How to Fix Z-Wave Connection Issues with the Wink Hub

Overall, the Wink hub works extremely well…but sometimes the devices you have connected to it can act a little wonky. Here are some things you can do in order to fix any connection issues with all of those Z-Wave sensors and devices connected to the hub.

Refresh the Z-Wave Connection Map

The great thing about Z-Wave is that it uses mesh networking to connect all of your devices and sensors together. In other words, each individual sensor doesn’t just connect straight to the hub, but rather they can connect to one another before connecting to the hub. This not only allows for each device to transmit a better signal, but the wireless range can be much wider than regular Wi-Fi.

However, when you add on new Z-Wave sensors over time, they sometimes don’t search out for the best possible route to the hub. So it’s possible that some of your devices and sensors aren’t connecting optimally to nearby devices in order to establish the best connection.

To fix this, the Wink hub has a setting available in the Wink app that you can use to refresh the Z-Wave connection map. This essentially resets the connection of all the devices and sensors connected to the hub that use Z-Wave and has them reconnect, automatically figuring out the best possible route to take in order to have the strongest signal.

To do this, open up the Wink app and tap on the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen.

Next, tap on “Hubs”.

Tap on the settings gear icon in the top-right corner.

Select your Wink hub.

Scroll down and tap on “Z-Wave”.

Tap on “Z-Wave Network Rediscovery”.

It will take a few seconds for it to do it’s thing, but you’ll soon see a “Success” alert.

From there, you’re good to go and hopefully your Z-Wave devices and sensors all have better connections now.

Use a Device as a Signal Repeater

If the above steps still haven’t fixed your connection issues, take a closer look at where all of your Z-Wave sensors and devices are placed. If you discover that one is farther away than the rest, it’s possible that it might not be getting a good signal from the next-closest device.

A quick fix for this is to place another device halfway between the sensor on the outskirts and its closest sensor. This new device will act as a signal repeater of sorts, allowing the problem sensor to finally get the connection it needs. This can also be done on other smarthome hubs that use Z-Wave.

Keep in mind, though, that battery-powered sensors will not act as repeaters; only plugged-in modules or powered outlets and switches will work.

In any case, you can either put this new device to good use on something around your house, or just place it wherever and have it solely being used as a signal repeater. If that’s the case, it’s always a good idea to get the cheapest Z-Wave device you can find, like this outlet. Or you can get an actual signal repeater for a bit more.

Of course, be sure to perform a network rediscovery again on your Wink hub so that the new device can be optimally placed in the Z-Wave map.

Stay Away from Metal

If you have a lot of door and window sensors (a two-part sensor with a magnet) and are constantly experiencing issues with a few of them, it might be because you have them placed near some kind of metal.

A few inches away from metal is fine, but it’s usually when you place door and window sensors right on a metal part that you start experiencing issues. That’s because the metal on the door or window is interfering with the magnet system that’s used on the sensors.

The good news is that there are ways to get around this, and it usually comes down to McGyvering a mount for the sensor in order to keep it a few inches away from the nearest metal.

Update the Hub’s Firmware

As a last resort, you can always update the hub’s firmware if an update is available and hope that it fixes any connection issues, even after you’ve tried all of the above steps.

If you’re vigilant about keeping all of your devices updated in the first place, you likely already have this taken care of, but if not, it’s likely there’s a hub update waiting for you.

To update the Wink hub, follow the steps further above to access the hub’s settings in the app. Eventually you’ll come across a small banner at the bottom letting you know of a firmware update.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.