LiveWatch Help Center/DIY (Do-It-Yourself)/Troubleshoot My DIY or Advantage-Eligible System or Parts

GE Zwave Thermostat is being wonky

Frank Branham
posted this on July 27, 2012 10:35 PM

I have two GE Zwave thermostats which are practically Line of sight to the SImonXT. The third is downstairs, but within 8-10 feet of a happily working lamp-appliance plugin device. 

That one thermostat goes into a malfunction state in the Alarm.com devices menu a LOT. Occasionally, when I flip to the Thermostats tab, it will show up as having been last updated about 6-7 hours previously. The update is after the malfunction happened. Also, the update time will occasionally update if I am mucking with it, but the update time is still 6-8 hours in the past. 

(So I am working with it at 11:00PM, but the Last Updated entry for that thermostat has been showing up as 1:30, 1:47, and 1:51 PM variously. )

This makes absolutely no sense, unless the thermostat is seriously flaky, and the reported time comes from the device itself rather than alarm.com. 

 

Comments

User photo
Dustin Schrader
SafeMart

Hello,

Thank you for contacting SafeMart. There are several things that could cause the Thermostat to Malfunction. Here are a few things that I would check:

  1. Is the Thermostat more the 25 feet away from the panel? The thermostat sends and receives a lot of information and cannot be too far away otherwise it will not communicate properly.  
  2. Are there any other wireless devices other than Zwave devices near the Thermostat?
  3. When you initially added it into you r system where you within 6 feet of the panel?

If it is further away from the panel then 25 feet additional Zwave devices can be used as relays for the signal so you can extend the distance between the panel and the device. To find out if a given GE module is beaming-compatible, check the label on the back of the module.  The GE light/appliance plug-in modules support beaming (Relaying) if the date code starts with 11 or higher. I would try getting a module that will support being first if you do not already have one. That is the most common problem in your situation. Again thank you for contacting SafeMart.

July 31, 2012 05:31 PM
User photo
Frank Branham

The thermostat is about 20 feet from the panel, through the floor, however. It is, however, within 6 feet of another Zwave lamp/appliance  module which is functioning normally. 

 

But check out last night's yoyo:

Basement Thermostat Malfunction 7:40 am, Aug-2-2012
Basement Thermostat End of Malfunction 6:33 am, Aug-2-2012
Basement Thermostat Malfunction 2:39 am, Aug-2-2012
Basement Thermostat End of Malfunction 1:32 am, Aug-2-2012
Basement Thermostat Malfunction 12:39 am, Aug-2-2012
Basement Thermostat End of Malfunction 11:32 pm, Aug-1-2012
Basement Thermostat Malfunction 10:38 pm, Aug-1-2012
August 02, 2012 06:19 PM
User photo
Dustin Schrader
SafeMart

Hello,

So with the thermostat being through the floor below the panel could be why it is having some trouble staying connected. Going through the floor adds additional interference that would make the panel actually act like it was 30 feet away even though it is only 20 feet away. On that note did you check to make sure the Zwave lamp/appliance module supports beaming (Relaying)?  If the date code starts with 11 or higher it should work. The Date code is a 4 digit code on the back of the module. It is on a sticker all by itself. With the information you provided in your last response makes me really think it is a signal problem due to it jumping in and out of malfunction. Please let me know what you find out about the lamp module. Thank you for choosing SafeMart and have a wonderful day.

August 07, 2012 03:49 PM
User photo
Frank Branham

The Lamp module does appear to support beaming. I picked up a Leviton USB module so I could interrogate the network to see how it was configured. It comes up as a secondary controller, and allows me to see, but not change any device configuration. 

I gather the "neighbor" list determines which devices are expected to be able to relay data to other devices. Everything is a neighbor to the SimonXT, but the list for any other devices varies sanely by proximity. Possibly this is because I have to move the Simon Panel to the device in order to register/deregister it, then move the panel back to its original position. Is there a better way to build the Zwave network?

September 20, 2012 10:14 AM
User photo
Dustin Schrader
SafeMart

Hello,

 Thank you for contacting SafeMart. I am going to go through the way we would recommend "Building" a Zwave network.

  • Decide what you want to be able to control through the Zwave network (lights, locks, thermostats, outlets...)
  • Keep in mind the max distance these devices can be from the panel is 25 feet. Thermostats and Locks can sometimes need to be closer depending on how much interference there is at the location. The reason for this is because they transmit a lot more data than the other Zwave devices.
  • If you have devices that need to be more that 25 feet away from the panel especially Thermostats and Locks you can use Light or Appliance Modules as repeaters for the sensors that are further away. So the more light and appliance modules you have the stronger your Zwave network will be which will allow you to place devices further away from the panel. 

If you keep the steps above in mind when "Building" your Zwave network you should not have any problems as long as there is not any several wireless interference at your location. Again thank you for choosing SafeMart and have a great day.

September 28, 2012 01:41 PM
User photo
Frank Branham

I rebuilt the network, using the GE Advanced controller to do that actual device additions so they could be in place.

FIrst, I had alarm.com wipe the zwave network. (I was unable to delete some of the failed devices.)

Then I added the remote as a secondary controller to SimonXT as the first device. 

Then I went through adding the nearby thermostats and lamp modules according to distance from the SimonXT console. Using the portable controller means I can add the new devices in place. 

It worked for about 4 days before the thermostat which is more than 25 feet from the controller went into a Malfunction state. The lamp modules are fine, support beaming, and one of them is within 10 feet in direct line of sight of the problem thermostat. 

And I'm not using anything else 900Mhz in the house, and the problem thermostat is the one that is furthest away from my Wifi routers. 

October 03, 2012 10:40 AM
User photo
Dustin Schrader
SafeMart

Hello,

Thank you for contacting SafeMart. Looking at everything you have done so far with nothing being successful I think the next step is to replace the thermostat. The setup that you have should work just fine so that leads me to believe the thermostat is possibly defective. If you replace it that will take that possibility out of the equation. Again thank you for choosing SafeMart and if you have any other questions please let us know.

October 04, 2012 05:34 PM
User photo
Jean Vieux

We are having similar problems.  We have all setting at 57 for while we are gone and don't want it to reset to 68 which it seems to happen on a daily basis.

October 15, 2012 09:45 AM
User photo
Dustin Schrader
SafeMart

Hello,

I contacted the manufacturer on this issue and here is their solution. You need to manually set the temperature that you want at the thermostat first if it is going to be under 65 degrees. Let it update in Alarm.com and then it should stay there. The reason it keeps jumping up is because the thermostat wants to go back to its default temperature when it is changed remotely. So by setting it manually you override it. The manufacturer is looking into the problem further so we will see if they what else they can figure out. Thank you for choosing SafeMart and have a great day.

October 18, 2012 03:54 PM
User photo
Mark Rossi

Hi, SafeMart Support.

This is a two year old thread.  Is there any more information on this type of Thermostat problem?

I too have seen these problems as recently as today.  (Greg is working with me.)

I was wondering if Interlogix has any new information on it.

Looking everywhere for more data.

September 18, 2014 09:19 AM
User photo
LiveWatch Security
SafeMart

Hello,

Thank you for the inquiry.  Two years ago, when we were responding to these threads, the thermostats had an issue with alarm.com's z-wave firmware in the panel.  When the new firmware was introduced, this specific issue with the thermostat was resolved.  In your case, the latest firmware is already in place, so that is not the cause here.  I am looking into the issue with alarm.com to determine the likely cause. 

As a suggestion for the time being, I would recommend temporarily relocating the panel.  The issue could be that the panel itself is not in a good location for the z-wave network. 


Lastly, as another suggestion, (and this is something that I have come up against several times in the past), I would recommend at least one repeating device.  Even though the thermostats are within range of the panel, they are both encrypted z-wave devices.  Encrypted z-wave devices send signals constantly throughout the day.  The thermostats send signals to the panel, and in turn to the website, every 10 minutes.  Because of, this, there is constant traffic on the z-wave network communication paths.  Because you only have two thermostats on the network (neither of which are repeating off of each other), z-wave signals only have one communication path to follow.  If this path is ever backed up with encrypted signals taking longer than normal to go through, then signals will eventually drop and not go through.  If you were to put a repeating device on the network (eg, a light module), then that would provide an alternative route for the thermostats to send their signals in the event that the primary communication path is backed up.  Overall, it would provide a faster responding network and more reliable communication.

Let me know if you have any further questions!

Thank you again for choosing LiveWatch Security.

September 18, 2014 10:51 AM