Slow Zwave, and getting slower

Wish I had something useful to say.

My very uneducated guess is that you’ve got a device with issues that’s doing something bad to the z-wave mesh.

There are professional level z-wave tools out there but they come with a professional level price.

@JDRoberts can probably give pointers.

Other than that, maybe kill power at the breaker for your devices, one at a time, and see if anything improves?

When you run zwave repair is it clean? No errors reported between the zwave repair started message and zwave repair finished message?

Zwave repair needs to run without errors to have the network running optimally.

Sometime I need to run zwave repair 2 or 3 times in a row to get a clean zwave repair.

Also, a couple of times after a thunder storm, even though all zwave devices appeared to work and all automations appeared to work, I had to turn a couple of circuit breakers on and off to get a clean zwave repair.

In one case a device, one that was NOT listed in the errors of zwave repair was the root cause of the zwave errors.

Flipping the circuit breaker on that device cleared up all the errors and then got a clean zwave repair.

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I’m sure that’s very frustrating. :rage:

You probably already know this, but just to be sure…

Most zwave repeaters (the ones that strengthen the mesh) are mains powered. Most battery powered devices don’t repeat.

So 14 zwave sensors and 1 light switch would likely be a very weak mesh.

10 zwave sensors and 5 light switches might be ok, it depends on the physical location of the switches.

14 zwave switches and 1 sensor would likely be a very strong mesh.

So as with most things, the first rule of home automation applies: “the model number matters.”

That said, assuming you have enough repeaters, the two most common reasons for this symptom:

  1. real-time energy reporting flooding the network so other messages can’t get through. Aeotec’s energy reporting smart plugs have historically been the biggest offenders in this regard, but there are others.

  2. cloud problems for non local devices. There’s almost nothing in a local zwave setup that could cause

Some devices are 10 ft from the hub and do not respond until hours later.

“Hours later” delays are almost always cloud problems.

So if you want more help here, we’ll need to know the brand and model of the devices, as well as the DTHs you are using.

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I’ve tried everything and we still experience these problems every single day. We have started moving away from Z-Wave entirely because of this problem. I really wish there was a way to not have to replace every dimmer and Outlet in my house because at this point it’s going to be extremely expensive. I really wish that SmartThings tech support was more responsive and got more involved but to date they don’t really do much. This whole experience has put us off Z-Wave altogether.

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I’m sure that’s very frustrating! :disappointed_relieved: Most of the time the problem isn’t zwave (for example, switching to a local zwave hub like Hubitat or Ezlo often improves the network issues) but instead the proprietary architecture that SmartThings lays over the top of it.

I realize that’s not much help, though. If you find that another protocol works better with ST at your house, that may be the best way to go.

I know @johnconstantelo switched everything to Zigbee and that worked for him. But results do vary by location, some people find Zigbee less reliable in an ST setup. :thinking:

@JDRoberts is right @devedsmith, I’ve switched and it’s the best thing I ever did hands down. He’s also right about some people could find Zigbee less reliable, but everything I’ve run into is because of range issues, wifi channel issues, or in some cases, crap devices.

I agree that there’s investment involved, but I literally do not mess around with devices anymore. Crap just works.

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A quick update about this zwave problem…

We have been down to 1 GE wall dimmer - 4 ft from the hub, and still experience the poor zwave performance from Smartthings. The last straw was a Zooz relay controller on our sprinkler system: Smartthings lost the signal AFTER turning on the water and never turned it off. It flooded our entire yard. With Smartthings, zwave is junk.

We have removed most zwave (over 20 devices removed, five devices remaining) and we still have the same problems every day. So, with wi-fi devices so cheap (yay TP-Link/Kasa!!), we’re removing all zwave from our home. We plan to throw out all our Jasco, GE, Leviton, and a nice collection of brand new Zooz devices. All junk.

I understand the decision to move away from zwave if you are using smartthings: you certainly aren’t the only person who’s come to that conclusion. (As @johnconstantelo noted above.)

And as someone who had worked with Z wave before I ever came to use smartthings, I am profoundly concerned about some of the direction in the current architecture transition, including, for example, the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a way to do a standard zwave replace utility anymore. :thinking:

That said, I do feel it’s important to distinguish between Z wave as a protocol, some of the specific devices that you have, and smartthings’ implementation of a multi protocol platform with their own unique overlayer architecture.

You might want to consider offering your devices for sale to those with other platforms, such as hubitat or Homeseer, because I don’t think the devices themselves are junk. And they might well have value in a different environment on a different platform.

Just an observation.


Its too bad the root cause of the problem could not be discovered. The fact that you only have one device and still have issues narrows things down to either the Smartthings hub or the wall dimmer though. Problems with devices failing at once across from multiple different manufacturers is unlikely, so I doubt they are “all” junk.

Older Jasco zwve dimmers, especially the non-plus version were junk and had a high failure rate - not sure what version you had. One bad zwave device could kill your entire network, as zwave is very low bandwith, and one “chatty” problem device can easily overwhelm it. The newer Jasco’s are much better, and now have a full 5 year warranty. I can confirm they’ve actually replaced a device for me so they are now standing behind their product.

Jasco is also finally going to start releasing firmware updates, something we’ve wanted for awhile- checkout these links and videos

Another thing I would add, is that I’ve seen many times people with zwave problems start removing devices over time. This compounds the problems usually, and the network gets less and less reliable as there are no longer repeaters and devices to create a solid mesh. As the network gets worse and the initial problem wasn’t addressed, their thoughts that zwave is “junk” become self fulfilled, when it may not really be the case.

The Smartthings hub really lacks some of the advance zwave diagnostic tools to troubleshoot issues, so on another platform its possible you could diagnose the issues better, but usually switching in itself doesn’t solve the problem. Like I posted above, I had slow zwave on Smartthings, that did not really improve in Home Assistant. I was able to diagnose that power management settings were wrong through, which created the issues that I could then fix.


Our Z-Wave problems are solved! The last three days have been very busy. We have moved our entire smart home to Home Assistant and will be shutting down SmartThings tomorrow. I never new z-wave could perform like this.

Goodbye SmartThings!