Problem connecting GE light switch: Does NEXIA Interfere with this?

SmartThings V2 Hub newbie here. Just got it and trying to connect my first device to it which is a GE Z-wave light switch. It’s a no go as the hub can’t find it. First tried it about 30 feet away then gave up so I move the hub about 5 feet away. I tried to reset the GE light switch via the air gap then toggled the switch while the hub was trying to locate new devices. I even used the ST app mode to specifically add a GE light switch. This is such a basic thing I’m trying to do and it’s so frustrating.

Here’s the caveat…I have a Nexia thermostat which also happens to have a Z-wave bridge in it. The Nexia thermostat allows me add one Z-wave device for free. More than one Z-wave device then you have to pay a $9.99 monthly subscription fee…ergo, why I bought the SmartThings Hub. My question is: Can the ST hub and the Nexia thermostat co-exist. I ask because I have the Nexia device controlling another GE light switch therefore the Nexia bridge is active right now. Because I’m having a problem connecting my ST Hub to a second GE light switch I thought that perhaps the problem is the Nexia device.

Any ideas???

Is it possible that your switch was once connected to the Nexia bridge? If you are not sure, try removing all devices from the Nexia bridge then add the thermostat back to the Nexia bridge. I was able to add devices to ST without issue while still having a few devices connected to the Nexia .

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Yes, this switch was connected at one time but I disconnected it from the Nexia bridge because I decided I wanted the other GE switch to be my “free” Nexia device. It was “formally” removed from Nexia and the other one was added in. I guess I’ll take a second look at this…I was thinking I should just remove all devices from the Nexia bridge.

So you say you have both a Nexia bridge working with Z-wave devices and a ST hub in the same environment?

Even though it was removed, I would recommend doing a General Exclude (the the app) on the switch before trying to add it to ST.

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I would just go ahead and exclude everything from Nexia and shut it off. You will move all your devices to SmartThings eventually, so not worth risking some kind of interference from Nexia. I myself had Nexia and like SmartThings much better.

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You can have more than one Zwave network in your house, but each device can only belong to one network.

Each network has a “primary controller.” This is the Nexia bridge or the smartthings hub.

When a Zwave device joins a network, the primary controller ID information is stored in that device. You then have to clear that before the device will be able to join a different network.

Typically, just “resetting” the device doesn’t clear the controller information. Instead, resetting usually resets the parameters that control how the device works on the network, like how quickly motion detector alerts are reported.

Also, just “deleting” the device from the controller may not clear the ID information that is stored in the device itself.

To actually prepare the device to join a new network with a new controller, you have to do what is called an “exclude.” Exclude is a two-step process.

First, A controller (note that this can be any Zwave controller, it doesn’t have to be the one it was originally paired to) issues the exclude command and then you yourself have to physically do something with the device, usually push a button, and then the device will clear out the old controller ID.

This is considered a security feature, because it means that you must have physical access to the device before you can assign it to a new network.

After the exclude completes, then the device will be ready to pair to a new network.

You might also have to do an exclude if you started doing a pairing and it failed partway through.

Sometimes you even get a brand-new device and it won’t pair because it was paired to a test controller at the factory. So again, you have to do the exclude before you can pair it to your controller .

Anyway, whenever you try to pair a Z wave device and it doesn’t work, usually the first advice is to just try a general exclude. It can’t hurt anything, and it may help.

In this particular case, since the switch was once paired to the Nexia bridge it seems like a particularly good idea to do the exclude before trying to Pair it to SmartThings. :sunglasses:

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Thank you to everyone who responded to my question. I’m back to let you all know the problem has been resolved. For the benefit of anyone in the future who stumbles across this thread let me reiterate what those above (who responded) stated and what I learned.

  1. Yes, you can have a Nexia bridge and a ST hub together in the same environment. In my case my Nexia bridge is actually inside my Trane XL824 heatpump thermostat.
  2. Sometimes you may need to do a “General Exclude” of a Z-wave device if at one time it was paired with a Z-wave controller and never excluded after the pairing. In my case my “problem” GE switch had previously been paired with my Nexia controller…but in some cases, as it was pointed out, the device may have been paired at the factory during manufacturing testing and never excluded before leaving the factory.
  3. As it was pointed out, you can “exclude” a device from any Z-wave controller. In my case I performed a “General Exclude” of my GE switch via my ST Hub even though it was originally paired using a Nexia controller.
  4. When initiating the General Exclude command you simply toggle the GE light switch on-and-off so that the ST Hub knows which device you are attempting to exclude. When pairing a GE light switch you also toggle it so that the ST Hub knows which light switch you are attempting to pair.

Special thanks to JDRoberts for explaining in detail what I paraphrased above.

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I couldn’t agree more! He does an excellent job contributing to our community.

I have the same thermostat. I was considering trying to exclude the thermostat from nexia and move it to smart things. Did you try that ?

I have not tried that but it would also interest me. It would probably be a good idea for you to start a new subject topic called “How do you control a Nexia thermostat with a SmartThings hub”. That way the smart folks can zero in on the question at hand. Please let me know what you find out…thank you!