ZWave Switches not updating OpenHAB

So I’m posting this here in hopes, I’ve managed to come up short on my search and am wrong about what I think I’ve found. I’ve finally put together my OH2 system and included all my switches/dimmers (GE 12724 and 12722 as well as the remote add-on for a few).

What I’ve run into as a problem, and why I’m posting here - is updates from the switches when manually interacted with. It seems the system is not receiving immediate updates from the switch when I manually use them. Some instances, they update perfectly fine, but many times they’re not. Specifically as I attempted to start working on some rules, they work in the interface when switching via ZWave, but when manually switching it’s not functioning.

Is there something to be tuned, adjusted, or set for updates intervals or to improve the reporting from the switches?

Currently using the Aeon ZStick Gen 5 with the above mentioned switches. I’m hoping I’m just missing something here as I just finished having my new home built with these switches over the Leviton to save me the $200-250. If I’m going to miss out on updates functioning properly I will be sorely disappointed. It seems reports on SmartThings boards and some others advertise no problems with these models of switches, so perhaps it’s my controller?

Any help is greatly appreciated. My smart home automation hopes and dreams are currently being crushed by this small oversight. :frowning:

1 Like

First of all, is this a recent installation? It often takes 2-3 days for Z-Wave to fully integrate a new device into the mesh network. The switch (particularly if greater than 15 feet from the controller) may be getting spotty reception. After a few days the network will stabilize and the signal will route through intermediate devices.

You mention it doesn’t immediately update, I assume that it eventually does? Is there anything in the log that would indicate a communication problem (like multiple tries or node offline?)

If it’s not a new installation, I’d suggest posing a sample from your item file. Maybe there is a configuration improperly set.

Thanks for the response. Answers below:

  • Not a recent install - I’ve had the ZWave connectivity running for well over 2 weeks now, I just now decided to start tinkering with rules though (as time finally permitted me)
  • The switch in question is specifically very far - 2nd floor in 2 story colonial, where the ZStick is in the basement
  • No delay in response though when sending a command from OpenHAB (thru ZStick from basement to switch on 2nd floor)
  • Also of note, I did view the Network View in HABmin and noticed that the map looks relatively flat - i.e. the ZStick is show at the base, with a line to ALL individual devices, and lines drawn between each neighboring device, but no dynamic type of layout at all. Can provide a pic if would help.
  • I have monitored logs and looks like after awhile, yes it will finally update - but we aren’t talking 30 seconds, or a minute, sometimes it’s 20+ minutes later - no error messages in the log to indicate communication errors
    • As a side note, I have also noted that in many cases the dimmers won’t even record the level going to 0, it catches 2 dim levels on the way to 0 (i.e. set at 100 (ON), and if I turn it off manually (single press on off button), OH seems to see messages saying changed from 100 to 73, followed by changed from 73 to 46, and then nothing.
  • No item files exist, everything was added through PaperUI and HABmin. I initially enabled the ZWave binding, mapped the ZStick, then took the ZStick around to all the devices to do the pairing, then re-plugged, and added all my Things. Then I used HABmin to connect items to all the channels for the Things and appropriately add the Lighting tags for Amazon Echo integration. I’d imagine there isn’t necessarily a way for me to screw up a config when I didn’t modify any :wink:

Decided to add in this ZWave network view as I think it helps to visualize what I spoke of. I expected to see more of a circular type of layout with the ZStick in the center or a multi-level layout where different devices would be connected to others, not just two connections (1 to ZStick, 1 to the next device in line). But I could be wrong of course, perhaps this is most optimal. I come from the Vera world, where I believe it was more like 21 talked to 18 which talked to 10 which had the best connection to 1 (ZStick) - a true mesh network.

As an area of discovery that I was looking at - I’m wondering if this has to do with what’s been referenced before as “associations” or “instant status”. I do recall in my previous home using the Leviton switches because they provided instant status. I’m not familiar with what the associations function is - or if either of these things really matter anymore. Just trying to identify if I need to go spend another $1k to buy all new switches to replace these GE ones.

Hello @shawnmix

Is your controller in the proper assocciation-group? I didn’t find this part in the description of your dimmers.
I had the same problem with fibaro devices and found out, that this part was missing.

Firstly,don’t trust this diagram too much - the neighbour list isn’t properly updated at the moment…

Secondly, what you have looks good. What this shows is that every node can communicate directly with the controller and this is ideal as there is less communication. It doesn’t mean that it’s the only route though.

This diagram would show a third (and fourth/fifth) layer if nodes had to route through other nodes to get to the controller. The problem with the way this is drawn is you can’t see the links between a layer - there’s a horizontal line, but you can’t see what actually links to what. There are however links here, and this shows that there are alternative routes within the mesh.

This diagram doesn’t mean that this isn’t happening - it just shows that all nodes are neighbors of node 1, and therefore CAN communicate with the controller. It doesn’t show the routes that ARE being used since this information is not available.

@michael_sutter I’m not sure. In fact I’m not even sure how to see this information. How would one do this? I’m really hoping you’ve got the missing piece I need to get this sorted out and not spend more $$$.

@chris - Ok thanks for the confirmation. After looking back at the individual Things and looking at the attributes, I do see the Neighbors listed for different items and see varying numbers of “neighbor nodes” on different devices. So I think as you mentioned it all looks to be on a single line, but there may be multiple horizontal lines that just can’t be seen in the rendering.

I’m concerned that unfortunately this association groups may not be the answer. Looking at the ZWave device database form Chris, it seems these devices have no Association Groups listed in the DB. Looking at the old Leviton devices I used previously, they do have these Associations Groups.

@chris is it possible these devices have association group functionality, but it isn’t documented properly for these devices?

It’s possible, but probably unlikely. I know that some companies didn’t tend to use associations - especially on older type devices. If there’s no association, then maybe the device uses the hail class, which can be used in the binding to trigger a poll, but it’s simply not going to work as well as associations.

To be sure you can check with the documentation from the manufacturer.

Hmm, so it sounds @chris like I may be SOL and need to look at getting the Leviton switches I’d used before? As I don’t see much of any documentation from GE/Jasco on this associations or hail class. Though I’m not sure where I’d see this detail as it’s likely not in the general online user manual docs.

It using the hail class, would this be likely to cause what I’m describing? An inefficient response from the devices?

It’s surprising to me that these would be classified as “older” devices being that these are the new 2016 ZW+ devices that GE put out vs the older Jasco/GE devices. at least from my reading that is.

Yes - without associations you’re likely to have a sluggish update. I’m not sure if this uses hail or not…

I say “older device” but that might be wrong. Some companies in the US especially just don’t use it. There was a theory that one company held a patent over the use of associations in the US so a lot of companies didn’t use it. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it only seems to be US devices that don’t tend to have associations…

You can see this stated here for example.

@chris Thanks again for the quick replies and the help here. I think the bad news is, my fear is correct, these switches will not get me what I want or what I once had. :frowning: sad day.

Looking forward though, I am determined to have this work properly. It’s nice and all to be able to use Alexa or HK integrations, and have some scenes work - but let’s be real - I need instant updates to be able to have this system work well and take real advantage of the true functionality of OpenHAB. That link you provided led me to the ZWave Alliance site where all the devices are listed. This helps me see the details documented of what is supported and what is not. I can see my devices are not supporting either the HAIL or Associations classes.

I will admit to being one of those foolish Americans who forgets many of this development and functionality is used internationally, so different makers and different setups. Times like this I realize, so thank you for reminding me that my switch options may be very different than others. Are you aware of any US switches that are the “best” option? Obviously I don’t want to break the bank here, but if I can avoid another hiccup like this by spending $5-10 more on a switch, I’d rather have that knowledge ahead of time.

I previously used the Leviton Vizia RF+ switches - which carried a higher premium when I purchased them than now. Go figure! But I was deciding between the GE 12722 and Leviton DZ15S when purchasing for this house. It would appear the DZ15S ( supports HAIL and Associations. Is Hail the “instant update” command? And/or is the Association form ZW+ on Group 1 Lifeline ( going to get me what I need?

What do you mean? Is this from Vera? I think it should be the same - if the device doesn’t support associations, then Vera can’t work around that. Vera would have used polling - the same as OH can. This isn’t instantaneous - but it will be maybe 10 seconds update.

I think Fibaro sell over your side of the pond now? Probably also Qubino - and actually Aeon devices all support associations.

No - hail is the device sending a message to the controller that says “please send me a poll because something has changed” - the controller then has to send a message back to ask what has changed - it might have to send a number of messages to find this out…

Yes - ASSOCIATION is the class you want - this actually sends the state change itself so it’s as quick as things get.

Sorry - didn’t mean to confuse here. I’ve likely worked with you previously when first getting up on OH 1.x in my previous home using the Vera controller. Good/Bad news - I’ve moved from that home and left all the devices (switches/dimmers/controller). - At that time, those Leviton devices were instant in reporting their status (at least I believe they were, since I was able to setup rules to react based on physical presses which updated if not instantly within seconds)

You make a good point though - how could I adjust the polling to allow for a more realistic response time? Before I go ordering and ripping things out of walls in a fit of rage … jk … I should investigate if a slight delay is more acceptable.

Ok I’ll have to dig in and take a look through some options. Most of those it seems offer things like the small in wall attachment, I prefer the physical switches.

Ok, but HAIL should at least reduce the potential lack of reporting in a timely manner, to something within the couple seconds range? I mean honestly, a couple seconds of reaction for smart systems, that’s good enough for me. And I think honestly that’s what my status was before, as I had a rule to turn off an overhead light (across the kitchen to turn it on/off) when we turned off the island light. It did sometimes take a moment of pause and wait to see if it happens, but eventually within a few seconds it would be fine. Vera overloaded with too many devices likely compounded the problem. :slight_smile:

Ok - this will be what I’m looking for then. Interestingly Leviton makes the D series switch ZW+, but the D series Dimmer, is not and in turn has no associations function. Though I do see some devices that have Association under supported command classes, though there aren’t actually any association groups listed on the ZWave alliance page - does this mean potentially that the device can subscribe to groups but isn’t assigned by default?

PS - what’s with the forum lately - seems everytime I come to respond to you, the forum is failing to load :triumph:

Ok, one more question I think to nip this in the butt, as I think I’ve found a suitable replacement. What does

Description Lifeline association only supports the “manual reset” event.

mean in the ZWave DB? I found this for the HomeSeer switches/dimmers ( and just want to make a smart decision before I go down a road of more anguish.

No idea - maybe someone with the device might pipe in… The manual doesn’t say this so I don’t know where it came from and it really doesnt make a lot of sense to me…

I’m having the exact same problem with one of my GE 12724 dimmers. Manually flipping the physical switch doesn’t always update the controls in OH. I’ve also been trying to work around it with rules, but haven’t had a lot of success either. It all works great in software. I’ll let you know if I find a solution.

Interesting. My experience seems to be that when I turn the physical switch OFF, you can see it slowly decrease in the log:

22:49:10.478 [INFO ] [marthome.event.ItemStateChangedEvent] - masterBedroomLightDimmer changed from 15 to 11
22:49:10.524 [INFO ] [marthome.event.ItemStateChangedEvent] - masterBedroomLightDimmer changed from 11 to 9

However, it never goes completely to zero from openHAB’s perspective. The light is completely off, but openHAB stops updating the slider. While most documentation I’ve read says the switch really just sets the dimmer value to zero, this switch almost acts like it goes into an OFF state where it just stops updating the controller. Thus the slider says at the last value it received: 9, even though internally the switch is completely OFF.

Unfortunately this device doesn’t support associations so we need to use polling to update the value. There is a mechanism to poll after a device sends a certain frame - it’s probably polling too quickly for your device and it’s reporting a non-zero value.

@gatekeeper6838 - yes this is the same behavior I see. There are a few times where I’ve seen it go from 100 to 0. Oddly I’m not sure what causes the difference between times when it goes perfectly to others where it catches only 2 steps in the dimming process.

@chris - is there a known way to adjust this yet or currently? Or is there a documented way via HABmin to adjust the “refresh interval” that I’ve seen mentioned? I’d like to try and test/adjust this before ordering replacements to solve this completely.