Some observations about z-wave repeaters

First of all, my whole house is within range of the Z-Wave signal from my HE hub. All the switches and sensors work well, it's just the locks that were giving me trouble. I got one Aeotec range extender and put it near my hub, and immediately my front door lock started to behave. So I reasoned that an Aeotec near each lock would make each one improve. When my front door was working, every signal to or from the lock would initiate a blinking green light on the Aeotec... very useful for diagnostics.
Now I have an Aeotec 2-3 feet from my hub and one within 8-10 feet of each lock, 5 total. The results have been interesting. Some of my problem locks are still a problem. Operating the lock locally or commanding from the dashboard doesn't cause the nearby Aeotec's LED to blink at all, nor the Aeotec next to the hub. It seems as though the hub is routing directly to some the locks without sending through the Aeotecs at all. The locks respond slowly or not at all, just as they did before the addition of the range extenders. This is after a Z-Wave repair when everything was in place, and days of "healing" time.
So putting range extenders throughout the house has improved one device considerably but has had no effect on some others. Luckily I don't have any big security issues... if this was a vacation house I wasn't able to physically check all the time I would be very concerned.

I would agree with your observations, my results have been similar. Z-wave routes where it want and when it wants. I have had no luck "forcing" the hub to use the repeaters no matter how much rearranging I do.

Are there any tools to evaluate the health of a Z-wave network? Maybe to see the route a message takes?

I have one Z-wave outlet that has a network test mode but it's quite crude, just showing a color code for connection quality. Seems like there ought to be a way to get some kind of useful info out of the system via Hubitat software.

There is...


My experience has been quite the opposite. I have 3 aeotec repeaters and an enerwave zwave plus plug that supports beaming. My schlage lock seems to love the enerwave plug that's all the way on the opposite side of the house. My other two Alfreds repeat through an aeotec repater that's closer to the locks upstairs and doesn't do much with the one that's close to the hub. There is no way to control what path z-wave takes, but the documentation from zwave alliance says that 4 good routes to the hub is standard. If you purchase the tools, you can somewhat control routing, but will break the route you set after a repair is done. I have a zniffer and it gives quite a bit of information as to where things are routing, but it's a huge amount of data to sift through. I've watched it do a repair and that is pretty interesting as well. After watching routing, I can see that other things route through the repeaters, so I'll leave them placed. I have zwave contact sensors that latched right on to them and work great.