Total Z-Wave Fail.. Help! - How to fix remotely?


(Adam V) #1

So I am currently away from home and won’t be back for a while.

I have about 120 different devices connected to ST in my home, of which about 30-40% are z-wave. Everything that I can automate I do.

Everything was going pretty well - there was the odd false alarm that I’d manually dismiss, but that I saw as a minor inconvenience for all the extra features I get and the security of being able to monitor my home remotely.

I noticed something was funky a few days ago, because no false alarms had occurred at all for a while. Had ST finally fixed all of it’s flaws…? I was thinking that whilst I’d been away maybe @alex’s work on stabilizing the platform had finally sorted the system out.

Alas no… what is currently going on - that I’ve diagnosed remotely is that all Z-Wave communication has stopped. This has bizarrely resulted in all devices keeping their state from the point at which the radio failed. So the hub thinks that everything is permanently fine!

Surely the lack of communication from devices should also trigger an alert of some sort!?

Anyway I checked the hub page and can see that zwaveRadioDetected: false

I’m unsure how long it’s been like this but I’m guessing its about 7 days

How do I fix this remotely? I have people who I need to be able to let into the house remotely - so have lock codes scheduled to be sent to the front door from ST… This won’t happen if Z-Wave is off. How do I fix this remotely? and how can we put in something into the ST system so if this type of thing happens again the user gets alerted to the issue straight away?

any ideas @slagle @JDRoberts @duncan


(Realy Living Dream) #2

Blind shot in the dark here, but have you tried just running a Z-wave repair from app or api ?


(Adam V) #3

Yep - tried that - it just shows a spinner. Which is also annoying because that is what happens when things are working as well - The Z-wave repair feature needs a lot of work and needs to inform the user of what is going on!

Any other ideas guys?


#4

There are some wellness check smart apps that people have written that will notify you if a device has not been in contact with the hub for a while. There’s no official feature for that but the smart apps work quite well. Several check the log entries for the account rather than polling the devices so you don’t add any additional weight to your network.

Having one of those installed should have reported the problem to you after a day or so. It doesn’t help your current situation, but it something you can set up for the future.

That said, it’s just a report, not a solution. When you see the “radio not detected,” usually the first thing people will try is a reboot of the hub. There is a reboot option in the IDE that is supposed to allow you to do it remotely. Depending on the exact problem, it doesn’t always work, but it certainly worth a try.

There are people who put their hubs on a non SmartThings-controlled device, most typically a WeMo pocket socket, and use that to powercycle the hub when smartthings is unavailable. But that only works if you don’t have batteries in the hub. And of course again you have to set it up ahead of time. There are several threads in the forum for different ways that people have used to control hubs in this way. It can be particularly important for people who have vacation homes or rental properties where they may not themselves be in the building that often.

But again, that’s not necessarily a fix for the “radio unavailable” status. That’s usually one that support has to look at.

But the other people you’ve tagged can say more.


#5

If the Z wave radio isn’t detected, there’s nothing to run the repair, so the spinner for that isn’t surprising.

I’d try the reboot from the IDE and see if that does anything


(Adam V) #6

Ok thanks - good info here!

Where is this? I can’t find it

Great Idea - I actually have a spare wemo switch. I’m thinking of taking the batteries out anway because the only possible use case for them is if there is a power failure in the house. However, in such a case smartthings is totally useless anway due to no internet connectivity (and in my experience, the few automations that are supposed to continue to run from Smartlighting for local devices still don’t run anyway!)


(Adam V) #7

No worries I found it!


(Adam V) #8

Ok so rebooting didn’t work - but using the option in the IDE to disable Z-Wave and then re-emable seems to have got the parameter zwaveRadioDetected: true. So now I just need to check that everything ins working again


(Adam V) #9

We’re back in business!

thanks @JDRoberts


(Realy Living Dream) #10

This is why my Hub, router, modem and all network devices are plugged into UPSes.


(Duncan) #11

Yeah, properly tracking device online/offline states is a major gap for us – we have a team working just on that. Sending an alert when the Z-Wave module crashes would be a low-hanging fruit, though. I’ll look into what it would take to get that added.

Unfortunately, the Z-Wave module crashing on reboot probably means you have several Z-Wave switches/dimmers that have gone unresponsive. I’d recommend emailing support so I can take a look at it.

Also, for everyone’s reference do not try Network Repair when you’re having Z-Wave module problems. It can’t help and if your module is actually running it can mess things up more, at least in the short term.


#12

Some hubs like vera have battery operation primarily so that you can carry the hub to be right next to an installed device that requires physically a close pairing, typically a door lock. So there is an additional use case where battery operation can be useful.


(Ray) #13

Thanks for the advice but you guys are creating more headache for yourself for not having a better way to warn people about this. First thing we do is do a zwave repair if our zwave failed. Maybe a handful of us here reading this post and chances of remembering this next time is close to 0%.


(Adam V) #14

Yep - first thing I did was a z wave repair!

@duncan - should I just email support and say you’ll know what this is about?