SmartThings Z-Wave Repair


(Daniel Siegel) #1

Is the Z-Wave Repair sufficiently reliable at this point that it makes sense to run a repair every night?
If so, how would this be automated (seems manual in the iOS App)?


(Jared) #2

I have never had a z-wave repair do anything positive. Any devices that seem to have intermittent issues still have the same issues after a repair, or stop working completely. Only completely re-adding them to the network fixes the issues.

So, why do you want to do this every night? Not to mention why are you doing it at all?


#3

Why a repair every night? You don’t move device locations every day, is completely unnecessary.


(Daniel Siegel) #4

I have a large home with about 150 light switches. I have a custom glass touch panel which was integrated (back in 2003) with a very unreliable light switch from OnQ (hidden behind the wall). I was searching for a solution to replace the OnQ switches with another switch (dimmers and relays), but needed one that could accept wired switch inputs. I eventually found Fibaro Dimmer 2 (dimmer) and Single Switch (relay) light switches and have successfully integrated them with Fibaro dimmers and relays.

I would have preferred an all-wired “smart” solution, but have yet to find one.
So, I went with Z-Wave, but have only purchased about 6 Fibaro switches for testing (at various different locations). So far, so good. But, I have noticed some intermittent problems, particularly when adding switches or moving locations.

My goal is to identify the bulk of the significant Z-Wave problems before I invest in 150 Fibaro switches.
Thus far, whenever I have some unreliability that does not appear to be a simple “distance problem,” I have run a Z-Wave repair, and it almost always corrects the problem (and has yet to introduce a problem with a previously working switch).

Maybe I’ve just been lucky so far. But I am wondering whether the Z-Wave repair is reliable. Sounds like that is not your experience. I have not tried to remove/add the Fibaro switches, but wonder whether this is an option without opening up the wall every time (far more difficult than remotely starting a Z-Wave repair from the app).

I’m just looking for a solution that will enable me to test reliability with 6-10 switches before I make the leap to 150. Appreciate any thoughts.


#5

Could you post the model of the Fibaro devices?


(Daniel Siegel) #6

Yes. The dimmer is called the Dimmer 2 - see https://www.fibaro.com/us/products/dimmer-2/
Slightly different wiring for the “Single Switch” (relay).
Both are very small and easily fit into the electrical box with the antenna dangling out.
Hope you can see the images below, particularly the wiring terminals.

In addition to connecting the Line (L), Neutral (N) and Load, there are 3 switch inputs (S1, S2 and Sx).
Our custom touch panel outputs a “momentary” ON (connect to S1) and “momentary” OFF (connect to S2), as well as a “common” (connect to Sx). This enables manual On, Off and Dimming (up or down by pressing on the top or bottom glass touch sensor).

07%20PM


(Jared) #7

As far as I know, there is no automation for a z-wave repair as it is not something you should need to do for normal operation.

Best is probably to start one, and then watch the log online for any issues.


#8

It is a common “best practice” in zwave only systems to run a repair every night Just to keep things running as efficiently as possible. Vera does this automatically. Homeseer allows you to set it Optionally, but recommends running it nightly.

This was more important in classic zwave. Z wave plus has other methods for keeping the routing tables updated.

There shouldn’t be any harm in doing it on a regular basis, but SmartThings adds a lot of complexity because of their cloud-based architecture, so it’s hard to say what best practices would be on a SmartThings system.


#9

Ok, the reason I asked the models was because maybe your problem is the mesh. My suggestion is try to get the hub near the devices if possible(or the devices near the hub), do a repair and re test, your home is big, probably your hub is not reaching some devices, if you get some devices near the hub to work properly then adding more should be fine. First the nearest of the hub, then the middle, then the farthest, that’s the way to build a good mesh. If you start with the farthest devices you will have a big mess. The other option is adding devices every X feet, so you will have a mesh created and then every new device will connect to one of those already in place. If they are connected to the AC power, they work as a repeater. I had an issue with my bulbs to the point I sold them, it was my fault, I did not realize that those bulbs were far from the hub, nothing in between, my house is small, about 1600 square feet total, now I have Iris plugs everywhere, they repeat zigbee and Z-Wave.

Edit: devices that use batteries doesn’t repeat.


(Jared) #10

That is terrible design.


#11

Of course should not harm, but I still think is unnecessary, after you have the mesh completed, the routing table should not change unless you remove or add a new node(or node fails), my systems had one repair about 6 months ago, everything works just fine. Now those systems are installed in friend’s homes, my personal system is Hubitat and that is a very different song lol


(Jared) #12

All the switches in my house are z-wave. Network wise, it has been solid, without having to run a repair every night as some recommend. The only issues I run in to on occasion is when a switch locks up. Yes, these $50 switches can crash/lock up which is unacceptable for the price range. The worst issue I have experienced was when the Homeseer switch in the kitchen locked up in the on position (was unable to control it at all, physically or z-wave). This also caused me to lose control of the Dining room (homeseer) dimmer, which I assume is because the dimmer was routing through the locked up switch. Power-cycling the kitchen switch via the breaker brought everything back to normal with no other action required. I lose a switch here and there occasionally due to a lock-up. Power-cycling it brings it back.

One thing that is a must when going all smart-switches in the house…label all your breakers because you are going to need to use them!


#13

Whys is it a bad design? OSPF and other router protocols regularly rebuild their tables for TCP/IP Zwave is no different?


(Alex) #14

This happened to me with a HomeSeer WS200+ and when I reported it they told me that they never saw it happen and that a device reset was likely enough to fix it. In the past I had devices from another vendor that would lock up and it ended up being due to a hardware issue they then corrected. I hope the HomeSeer switches don’t suffer from the same issue as it wan’t something you could fix with sw… in my particular case (with other vendor), changing the load type made the issue go away but it is not always possible to do so (fan in bathroom is not that easy to change with something drastically different as it would be replacing a bulb). Please report it to them in case it indeed is something they need to address with the design hw/sw of their device.


(Alex) #15

ST keeps saying that zwave network repairs cause more damage than good. If this is so it is likely due to poor implementation on their part of the zwave repair. While I do not believe a regular network would benefit from a nightly repair (if there are no changes why would routing need to change??), I do believe one should be diligent in running one or even better if more, to clear out any routing issue that may have been introduced with device additions, removals, or relocation. A repair every so often, even though nothing was changed, might also be good but ST might advise against it. They never, as far as i know, clarified why they stick to this recommendation…


(Jared) #16

Requiring me to manually run a rebuild is bad design in my opinion. Compared to zigbee which has shown to be self healing.


(DavidK) #17

@xamindar From an end user perspective I agree, Zigbee does not require a manual rebuild, but zwave does.

However, the question is can he run zwave repair? Then a follow up, can you ever be left in a worse state by running it?

I take the position, that when I run it, I run it until I get no zwave errors. Sometimes this might require 3 in a row repairs. Is this bad design? It is frustrating! Why do I need to run zwave repeatedly until I get no errors? Also, is this because of smartthings implementation? Or as specific vendor? For example, if the only devices that ever fail are zwave plus aeon smart switch 6? Is it the smart switch 6 fault? It is rare of any of the zwave classic, even some much further than the smart switch 6 to have zwave repair errors. For example, GE Zwave in wall dimmers zwave classic, rarely if ever have any errors.

To answer question #2, would I be in a worse off if this time I run zwave repair once and leave the system with those errors, but in comparison the last time I ran the zwave repair there were no errors? Maybe, do not know. But I always re-rerun zwave repair until I have no errors!

I do run it periodically whenever I am tinkering with the system, weekly/monthly whatever.

Sometimes while at work, I may log in, reboot hub and run zwave repair just for the heck of it.


(Steve) #18

I personally would love to hear more about this custom glass touch screen =)


#19

I believe some battery powered devices are “sleepy” and don’t respond right away to the Z-wave repair, that’s why you have to run it multiple times.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #20

But, if I understand correctly, Zigbee only heals itself if the hub has no power for at least 20 mins or more so wouldn’t that also be a bad design? Atleast with z-wave you can do it without the wait or unplugging the hub. I haven’t had any z-wave issues in the past 2 years and I am mostly z-wave, but, my luck can run out at any point.