Repairing Zigbee Mesh

We have found ZigBee range to be greater. Additionally we “boost the power” of the ZigBee radios in the SmartThings devices.


But, does it go to 11?


I am trying to understand what may have caused my zigbee mesh to go haywire yesterday, after almost a year free of major incidents. I didn’t introduce new devices to my network of any kind. I did notice that a not used presence sensor got included automatically, which I thought was strange but not unheard of. Between yesterday and today, almost 80% of my sensors and bulbs dropped out , and those that are still connected are either extremely slow or sending wrong messages. Could this be a local issue in my home or something that may have happened on ST side? I did restart my hub twice in my attempt to ‘fix’ the erroneous messages I was getting from a presence sensor that is in my car. Also, I did open a ticket and am waiting for support to get back to me.

According to a message from support, the Cloud had “hiccups” yesterday. Not a local mesh issue. Many people reported multiple issues including missing and duplicated messages.

Also, zigbee networks are easy to heal. They don’t require a special system utility like zwave does. Just unplug the hub for 15 minutes (.including off battery). Then repower it and over the next day or so all the routing tables will automatically rebuild.

Also, zwave plus does have longer range than zigbee in ideal conditions, but they’re both in the same range in a typical home automation set up, and zigbee does travel slightly better through water, both rain and water pipes. So range is not usually a big differentiator unless you’re trying to go across an open field on a sunny day.

See the range and repeater FAQ for more information:

Thanks JD, I never experienced zigbee issues at this scale, and usually, if one device drops, I take the batteries out and put them back in, which 99% of time fixes the problem. But with a bunch of devices not working now, it would feel like v2 migration deja vue to go around the house to check each device. I didn’t know that rebuilding the routing tables may take more than several minutes. I’ll wait and see if the problem corrects in a few days, before I’ll start walking around the house to reset each device. As always, thanks for your quick response.


Update: all but 5 devices came back alive overnight. The 5 that didn’t, I was able to bring them back by taking the batteries out and put them back in. Whatever the incident was, I hope it will not happen often, because it defeats the purpose of using these devices.

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Hi all sorry to reopen this thread after a year
Just before the hub update this week I lost all my ST zigbee devices

Motion, multi, flood, outlet and presence
All were lost within 15 mins of each other

I’ve tried taking my hub down (inc battery removal) for 15 mins, I’ve tried a battery pull on devices,
Nothing is working it’s as if zigbee is offline but according to the Hub it’s not.

Anyone any ideas on how to fix this?

Sounds like a bad hub. Support is your best chance…

Thanks I’ve contacted support …but its the weekend so…:hourglass_flowing_sand:

I’m beginning to suspect the same after this week where everything seemed to implode slowly.

I have a theory - ST has disabled zigbee insecure rejoin - a lot of zigbee sleepy devices (battery powered) won’t be able to communicate withthe hub once the secure token changes (say a hub restart) and are not able to rejoin. I’ve just enabled my insecure rejointo see if I am right. You may want to try the same too. I only have trouble with the Iris contact sensors and the leakSmart leak sensors. All other devices are fine, and I have quite a few :wink:

Oh, put the hub in discovery while plugging the battery back into the nonresponsive device…


Thanks I had tried both of those (insecure rejoin & discovery) and no luck yet but if yours reconnects let me know. I think my next plan is to relocate my hub as it is currently 2ft from the router and in another thread I saw the zigbee channel had changed so it could be interference.

I’m having a problem with some GE bulbs dropping out and a Samsung Multi-Sensor getting stuck. I’m thinking it might be my zigbee network and that it needs to be rebuilt since I have been adding things and have never rebuilt it (I’ve only been doing this for a few months). I see how to do it (power down hub inc batteries) but I was wondering if I should get everything back connected first rather than rebuild as it is, then add them back in. I’ve had a bulb drop out previously and was able to re-add it. It was also one relatively close to the hub too.

I’ve also changed my WiFi channel to (1) as far from the Zigbee channel (20) as I could get.

Any advice would be most appreciated!

The GE bulbs dropping out is likely a GE specific problem. They have a firmware issue where occasionally they lose touch with the network. It’s very annoying. And it’s the reason why the GE bulbs are not on the official “works with smartthings” list. When I started out I had eight of these bulbs and two or three of them would do this once or twice a month. Different bulbs each time. But my bulbs of other brands never had this issue. Eventually, I got a Hue bridge and replaced all of the GE links with the $15 Hue whites. No more problems.

There’s an FAQ just for the GE bulbs.

Now the good news. :sunglasses:

As far as healing the zigbee mesh, just do the power off method first. The whole reason that method was designed into the zigbee protocol was so that you wouldn’t have to fiddle with each individual device. Zigbee is a “self healing” topology: you supply the power, the network builds itself. If the problem is you’re seeing are being caused by An inefficient network, the simple power off method will fix that. It can take a while for each individual device on the network to complete rebuilding its own neighbor tables after the hub comes back on power, so you may not see results until the next day. But at least it’s easy to do!

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Thanks! I had read that about the bulbs as well and knew that was the risk. Having two go out (on different switches), plus the multi-sensor issue all in the same time-frame made me think it may have been the network. I also forgot to mention that I recently added multi-room audio so there is definitely more abuzz in the house.

I went with the GE bulbs even though I knew the problems just to test the waters. I think deep down I did it so I could get addicted then frustrated so I would then buy the more expensive ones.

I guess I’ll rebuild and see what happens!

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I should also mention that quite a few people are reporting zigbee device problems since the recent update:

So you might be affected by that as well. :disappointed_relieved:

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Thanks for the heads up! It might be that too!

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I was reading this thread trying to see how it can repair my Zigbee network. I tried all of the above without success.

I have seven devices both electric and battery powered everything has been working flawlessly for two years. After trying to pair a new door sensor the whole network went down (only Zigbee) all the rest works fine. I Identified the problem to be the new device flooding the network with non stop garbage messages. I obviously removed the battery from the new device, removed it from ST and deleted the device handler and tried every powerdown/reset of the hub (including batteries) and repairing every device individually in pairing mode. No success. Can 1 defective Device permanently lock up my Zigbee network??? I am completely out of options, any help is appreciated. Thank you!

When you shut down the hub, did you leave it powered off for 20 minutes? To successfully “repair” the zigbee network, the hub needs to be off for at least 20 minutes. This way all your devices go into “panic” mode and when the hub gets back online they start a network rebuild.


Thanks stephack. I took your advise and tried 3 disconnect of 45 minutes and even disconnected all the electric Zigbee devices and unfortunately all my Zigbee devices are still “Offline”. Everthing else works fine. I am at a loss. I will take any ideas :slight_smile: