Pair Z-Wave device near hub or in final place?

I recently had to replace my hub and I’m having to reconnect all my devices. I’ve read in several places that, because of the way Zigbee does its mesh networking, it’s better to pair Zigbee devices in their final install location. But is it the same with Z-Wave devices? And will Z-Wave devices always attempt to pair directly with the hub, or will they discover and use any repeater devices in the pairing process? More specifically, if I have a Z-Wave device that I know is outside of the range of my hub, but within range of a Z-Wave repeater device, where should I do the pairing? Thanks.

1 Like

If you have a Z-Wave Plus device and a Z-Wave Plus repeater than you should be able to pair it with your hub from it’s final location. If it’s not working, you can always pair it close to the hub, move it to the final location and then do a Z-Wave repair which should help the routes reconfigure themselves.

1 Like

See point 3 in the following post:

As @rboy said, zwave plus and the older zwave classic devices work somewhat differently in this regard. So as always the first rule of home automation applies: “the model number matters.“

If they are zwave classic devices, you may have to pair them close to the hub to get them added to the network, then move them to their final location, then after everything is in place run a zwave repair to get the most efficient routing.

If they are Z wave plus devices, they can join the network as long as they are within range of any repeater on that network, but you will still get the best results if you start from the hub and work outward with all your Mains powered devices, Then go back to the hub and work outward for all your battery powered devices. :sunglasses:

Almost forgot… The exception to all of the above is zwave door locks.


For security reasons, some older Z wave door locks require being within “whisper distance“ of the hub when they first join the network so that an encrypted security key can be exchanged. This is typically about 2 m. And that is independent of any repeaters that the lock will eventually use, Because only the hub can issue the security key. (newer devices using S2 security can handle this differently.)

Anyway, if you have one of these locks, to be honest it’s usually easier to move the hub next to the lock rather than the lock next to the hub.

This is particularly true for locks like the Schlage models which have to do a calibration step as part of set up. if you don’t have a really really long ethernet cable, you can always plug the hub into the Ethernet port on the side of a Wi-Fi access point if that helps any.

1 Like

Thanks for the info, both @RBoy and @JDRoberts. They are definitely classic Z-Wave devices. So just to confirm, if I pair them close to the hub, then move them to their final place, which is outside the range of the hub but within the range of a paired repeater, will they find their way home? Is that what a Z-Wave repair would do?

1 Like

For classic Z wave, You will have to do the Z wave repair to get the routing right after you move everything to their ultimate location.

The zwave repair utility asks each individual device to send the hub a list of its nearest neighbors. The hub then uses that to calculate an efficient routing table for each device and sends it back to that device.

If you don’t do that, then the individual device will keep trying to route through its original neighbors, which can create a lot of problems for getting messages through.

1 Like

Great, thanks again. I didn’t really have to worry about all the nuances of device networks when things were first being set up, mostly because devices were added one-by-one. But now that I’m having to re-do everything, it’s good to know what I’m up against. And knowing is half the battle (shameless 80’s TV reference).

1 Like