Inovelli Honeymoon is Over

I have 22 z-wave switches and/or dimmers in my home for several years now. I started with GE/Jasco units and have found that about 1 in 5 fail within the first couple of years. They fail in different ways. Most of the time they just stop sending status updates to the controller. So I would manually switch on or off a light and it would not report the new status to the hub. So two years ago I started replacing these with Inovelli Red series switches and dimmers. I had five of these in service for about two years and one just died today. It was in my garage so it has seen at least one Michigan winter. I had the dimmer configured as a switch controlling two smart bulbs. So it was set to always keep the smart bulbs powered. Well it stopped working. I powered it off and on again and nothing. Replaced one smart bulb with a regular bulb and nothing. I checked that it was still being powered. I tried to exclude it from the hub but no signal. I tried doing a factory reset but the LED did not even respond while holding down the configuration button, So it's officially dead :(.
So I am of the opinion that z-wave switches and dimmers have a failure rate of about 20-25% within the first two years of service. Doesn't matter if they are GE or Inovelli. Anyone else seeing the same rate of failure?

GE had extended their warranty coverage to 5 years; I believe it was due to reliability issues. I have read that they are especially susceptible to failure after a power outage. I have lost 3 GE dimmers in the past 5 years out of around 30 (1x Zigbee and 2 x Z-wave). We’re lucky to have very stable power, but I’ve only lost 2 or 3 Hue bulbs out of around 50 during the same time period. Others here have observed reliability issues with the older GE z-wave plus dimmers and switches.

I’ve had 50+ zooz for going on 3 years. All good so far. Have a few inovelli as well and they are fine as well…

It's not the power outage that causes the issue, it just reveals the symptom. The caps in the power supply fail over time. For a period they're good enough to allow the switch to continue to work, but not start up from a no power situation.

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Interesting I have had about 15 Inovelli Gen 1 Z-Wave switches (pre red and blue series) and the only issue I have seen was a airgap button on the plastic faceplate broke a prong that keeps it in the the switch went offline. Inovelli replaced the faceplate for free. Two switches take the most abuse in my home, the kitchen and the basement. Those are hit at least 20 times a day and no issues.

I have many Inovelli switches well over your two-year mark, and not a single one has failed.

The Inovelli dimmer is rated down to 32 degrees Farenheit, I'm guessing that garages in Michigan may regularly drop below that in the winter, so using a switch in a harsh climate below the specified minimum temperature might lead to an early failure.

Did you pull the switch to check for an electrical issue such as a loose conductor, or did you just press some buttons and decide to call it dead? You may be correct, but electrical troubleshooting would be a logical next step before drawing a conclusion.

Did you contact Inovelli to enquire about the issue?

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I have 43 GE/Jasco switches that are two years old. No failures yet. Of course, just mentioning it was the kiss of death.
edit: Includes several in the unheated garage and breezeway.

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Since the switches are several years old, are you certain they were ZWave+? Or could they have been gen 1 ZWave?

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I don't have any z-wave switches in an "extreme" environment. However, I have Leviton z-wave outlets in my attic that have been there for ~8 years.

Every summer, it routinely gets ~100-120 degrees F in my attic (I'm in Louisiana). I've had other devices fail in this temperature, but both the z-wave outlets just keep chugging along.

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Just adding a data point to your observation. Have had 40+ working Z-Wave switches for the past 10 years, the failure rate for me has been 10% over a 5 year span. Have replaced my non Z-Wave Plus switches with Inovelli Red Series, about 3 years ago, and have not had any failures, yet. Now that I mentioned it, I probably jinxed it... :rofl:

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This is not a symptom of a failed device or controller, but rather of mesh issues.

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Same here. They've been through more firmware updates than my other switches, but they have not failed and all still working

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Just another data point.
The first generation of zwave GE/Jasco switches were indeed problematic - they failed often. They made up for it by being very generous in terms of replacing them.
The current generation of GE/Jasco switches (Enbrighten, simpliwire and quickfit), are all very good quality and I haven't had a single one fail. I like them because they are shorter (easier to fit in the box), and they allow you to mix up Line and Load without any consequences. In addition, I've used the zwave dimmer (no neutral) on many circuits with very low load without any issues.

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Sure. I have over 80 Z-Wave switches and dimmers and service across 2 houses.

I've had maybe 10 fail, and they were all the old style (14xxx) GE, and all after electrical storms.

None of the GE 26xxx, Enbrighten series, or any other brand I've had have (mainly zooz) have failed (that I can think of). And some are approaching 5+ years old.

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Same here...the older GE/Jasco switches had issues, Jasco responded by extending the warranty to five years (and I've had one replaced even outside that warranty period). Have not had failures of the newer "Enbrighten" and "UltraPro" lines. But that's just my experience.

A single household is never going to be a statistically accurate representation of failure rates for any device. If I bought two cars of the same make/model, and one of them broke down, it would be silly to then say that proves that the model has a 50% failure rate.

I've had ~20 Inovelli Red and Black switches for about 2 years now. I killed a couple of them by being a bad electrician. But none of them have died on their own.

If you're having trouble after power outages, or if you're in an area where your power surges a lot, I highly recommend getting a whole home surge suppressor. Conversation about it here.

Yes a whole home surge suppressor completely forgot I installed one back on 1997 and it's two little green lights are still shining after all these years. That is always a good practice to have a multi level surge plan.

I will add there is still issues with some longevity of board components like low quality capacitors that have been killing many devices over the years. Before my Z-Wave switches from Inovelli and GE/Jasco I had SmartHome X10 switches which were in place for over 15 years, only one of the switches went bad and I was able to do a "circuit" repair since those were out of life.

One has to wonder what is the life expectancy of any controlled device in today's market? I have older computers that I build in the 90's that still boot and run today but my older GRMS radios from the 90's all have failed. It's a crap shoot I guess.

I have around 40 GE/Jasco switches, dimmers, dimmers/motion sensor combos, and have not had any fail. They average 3 years old. They are all zwave plus. I have 3 switches that experience -40 a few times a year. I imagine this temperature is outside their stated operating range, but they work fine, even during these cold spells.

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Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. Just to answer a few questions ... almost all of my switches are zwave+. I have run z-wave repair many times and this has never fixed a GE zwave switch that stopped reporting changes to the hub. In fact, I've had GE switches in the same plastic 2-gang box with one working and the other not reporting (but would still receive commands). The first time this happened, I did tons of investigations and got input from several communities - nothing fixed it. And unfortunately, these are not just the very old GE switches either. The newer version GE switches have also died. I did pull the dead Inovelli switch out of the wall and all wires were still well secured to the switch and it still had a 110 supply. I also have two Inovelli switches in a barn (about 20 feet from the house) and these have been working fine for about 2 years now. I'm sure the barn (no heat) drops well below 32F for much of the Michigan winter. I'm sure I've voided the warranty, but I have no other options for the control I want in the barn. I have been thinking about switching to the lutron caseta system. I have two lutron switches in my theater room running for 12 years with zero problems (they are linked together by radio). But changing would be quite an investment and it would decimate my z-wave network (I have many z-wave battery driven devices too). Also, with Thread and Matter right around the corner, I'd rather wait to see how that pans out so I might choose that path for an upgrade. I bought a enbrighten GE switch to replace the Inovelli (can't get an Inovelli switch anymore - never in stock). Hope I have more luck with this one.

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