Smarthome: Nothing but intermittent troubles for years!

Thanks for sharing your experience. Thats certainly a lot of devices and hubs!

You have given me another direction of developing a better mesh. I can say that I could not get the zwave devices to pair in their intended location as sugested by the hubitat guide. From reading that now though pairing at the intended location seems to be the only new thing to me (that also doesnt seem to work for me). Any other tips on mesh, keep them comming.

Maybe its all down to the aeotech switches which seemed good to start with, I also have some aeotec multisensors and trisensors...

My home hub is the c-5 with an external zwave stick, step one for me is to reboot and replug in the stick (complete zwave fail is often). I dont seem to have access to the advanced features of the C-7 to see ghosted zwave devices (is there an external app/code to see this?). Here is my zwave details (currently mostly working with a bit of lag).

You might start another thread asking about reliable devices in your country as I assume you are not in the US given your C5 has a separate Z-Wave stick.

I've not had much luck with the Aeotec multisensors - issues with poor repeating on usb power - now only have 2 left and they are on the edge of my network (one to detect luminance the other for my garage lighting). Have not used the TriSensors.

I have had the opposite experience as well. Periodically I get an old old Leviton dimer module to miss going on but that is about it. I only have about 60 devices. My devices are a hodgepodge of brands and types, including some custom Zigbee devices.

So perhaps there are other issues that might cause your problems. I know you mentioned you have issues both at work and home but I'll ignore that for this response.

Could you post the Hub type and Firmware?

It might help to expand on those issues that required you to spent a significant amount of time to repair. I've only had one device issue that had me going for a while. It was a wall dimmer that could go on intermittently at night. Never found the root cause but unpairing and repairing fixed the issue.

Could you expand on your expectations? Most of us here "play" with their(s) hub regularly and are running beta firmware. There are likely some "glitches" that just pass by unnoticed due to this.

I would look for:

  1. An appliance or device that is causing a lot of RF noise. I have a router once with a bad wall wart. Replacing it cleared up a lot of my WiFi issues (was still at X-10 back then).

  2. A problem device causing excessive traffic on your mesh.

  3. Neighbors with similar systems.

  4. Poor / non central location of the Hub.

  5. I have always considered the phase of the moon the root cause for many issues I had been working on :slight_smile: Or perhaps solar flairs.

  6. Problem Hubitat Firmware version.

  7. Low battery

  8. Ghost node(s)


Looking at your screen cap - you do have a lot of (I assume) MS6's - for me these have been problematic - they just didn't seem to make good repeaters - the ones on usb I mean. To be fair others have had better luck. I like Zigbee sensors as they are a bit faster.

The other thing to consider is memory consumption.. My C5 "Cloud and Network" hub shows a gradual decline in free memory and I have to reboot after it gets too low. Consider adding a watchdog app that can reboot your hub in a controlled fashion rather than being forced to do it when things stop working. Here is a pic of my hubs - notice my Network C5 is already in decline even after a reboot yesterday evening. I suspect my Flume water monitor driver - something I've done with the configuration not sure.

Your Zigbee devices need to be in range of each other, the frequency of their signal is higher (2.4 GHz) so WiFi can cause interference and the signal does not propagate as far as Z-Wave. I use channel 15 to try and avoid WiFi interference. Zigbee seems better then Z-Wave at adapting to changing situations though.

Lastly I would consider not running a Z-Wave repair all the time. Z-Wave+ generally has the ability to adjust but it seems to take a while - few days to weeks.


I'd bet that @JohnRob nailed it. Something is likely causing interference, and or you have ghost nodes.

Also, while a lot of people say dedicated repeaters aren't helpful, I had many problems until I installed two in each building. Then my problems went away in about a day or two. Many people also claim that newer z-wave devices don't need to be paired physically close to the hub, but that has not been my experience for reliability (I pair close, then move to location, then wait a day or two for the device to route).

I've had a lot of enjoyment and gained a lot of utility from my system, which is spread across three buildings (three hubs) at home. We have another at a small shop we own a couple of miles away. Except for some zigbee temp sensors that die when the battery drops down a bit, all is well. My advice: 1) Build all networks by starting with things close to the hub, then building out from there, and add no more than 2-4 devices per day. 2) Stop the moment you have trouble, to see why it occurred. Don't just keep adding devices once you have trouble, assuming you're building outward from the hub without big physical distance gaps of more than 10 or 15 feet between devices. 3) Take another look at what @JohnRob advises.


Ghost devices are harder to detect and remove on a C5 but it's been a while for me as I use my C7 for this - they will need another Z-Wave usb stick and the (free) SiLabs PC Controller Software.

ANother thing to help are beaming repeaters (I recommend the Ring v2's). They will help stabilize your mesh


Yeah. I'm up to 41 Z-Wave devices now without issues.

That shouldn't be necessary. One of the benefits of z-wave is interoperability between other certified z-wave devices. That said, all of my devices are z-wave plus (I removed and replaced all non plus devices) and in my case virtually everything I have is Fibaro. I did find when I used a couple of Aeotec devices, although they worked, they had very few neighbours compared to a Fibaro equivalent in the same location. I had similar poor coverage with some cheaper Neo Coolcam power outlets.


This tells me you have a lot of z-wave traffic, because ghost devices probably wouldn’t slow it down this much. I have mostly Zigbee devices (>200), but have at least 35 z-wave and can run a z-wave repair on my hub in a matter of minutes.
If it were my system, I would buy another hub, connect it with hub mesh, and slowly move over your z-wave devices until you discover a device that causes problems. Then remove/exclude that device and see if the problem goes away. This is exactly how I found out what was causing problems on my Zigbee mesh a few years ago. I got rid of the offending devices and now run two Zigbee meshes; one with lights (where I also try out new devices, and one with extremely reliable repeaters and mission critical devices such as locks and sensors.


I have about 80 zwave devices and another 80 or so zigbee devices, plus lots of hue and lutron stuff. My zwave and zigbee networks are stable but it took a while to get there. I find in general zwave requires more attention but also has more tools for diagnosing issues. The devices are stable... my rules, less so, but that's a me thing not a hub thing.

I've been careful about the placement of repeaters (I also use the ring2), and I don't do things like power reporting. I've tried to eliminate or limit problematic brands and devices, and I don't use any s0 devices. I use device watchdog to keep tabs on things and I check it regularly. (Problematic for me means Fibaro devices that only pair with s0, zooz devices in general but particularly the ZSE40, ge/jabsco, and leviton zwave switches.)

I have actually had excellent success with both multisensor and trisensor but I do not use them as repeaters, just battery operated end devices.

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"It's a journey, not a destination." - that was the mindset that saved me from throwing out the whole kit and kaboodle numerous times!
As so many post before me have said, there are things that can be done to minimize the problems around you.
One of the best things I did, in my own personal opinion, was to toss Z-Wave. By standardizing on a single network type, I cut my diagnostic requirements in 1/2. I also stay away from IP based devices.
Once I really understood - by trial and error sadly - the truth about zigbee networks - their distances, their designs - my problems reduced further. I put a zigbee outlet in every room. building from my hub, adding the device to my network while in my office where the hub is, then
placing the repeater in the room nearest me. I built outward. I overbuilt.
When a device acted up, I stopped and worked on the device. A light bulb that wouldn't go on every time? I'd research the manufacturer, the other users success. I learned of things to stay away from - problem items (Which I think we should have a running list) such as Peanut outlets, old Sylvania bulbs, motion sensors that don't report often or accurately....
In the end - I am now rock solid. I haven't had a problem in weeks - I swear! I've had issues, but they're explainable and resolvable (like bad rules - ugh. that was a big part of the learning!)

Summarily, change your mindset first. HA is a DIY project. Understand and expect problems. Cut your potential problem sources down (ie; choose zigbee, or zwave, and commit to it!) Don't give up, just remember that a community as technically powerful as this will always, eventually... help!


I look at it slightly different.

  1. In one hand it is a convenience; and one could argue that certain lights going on is a safety feature.

  2. On the other hand its a hobby.

I fully expect if I stopped playing with the controller the hub would continually to operate functionally with no or few issues. From what I've seen the few times I haven't played with it for a period of time this is not an unreasonable expectation.

I may be just lucky(?) but my Zigbee and Z-wave mesh seems stable. I've done nothing specific to make it that way. For the Zigbee I do have 3 - 4 custom controllers based on the TI cc2530 device what seems to be a good repeater.
Another negative about my installation, I have all metal boxes (with plastic switch plates). So each device is shielded on 5 sides by the box and in front by the switch bracket.

I have 6 Xiaomi Aqara devices that are very stable (Temp Humidity Pressure, Lux, Contact)

I wish I could state what is about my system that makes it different from those who have been seeing a lot of issues. Reset assured If something becomes obvious I will certainly post it.


Haven't browsed this entire thread....but alot of what I've read underlines the value in:

  • Keeping things simple no matter how tempting it is to tinker beyond the boundaries of standardization and "built in" functionality

  • Walking, instead of running, into the depths of automation with a myriad of new devices

  • Hitching up to other people's success

The big take away is that perhaps Hubitat, and the Community, could do a better job of organizing the Knowledge Base, Best Practices, and Best Kit.

For example, (to the chagrin of various vendors) we should have a "Top Five List" of Devices by type.... and the only way you get on that list is by exhibiting Community proven reliability, longevity, excellent battery life, helpful support, and HE compatibility (I left off affordability on purpose because that may be a factor that leads to problems).

We all have a sense from the legacy of HA that the OP's failure is the failure of HA to come fully out of the realm of "hobby electronics". But we also know this is the BEST it's looked, in, like, forever. Like LEAPS and BOUNDS better.

The impasse isn't from the bits and pieces being the kluge HA once was...but there STILL is the hurdle of finding what works and integrating it into a user friendly system. With all due respect I still find Hubitat resistant to features that would improve on the latter.



As with everyone else. I have around 40 or so z-wave devices, around the same amount of zigbee devices, about 10 lifx bulbs, 50 or so lutron switches/dimmers/picos. I honestly have few issues (mostly the ones I do are simply dead batteries). I use repeaters strategically. Usually when something does happen it's my fault. I even have some of the most problematic devices running smoothly (3 schlage be469 locks and a few zooz 4-in-1's)

Things you do have to take into consideration are, metal boxes (switches and outlets) What's in your walls? Mesh? (from plaster and lathe) Galvanized pipe? Iron pipe? All these things. One thing you might want to consider is the external antenna mod. This may make your meshes a lot more solid. It has for the majority of the folks that have done it.

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Just catching what you wrote and it underlines something that to me is a critical component that might be added to HE. Others might well consider "creep-of-scope".

While everybody says, "go get the 3rd Party tools for this" I say...

ARE WE DOING EVERYTHING WE COULD DO in the HE box to facilitate Network/Mesh inspection ...and if this is one of the PRIMARY THINGS causing implementations to "hit the wall" (pun intended) then I'm willing to pay a little more for the next generation HE box to have the tools onboard to help analyze the potential pitfalls in the mesh I'm laying out.

I mean seriously, knowing what we all know (AND FEAR) with these networks wouldn't you buy the box that can help with network & device connectivity health/resiliency analysis over the box that couldn't. Understanding that the challenge here might be about radios and their duplicity in one box, at the least make this an option that someone could buy and plug in before they totally gave up on implementing HA.


Well trying to write something that would do mesh analysis at the radio wave level would be quite an undertaking and would likely require more than one z-wave/zigbee radio as I don't think sniffing/analyzing would do well on a single one. (Someone more knowlegable can correct me if I'm wrong). The box is built for common denominators. It can't account for everything. I will say there has been talk about doing a version with an external antenna setup which would help alleviate a lot of signal issues but even that can't account for everything. A good example is 1920-1935 or so houses that not only used plaster and lathe, but used mesh nailed to the top of the lathe. I've been in and worked on these houses and even cell phone reception gets trashed. I guess what I'm saying is that only so much can be done. I'm hoping z-wave LR changes a little bit of this.

I hear ya, but even the surroundings aren't the whole story. I mean how many times have we seen device discussions mentioning, "maybe it is one of those that had the bad/weak radios", "those don't repeat well", "first pair it NEXT to the HE", "I'm line of sight and it still routes through XYZ", "try a different channel maybe there's congestion" etc.

I know I'm doing some arm waving here that is more technically challenging than waving my arm...but addressing this to the best degree you can in the HE box would be a gift for a lot of folks bird-dogging implementations. Granted there are probably other things like ZigBee and Z-Wave improvements in protocols/standards that might be even more incrementally beneficial.

Anyway...enough musings. Just saying...the nuances of the network/mesh is proverbial "Black Magic" to a lot of folks in the next tranche of HA adoption. They just won't tolerate it...,they'll take the off ramp a lot sooner than the OP.

Which might explain the emergence of zwave LR!

Thanks Guys,

Its all very appreciated.

I was feeling quite depressed over it all and could not bring myself to replying and continuing down HE for a while. Since then though I have upgraded my home to a C7 and things have become much more reliable yet nowhere near 100%

Since I cloned my c5 to the c7 I have lost the connection to the cloud and app so I am now looking to set it all up from scratch again.

Thanks for the help, I will try to keep things as simple as possible in the hub but I am also looking at what community validated hardware works reliably for the aus market and I will ask that in a new topic.


That shouldn't be a thing at all. Are you running a static ip or using DHCP on the c7?

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