in the group, same rules - on when motion is detected on outdoor motion sensors in night mode. I went outside, set the mode to night, and walked up to the porch. Garage lights did not come on - all other lights did though.

When I went back in the house, the Garage lights wall switch is once again dead.

Again, flipping the breaker for several minutes returns the garage wall switch back to usable.

Am I doing something wrong here? Is there another way to get some lights in and on the house to turn on when motion is detected outside of the house after dark?

What do you mean by setting up a group?

I did this …

ST app > Lights & Switches
Tap the gear icon
Scroll to bottom, tap Add new light/switch
Name new light/switch "Night Outdoor Motion"
Choose various lights from the available list
Tap "Turn on when there is motion"
Select the 2 outdoor motion sensors
Select to turn off 10 minutes after motion stops
Select “More Options” - "Only when in Night mode"

I also have a group like this setup for my HUEs, so I can turn them all off at once, without pecking through the entire list to turn them off individual.

Ahhh… I would refer to this as adding a new shortcut. Guessing this is a bug when setting up shortcuts with entries that are duplicates of existing entries. I would let support know about this.

Just reported it to Support. I’m curious to see what they think in that setup could be causing the wall switch to go dead when motion triggers the event.

What devices are you using of I may ask?

One GE on/off wall switch - controls exterior lights on garage
Two GE/Jasco wall modules (appliance / fluorescent) - controls a bank of IKEA LED strips mounted under kitchen cabinets, the other controls a desk top lamp in the Office

Those 3 went out last night - seemed dead until I cut power to them this morning.

During the test this morning, just the wall switch for the garage exterior lights went dead. Again, got it back just by cutting power to the switch for a few minutes.

I’ve uninstalled the shortcut/group of lights, and everything seems to be working as normal. I still need to figure out the right way to get the lights to come on in night mode when motion is sensed on the exterior sensors.

Ask an electrician to check that circuit as you are probably experiencing an overload when this shortcut is activated for these 3 lights.

I gotcha … when I tell my HUEs to turn on 7 lights all at the same time, they ramp up from 0 to full strength, it’s not an instant on load.

I’ve setup this shortcut to turn on 5 different Zwave switches, and 1 HUE bulb. The 5 Zwave switches (on 5 different electrical circuits) suddenly all being throw on at the same time, may be causing an overload, that’s causing the garage light wall switch (furthest from the electrical panel) to short out and temporarily knock out the switch until it’s reset. Interesting …

I have had this happen to my FortresZ device. It is on the same circuit as the JE Dimmer and the microwave/fridge. The microwave kicks out the circuit, followed by my kitchen light going out and making my siren turn on. Lol. My wife tried to kill it with a hammer. :smile:

So here’s what I did - I took all of the interior Zwave switches out of the shortcut/group, and replaced them with HUEs instead. I now have 4 exterior lights (porch, patio, and 2 on garage), on 3 Zwave switches all kicking on at the same time, and 3 different interior HUEs, that will ramp up not snap on.

I just tested it several times via both the motion sensing rule, and just turning the shortcut/group on then off multiple times from the ST app. The wall switch remained usable after testing.

5 Zwave switches all snapping on at the same time, is apparently more than my 2 year old house’s electrical system can handle!

Nonsense. I built my house in 2001. I had an indigo script that flashes every switch in the house, repeatedly, every 5 seconds for 5 minutes. Back then there were about 17 in wall switches involved, and a half dozen lamp modules as well. Never a problem.

I still have that script, but since most of my house is now Hue, there are only about a half dozen switches/lamp modules on it; still works. My script just flashes the Hues in conjunction with the rest of it all.

A typical house circuit is 15A. You’d have to have more than 1500 watts of lighting on that single circuit for it to be even close to an issue. Most dimmers are capable of 300-600 watt loads without problems, and most on/off switches are capable of the full 15A.

My suggestion would be to trash the shortcuts, sign out of your account, and reboot the hub. Then put those same 5 switches on a smart app like Dashboard/+/More/Kids/Smart Nightlight… and see if the behavior is the same.

The Zwave radio in the switch must have gone bad.

Spent a lot of time yesterday playing with this. Whenever an automated command is sent to the switch, it goes dead. I have found out that I can pull the air gap on the switch for a couple of minutes to reset it - instead of running downstairs to pull the breaker and kill everything from the garage to half of the kitchen in the process. Once I reset it, I can manually toggle the switch on/off, and can send manual on/off commands from ST app, and ActiON dashboard. But once an automated command comes across - due to motion, garage door being opened, sunset turn on, night time shut off, etc. - the switch will go dead.

This switch, and another one that is used for the Porch light are about 3 years old.

Guess I’ll head up to Lowes this morning and grab a new one to see if that solves the problem.

There’s no difference in what is sent to the switch in these two scenarios.

Did you try what was suggested above?

I agree - and yet the automated commands are causing the switch to go dead. While the manual commands do not kill the switch. I reset the switch again this morning when I woke up, toggled it on/off physically at the switch at least 10 times - no problems. Toggled on/off from ActiON at least 10 times - no problems. Opened the garage door to take the dogs for a walk - switch goes dead.

I did try the nightlight app you suggested Friday night, and again, once that app triggered an automated command, the switch went dead. I uninstalled that app yesterday morning.

Before replacing the switch with a new one, I am going to uninstall the switch from ST app, and add it again, then test.