Z-wave

I'm pretty new (C-7), and I think I built my z-wave mesh poorly (battery devices first). I have some taking odd paths through mains devices, devices reading only 9.6 kbps, and a couple NOT_RESPONDING.

I tried reverting back to .119 based on some other topics I read - hoping that might help. It has not. I am contemplating excluding everything (all Zooz - ZEN21 switches (4), ZEN22 dimmers (3), ZSE18 motion sensor (1), ZSE40 4-in-1 sensors (3), and ZEN15 power switches (2)), and then resetting and rebuilding.

  1. Is .145 supposed to be better for the z-wave, and do I update back to it again first?
  2. Do I need to factory reset after excluding?
  3. What's the best order to do the inclusion?
  4. Is there some trick to avoiding the mesh routing through the two ZEN15 in a row (they are plugs that are on the same outlet in the garage for an extra fridge and freezer) before the path goes to a sensor in the basement?
  5. Will this make any RM rules littered with **BROKEN** values, and if so - can I fix them by creating the devices with the same names when including, or do I have to recreate all the rules?
  6. Any other suggestions I should try first, or things to be aware of if I proceed?

Thanks!

With the C-7 there's an option to ZWave Repair just one device.. which results in us suggesting to NOT do a full ZWave repair anymore.. but that advice presupposes you have an OK mesh with one outlier. Sounds like you might be a candidate for doing a full ZWave Repair, and probably twice, then deal with the stragglers on an individual repair basis.

Good Luck with whatever choice you make :smiley:

I would think that you would update as much as possible if you were to do this.

Possibly. Many devices need this step.

Zwave and Zigbee usually pick their own route. We can try to encourage certain routes, but they do what they wish. I have stuff jump probably 75 feet diagonally across the house when there is a perfectly good repeater sitting beside it.

Oh yea, you will break stuff big time if you just exclude it. IF you decide to do this mass exclusion, you had probably better do a couple things.

  • Do a backup.
  • Replace the real Zwave device with a virtual device placeholder.
  • Be SURE that none of the devices you remove have anything listed in the "in use by" section at the bottom of each device page.

I wouldn't do a mass exclusion and reset.

I would try things like strengthening my mesh. You have a few Zwave repeating devices, but that may not be enough in this situation. You might try a dedicated repeater or two and see if that improves things before ripping all this out just to find out it does the same thing again once you are finished.

You might have some badly behaving devices wrecking the mesh. You could do some simple things like moving those sensors that aren't responding to another part of the house for a couple days and see if that changes things. There could be interference in your network (baby monitor, cordless phones?) and moving devices around might give you some hint about that.

@csteele I neglected to mention doing full and individual repairs first. Maybe more than I should have? I'll be honest that I don't know what it is really doing in the background for those.

@neonturbo thank you for the suggestions. I will update back to 145 again regardless of what I do afterward.

The approach to replace devices temporarily with virtual devices is very ingenious.

While I do have 9 mains devices (out of 13 z-wave), they reside mostly in pairs of dimmers/switches or the plugs right next to each other (straight line from hub, two at about 15' above - next floor up, the next two probably about 25' also above, two about 25' through the side wall out to the garage, and the fourth pair about 20' down below into the basement... none of them straight above or below the hub, but rather at a diagonal; the last mains is the furthest at about 35' from the hub and below in the basement). The sensors are in the same rooms as the dimmers/switches. Repeaters are typically plug-in devices that only act to have points in between? I know each home / environment is different, but just wanted to put some numbers around where things are relatively located to be sure if you still think a repeater is the solution?

I guess I can always get one and that at least will help me troubleshoot rather than either resetting everything or just moving things around in one place or another - since they are where I need them.

Besides the three showing 9.6, the others are at 100kbps. Isn't there some sort of sniffer I keep reading about that can help map the signal / route?

One additional question/observation I neglected. Is it normal for dimmers to lead the wall plate to feel warm to the touch? We didn't have dimmers on these circuits before now (I just put them in over the weekend), so I have no comparison. I think it's due to the two bathrooms having incandescent, hollywood makeup-mirror style, 40W globe bulbs. They total below the switch specs, but still a lot of wattage compared to anything LED (I've actually been trying to find replacement globe style LEDs for reasonable cost and similar lighting features, and it seems like they're only over $10 a piece, or out of stock...I can't tell if it might be due to the pandemic or why they're not in stores). I don't notice the same emission of heat on the dimmer that's in the third bathroom that has the LED light fixtures already.

Now I've updated to 148 and this is what I get:

Yea, there are definitely mesh issues. Looks like at least 3 separate floors. Try adding some repeaters. Repeaters can be any mains powered devices.

Just double checking...

It is 3 floors, but I'd still need repeaters when 9 of those 13 are mains devices (3 in the basement, 2 in the garage, and 4 on the top floor)?

About 30 feet is reliable in open air. When you start going through floors you have all kinds of crazy attenuation and reflections. Floors can be extremely difficult for signal depending on their makeup. Can it go 400 ft? Yes, in ideal conditions but most homes are far from ideal and people usually make decisions about hub placement that only complicate the issue such as sticking them in closets or near UPS's or something.

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Hub is out in the open. No gripes about aesthetics from the family, so it's in the family room next to the Logitech Harmony hub I already had there. It is near the TV and media center (already had a free USB port on my surge protective power strip, so that meant not needing to use an outlet). It would be a little more central on the opposite wall, but is there a way to mount them (I can search - only just thought of it)? I'd have to run to the power somehow.

Only remaining question is, wouldn't any additional repeater (dedicated, or some additional devices with function intended) also have to receive through the structural elements?

Thanks for the zniffer info, too.

Oh, and it was responding fine over the weekend. Started acting up on Monday night.

You can plug it into the UPS just make sure your putting the hub outside of the EMF field of the UPS about 3 feet is enough but 6 feet is ideal. There are ongoing issues where what seems to be mesh issues puts the zwave radio into a panic mode. Rebooting the hub will reset things for a while.

I will try to move it to the other side of the room away from the electronics today.

When I posted the last screenshot, I had shutdown and pulled the power, repaired, took the screenshot, and then left it rebooting to head to bed. I just checked it now, and it's better, but not sure if I should address specific nodes?

Anything battery powered will probably give you NOT RESPONDING as to save battery it will not talk to the hub unless it has to. As long as those devices work when you trigger them don't worry about them.

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You still look to need some repeaters. The not responding devices may go good if you go turn them on real quick. On the failed one try running a repair.

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He has some mains powered stuff that is still going bad.

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These are the problem devices. Ideally you'd like to see these have a lot of cluster info in them like the other devices so they can have an easier time getting back to hub.

The battery devices could also show as failed but still be good. I have two that always show failed but they are just sleepy devices. They wake up and fire off events whenever they are triggered.

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What leads to the clusters?

Having changed nothing yet and working through some of these questions with you I went to do the repair that you suggested, and now I see this - more failed devices, although some of the same that you highlighted...

The battery powered devices don't worry about the mains powered ones are trying to route through devices that are having a hard time.

Then should I repair in a certain order based on the routes?

Zwave plus devices really should fix themselves over time. You can force it to try and find a route by doing a repair but eventually its just going to do it's own thing in the background. Just from what I've seen, 3 or 4 strategically placed repeaters would resolve your issues.

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So, an update since yesterday. It does seem as if the mesh seemed to auto repair:

I now have an additional concern. I had tried to make a rule like this (Motion Lighting was not working for me - kept thinking it was on when it was off and vice versa...now as I type that, perhaps I'm seeing the same thing in the rule processing):

(that comes from this topic Using Rule Machine for Motion Lighting)

When I look at my logs, it seems as if my switches and dimmers are not reporting the correct state. So, when the rule gets to the "...and light is on" portion of the ELSE IF, the rule still sees it as off, and the light doesn't turn off.

Again, these are Zooz ZEN21 and ZEN22 devices (they get identified at inclusion as Generic Z-wave Smart Switch and Generic Z-wave Smart Dimmer drivers, and there are not specific drivers for them yet).

Because of the mesh issues, I had done that downgrade to 2.2.3.119. At that time, I did try to repeat the firmware update for the z-wave radio, but it hung at the first step - was about 30 mins into what it said would be 10 mins overall. Then, after other advice (where I neglected to mention the radio attempt), I upgraded back to 2.2.3.148. So now I also don't tend to see the [physical] or [digital] regarding the switches or dimmers, where I had before the mesh issues.

So now I'm not sure if it's the generic drivers, the switches, a result of the mesh repairing I've tried repeatedly, or perhaps something I screwed up (most likely) when downgrading/upgrading the platform.

I realize this isn't basic anymore, but does anyone have any suggestions?