How to pair Z-Wave device to hub or stick

So you have your Z-Wave device and you have your Z-Wave hub, but no matter what you try you just can't seem to get them to find each other. Sometimes the fix is simple, and sometimes it's a little more involved, but one of the best available tools in the Z-Wave universe is the device exclusion tool which is found in the hub's tools or settings. Before we go into that it is probably worth explaining a few terms in the Z-Wave world that are used interchangeably because different manufacturers might use different terminology; but in the end all roads lead to the same place.

  • Gateway = Hub = Controller - This is the main brain in any Z-Wave setup and is required to add Z-Wave devices
  • Nodes = Devices - This is anything with a Z-Wave radio built inside of it which you add to a Z-Wave Hub. Thermostats, switches, sensors, remotes, sirens, lights, etc.
  • Network - Your gateway plus all nodes that are attached to it
  • Include / Inclusion = Pair / Pairing - This is the process of adding nodes to your Z-Wave network
  • Exclude / Exclusion = Unpair / Unpairing - This is the process of removing nodes from your Z-Wave network

Now, back to business. To add devices to your hub, you must first put your hub into pairing mode so that it knows to look for new devices to add to your network. Usually once you put the hub into pairing mode, it will inform you to proceed to put your device into pairing mode. All of the instructions for putting your device into pairing mode should be found in the manual of your device. Normally once you have completed these two steps they will have happily found one another and you can continue with your set up. Sometimes however, after a few minutes your hub might return a message similar to "no node found" or "setup timed out".

The first thing to try is moving the device closer to the hub and try to pair again. If this is not possible (like a door lock or thermostat) you might try locating the hub closer to the device. If this temporary relocation is successful for pairing, then you can relocate your devices to the original desired position after they have found each other. However, if you find that you are losing connectivity once you relocate the devices to their original desired positions, you may have encountered some range issues. This may be resolved by added a Z-Wave range extender, or adding additional Z-Wave devices which are constantly powered (not battery devices) to improve the mesh capabilities of your network.

If the relocation doesn't work, you may also try a factory reset on your device before attempting to pair. Depending on the manufacturer, this can restore the device to its original settings and allow it to be paired to your network. Oddly enough though, there are some devices where a factory reset isn't really a true reset, and this is where the Z-Wave exclusion tool comes in handy.

The Z-Wave exclusion tool will communicate to any device that not only should it be removed from a network but it should be prepare itself to be added to a new network. The slightly odd thing is that you can use this tool to communicate this information to ANY Z-Wave device, whether its in your network already or not. The process is to set your hub into exclusion mode, and then follow the device instructions for excluding the device. Again, it is worth repeating to be clear. You do this even though the device has not been successfully added to your network in the first place. After you receive a confirmation from you hub application that the device exclusion has been successful, you might just perform a factory reset on the device for good measure, although that is generally not needed. Now, follow the steps for pairing the device to your hub, and you should be good to go.

Here are the instructions for some of the controllers sold by ZWave Products:

  1. Pairing with Aeotec Smart Home Hub / SmartThings Hub
  2. Pairing with Hubitat
  3. Pairing with Home Assistant

Pairing with Aeotec Smart Home Hub / SmartThings Hub

  1. Tap Devices and locate your hub widget (it is in the room/location you chose on first setup)
  2. Open the widget and tap the three dot icon in the upper right corner
  3. Select Z-Wave Utilities
  4. Select Z-Wave exclusion
  5. Follow your device instructions to put your device into exclusion mode
  6. Click done after confirmation

Pairing with Hubitat

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click Z-Wave Details
  3. Click Z-Wave Exclude
  4. Follow your device instructions to put your device into exclusion mode

Pairing with Home Assistant

These instructions for open-source Home Assistant software are suitable for users of Atrim Stick and Aeotec Z-Stick 7.

  1. Access the Z-Wave control panel in the Home Assistant app
  2. Click Remove Node from the Z-Wave Network Management
  3. Follow your device instructions to put your device into exclusion mode
  4. Restart Home Assistant and run Heal Network