Manging Rarely used Z-Wave Devices

I have 3 Monoprice Z-Wave Plus Power Outlets with USB that I rarely use. One typically comes out at XMAS to control the XMAS Lights, the others are used on an "as needed" basis. I am wondering what people thoughts are on how to manage them. As I see it there are three alternatives

1, Plug them in and include them, and leave them plugged in, even though I'm not using them.
2. Plug them in, include them and then unplug them until they are needed
3, Plug them in, include them, mark them as disabled and then unplug them until they are needed.
4. Plug them in include then when they are neeed, exclude them and unplug them when they are not.

The reason I ask this is they are ZWave-Plus and happily dig in and start routing commands as soon as they are powered up. I recently unplugged one and lost 25% of my devices as it had apparently become the choke point for a large part of the network. Also it is quite likely that they could be easily move around the house, so having them route is not actually a good idea.

Either of these are acceptable possibilities. I would chose the first myself.

FYI - disabled devices are still active as far as the radio (z-wave or zigbee) is concerned.

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How do you even disable a device?

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One the Devices Tab, at the top right of the tab, there is a greyed out 'X' icon, just to the right of the 'Add Devices' button. Click it, and a check mark will appear next to each device, allowing you to 'disable' the device. Not sure at this point what the use for this is.

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Doh! - I keep forgetting about that :x:

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It disables the device from being used in any hubitat apps/automations.

I do wish manufacturers could find a way to allow the user to choose to disable the repeater function per device! It would make my life easier definitely.

This

Bad. These repeat and once connected to your mesh then removed without exclusion will make your mesh unstable

You can do this.

I don't think that would be doable because once the node is registered as a repeater things will continue to try and route through it. I suspect that if you could turn of repeating at will on a device it would be akin to creating a ghost node in the mesh.

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I wasn't really thinking of turning it on and off dynamically, for obvious reasons. Might have to be some sort of jumper switch... Or perhaps if it did become possible to do this, then smart hub engines would be updated to cope.

Some devices that can be powered by both battery or mains can be set to repeat/not repeat based on the way they are paired. My remotec zxt-600 is like this...

This is a good example of the folks behind z-wave not thinking through some common use cases. The idea of being able to prevent a single device from being used as a repeater is great. Example:

I use a z-wave Zooz device to control a set of snow melt mats on the deck. It's used between November until mid-April. If I add a device during that period, there's a good chance it will "see" that Zooz device and use it as a repeater (they seem to be great repeaters). But come mid-April, I don't need to leave that device plugged in and would prefer to just store it with the mats until November. No can do. So, I leave it plugged in in the basement, fairly close to its winter location on the deck, and all is well in z-wave world. But I'm left with this thing just dangling there...

As I see it, it's another example of manufacturers deciding they can think for us instead of allowing us to think for ourselves. I'm fairly certain that if I had to design a mesh by picking devices to repeat, I could do it with just a little trial and error. But that option doesn't exist for us, sadly.

I've got my heater plugs too. I can use them to plug in fans in the summer but then I have to relabel them, or go on calling the fans heaters. This applies to both Zigbee and Z-wave devices. A big benefit of wifi ip-based devices is as long as your wifi carries on working all year you can take your devices on and off the circuit as much as you want without disrupting communications

I would actually do one of these two depending on how convenient it is to leave it plugged in.

I am going to go against typical thinking here. I have some devices I am still testing or toying with, I have a test rig in my office to wire stuff up. I leave them paired and sometimes if I am working on more than one they do not have power. The location of my office is towards the edge but I do have a few permanent switches and the garage this way so sometimes the test devices become repeaters.

The way the zwave plus works, anything routing through it will try and find a new route the next time it tries to talk to the hub and then will stick to that new route. If that route becomes bad it is possible it might have hung onto the powered off node and try it again but it will fail so it will move on and find another path, I would assume eventually it will forget about it. I have had devices off for a while and eventually the route is totally gone in the zwave details and it will have no neighbors, etc... I dont think this device is causing any problems at this point. The only traffic it might see would be during a neighbor update a device might try to ping it, and it wont respond, so then it wont be considered for routing. If you have seen neighbor updates or a re-routing "storm" using zniffer before you will understand this better.

This has been off for just a couple weeks:

Now I know people are going to say but ghosts.... those are typically different, they are stuck in a discovery state. I have not run zniffer to see but I can imagine the hub is doing something with that node actively, possibly sending out discover signals every so often. If you get enough of these it might bog down the radio to cause the issue where people start having problems including new devices. Just a theory.

Well, manufacturers of z-wave thermostats have permitted that for a long time. When powered by batteries during inclusion, thermostats are included in FLIRS mode. When powered by AC during inclusion, they are included as powered repeaters. Changing the power source post-inclusion doesn't change FLIRS/repeater status.

So it seems to me that manufacturers of powered z-wave devices could easily permit a device to be included in either mode during inclusion, based on the user's preferences.

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For outdoor holiday lighting I use wifi plugs. Indoor holiday lighting (Christmas tree) uses zwave plugs that stay in place year round for all the reasons said so far. Using the wifi plugs outdoors works for us as they are cheap if damaged due to weather and don't need to stay in place or be excluded.

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I posed this question about a year ago and tried to leave them plugged in year round but found I didn't like looking at the Xmas lights and Xmas tree lights modules hanging from the wall for no reason.
I now exclude them and pause their pistons untile Nov and include and resume until Jan.

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