How to deal with entire room full of z-wave devices when breaker is off

So we have a room that is full of a bunch of z-wave outlets and relays. We usually don't use the room for many days, weeks, sometimes months at a time. So we just turn the multiple breakers off for that room. I'm guessing this will cause us a lot of z-wave routing issues because of all those devices acting like ghosts?

Is there a better way to deal with this? I'm thinking of just having a separate hub for just those devices so they don't mess with our main home mesh.

I'm trying to clean up our z-wave mesh ghosts and get it optimal, and this is something I need to address at the same time.

Thanks for any thoughts!


Don't turn off the breaker(s) would be my first suggestion... Are you concerned about wasting energy in those rooms when unused? I would imagine any such savings would be negligible at best.


I think this would be the only way to deal with this situation.


For my purposes, I estimate the ongoing cost (USD) of powering a device for 1 year is equal to the power use in watts. Most of my smart plugs or switches use about 1 watt when idle or cost $1 per year in electricity. In long form...

1 watt ร— 8760 hours/year รท 1000 W/kW ร— $0.12 per kWh = $1.05 per year

In my mind, it seems counter productive to spend $20-$50 to automate a thing, and then turn it off to save $1-$2 per year. If these devices are used that infrequently, I would try to find new uses for them where I can realize their value and usefulness.

Again, it seems counter intuitive to spend perhaps $100 to save a fraction of that per year.

Of course you know your situation better than I do, so if it makes sense for you, go for it.


Lol you must not have PG&E :wink:

It's not so much the outlets as it is what they connect to. 14+ TVs and Monitors of various sizes, a crap ton of led lights, motors, robotics, lots of raspberry pis, a whole lot of smart tv boxes (Nvidia Shield TVs, etc), and a bunch of hvac booster fans and equipment. Not to mention the PCs, network gear for just that room, etc.

A whole lot of stuff that loves to suck down energy even when in standby
(300 watts plus when not even active). Its also a lot of things I don't want to accidentally turn on when Im not there, which happens with voice activations or hitting a wrong switch on a phone in a hurry etc.

It's easier to kill the breaker at this point until I get time to finish up some of the automation and projects.

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Long term, a solution might be to replace (yes, lots of money) all of them with wifi devices (Kasa?) that don't care if they are powered off.


As @hydro311 mentioned the power savings of turning off removing power from a zigbee/zwave device would be very negligible. Those wireless technologies are designed for extream low power. Even for the number of devices we are probably talking about 1-2 watts. Switching that to wifi would probably increase idle power allot.

If you are truely worried about accidentally activating devices then I wouldn't put them behind a controlled device. Just use hard switches instead or the breaker as you are already doing. It just seems like allot of cost to increase chances of other problems with little return.

Why not just experiment and find out?

My guess is that it's not necessarily the minute power draw of the Z devices that @NerdShowAndTell is concerned about; rather it's the devices in the unused room that are not connected to smart plugs and so will be consuming more power on standby. Obviously it's far more convenient to throw the breakers for the room(s) not in use, rather than individual power down all of those devices.

If leaving the Z devices powered, to avoid accidental control I'd probably just tick the disable box for each one in the devices page.


Good point, but then i ask is that room a good candidate for automation. I would suggest just removing the automation pieces if the space isnt a good canidate for it, or work on getting everything hooked up to manage with automation. But that may bring a big price with little return if it is allot of things.


I think I'm with @jameslslate on this one. Replace them with kasa outlets and have a master turn off rule for that room. That way maybe you'll pay a dollar or 2 a year on the outlets but ill know that it's not affecting your z-wave/zigbee mesh and kasa is local

Circuit breakers are good at being, um, circuit breakers, not switches. While turning them on-and-off every few days is probably OK, they are not designed as switches.

What's the cost to replace failed circuit breakers vs leaving them on and powering down the connected equipment?

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Typical residential breakers aren't to bad cost wise or to replace if you know what you are doing. Now if you need an electrician which most of us should probably use then the cost goes up quickly.

Bad things can happen if you touch the wrong things in that breaker box. It isn't hard to replace, but you need to be very careful.

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The original QO series Square D breakers hold up just fine. You don't see them too often in residential applications anymore though. Personally I wouldn' t use anything other than QO breakers and load centers.

I doubt their Homeline series would hold up though.

There are 50+ smart devices that use automation in that room. 4x 15amp breakers, a lot of outlets, zooz realay boxes, led controllers, etc.

I don't turn off the breakers when I'm using that room daily or even weekly, but I haven't had time to go in there in a few months. I powered down the 6 UPSs, all pc's, etc that need shutdown, and then shut off the breakers.

I'm going to be going back in there soon to work on things so I want to have a plan in case I need to do that again sometime.

I just need to split that room and it's devices off from the rest of my home automation and I already have a spare hubitat hub or two.

If you need to kill the circuits, that is your best bet,

Just note that it may or may not come back gracefully when powering it back on as there will be zwave explorer frames blasting everywhere at time=0 on re-power. I would definitely try to power up whatever circuit the HUB is on and let it get all the way back up before powering all of the zwave device up.

Seems like a bad/unreliable idea in general, but it is your circus and your clowns. :slight_smile:


A bit of work, but moving everything in that room onto a dedicated hub sounds like your best bet.

I can't be the only one here dying to know what you've got going on in that room :drooling_face: but it must be interesting.


The magnitude of this room is what makes this so diffucult. Breaker may be the best way with a dedicated hub to manage it. I would also consider thinking about what the split is in each circut. Maybe one can be left on to help manage things while others can be off for items that are not automated. Or tend to have higher low power draw.

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Yup, 4 breakers, It's a lot of fun figuring out where to plug things in to spread the load out over all of them.

Eventually everything will be available all the time and I won't need to mess with the breakers, but for now the best option is to just get the things that are powered down off my main home zwave and zigbee networks.