Question on Z-Wave Locks and Z-Wave Performance

Background here, I'm coming from a Wink 2 system. I have a mix of Lutron Caseta switches, Z-Wave Switches (Leviton and GE/Jasco, mostly "Binary" switches), Z-Wave Locks (Kwiskset 912 and Schlage FBE469NX), and Z-Wave sensors (Dome and Wink, which I think are Dome). I also have an August Lock (non-Pro, older, w Connect) and Ecobee thermostat. I have a pretty spread out configuration in a large old farm house that has been expanded over the year. I generally had no problem with Z-Wave performance with my Wink 2, even to my most distant Z-Wave switches, sensors, and locks.

I first moved all my Lutron Caseta to a SmartBridge Pro2. That was a piece of cake and worked perfectly. The Luton bridge is in the exact same location as my Wink 2 (central/front wiring closet) and all switches worked fine.

Next, I worked on Z-Wave. Wow was this a nightmare. I knew the Z-Wave performance of the Hubitat C7 is weaker, but holy cow it is down right pathetic. I took me a full day of struggling to exclude/include all my switches. I had to constantly move the C7 all over the house. It literally had to be 10 feet or less from each switch to add (luckily I have structured wiring all over). The Wink I never once moved from its central location. The Leviton switches were easiest to exclude/include. The GE were a pain (they are older). I would remove them from Wink and then they would constantly reappear in Wink as "Switch". It was a constant battle with those. I ended up using exclusion mode in the C7 most of the time to get those un-programmed and re-programmed.

The Z-Wave locks were the hardest. The hub had to be almost within inches of the locks to add them. But I got them both added. The Z-Wave sensors were the easiest because obviously I could move them close to the hub and then put them back in place.

All that said, I have gotten ALL my Z-wave stuff moved. Early this year I had some water damage from a leak and while the walls were down I pulled some more Cat6. Luckily, I had one run in a cavity dead-center of the first floor where I have a humidifier. There is power there too. So I concentrated the cable and put the C7 in there. Things seem to have calmed down so far with my Z-Wave environment, the mesh seems to be working and my sensors outside seem to be properly triggering the lights.

So my questions...

  1. Is this Z-Wave performance with the C7 normal? What should I do to improve it (aeotec repeater?)? I think I may wait and see at this point how things pan out. Side note, is there a good way to monitor the Z-Wave mesh performance?

  2. My Kwikset 912 Lever Lock (Z-Wave Plus Model) was detected as a "Schlage FE599/BE369 Lock". Is that normal? I see no Kwikset 912 in the lock list. It seems to work though.

  3. Status sometimes doesn't always update on the Kwikset. For example, if I lock it through the web interface, the status seems to show unlocked unless I do a refresh. Is that normal?

  4. Do I have any options for my August Lock w/ Connect? My needs are basic, I want an unlock event at night to trigger turning on various lights, that's it (although, truth be told, all the lights are Lutron Caseta that I want to turn on and I could use Apple HomeKit to do it since both August and Lutron support HomeKit, but that just further complicates my configuration).

  5. All my Leviton and GE/Jasco On/Off (non-dimmer) switches were detected as "Generic Z-Wave Switch" (GE) or "Generic Z-Wave Smart Switch" (Leviton). Is that normal? What is the difference between Smart and non-Smart? I do have one Leviton Z-Wave Dimmer and that one was properly detected as "Leviton DZ6HD Z-Wave Dimmer".

I haven't done the Luton integration yet, that is my next step, as I want the Z-Wave Locks and Sensors to turn on Caseta lights. I also wouldn't mind some advice on sensors going forward. The only reason I used the Dome ones in the past was because they were the only ones that were supported with Wink.

One thing is for sure, I'll never buy a Z-Wave light switch again! Caseta from here on out!

Sorry for the long post, tried to summarize as best I could!



Looks like Wink stayed in pairing mode. And the switches paired with the first available z-wave controller. It would be a good idea to keep your Wink hub unplugged while pairing z-wave devices to HE.

There are two ways I know of - you can build a Zniffer (search the forums for instructions). This will cost you about $40 (if you already have a Windows PC). Or, you can purchase something like Z-wave toolbox. This will set you back about $100-150. If I had to do it over again, I'd just build a zniffer.

I'm a wee bit surprised by that. I would imagine the fingerprint to be different. Generally, the generic z-wave lock driver would be appropriate for z-wave locks from Kwikset and Yale.

No. This is generally an issue with z-wave meshes that are not sufficiently robust. That being said, there are issues with the z-wave stack in the C-7 that being addressed by upcoming platform releases.

Z-wave v/s z-wave plus.

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I just bought and paired a 912 and I saw the same behavior. On the Device page, I just changed the driver to the generic Z-wave lock and it's been working fine. I searched the forums when I saw how it paired and the recommendation was to change to the generic driver.

Thanks. I'll check out the Zniffer setup.

I wonder if it would be wise to replace my non-plus switches with plus switches to improve performance. It makes sense though, I bought the GE ones because they were the least expensive ones I could find at the time. Although if I'm going to replace switches, I'd probably just do Lutron Caseta.


I just bought and paired a 912 and I saw the same behavior. On the Device page, I just changed the driver to the generic Z-wave lock and it's been working fine. I searched the forums when I saw how it paired and the recommendation was to change to the generic driver.

It does seem the lock is actually working with the Schlage driver. I guess I'll switch it to generic and see if the behavior changes at all. Thanks.


Yes, it would be wise. Cost effective? Well that's up to the user/buyer to decide.

Plus can be 2.5 faster than non-plus. And any plus device routing through a non-plus repeating device is capped at non-plus speeds. So it definitely can slow down the entire mesh having repeating non-plus devices (like switches/dimmers).

Now, how much you will notice the difference is subjective.


Actually might not be as bad as I thought. I just checked and I have 13 in-wall Z-Wave switches and only 4 of them are non-plus. Probably worth it in that case to swap them.

I've been partial to the Leviton switches as of late. Is there a better recommendation?

Side note, now that my C7 is in it's "permanent" home, I really don't want to have to move it around to every switch if I do add/change them. Is there any way around that?



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100% subjective. I'm a GE/Honeywell/Jasco guy (and they are on sale right now at Deals ).

Can't help you there. I paired 100% of my 80+ devices in-place and never moved the C-7 hub once. Not sure why you had to do that (for anything other than zwave locks, that is - often have to do it for locks, which is on purpose/by design).

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The one disadvantage that I know of with the Schlage is that those locks don't support reading back use lock codes, which Lock Code Manager likes to use. I don't know how the Schlage driver deals with that, but I know that the generic driver allows downloading user codes.

I had a heck of a time. I still have trouble pairing things. One of my Dome sensors I paired yesterday just wasn't responding today I noticed. I had to exclude it and re-include it. But when I tried to re-include it the first time, it found the device and just hung in "initializing" state. I had to exclude it again and re-include it. This happened with a lot of the the devices I added (and the Dome sensor I was holding a few feet from the C7). I had to repeatedly exclude/include even when the C7 was nearby. The Leviton switches worked the best of anything else I have.

My overall Z-Wave experience has been extremely poor with the C7 and much better with Wink. I do have some RF challenges though. All my switch boxes are metal. So I'm sure that is attenuating the signal to a large degree. The Caseta stuff has no issue, but the propagation of the ISM band it uses is probably a big factor as to why (and one reason Lutron used it).

The other issue I have with the GE/Jasco switches is their size. The ones I have are huge and I had lots of trouble getting them into some of my more crowded boxes. Although looking at their web site it seems they've slimmed them down a bit, so maybe that is no longer an issue.


Oh, so with my Schlage deadbolt (FBE469NX) I won't be able to use Lock Code Manager? With the Wink I was able to fully manage the codes on the Schlage, but not the Kwikset. I guess the situation is reverse now? Or is that not what Lock Code Manager is for?


You will. All you have to do is delete the existing key code slots using the lock's device page (do this slowly - one code at a time and confirm it is deleted before doing the next one).

After removing existing key codes, you can add new ones using Lock Code Manager just fine. But add codes one at a time as well, confirming it is added successfully ....

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I did want to report that I switched to the Generic Z-Wave Lock driver for the Kwikset 912 and the status is reported quickly and correctly now, so that did help. Thanks.



I don’t know about your particular locks, but LCM manages codes on my two Schlage BE469ZP locks just fine on my C-7.

With Hubitat, you may need Z-Wave beaming repeaters next to the (FLIRS) locks to make them work. Beaming repeaters were needed on my C-5 Hub when I had Schlage BE469NX (Z-Wave non-Plus) locks, which I upgraded to Z-Wave Plus because of battery life issues that were fixed with the upgrade. On the C-7, one of the BE469ZP locks communicates fine directly with the Hub, the other, actually much closer but through two closet walls, goes through a beaming repeater.

I suspect the mesh hadn't been well enough established and the devices weren't factory reset after unpairing from the old hub. Had you done the factory reset and let the mesh get eatablished I'd imagine it would have gone more smoothly.

Moving the hub around only complicated the matter since the devices routes were directly to the hub and had to fail out to local peers and build new routes.

To improve your z-wave mesh, put a z-wave repeater near (but not too close) to your hub.

Moving from SmartThings to Hubitat, I discovered Hubitat’s z-wave radio to be a lot weaker than the SmartThings radio.

It was suggested to me on this forum to put a z-wave repeater near the hub (but not too close). I placed an Aeotec dedicated z-wave repeater in the same room as my hub, about 10’ away. That worked wonders for my z-wave mesh.

If your mesh is still not up to par after that, try adding a few more z-wave repeaters in different areas of the house. In my experience, the Aeotec repeaters work really well.

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I have several Z-Wave repeating devices in my house, like sirens, etc, and I still run into lots of issues regarding Z-Wave status/performance. As it pertains to pairing, I just connected my hub to a laptop via CAT 5, and walked around with it.

Usually better to pair in place since this messes with the device routing. Any failed pairs in: settings, zwave details list?

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I had the same issue
None of my.plug in switches would pair I had to pair next to hub and move to final position

I've always had to pair physically near locks -- I thought that was because secure Z-Wave didn't use repeaters. Either way, I just walk over with the laptop/hub, pair, then when everything is in-place, I repair the network. If I don't get close, many times the locks just won't pair reliably.