The Great Disappearing Zwave Device Mystery: Has it Happened to You? (2018)

For some time now—years, actually—I’ve had the occasional Zwave device just “disappear” from my network. It is always while I’m away from that location (not creating events, such as walk-in to the field of a motion detector) and usually (I think!) on ‘sleepy’ devices, i.e., battery devices that wake only occasionally to report they’re still alive.

Recently, it’s worse.

All devices in this example, as reported by Simple Device Viewer, have since returned to the fold. Days later. When SmartThings wasn’t somehow wedged and was alert enough to hear them awaken and attempt to tell the world their battery wasn’t dead.

My Zwave mesh is good: each sleepy device that disappeared is within no less than 15 feet of a mains-powered repeater. The total number of devices is low—sixteen, in this house. Of course, it would be nice if we had a built-in network mapping tool. Alas, we don’t.

My network is Zwave only, no Zigbee—perhaps it also happens in that domain, but I don’t know.

The problem waxes and wanes. Perhaps its frequency varies as mysterious changes occur in the SmartThings cloud. Who knows? With no announcement of cloud software changes, we may never make the correlation. It’s been worse in recent months…

Since I’m in Florida and the aforementioned problems happened in New England, I can only be patient & wait. Remote hub reboot does nothing to help. Neither does Zwave mesh rebuild. I cannot go into panic mode and skitter around pulling batteries. I can only wait for the magical reappearance of the errant devices. Sigh.

Other than simply venting, I’m curious if others have seen “lost” devices simply re-appear days later if left on their own?

Tagging @johnconstantelo @prytzen

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Yup, I have this happen every so often. I’ve exported my device list to a spreadsheet so I can compare to ST’s list when one drops. When I find, it I re-include it rather than waiting.

I’ve opened many tickets with ST, and every time they tell me someone must have done an exclude to make that happen. B.S. I’ve showed them every single time this happens that NOBODY is home, and/or it’s at some crazy hour when we’re all asleep. All the event logs in the world don’t help track this issue down unfortunately.

I haven’t had this happen for a while, but I check my total # of devices in the IDE every single day because I’ve been burnt in the past. I’ll tag you the next time this happens.

While we don’t have a tool to do this, ST certainly does. Firmware 24.x now has ability to get a network graph, but only staff can do this. Here’s a super ugly graph of mine I was provided to help track down zwave performance issues:

fyi @JDRoberts

BTW: my offline devices issue lingering from 24.11 is back again. Like you, I was away at our second location when devices in our primary went offline and I lost all ability to manage them until I got back today. Thank goodness none were critical and were not in any SHM rule.


I would love to be able to map my network. Is there a way to request this from support?