Repeater Function Not Working

I am controlling the lights in an out building, which was working fine until I got the steel siding on the building. So I plugged in a GE outdoor switch to an outlet on the outside of the building to see if it would repeat the signal to the switches inside, and it worked fine.

But I don’t want to leave that plugged into the outlet all the time. So I replaced the outlet with a Leviton Z wave outlet. Smartthings found it fine and switches it, but it will not repeat to the switches in the building. Any Idea why? Is the GE device better at repeating then the Leviton is?

More likely the GE outdoor switch hangs down and extended out just enough that signal bounced into some particular less obstructive feature of the outbuilding, could be weatherstripping around the door, could be a window. With the GE outdoor switch the radio is out into the air as well as moved away a little from the wall of the building. With the Leviton in wall receptacle The radio is inside the wall. So in order for it to repeat into the building it’s having to go through the interior wall rather than any less obstructive materials.

Can’t say that that’s it for sure, but as a former field tech, that would be my first guess.

Is there insulation inside the shed wall, that could definitely be the problem as it can be very obstructive.

The easiest solution is going to just be to go back to the GE device, since it worked for you.

Alternatively, you’re going to have to look architecturally at your Leviton outlet and see what you can do to open up a pathway for it from the interior wall.

Sometimes if you put a second outlet on the interior wall, The two outlet radios will be able to talk to each other and you can pass the signal that way.

Oh, and before I forget, did you run the Z wave repair utility after you installed the Leviton? That’s going to be really important in the set up you described. Otherwise the devices inside the shed may not know that the receptacle exists yet.

Also, which exact model of GE switch is it? If it’s the brand-new Z wave plus model, then it will have significantly longer range then the older Z wave classic Leviton model. But the GE new model just came out, I don’t know anyone who actually has one yet.

Leviton is also going to be releasing new Z wave plus models, but it could be a while before the receptacle is available and you might not want to wait for that.

The GE device is #12720, the Leviton outlet is DZR15. The light switches I am trying to control are GE 12722. The outlet is only about 6’ from the switches on the opposite side of the wall, can’t believe it doesn’t work. The outlet is in a metal box though.

Metal will kill signal. Plus whatever else is inside the wall and the interior wall itself. Either the interior devices are not aware that the receptacle exists, or you’re getting signal out through the plastic plate face plate, but not into the interior of the building.

Have you run the Z wave repair?

If not, start with that. You may not see the full results until the next day, so just be patient.

If the z Wave repair doesn’t fix the problem, you need to start trying some of the other alternatives.

You can also replace the metal box with a plastic box that is also to code, that would help.

The outside outlet is in a metal box that is set in stone work and has a weather prof plastic cover on it., so I would rather not try and change that. The inside switches are in plastic boxes about 6’ from the outlet, outlet on the outside of wall and switches on the inside of the same wall. No insulation in the wall, just open studs.

Is their any way to check and see if the repeater function is even working on the outlet? I find it hard to believe that it can’t transmit that far even being in a metal box. I have other devices that are 80’ away and going through multiple walls and a floor system with no problems. I am really surprised that Smart Things does not have some sort of WiFi repeater to do out buildings and such. Maybe I should look into other systems that do?