Vera Control, Ltd.

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How do Z-Wave devices go out of range, or stop working?

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016 08:32PM PDT

Some background on Z-Wave range, relevant if your device stops communicating:

Z-Wave has a range for indoor use of 25 to 30 meters  (82 to 100 feet) from node to node so some devices have longer range and others shorter. The rangeof a Z-Wave signal is strongly influenced by the environment and depends on many factors, from the antenna and implementation of the device to the materials the product is encased in, and the materials that the radio signal has to go through (concrete walls or metal doors). So if a node is more than 24-28 meters (80-90 feet) from the gateway you put a repeater node (like an plug-in on/off switch) in between and the signal will go from the gateway to the repeater node, to the end device. The signal will hop up to 4 times until the 5th device and you can create scenes, associations, etc. between any of those nodes (devices) in the network. Depending on how your house is set-up, we recommend for indoor use that the distance should be about 12-15 meters (40-50 feet).

Because door locks are a special breed of z-wave devices which require an exchange of security keys when they communicate with the Vera  unit we recommend that the distance should be about 6-9 meters (20-30 feet).

For outdoor Z-wave devices that range can go up to 100 meters (300 feet) for line of sight .

Things to consider regarding Z-Wave range:

- Each wall or obstacle (i.e.: refrigerator, big screen TV, etc.) between the remote or a Z-Wave device and the destination device will reduce the maximum range by approximately 25-30%.
- Brick, tile or concrete walls block more of the Z-Wave signal than walls made of wooden studs and plasterboard (drywall).
- Wall mounted Z-Wave devices installed in metal junction boxes will suffer a significant loss of range (approximately
20%) since the metal box blocks a large part of the Z-Wave signal.

Device stopped communicating with your Vera Controller?

Please know that the possible reasons for your Z-Wave device(s) to lose communication with Vera is caused by one of the following :

-a battery operated device has the batteries discharged so can you please check the batteries and see if it works?

-is the distance between Vera and the device more than 15 feet ? If so do you have any other Z-Wave device between Vera and the device to increase the Z-Wave range ? 

-is that device a door lock? If so you will need to add in your Z-Wave network a security compatible (encryption capable) device which can relay the encrypted signal that the door lock needs to communicate with the Vera unit. 

-are there any devices that use the 900 MHz frequency band like old cellular phones, baby monitoring devices or weather stations ? If so they will interfere with the Z-Wave network and thus cause your devices to stop communicating with Vera so we advise that you move those devices outside of the z-wave network.

-it is recommended that Vera is in a central position of your Z-Wave network so it will do less hops to get to the device you want to control. Is there any way you can re-organize your z-wave network and move your Vera unit in a central position ?

How to fix the issue ?

This problem is usually easily fixed by excluding and re-including the device that is causing issues in your Z-Wave network. To do this you will need to put Vera in Exclude mode to remove them and Include mode to add them. You can do this either by taking your Vera unit with the battery provided to your devices, or   bring your devices closer to Vera.

Also, see this related article at:

and this related video at:
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