Difficult time with certain Z wave devices staying online

I have two GE Z wave outdoor light switches plugged in next to each other in my backyard.

They are admittedly about 100 feet away from the nearest Z wave devices which is a Dome Z-Wave plus extender/repeater.

I have had Difficulty with these two switches remaining accessible in the past, so I installed the repeater in an effort to improve reliability of the switches.

After installing the repeater, the switches began to work flawlessly (as expected). However about two days ago the switches stopped working. I ran a Z wave repair with no change. Under my settings is the wave devices do not show as being dead but rather no longer show any time in which a signal has been received.

What is strange about this is if I manually turn either switch on or off the HE recognizes that changing command. It is only when I try to control the device directly from the HE that I received no response.

Is there anything that I can do short of removing the devices and re-adding the devices to get the devices to be more responsive?

To explain further, the devices are 100 feet away from the repeater there are no obstructions between the repeater and the device. it is all open air with no walls on the patio covered by a roof and the devices are 100 feet away straight ahead.

So when you click the button on the outdoor box, it turns on or off AND Hubitat correctly shows the status but when you try to switch it on or off from the Hub it ignores it? Strange!

That just means the signal strength is so marginal that sends work from the device, but receives do not. Remember that Rx and Tx sensitivity aren't always (in fact usually are not) the same.

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Ah, didn't think of that.

Nonetheless, is there anything that I can do to fix this issue. The repeater should have plenty of signal strength to make it to where it needs to make it to

Are these Zwave Plus or not? I assume it isn't possible to get the repeater closer. If outlets are Plus and the repeater is not Plus you might consider replacing the repeater with a Plus device.

At least one of the switches is a GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Outdoor Smart Plug Switch, 1 On/Off Outlet, Weather-Resistant, Built-in Repeater/Range Extender, Zwave Hub Required, Works with SmartThings, Wink, Alexa, 14284, BLACK

The repeater is a Dome Z-Wave Plus S2 Range Extender (Signal Repeater) DMEX1

This should not be an issue with signal.

You keep saying the signal "should not be a problem", but clearly it is - either from signal strength or from routing choices the devices are making...

Range is dependent on a lot of things, interference, antenna design, transmit power, etc, etc.

Have you looked at your zwave routing to see how the devices are trying to communicate back to the hub (need an external zstick or other and zensys tools to do this)? No way to look at this out of the box / without external tools, unfortunately.

Have you done a zwave repair? I don't see that listed in your write-up.

No for the reasons stated above.

Also I have run a few Z-Wave repairs.

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For the record, I agree it should work with the Dome repeater outside - assuming there isn't a big metal building between the repeater and the devices. :smile: .

That is why I'm wondering if the routing is doing something stupid. If the outside devices aren't using the repeater for some reason, that could obviously cause issues. Wish it were easier to see/verify.

I don't know your layout but it is also possible the issue is between the repeater and hub. My home has steel siding and I had a bitch of a time getting a reliable signal to my outbuildings. It took work to get enough devices properly placed inside and outside ro make it all work.

A couple of thoughts. Is the Dome repeater paired with HE? it needs to be paired with the zwave mesh in order to function as a repeater. Do you get anything in the log from the repeater when you hit refresh? My Aeotec repeaters report in the log that they are active when you refresh them. Other than that they never say anything.

Do you see the z-wave repair successfully process the device that is the repeater?

Lastly, I bought the cheaper Jasco version of that same switch and it turned out not be z-wave plus. You might check what is shown for the in-clusters. the first byte should be 0x5e if its z-wave plus.

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I have never liked the idea of a "repeater" device. If I need to repeat signals, I get some useful device and wire it in if possible.

Isn't that EXACTLY what a repeater device is? A wired device that repeats the signal?

I am talking about a device that is only a repeater. It has no useful function other than repeating signals. If you need signals repeated you might as well get something that does something. I also don't like depending on a plug in device that repeats a signal. I much prefer having something that is hard wired.

The repeater is connected to HE and yes I see it in the logs

What do you mean?

Also I did verify, they are Z-Wave Plus

It's my understanding that if you have non-plus devices anywhere on your Z-wave network, you get none of the benefits of Z-wave plus, including additional range. That may be wrong, I haven't gotten solid verification on this.

The other thing, GE/Jasco devices are junk. Every single one I've had over the past 10 years has failed (usually just out of warranty). Either they completely stop communicating or being able to work at all with a keypress if they are a switch, or if they are a dimmer they start buzzing and doing weird things with the lights. I'm spending the extra $$ now and buying Lutron Z-wave stuff and haven't had a problem yet.

I don't have a ton of Z-wave devices either. I have like 8 devices in this house, and my last house I had like 12. The failure rate on GE stuff is horrible. With the network problems people have with Z-wave and having to rebuild their network, I couldn't imagine having more than a few of these devices. I only use them when I cannot tie a lighting load into my lighting system because it would take too long to wire, or if it's a lock or something.

You could always try the Lutron Caseta stuff also. It's supported by the HE. I know it's proprietary and not a standard, and it requires a hub, but frankly it's worth it if it provides reliability and longevity.


Incorrect. EDIT: I shouldn't have said that/argued this. It is an opinion, and everyone is entitled to theirs. Sorry.

Incorrect, and I know for a fact you don't have real data to back that up. Maybe anecdotal data points, but nothing statistically valid.

It's ok to not like a vendor, or to say you had bad experiences with them, though. There are two vendors that participate on here that I have a serious problem with, but others love. And that's ok.

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Well, I've had nearly 100% failure rate with GE/Jasco switches and dimmers. Out of the 12 z-wave devices in my last house, 5 were GE. All 5 died within 2 years. At my current house, I had 3 out of 4 die (all with the blinking light of death). They are the only Z-wave switches I've had that have died.

There are plenty of thread on these dying. Here's just one:

Ok... Well I have 200+ if them in my 3 houses, and have had exactly zero fail. But that isn't a statistically valid sample size either.

I had 2 zooz light switches and both died within 3 weeks. I guess zooz must be horrible, right? Of course not, just luck of the draw.

My only point is that you can't say the failure rate is horrible, as you don't have enough data to draw that conclusion on an absolute basis.

Everyone can have opinions though. Anyone can think anything is junk - and that's ok, it's an opinion. For example I HATE the styling of caseta switches/dimmers, and think they are ugly as hell. But I know many disagree with me.

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