Slow Zwave, and getting slower

We recently moved into a new house and everything has been running fine except we have the slowest zwave response time in the years we’ve been using SmartThings.

Only zwave devices respond slowly and they take up to one minute to respond from the original command. Wi-Fi devices like Lifx and all of our zigbee devices respond instantly (surprisingly).

We have about 15 zwave devices that are evenly distributed around the house making our mesh typically pretty solid and I’ve run the repair zwave mesh tool once a week and it does not seem to make a difference.

This problem started with the August update and seems to be getting worse over time. Does anyone have any advice?

You’ve done everything I would have suggested.

Have you checked for ghost devices? Devices that have an ID but no name, either in the IDE list or in device routes.

I got up to 25 or so Z-wave devices before I started having issues. And my issues started several months ago.

Not doing any more Z-wave. Zigbee only for additions.

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No ghost devices found. I don’t get any errors (I check the log) when running the “Repair ZWave Mesh” tool either.

I have zwave devices 5 feet from the hub and they are the slowest to respond. One interesting thing to note is that when I look at the Smarthings log, every single zwave command (on, off, etc) is always repeated about 4 to 6 times. Often an “On” command is followed by several “Off” commands. Also when dimming a wall module (Leviton) the log will show “On, On, Off, Off, On, Dim, Dim, etc” all for a single dim change. It’s like there is both a strange echo AND a conflicting value sent every time.

Thoughts?

Not surprising at all. I dumped all my zwave devices for zigbee because of this. You’ll find a lot of discussions about what @HalD mentions regarding zwave device counts and seeing issues over a certain number.

Yup. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but I believe ST’s implementation of zwave is not quite there yet.

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I had a zwave slow down recently where a few devices were flooding the network with power and energy reports. Once I tweaked the preferences to reduce those reports everything worked fine.

You shouldn’t have issues with only 15 devices. One problem device can bring down the whole network though. If you go in the IDE is any device flooding the live logs with activity? You can try and remove power (air gap, breaker, unplug) devices to try and rule out a problem device.

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Have you ran the “Z-Wave Network Repair utility”? I have made a video on this topic that might help. This repairs the relational packets for your z-wave devices to make them more efficient. You should run it anytime you move, add or remove z-wave devices.

I’ve been running it about once a week and it does not have any effect on the response time.

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I see now where you mentioned the repair utility in your question. :woozy_face: Sorry, I missed that previously.

Probably a long shot, but have you tried power cycling your hub, as well as all of the z wave devices (if they’re hardwired then either pull the air gap or flip the breaker)?

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See this topic for pointers

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I have a STv3 hub with only Z-wave devices. 75 devices and growing. I don’t have trouble with my system. I didn’t use the old app either. So maybe since I didn’t transition from any other platform has something to do with that. Lesson learned from all the years of changing versions of windows through their upgrades and having to reinstall anyway . I don’t know why some think it’s Z-wave to blame for trouble. My guess in the Dark would be that you either have an old Z-wave device that’s near it’s life end , or a device handler that’s not playing nice.
I have very few older z-wave things. 1 sensor and a couple of switches. Everything else is z-wave plus or newer. 500 or 700 series chips.
Z-wave and Zigbee are great platforms. I tend to think that since all these devices use a certain frequency , that you should stick with one. There’s already enough going on in the houses with wi-fi and phones and many other things.

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Nobody is blaming Z-wave, but we are wondering about the SmartThings implementation.

For myself, I only started with making my home smart about 2 years ago. All my Z-wave devices are mains-powered Z-wave Plus smart switches and dimmers. And all run using the stock DTHs.

About 80% of my smart devices are in one room. Our great room incorporates kitchen, dining, bar, and living room. There are two hallways out of it plus an alcove that opens to the master bedroom. The room also has the front door and three glass sliders leading to porch and patio.

Because of all the task and area lights plus all the outdoor lighting controllable in this one room, there are 29 switches in 2- and 3-gang boxes around the perimeter of the room. I have converted 21 of them to smart devices along with 12 switches in other parts of the house.

When all the smart devices in the great room were Z-wave Plus, I had no end of troubles. Slow response, lost commands, and could never get a clean Z-wave repair. After I swapped out several Z-wave Plus devices for Zigbee, my troubles cleared up.

It’s clear to me that my particular needs exceeded some capability of Z-wave as implemented in SmartThings. For this and other concerns, my future purchases will be Zigbee.

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Seems like some of you have outgrown what smartthings is intended for. It’s not made to run nakatomi plaza. Just try to help people in here when they ask a question. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way.

I disagree. I’ve been with them from the very beginning, and watched other HA’s over the years handle Zwave a whole lot better than ST.

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You are absolutely correct. There’s two factors you guys are overlooking when you make that statement to everyone. If you got rid of your z-wave , you essentially picked one of the two. I always suggest that option without pushing my choice. You also overlook the fact that not everyone has used this system since hub 1 or 2. My perspective is from my experience of using only Z-Wave on the V3 hub, and only having used it with the new app. I Don’t have any trouble with that set up. I’ve also noticed that nobody lists the makers or age of devices they got rid of. So by switching to just Zigbee your inadvertently getting rid of old equipment and a certain brand that may have been causing trouble. Someone asking questions in here is looking for those kind of answers. You guys are all helpful and I truly appreciate the involvement in the community.

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According to the IDE, I have a total of 64 “devices” (13 Zigbee, 29 Z-wave Plus, 7 virtual, and 15 that are part of cloud interfaces such as Sonos, Harmony, and Honeywell TCC thermostats)

So, per your post, you’ve got more than I do.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you’d know I’m mostly positive on the platform. I had no problems with migration from the old to new app. Since I’ve got little if any custom code, the app starts up in under 30 seconds for me. I’m not out there screeching about my life being ruined every time there’s an outage. And I’ve got no interest in jumping to Hubitat.

But I’m aware that the platform has issues and limitations. And with Samsung’s recent abandonment of hardware development, it’s very likely got a limited lifespan. If I have to bet on a smart home main protocol, my money is no longer on Z-wave.

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If I was starting fresh today, I dont think Zwave would be my main choice. It does have A couple things going for it though. It is still hugely popular in Home Security, and Aeotec, who appears to now be making Smartthings hub, is primarily a zwave company.

Downsides though are zwave is not on board with project CHIP and Alexa went with a zigbee radio over zwave.

I definitely am not ripping out my zwave devices though, and still buy zwave devices since that’s the majority of what I already have, but I totally understand the concerns.

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Fair point.

I did mention that I only started 2 years ago. None of my devices except the hub are older than that.

For Z-wave (again all are Z-wave Plus, all are mains powered), I have a mix of brands. Mostly Zooz, a few Levitons, and one GE.

When I swapped out Z-wave for Zigbee, I did it in a way that I thought would create a strong Zigbee mesh. No concerns for brand. As it happens I think what I removed were all Zooz. However, I reinstalled some of those in other parts of the house and more than half my installed Z-wave devices are still Zooz.

I bought my hub about 4 years ago in anticipation of building out the new house with all smart lighting. We built the house in beginning in 2017, moved in mid 2018. Due to a recalcitrant electrician, smart lighting wasn’t part of the build. So I’ve been doing that myself in dribs and drabs.

I did start with the Classic App because it was pre-installed on my Samsung tablet. I was never particularly enamored with the old app and moved quickly and almost painlessly to the new app.

Things went along very well for me until I got to something over 20 Z-wave Plus devices. All but three were in the great room. Then I started having slow response despite having 100% local execution. And also was seeing lost commands. I have Scenes to shut off lights in the great room. After much trial and error, I split the room into 3 scenes and use an Alexa routine to run them with a 5 second delay between. And even then I have a complete repeat of all three scenes because lights get missed (lost commands?).

Probably too much information. I tend to run on…

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That’s good to run on. I read between the lines and think about troubleshooting and expanding. Knowing more about what other people have set up helps a lot. I stayed away from Levitons. I began to appreciate Zooz the most. My living room 4 way is best with Zooz. Started with all GE and ventured into Inovelli and Zooz. Thinking about having some of my permanent automations on my second hub, just to keep the traffic down on either one. It’s a price point device, so I don’t put too much stock in the lifespan of the hub. Or anything electronic . Seems like ST is just a user interface now. Lot’s of fast changes happening in smart home these days. It’s great living in the future.

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