Posted on March 04, 2015 by Jan Zubko | 6 comments

Sometimes you just can’t pair a sensor or a switch with your Z-Wave controller, no matter what you try. You’ve done your research and installed similar devices without any problems. You’re positive this unit is compatible with your hub and yet it will not pair.
We have found a solution that will work most of the time if everything else has failed. As strange as it may sound, the trick is to exclude the item from your network. 

But why would I unpair something that has never been included to my network in the first place? 
Well, there are at least 2 reasons:
  1. Configuration errors sometimes occur during the pairing process. As a result, the device is not successfully paired but neither is it ready for another pairing attempt - it needs to be excluded first.
  2. You might have received an item that has been previously associated with a different Z-Wave network (maybe it was tested at a factory and is still part of that network). Luckily, you’re able to unpair a Z-Wave unit from any network using your controller.
How to unpair a Z-Wave device that has not been paired with your controller yet?
Simply send the appropriate command to put the controller in “exclusion mode”. Keep in mind that every hub is a little different when it comes to executing this process.

If you’re running your VeraLite or VeraEdge on the latest UI7, try pairing your device and after 2 unsuccessful attempts, the software will ask you if you would like to unpair the device first. Always answer yes to that, it’s your best bet to get the job done fast.
When dealing with older firmware, just press the exclusion button on the hub and proceed as with a regular exclusion/inclusion for a given product.
Same thing for your Nexia Bridge - you may send the unpairing command straight from your hub.

Things get more complicated with controllers operated fully from an online app. Here are the step-by-step instructions for SmartThings and Wink general device exclusion:

Start with resetting your SmartThings hub, then:
  1. Plug your Z-Wave device in or put the batteries in
  2. Open the left menu in your SmartThings app 
  3. Tap the gear icon on the top right
  4. Scroll down and tap on your hub
  5. Tap "Z-Wave Utilities"
  6. Tap "General Device Exclusion"
  7. Tap "Remove"
  8. When you see the panel that says "Please follow manufacturer's instructions to remove the Z-Wave device from My SmartThings" continue like with any regular inclusion/exclusion. It usually comes down to pressing an action button, tapping a switch, or taking batteries out and putting them back in - always stick to the manual.
Restart your Wink hub, then:
  1. Open the mobile app and click on your Wink Hub
  2. Click on the button with three blue dots in the upper right-hand corner
  3. Under "Hub Units", click on "Hub" and then "Z-wave Controls"
  4. This pulls up the menu to add generic Zwave devices: click on “Exclusion Mode” and continue like you would when typically pairing on unpairing your device.
NOTE: Sometimes, you will have to repeat the above process a few times before the unit is excluded. Always look for the appropriate indicator that the device is ready to be paired, like a flashing LED light.

Did we miss anything? Probably yes so feel free to correct, ask, share, and argue below.

Posted in DIY, SmartThings, Support, Troubleshooting, VeraEdge, VeraLite, Wink, Z-Wave


6 Responses


October 08, 2016

I am trying to unfair, then repair a aeon appliance switch from a Almomd+ to another almond+.
No matter what I do, it will not disconnect, even though the hub does not recognize the switch…worked for hours and can not find a solution.

Jake Moses
Jake Moses

October 02, 2016

Thank you! How is it that you are the only person on the whole internet (including GE and SmartThings support) who knows about this? I was at a complete loss as to why my device could not be found.

Jan (The Smartest House)
Jan (The Smartest House)

April 29, 2016

Thanks for the feedback Anon! It’s great to hear that you found the tips helpful. Let us know if you ever have any questions about Z-Wave.


April 27, 2016

this did the trick!!! after a bunch of manual resets, using the controller’s exclusion step-by-step and trying a bunch of times – was about to throw in the towel but found these steps for the wink hub worked! thank you!!!

Jan (The Smartest House)
Jan (The Smartest House)

January 03, 2016

Billy, we’re glad to hear this trick worked for you! It’s good to remember this process in the future since it’s a common issue when switching between controllers or pairing devices which are not right next to the hub. Good luck building your Z-Wave network!

Billy McKee
Billy McKee

January 01, 2016

I took back an Iris system and kept 2 devices that I wanted to hook up to new Nexia Bridge. The glass break sensor hooked up immediately. The GE Outdoor Switch Module was stubborn, until I found this remedy. I had to unplug the bridge and take it under battery power and hit the minus button on the back holding it next to the GE switch 3 times (3 cycles – hit button, watch it blink for 30 seconds, and then glow steady – 3 times). At first this confused my Nexia app with an unknown error, so I had to remove the battery to reset the bridge. Upon re-hooking the bridge back up to my router and power supply, the app came back online as nothing ever happened and the GE switch was found in the very next attempt and is working like new! Thanks for this fix and posting it!!!

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