Resetting Zwave or Zigbee Devices

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Q. Any tips on how to reset Z-Wave/Zigbee devices that are already included in a network? Most of mine are refusing to go into inclusion mode because they belong to a network... and must be excluded from it first. Wondering if this error has cost me several hundred dollars in devices by zapping the network.

A. The good news is that all of your devices should be recoverable, but the method will vary somewhat. Most devices will have a logo on the back that indicates whether they are zigbee or Z wave. Sometimes this is inside the battery compartment.

Zigbee--just individually reset each device

With Zigbee devices, if you reset the individual device, usually with a specific button press pattern on that device, then that clears the individual device's stored network information and it will be immediately ready to pair to a new Coordinator. Or pair again to the old Coordinator.

If you look up the user guide for each device, it should tell you how to reset it.

Zwave is a two step process. First a controller command, then a physical reset on the individual device. (But the good news is it doesn't have to be the same controller that the device was previously paired to)

For Z wave devices, it's a little more complicated, because resetting the individual device will not remove the Controller information which has been stored in it. It just resets some of the parameters on the device. So in order to get the device to clear its controller information and be ready to pair again, you have to go through a two-step process.

First a controller has to issue an "exclude" Command and then, while that is being broadcast, you have to do the reset on the individual device, again usually with a particular button press pattern. The reason why this is different for Z wave than for Zigbee is because in zwave it is the controller that issues the network ID to the device, and you have to clear that as well before you can do another pairing. In zigbee, each device comes with its own permanent unique ID.

OK, so now the question is what if you have a Z wave device, but you no longer have its previous controller? Maybe the controller itself got damaged. Maybe you bought the device used. Maybe the device came new from the manufacturer but it still had some old test network information in it.

The good news is that the zwave designers thought of this, and it is set up so that *any* zwave controller, not just the one that the device was previously paired to, can issue a "general exclusion" command. Even a minimote can do this. Then any zwave device that is in range Will be prepared to clear its controller information, but it will not do so until you physically manipulate that particular device.

So if you look for references about "general exclusion" you can do that even if the old hub died completely.


so for zigbee, just follow the instructions in the Device manual to reset it, and it should then be ready to pair again.

For Z wave, use any Z wave controller to issue a "general exclusion" and then immediately follow the instructions in the device manual to accept the exclude. It should then be ready to pair again.

The difference between the general exclude and the specific exclude is that with a general exclude the controller issuing the exclude won't change anything in its own address tables. In a specific exclude, the controller will also remove that device from its own address table.