Flaky response on Z Wave devices

Been having a number of odd problems with my z wave setup, sometimes schedules aren't followed, or are only partially followed, triggers aren't working, manually controlling through the app doesn't work. I can't see anything really wrong either, just that the devices aren't responding as they should. I also have a number of devices outside, in my shed and greenhouse and plan to add some to the pool as well. These seem to have a worse response than ones closer to the hub, maybe too many hops? I currently have 1 HE C7 hub inside the house, in the dining room which is pretty central in the house. The shed is around 100' from the house, maybe 120' from the closest z wave device. the shed is a further 50'. I was thinking about replacing the C7 with a C8, and adding a C8 to the shed to make everything outside have a closer hub. Would that help my issues?

"Flakey" is almost always a mesh integrity issue. Flakey implies it works often, but not always. The signals almost don't make it, but do arrive most of the time is how I'd interpret your symptoms.

One thing you can do for debugging is to create a virtual device that gets included with your rules. The scheduled actions would always work for a virtual because the distance is an electron or ten away. :smiley: If you see the virtual device is working always but the various devices continue flakey, then you know that the actions are trying, but not reaching the devices. Split the problem is what I'm suggesting. A scheduled action that isn't running might be easier to find than ZWave Mesh questions.

I have 4 hubs interconnected so I'm pretty much guaranteed to say YES to any question of "another hub is a good idea?"

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I'm fairly convinced that I should add a hub anyway for my more distant devices. How does that work? Can I add, design and schedule everything on one hub and it uses the other automatically? Or do I need to break things out for where they should be linking to, and have the outdoor devices set up on the second hub?

One other thing: I have some of these set up under Simple Automation Rules. Should I move these to Rule Machine? Not sure if one is better than the other. I have rules set up under Rule Machine, Rule Machine Legacy and Simple Automation Rules. I should probably consolidate those.

There's a few schools of thought on that topic. But first, the interconnect is Hub Mesh. It's a mechanism for 'mirroring' devices from one hub to another and the result is bidirectional.. a change on one hub is instantly reflected on the other. You can run automations on either hub using any shared/mirrored device.

One school of thought is that the automations run on the same hub as the devices. Problems or outages are then limited to the one hub. Simple example is a reboot from an upgrade. During the reboot, that hub is not functioning and only that hub.

Another school of thought is to have all the automations run on one hub controlling devices that exist on the other end of a HubMesh. The difference is that when the hub with all the automations gets rebooted, the whole home takes an outage.

Clearly there's a spectrum... put some automations on each hub, just basic stuff but the bulk is on a master hub.. with the boundary between 'just basic stuff' and 'everything this one hub needs' is where the controversy exists.

Once Hub Mesh is configured, the devices really exist in both places.

OK, I like the sound of Mesh. If I set it up like that though, the automations aren't at one hub, they're at both, correct? The automations aren't on 'the hub with those devices', because the mesh makes it one cohesive unit?

With great flexibility comes great confusion. :slight_smile:

The actual split is entirely up to you.

I have tried to put automations where the physical devices are. But that's just one portion of any home's total automation system. I have an Internet Facing hub as well that gets Weather and handles Alexa or Google Home. I have a small ZIgbee collection and use one hub for all Zigbee, This means a physical motion sensor device is on one hub and the physical ZWave light switch is on another hub. In my system, I put the Automation on the hub with the Light. I'm relying on the interconnect between hubs to make the whole action functional.

In other words, you can have a 'guiding direction' of "Automations live on the predominant hub" or "All Automations live on the Rules hub" but reality will almost always be a mix, eventually.

How do you specify which hub things are on in a mesh? if you add it, won't it be on all hubs?

Toggle on the actual device:

Then on other hubs you navigate to Settings \ Hub Mesh \ Linked devices and from there you can add the remote devices to that particular hub. It is at an individual device level.

So if I add a new device, I have to go to the linked hubs and add it to each?

Correct, two step process. When you add a new device to a hub you first must toggle the hub mesh setting and click Save. Then on the target hub(s) you will them need to add it. It is not automatic and IMO shouldn't be.

I have 4 production hubs based on protocol (Zwave, Zigbee, LAN) plus a coordinator hub with all devices from the protocol hubs. In some situations I do share a device from a protocol hub with another protocol hub but not all. I've been a HE customer for 5.5 years and split things up by protocol back when the C3/4 couldn't handle my large setup. I could likely consolidate today with a single radio hub but I have just stuck to what I have in place since it has been reliable with my 280+ devices.

Can you post your z-wave details page in it's entirety? Use windows snip

Mine? Or the other posters?

I recommend that you look at your Z-Wave module placement. Z-Wave Plus devices have 50% more wireless range. I don't have access to the Z-Wave spec by Silicone Labs.

Online there are conflicting Z-Wave performance specs. Standard Z-wave has an open air range of 328 ft. (100 meters). Of course, buildings significantly reduce that range. I've read recommendations for Z-Wave device to be spaced roughly every 30 feet, or closer for maximum efficiency. Z-Wave Plus has a clear air range of 150m (492ft). These specs seem great until you have a real-life application with building walls degrading performance.

Things I considered for my Z-Wave installation:

  1. Use latest Z-Wave Plus and Z-Wave LR modules, All modules must use Z-Wave technology. (just making sure)

  2. Locate Z-Wave Hub in a central location for your application. This creates a balanced star pattern for major module communication paths. Each path is limited to 4 module hops (signal can only be repeated 4 times to reach its destination). Distance between modules inside building should be less than 50ft.

  3. Use powered Z-Wave modules (with built-in repeaters) or Z-Wave Repeaters in poor signal (i.e. flaky) areas. All modules must use Z-Wave technology.

  4. Be aware that Z-Wave's mesh network band competes with some cordless telephones and other consumer electronic devices. Try unplugging potential signal jamming sources.

  5. If your 4-module-hop distances are excessive, you might need another controller.

  6. You can always try to enable or disable Mesh communications for each module to optimize Module Hops per path. GOOD LUCK

How to Improve Your Z-wave Range Network Quality | Ezlo

Yours.... Just eliminating possible issues is all.

Those 6 with Discover butttons are a potential problem. The Include didn't finish before the device went back to sleep. Normally, you'd wake the device (using the Include mechanism from the manufacturer) and click the Discover button. In your case it looks like you reset the device and started over, getting them on the 2nd try. But that left behind the partially completed remains.

One at a time, click the refresh button for each device, and when the page refreshes you're looking for a Remove button. Click it. When that completes, that row will be gone. It's a process that is actually occuring out on the ZWave Radio SOC and the hub can only advise what the radio said. Thus the Refresh - Remove cycle might need to be repeated.

Ah, ok. I was wondering why those weren't listing properly. I'll prune those off

I'm not getting a Remove button. The OK in that block goes to NOT RESPONDING and the repair button goes away

I got one to remove, but others are just not changing at all, in addition to the one that isn't responding