Removing ghost/orphaned Z Wave device

I have 2 Leviton Fan Controllers that are somewhat problematic. Every once in awhile they stop working, both locally and from hub. Sometimes flipping the breaker works, other times I have to factory reset them. Anywho, they both went out at the same time and during my troubleshooting I force removed them and am left with 2 orphaned devices in my Z Wave network. If I attempt to add them back in, they do not work correctly. I have tried everything I have seen suggested in other forums to remove the devices but they simply will not go away. Here's a short list of what I've tried:

  1. Remove device from device page using standard z wave exclusion process
  2. Force remove when step one fails
  3. Refresh then remove from Z Wave settings page
  4. Click remove multiple times, waiting for page to reload between clicks
  5. Flipped breaker then repeated steps 3 & 4
  6. Rebooted hub then repeated 3 & 4
  7. Pulled power from hub for a few minutes then repeated steps 3 & 4
  8. Restored a previous backup which restored the 2 devices but they were inoperable which forced me to start over from step 1

I'm not sure if anything can be done, but these little buggers just don't want to go away. I do not want to reset my z wave network as I have many devices with a lot of automations that would be a nightmare to set back up. Anybody have any thoughts?

Have you tried to use PC Controller the software from silicon labs to remove them from your Zwave Mesh?

  1. you need a secondary zwave controller : perhaps the aeotec stick or the zooz stick, and the pc controller software from silicon labs.
  2. you then find out from your zwave details which nodes have to be removed
  3. you remove them using the pc controller software

(this is all detailed with specifics, elsewhere in this forum)

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@MParker Yeah, you may need a z-wave stick paired as a secondary controller to remove them. That said, are you on the latest z-wave radio firmware (not just the HE platform, the z-wave firmware is separate) If you can completely disconnect power to these fan switches for more than a day, that would be more optimal. Also factory reset them if you can. Then do the power cycle (unplug for 5 mins, at the wall not the hub) Then attempt removal again. Though during the 24-48 hour interval they may remove themselves.

If you are having that much problem with these devices, I would get rid of them altogether as they are causing you headaches.

I have to say, this whole business of needing a third "thing" (software running on a Windows-based PC along with an additional device) is a major negative to some of us. We no longer have Windows machines in our home, and this would be the only reason to have one. I'd think that a system like HE should contain the capability to deal with ghost devices rather than relying on a specialty solution from a third party that runs only on one major OS.

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Easy enough to run a demo copy of windows in a VM to handle the occasional issue. That said, this is not a function of Hubitat but a limitation of the SDK itself. Hubitat can only "work around" so much before losing z-wave certification. SiLabs is actually the 1st party and not a 3rd party. So any direct hardware interaction needs to be done through the Silabs software since they are the one that control it and the certification. Any 700 series hub that is certified has the same issue.

I certainly agree with you that it is a MAJOR weakness of the Hubitat that this approach has to be taken.
However, I recently did a home with many zwave devices. In the past, I'm sure that I would have had MANY phantom devices. I didn't have a single one! I am sure that Hubitat staff have modified the zwave inclusion process to minimize the necessity of using the PC Controller software.

I appreciate the insight. I'm updating the Z Wave firmware now, I didn't realize that was separate from the HE firmware. If I still cannot remove the ghost devices after that I guess I'll have to get the extra controller. This isn't the first time this has happened to me and it probably won't be the last as my smart home continues to grow. The first time I simply did the reset because I was in the early stages of migrating to the Hubitat platform. I'm too deep now to reset everything so it looks like the controller may be the best path forward.


Got my USB stick in and followed the instructions to remove the ghost devices using the PC Controller software by sililabs. Worked like a charm. So grateful for the detailed instructions as there is no way in hell I would have been able to figure out that software without them.


"Simplicity Studio" is the oxymoron of the century. Those instructions surely help especially the first time you do this.


Download the Hubitat app