Range debugging

I have a long hallway with rooms at both ends in my house. The hub is at one end, and my bedroom is at the other.
Long means like 50’ from end of one room to the end of the other. My hub is slightly off the center line, and the lamp module I want it to talk to is slightly off in the same direction, so not a clear line of sight. What I have done is installed 2 GE plug in dimmers in outlets in the hallway. The 1st has direct line of sit to the hub, the second direct line of site to the first and the lamp module. It doesn’t consistently work. Is there a way to debug which leg is failing?
And should I replace the plug in dimmers with something that is a better repeater?


We need the model numbers to tell what’s going on. GE makes both zig bee and zwave plug-ins that look identical, But since zigbee repeats only for zigbee and zwave repeats only for Z Wave, it makes a big difference.

Also, after you add the new devices, you have to do a network heal or the lamp at the end of the hallway won’t know that the new pocket sockets are there.

For Z wave devices, you do this by running a “Z wave repair” utility.

For zigbee devices, you do this by taking the hub off power (including removing any batteries) and leaving it off power for at least 15 minutes where all the other zigbee devices are still on power. This will cause the other devices to go into “panic mode” when they can’t find the hub, and then when the hub does come back online, everybody will rebuild their address tables so they will all know who their closest neighbors are.

For either protocol, this process can take a while to complete, so you may not see efficiency improvements until the next day.

Also, line of sight doesn’t matter for either zwave or zigbee, both protocols will operate through walls. However, the material of the walls can degrade the signal, so you do get the farthest transmission through clear air. :sunglasses:

Thanks for your reply. The dimmers are GE 12718, and say zwave on the box. I did try a network repair. I think I had done it before also, but not 100% sure. When I do it though I get failed to update mesh info for all three dimmers. Then I get failed to update route for the closest repeater (which was also the first to say it failed to update mesh network).

At the moment, I only have these 3 dimmers, the hub and two aeon minimotes on the system.


Does it say “could not assign new route”?

If so, trying to exclude that particular device and include it again – – the hub is saying that it cannot be controlled, which is not good.

It’s possible that that one particular device has gone bad, and therefore all the other ones are having a problem getting messages through.

Also, after you exclude that one, whether or not you get it back on the network OK, run a network repair again without it and see if the other devices then clear up their error messages.

If that doesn’t help, you may just need to talk to support and see what they can see from their side.


nope, it said “failed to update route”

But interestingly I was poking around, and setup the ide. I logged in and looked at devices. That device said it was offline. But it had been online 5 hours ago. So I sent it a signal to turn on (nothing is plugged in, but it is a dimmer anyway) . Well it didn’t work. It just stayed turning on… I tried a few more times, checked the device info and it was now listed as online. Tried sending it an on, and it answered back that it was on. So I tried the network repair again. Same messages.
I also got my laser measurer out… it is 34 feet line of site to the first dimmer from the hub. Is that too far? If not, then maybe the device is bad…

I looked it up. Says 330 feet outdoors, so even with wi-fi interference 34 feet seems like it should be doable. Sounds like the repeater maybe bad…

Z wave devices should be OK up to about 50 feet in typical US construction. If you live in a house with Adobe, brick, or cement walls, or if you have foil wallpaper, or foil backed insulation inside the walls, or a water pipe heating system, that could reduce range.

If it was me, I would just remove that particular device from the network, then run a zwave repair, and see if the other devices are then working OK

Also Wi-Fi doesn’t interfere with Z wave. Just Zigbee. So that part should be OK.

I was just trying that. :slight_smile: But the results weren’t encouraging. I ran repair 3 times. The message were at least different between the 3…
1 - failed to update mesh on the farthest dimmer (with the actual lamp), and a dialed to update route on the now nearest dimmer (repeater number 2 from the original, which is about 46 feet from the hub.
2 - failed to update mesh on both devices, but nothing about failed to update route
3 - failed to update mesh on both, and then failed to update route on the closest dimmer (repeater)

So I moved the remaining repeater to the spot of the one I have take out, that makes it 34 from the hub and then 34 feet to the dimmer with the lamp.
And I tried repair again, 3 times…
all three gave me failed to update mesh info for both devices. But no failed to update route messages.

Any of that mean anything useful?