Locks - A cautionary tale (Kwikset Z-wave vs Zigbee)

I've gone through a bit of a saga with smart locks and thought I would post my findings here hoping that it will help somebody else who has either gone through what I'm going through or about to go down that path.

Number of years ago I purchased four Kwikset Z-Wave locks "SmartCode" (not z-wave plus) for use with an Abode security gateway. The Abode security gateway is a security system that is also a ZigBee/Z-Wave hub. The locks worked very well with Abode but Abode is a very basic hub without any customization available beyond some automation. I still use it for a security system but have moved everything else to Hubitat.

Unfortunately I found the Z-Wave locks did not work very well at all with Hubitat. Many threads here on troubles with the Z-Wave locks (perhaps particularly Kwikset) and my experience is pretty much parallel. I purchased some Z-Wave Plus radio chips to see if that would improve things. It really didn't. Reporting the status of the lock and compatibility with the lock code manager were constant issues.

So I ordered some Zigbee radio chips and 4 Zigbee repeaters (peanut plugs) to create a mesh. The locks all paired flawlessly. Fixed every issue I'd been having...100% reliable operation.

TLDR: If you're thinking smart locks just go with Zigbee.

PS... The one single issue I have is the way Kwikset Zigbee locks report a locked or unlocked state creates a double trigger. This means if you have a notification set up for something like leaving your door unlocked you will always get two notifications instead of just one. Annoying but not a deal breaker being as the functionality is excellent.


Totally agree. I still have 2 Kwikset z-wave locks and they are nothing but pain. Go with Zigbee unless you are looking for pain and low WAF.

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This isn't true. I have a Kwikset ZigBee lock and my notifications work normally, meaning I only get one for each event I notify on. You've got something else going on if you are getting double notifications on your lock events. Check the driver you are using. Your lock should be working fine with the Generic ZigBee Lock driver. Make sure that is what you are using and in the lock's device page hit configure.

Well it's true for me at least :wink:

Here is what the log shows:
|lock|unlocked||Back Door Lock was unlocked|DEVICE||2019-12-11 08:37:28.968 PM CST|
|lock|unlocked||Back Door Lock was unlocked by manual|DEVICE|physical|2019-12-11 08:37:28.963 PM CST|

Each unlock event spits out 2 events (my lingo). Does the same when locked. The unlocked trigger is triggered by both events.

Generic driver in use. Config was pressed after pairing.

This wasn't the case when the Z-Wave chip us in use.

My log also shows 2 events:

2019-12-17 02:14:13.209 pm infoFront Door Lock was unlocked by C****

2019-12-17 02:14:13.196 pm infoFront Door Lock was unlocked

However, notifications on lock/unlock only notify once. You seem to have something else going on with notifications if you are getting 2 for each lock and unlock event.

It's depending on what you are using for notification.

I'll have to look back over the programming.

Thanks for the reply.

I've used both Pusohover and the Hubitat app. Only get 1 notification on unlock and lock events.

The odd bit Is that I'm using the exact same trigger programming as I was when I had the locks using the Z-Wave chip. Anyway, as I said, I'll pour over it again tonight.

Okay. Solution found! For some reason having an END-IF at the end of the IF THEN routine was adding the second notification. I added an ELSE thinking perhaps that was needed and I got 3 notifications and that set me straight.

Thanks to all of you for your guidance.

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Sorry to hear you had so much trouble with Z-Wave locks! I’ve got all four of my Kwikset locks on my Z-Wave mesh, and that’s been pretty stellar for performance for over a year, now. It’s been more reliable than when I had one in Zigbee.

All anecdotal, but for anyone with Zigbee woes, it may lend some hope :slight_smile:

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I have zwave & zwave plus Schlage connect locks all over, no issue here.

User lock app in ST was way easier, but works perfectly in Hubitat thus far.

I have 2 Kwikset 910 zwave locks and for almost 2 years not one issue. When you pair it correctly it just works. Pair it wrong and it wont.


The biggest issue I had was because the locks were not Z-wave Plus. Although, even after I replaced the Z-Wave chips with a plus model, I still had small problems. I must have paired the locks two dozen times to try and work it out. Operation was okay but the lock code manager never worked properly.

A strange thing is that the older Z-Wave chips somehow operated just fine on my older Abode hub.

It seems like locks are one of the largest trouble areas.