How to remove zombie Z-wave nodes?

Hi there,

I was recently having some issues with unreliable Z-wave devices, and I decided to check my z-wave info/details page on Hubitat. I am showing three devices as having a "Discover" button for the Device.

As it turns out, it appears that these are old Z-wave devices that I had previously removed.

I imagine I didn't go through the trouble of doing a formal Z-wave "exclude", since I was planning on throwing them away anyway, so I wouldn't need the device to be ready to pair again. So I probably force-removed the devices from Hubitat.

Anyway, now I have these three "zombie nodes" in my z-wave list that I can't seem to remove.

If I click "Refresh", it says PENDING under "Status", and now has a "remove" button. But clicking remove just refreshes the page, and there's no change to the node list. Logs show "Failed node 06 remove status: 0 SDK failure node is no longer in failed node list". Clicking "Discover" seems to do nothing. Clicking "repair" initiates a repair which obviously fails since the device is nonexistent and unreachable. To be clear, these devices have been physically gone for months.

Surely I didn't screw over my z-wave topology for all of eternity by not formally "z-wave excluding" these devices? Is there any way to remove them? I tried a full repair routine, tried powering Hubitat off for an hour.

As long as you are sure the devices that the ghosts were created from are unplugged/disabled, then in most cases you can remove the ghost via the process you've been attempting, using the hub's built-in tools.

See the info here:

Start w/this section: How do I remove Ghosts using the hubs built-in ghost removal tools? and follow steps in The best way to use the hub's built-in ghost removal tools.

If those steps don't work, then you will probably have to use a UZB stick (process described in the next section) to remove the ghost.

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I was ultimately able to remove 2 of the 3 ghosts using the refresh/remove combo after several tries.

Now I just have one left over that's stubborn.

I will say - the remaining ghost is node 006 - and the device class is "SPECIFIC_TYPE_POWER_SWITCH_BINARY". Node 007 device class is "SPECIFIC_TYPE_SCENE_SWITCH_BINARY Leviton".

I read in another thread that often ghost devices are "attached" to real devices and created due to bad initial pairing, and are often side by side in the node list. That could be the case here, and could explain why node 006 is "no longer in failed node list" after refreshing and trying to remove. (if node 007 is "responding" on its behalf?)

So I cut power to node 007's physical device, but refreshing and repairing still give me the same log outputs:

When I refresh, it says z-wave network is busy, then it says node 006 didn't respond. Then it says network busy again, then node 006 didn't respond again. Then when I click remove, it instantly says "Failed node 06 remove status: 0 SDK failure node is no longer in failed node list". So I dunno how it's getting off of the failed node list if it's not responding.

I've shut down the Hubitat now that node 7 is removed, I'll power it back up later and see if I can remove ghost node 6 then.

Z-wave can be such a headache.

Can you post your z-wave details page in it's entirety? (Use windows snip) so we can see the health of the rest of it...

Most looks fine. For that ghost, disconnect power to the outside front lights. Shut down the hub from settings menu. Unplug power for 2 mins and power back up. Attempt to remove 0x06 again. Then once removed, restore power to that switch. If it still won't remove you will need a z-wave stick as that ghost will severely impact your mesh.

Yeah, that's what I tried. No luck.

I am now updating the Z-Wave firmware (which I wasn't aware DOESN'T get upgraded with normal hubitat platform updates), so fingers crossed that lets me remove it. If not, I'll shutdown and unplug the hubitat, turn off power to the whole house (hubitat, network gear, and PC are on battery backup), boot it up, and try removing it once all Z-wave devices are powered off.


Let us know if it works

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Update: It didn't work.

I updated the Z-wave firmware, shut down Hubitat, unplugged. Waited 10 minutes, cut power to the house, plugged Hubitat back in, pulled up logs and the z-wave details page. Hit "refresh". No logs.

Hit "remove", same thing as before. Alternating between "Z-wave radio is busy" and "node 006 no response", then "Failed node 06 remove status: 0 SDK failure node is no longer in failed node list".

Tried alternating refresh and remove a few times, no dice. Same as before. The only z-wave devices that could have potentially still been communicating would be my 3 deadbolts and one pushbutton.

Guess I'll have to buy a z-wave stick and try this on my PC.


Sorry to hear things aren't clearing up easily for you. Frustrating, I've been there as well. Good news is the UZB stick is the Ghostbuster that will solve your problem.

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Update: I picked up an Aeotec Z-Wave Stick Gen 5 and followed the instructions to remove the zombie Z-wave node.

Note - I was not able to pair the USB stick to the Hubitat Hub using the "Select Learn Mode -> NWI" option as described in the instructions. The Hubtitat didn't see the stick at all. Tried multiple times, tried factory resetting it. Ultimately I tried "Classic Learn Mode", and Hubitat picked it up immediately and everything further worked fine.


Thanks for the feedback - I've updated and uploaded the PDF with a note to try Classic Learn Mode if NWI fails.