Strategy to replace four Zwave switches

I have 4 GE zwave switches that are in plenty of rules, and zwave+ replacement switches ready to go. What's a good strategy for the replacement? I was planning to:

  1. pair the new switches on my workbench
  2. replace the old ones in the rules
  3. unpair the old ones
  4. do the replacement
  5. finally do a zwave repair

Sounds ok?

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I usually

  1. Take a screen shot of the in use by of the old switch
  2. Remove the old switch from existing rules
  3. Unpair the old switch
  4. Replace
  5. Add the new switch to the apps the old one was in if necessary
  6. Repair

It may not be a big deal but I didn't want other devices to switch to using that new switch as a repeater before I moved it into place


I would personally just exclude an old switch then replace with new, pair then edit the rules etc. Next switch. But I'm not you. I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with what you have other than the pair-in-place suggestions. If you have enough Zwave devices, either way should work well.

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I like @Terk reply better than mine. It is what I could have said if I was much smarther.


@aaiyar Here is what I have done in the past.

  • pair the new switches on my workbench
  • swap out the old ones with the new ones
  • add the new ones to the rules or exchange old ones with new ones in the rule whichever works better
  • delete the old ones in the same rule if no exchange (keeps rule from going bad)
  • exclude the old ones at your workbench
  • do a z-wave repair

@aaiyar I would do it the way you described. I’m worried that removing the switch from the hub will break the rule and make it uneditable. I’ve had this happen in the past and now always pair the new device and swap it with the old one in all of the rules before removing the old device. In your case, if not using the switch for anything else, couldn’t you just swap out the switches in place and then force remove and do a z-wave repair after changing the rules? I have done this with a couple old z-wave dimmers that I replaced with plus versions. It’s what happens if a switch dies.


Agree. Same reason. This is why I’m leery of adding too many Z-Wave devices to my network. Other than my door lock, all the Z-Wave devices I have added are unavailable in a Zigbee version.

Light switches and dimmers are still limited, but they do exist. I just ordered a Sinope Zigbee dimmer to try out as a example.


@Ken_Fraleigh @SmartHomePrimer Are we all saying the same thing here or am I missing something?


This should only take half an hour. Let us know when you are done. :wink:


It appears we are. Good luck and I hope everything is uneventful @aaiyar


Thanks all! I'm going to go with @razorwing/@Ken_Fraleigh/@SmartHomePrimer because that's the most convenient for my lazy ■■■ :grinning:

As for this son-of-a-gun. I got the new switches unboxed. Why don't come on over and take care of the rest of it? I'll just step out to my local for a couple brewskis.

Sadist. :rofl::rofl:


Love to! I have a bunch of electrical wiring to do next week, adding lighting to some small closets. It shouldn't take much time so could fit that in.

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Half an hour since you’re replacing your own installed smart switches, not trying to make since of some jacked up wiring job the previous homeowners did when they installed dimmer switches and thought they were “handy”.
This is of course assuming the brewskies come after the work is done :wink:


So that went very smoothly. I made myself a little doo-hickey with an old bit of appliance cord and a couple spade terminals that made the inclusion/exclusion go quickly. Wish I'd made one a long time ago.


So do you just connect hot and neutral with nothing connected to load?

Yup. Just for pairing/unpairing ....

I may do that. I was corresponding with Bobby earlier today about a GE Z-Wave toggle switch that I removed a few days ago - I was not able to get it to exclude and I was in a hurry to get the Lutron dimmer installed. He led me to believe there might be some bad consequences by not excluding it. It sounds like it will eventually clean up the mesh but I don't want to take chances if I can avoid them.


That seems to have done it. I made a similar cord and was able to bring the whole assembly to my office where it could be within a few feet of the hub. The log showed "Unknown Z-Wave device excluded" and I didn't zap myself.

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In my Old ST days (sigh) There was an option to replace a device. Why does this not exist in HE yet?

Would also be nice, if you could bulk change a device to a Virtual device and then move back so all the rules don't break.

I feel that I am going to be replacing a switch pretty soon that has failed, and I am not looking forward to it.