Question About Z-Wave Repeaters

I have a few z-wave outlets on the far edge of my mesh controlling some outside lighting. For years they have struggled with connectivity and I've done various things to keep them working. I've changed them out to Leviton 700 series from Jasco 500 series hoping that would be stronger, done antenna mods, added mains powered devices nearby, all of that. And they do work, just not super reliably.

I just purchased some of the newer Zooz 800 series repeaters and going to try that to see if they strengthen the connection. Planning on putting them in weatherproof boxes closer to the outlets.

Here is my question for the z-wave experts. When I add the repeaters, will or should those outlets find the repeaters on their own? Will they be added as neighbors? Or do I need to remove and re-pair the outlets so they (hopefully) see the new repeaters.

Those problem outlets only show one or two neighbors right now, and don't even always route through them. Sometimes they try to go direct, which doesn't work very well. I'm hoping they will find or see the new repeaters and use them to hop back to the hub. Just looking for a little advice on implementation...

The mesh will fix itself ...eventually. Others may chime in here with some ideas to hurry things along, but in my (admittedly unscientific) experience, all such efforts are a waste of time -- the mesh is gonna do what it wants on its own schedule.

Place good-quality repeaters is good places, and then just be patient to let things settle.

I think you are referring to the Leviton ZW15R outlets? If so, they have a track record for dropping offline (not just with Hubitat) with the firmware they ship with... There's a beta firmware that addressed this, so I'd recommend emailing and ask them to help get you enrolled in that beta. The 2 ZW15Rs I had were unaffected AFAIK, but I got the beta just in case -- so far, so good.

If the Leviton outlets are in a metal box, it helps to make sure the corresponding repeaters can see their face.

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You might want to place a repeater closer to your hub. That might make the others route through it, giving the remote devices a better path.

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Thanks @hydro311,

Yes, they are the ZW15 and yes I have the beta firmware on them... :slight_smile: I was really hoping because they are 700 series, they would have better range than my usual GE/Jasco devices... Gonna setup the repeaters where I think they will perform best... Just wasn't sure if the outlets would find them on their own...

I've even looked into some things like altering routes using PC Explorer, but even the documentation on that says its risky... I just hope these 800 series repeaters help.

I’ve never done any actual testing, nor do I have any Jasco 500 outlets left to do it with, but I’ve never thought of the Leviton outlets as great radio performers, even with the 700 chip.

Agree w/what @hydro311 & @jameslslate said above...the potential waste of time actions you could take after putting the repeater(s) in place that might help/speed things include:

  • Shut down hub, remove power, wait a minute, restore power
  • Do individual repairs on the devices you want to re-connect via repeaters

^^^ Most important advice, IMHO. IIRC the prevailing wisdom is to place the repeaters about 1/3 of of the distance to your device away from hub.

Also, lower your expectations. :wink: Results from repeaters reported here are all over the place. Sometimes they help, sometimes they sit there like a lump of plastic and wires and do nothing. Can be very frustrating...


Also, check in z-wave section of “Settings” for ghosts!