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ZWaveProducts Blog - Product News


Flood Detection Basics

Get smart phone notifications of impending water damage

Flood Detection Basics
Home intruders get all the press, but one of the most destructive accidents in the home is caused by water. The cost of water damage to a home can range from $5000 to $70,000, according to State Farm Insurance. Fire damage is catastrophic in nature, but water damage should not be discounted for its ability to ruin memories, even days or weeks after the water is gone.

Flood damage can be an act of God (storms, catastrophic regional infrastructure failure, etc) or it could be caused by a lack of maintenance, an older home, or just bad luck. We won’t touch upon acts of nature (the odds are you’ll already know a flood is coming) but water damage due to lack of maintenance is preventable, and easily identified by the average DIY'er.

Some items to review:
  • Check your roof for damage, or your attic for water stains or mold/mildew.
  • Check gutters, downspouts, and drains to make sure water is being diverted away from the house.
  • Winterize your pipes; insulate outdoor faucets and crawl spaces.
  • Inspect pipes (supply AND sewer) for corrosion and damage.
  • Maintain an adequate minimum temperature, even if you won't be home.
  • Maintain your HVAC system prior to the winter's onset; be sure you have plenty of heating oil (if oil-fired) and a back-up plan.
  • Install and maintain a sump pump in your basement if you have chronic water infiltration issues.
  • Inspect washing machine supply hoses as well as drains. Consider installing shut-off valves (manual or automatic).
  • Refrigerator ice makers and permanently mounted dishwashers also have hidden water supplies that can cause a quiet, but steady leak that can go unnoticed.
  • Add a flood water detection system, or whole-house water shut off.
One of the easiest and cost-effective ways of adding water detection to your home is by expanding your home automation system with flood detection. A Z-Wave hub and water sensor can be purchased for under $150, and give the homeowner notifications 24/7, even if nobody is home. If you already have a Z-Wave gateway, adding a water sensor will cost $40-$90 and take about an hour of your time.

In this example, we’ve paired a DSB45-ZWUS from Aeotec, with a WINK 2 hub, installed between the boiler and hot water heater.

The sensor pairs with the hub using a smart phone app. There is a small “robot” (scene) to automate what happens. Normally, the sensor just reports dry:

However, when water is introduced to the prongs, the sensor reports wet, and sends a notification to the homeowner.

This installation (sensor install and gateway pair/scene setup) took about 20 minutes (the gateway was up and running and this device was within sufficient Z-Wave range).

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Adding a Z-Wave Lock to Your WINK 2

Yale Real Living 240-ZW and WINK 2 Hub

Adding a Z-Wave Lock to Your WINK 2

Getting Started

Some basics on how to enroll a Yale Real Living Door Lock with your WINK 2, and what features you can expect.

The subject of today’s blog is a YRD240-ZW-619 Satin Nickel Keyless Deadbolt, but any Yale Real Living deadbolt or lever lock will be exactly the same, and most other door locks will be similar.
Some other locks have extra features (please see what can’t I do . . . below).

Click on these links for more information on the Satin Nickel Keyless Deadbolt, or the Oil Rubbed Bronze Keyless Deadbolt.  Click for a WINK 2 Overview.


I like the clean look of the keyless Yale Real Living. I am a little worried that the batteries will die on me in an inopportune moment, but there is a secret trick to supply power to it in a pinch, and I have an alternate door. The odds of both of them having dead batteries at the same time are nil.

I installed the deadbolt, set up my master code, and brought my WINK 2 hub close to the deadbolt, using a 25 foot CAT5 cable and extension cord. Having the WINK 2 close to the deadbolt is key (pun intended) to make sure that the security protocols are established. If you aren’t able to get the hub close to the lock, or don’t have a long CAT5 cable, sync your WINK 2 using it’s built-in WiFi connection and move the WINK around.

To enroll the Yale Real Living into my WINK 2, I selected my hub on the WINK app and chose ADD A PRODUCT/LOCKS/Z-WAVE LOCK/NEXT. When I got to the last menu I entered my master code in the deadbolt, pressed #, then entered 7, then #.


The YRL enrollment menu asks me to press 1 then # to begin enrollment.  I clicked the green button on the WINK app, and at the same time started the enrollment on the lock. Once it was complete, I named the lock.

You may be tempted to bypass the little instructional screen and/or close the app, but don’t. Swipe to the next screen, then click “I got it.”  After that, trigger the door lock to lock or unlock. You’ll notice at the bottom of the screen it says, "Configuring Lock". Wait until that is complete.


I tested the deadbolt action again from the WINK’s temporary location, and after it was successful, I put the hub back in its home next to my router.

I tested the deadbolt again. It worked, albeit a little slower this time. I expect a network rediscovery will speed up the operation. I do have several Z-Wave Plus devices between the hub and the door lock, which are about 25 feet and two rooms apart.

If something happens and you want to exclude the lock and start again, go to the Z-Wave Controls (see more about that in this blog), hit exclude, and follow the steps on the Yale to exclude a controller.

What Can I Do With WINK 2 and a Z-Wave Door Lock?

• From the WINK app, it’s fairly easy to let someone in by swiping the appropriate icon.

• You can also chose to use the WINK app when coming home in lieu of manually punching in your entry code.
Let’s say it’s raining and your hands will be full with items you'll be carrying from the car to the house. You want to entry to be as easy as possible, unlock the door from the car using your smart phone.

Use Z-Wave Locks and WINK 2 to make your home smart

• Use the opening or closing of your door lock (whether from the app or from the door lock touch screen) as “If this Robot Detects Something” in a automation setup. Some examples:

    - When the lock is unlocked, the inside lights go on and the outside lights go off. (It’s always nice to enter a well-lit home)

    - When the lock is unlocked, you get a notification to your email or WINK app. (Great for knowing if the kids made it home safely).

    - When the lock is locked, all the Z-Wave lights and modules in your home shut off, and the thermostat is lowered 5 degrees. (Great for energy savings).

My current example:

I have my smart phone set up with a geofence. When I (more specifically my smart phone) come home, the exterior lights of my home turn on before I even pull in the driveway.

When I unlock my Yale lock, my exterior lights go off automatically. I get a notification on my phone, in case it wasn’t me.

What Can't I Do With WINK 2 and a Z-Wave Door Lock?

Despite the fact that Yale Real Living will allow many PIN codes for various users, the only triggers that are allowed are LOCK or UNLOCK, so that Robot will start if it’s you, your mom, your children, or an employee. If you would like various codes to start different events for different users, consider the Schlage BE469.

To date, you cannot access your PIN codes remotely from WINK 2 and Yale Real Living. That means that you cannot change a code to allow a plumber, a real estate agent, etc. temporary access via a new PIN. This scenario is better served by another controller, like the Vera Edge. The Vera is also a good choice for those who want to monitor employee entry in an office; the Vera can track different entry codes for different users.

Have a question about this setup, or any other?

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WINK 2 Overview

WINK 2, Amazon Alexa, and Supported Z-Wave Devices

WINK 2 Overview
The WINK 2 is a great home automation gateway, with many outstanding features and a few minor drawbacks.

Favorite Features

Works with Amazon Echo (Alexa) and its variants
Works with many Z-Wave devices, plus support for Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, Kidde, as well as Lutron’s Clear Connect
Choice between Ethernet port or dual band WiFi connection
Better “manual” Z-Wave inclusion/exclusion controls

Biggest Drawbacks

No generic IP camera support

A Review

When I reviewed the original WINK, two years ago, my complaint was the touchy nature of the WiFi. If the hub was too close to the router, the WiFi signal got overloaded; too far away and the WINK fell off my network. It was annoying. With the WINK team's help (they were excellent, BTW) soon I had the WINK up and running. The new WINK 2 has an ethernet port. This allows my hub to sit next to my router, which works great for my network. Better WiFi in the '2' helps those without easy access to a CAT5 cable, but plug it in if you can.

WINK 2 does not have a computer interface. The free smartphone app is your link to the hub. The app is very simple, and unlike other apps/gateways, items are organized by device type first, not room. You can further define each of these categories with groups. Groups could be rooms, purpose, or just smaller collections of device type. Paired devices can be scheduled by time or sunrise/sunset, or by 'Robots'. Robots are WINK’s way of creating events. This is the heart of home automation, and this hub offers many ways to configure your home with an app that is not unwieldy or confusing.

WINK 2 still holds onto the same "business model" as its predecessor; the inclusion wizard for official WINK supported devices is accessed via a prominent ADD A PRODUCT button on the interface, while third-party device inclusion/exclusion is more obscure. Presumably this is a way for WINK to direct accessory sales back to their own partners, but since the power of Z-Wave is in its interoperability, many of the devices we sell work great with the WINK 2 (see below for a list).  Due to WINK's ability to control Z-Wave and Lutron's Clear Connect devices, this hub is a good replacement for Staples D-Link and Linksys hubs, for those who are looking to add Alexa voice control to their Staples Connect network.

In addition to voice access via Amazon Echo, WINK 2’s Robots have the ability to control paired devices automatically based on geofences. Your smartphone knows you are home, and the WINK 2 turns on your lights, adjusts the temperature, or kicks off any robot you create, based on where you are. Geofencing is a boon for those of us with ever-changing lives that don’t stick to schedules.

The WINK 2 does not have a battery backup, or any port to store your device library (which is on the cloud). For those coming from smart hubs that have these features, this may be a miss for you. If you’re new to home automation, I don’t think you’ll miss it. A caveat on the new WINK, for those who want to include cameras in their home automation, is non-compatibility with generic IP cameras. I do not see any workaround to include third party security cameras into the mix, leaving only WINK's rather expensive cameras as an option.

While the WINK 2 will not be every solution for every automation project, its Amazon Echo functionality, ease of use, relatively low cost, and reliability make it a great choice for the average homeowner looking for voice and smartphone control of his or her home. It is very responsive, allows inclusion of many device types, and it requires little previous knowledge of home automation.

The WINK 2 can be purchased from Zwaveproducts by clicking here.

Here are a few items to help you setup your WINK 2

The z-wave controls menu

To access the Z-Wave inclusion/exclusion menu

•   Find the screen on your smart device that shows your WINK hub
•   Choose the 'gear' in the upper right hand corner
•   Choose the hub that you want to modify
•   Scroll down to Settings, and choose Z-Wave


Z-Wave Network Rediscovery
Z-Wave Network Rediscovery makes the WINK rediscover the Z-Wave mesh network, and forces each Z-Wave device to update its own internal map of the mesh network.

Reset Z-Wave
This button erases the Z-Wave network so you can start from scratch, or use the WINK in a new place

Learning Mode & Shift Controller
(Advanced)  Learning Mode allows the WINK to be included into another Z-Wave controller’s network
(Advanced)  Shift Controller changes the primary rights of one controller to another.

Inclusion mode
Allows you to include a supported Z-Wave device into your WINK network without going through the WINK wizard

Exclusion mode

Allows you to remove a supported Z-Wave device into your WINK network without going through the WINK wizard


Working without the WINK wizard to guide you, the LEDs on the hub itself are suddenly more important. Here is a breakdown of what those flashes mean:
(from the WINK website)

Solid white - Starting up
Breathing green - Updating radios or Transfer in progress
Breathing white - Not added to Wink
Breathing blue - Connecting to network and adding to Wink
Solid blue - Connected to Wink
Building green - Downloading update
Solid green - Successful update
Solid yellow (4 sec) - Failed update
Rapid flashing white - Hub is updating
Flashing blue - Hub is in pairing mode
Solid green (2 sec) - Device successfully paired / message from a connected device
Solid yellow (2 sec) - Device failed to pair
Flashing yellow - Z-wave inclusion / exclusion failure
Solid red - Corrupt memory
Flashing red/green - Problem with an update
Flashing white - Preparing to reboot
Breathing yellow - Disconnected from network
Red/Blue flashing - Performing factory reset
Solid green (0-5 sec) - In reset mode, release button to initiate reboot
Flashing green (5-30 sec) - In reset mode, release button to delete WiFi information
Flashing bright green / dim green (30+ sec) - In reset mode, release button to fully factory reset


1. From the Z-Wave Controls menu, select INCLUSION MODE (Hub LED flashes blue)
2. Perform the inclusion steps on the Z-Wave device.
3. Wait for the process to finish. Your new device will have a generic name and be in the menu of its device type.
    ie: A Z-Wave LED bulb will be called Light Bulb and it will be under the Lights and Power Menu.
4. Long press on the device icon to bring up the Edit Menu. Choose EDIT THIS (DEVICE), set the name and any other details.

A list of devices that will work with WINK 2

This list is not an all-inclusive list. It shows a wide variety of stocked devices that will work with WINK. Click on each link for more information.

Wall Switches and Plug-in Modules

GE Plug In Dimmer 12718
GE Plug In On/Off 12719
GE Smart Switch 12722
GE Smart Dimmer 12724
GE Smart On/Off Toggle 12727
GE Smart Dimmer Toggle 12729


Go Control TBZ48
Go Control CT100


Aeon Labs Water Sensor DSB45-ZWUS
Go Control Door & Window Sensor WADWAZ-1
Go Control Wireless IR Motion Detector WAPIRZ-1

Door Locks and Deadbolts

Yale Push Button Deadbolt YRD210-ZW-0BP
Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt YRD240-ZW-0BP
Yale Touchscreen Lever Lock YRL-200-ZW-0BP

Have a question about this setup, or any other?
In the bottom right corner of this website is a link to Leave me a Message.

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I hope this was helpful.
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Amazon Echo (Alexa) Control For Your Z-Wave Devices

Frequently Asked Questions about Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Z-Wave

Amazon Echo (Alexa) Control For Your Z-Wave Devices

Question: Do I need a Z-Wave Hub?

Similar questions:
• Do I need a Z-Wave hub or controller to use Z-Wave devices with Alexa?
• Will my Amazon Echo work as a Z-Wave hub for my light switches?
• Why do I need another hub if I already have an Amazon Dot?


Amazon Echo (and its variants) is a great device for voice control with its personal assistance software, Alexa, but it does not have a Z-Wave chip inside (at least not at the time this blog was written). In order to sync your Alexa with any Z-Wave devices, you will need a Z-Wave hub to act as a bridge between the two. Not any Z-Wave hub will work with Alexa, so look into your Z-Wave hub’s features before you buy. Our pick for a good mesh between Alexa and your home automation is the WINK 2.  I dug deeper into the WINK 2 features and its relationship with Amazon Echo in this blog: (please click here).

Another choice is the popular Smart Things by Samsung, and a pending new release of software will allow Vera gateways to have Amazon Echo integration; a long awaited feature for the popular gateway brand. Beta test is here

For each of these hubs, there is a skill in Alexa that must be turned on, and Z-Wave devices must be discovered.

Pro Tip: Simple names go a long way with voice recognition. How many times do you want to have to say supercalifragilisticexpialidociouskitchenlights?

Question: Why Z-Wave devices instead of WiFi?


• Z-Wave has better network and communication reliability
• Z-Wave has better security
• Z-Wave has better battery life

Even though adding a Z-Wave hub adds expense and another link to your home automation device list, we feel it’s well worth it. WiFi is a very crowded place, and interference with other WiFi devices causes unreliability. Z-Wave has its own space on the radio map, so you’re not cutting into your WiFi streaming bandwidth by expanding your home automation network. WiFi is a point to point connection, so over longer distances you may get intermittent communication drop outs. A WiFi extender usually fixes the issue. Z-Wave devices work together in a mesh network. Each non-battery powered device talks to another, helping to spread the communication from gateway to end device over several possible routes for better reliability. There are specific security protocols set up for Z-Wave devices that prevent tampering, and each Z-Wave hub has a unique Home ID that does not allow other devices or controllers to penetrate the system. Security is only getting better with future revisions of Z-Wave. While not a top concern of Alexa users, battery life is better with Z-Wave devices due to their ability to sleep and only wake when needed. We still need WiFi to communicate with our IP Cameras. Z-Wave can only handle tiny bits of information, and video does not work with Z-Wave.

Question: What Can I Do with Alexa and Z-Wave Devices?


• Turn on/off devices or groups

    “Alexa, turn off Living Room”

• Set Z-Wave dimmers and dimmable Z-Wave LED lighting to your choice of output

    “Alexa, turn on Lamp to 50%”

• Turn on your HVAC, or set it to a specific temperature

    “Alexa, set Living Room Stat to 68*

• Arm your security system

    “Alexa, tell Vivint to arm my security system”

Skills keep getting added to improve how we can interact with our smart home via voice control. Your wants and needs play a big picture about how the Echo and your smart home work. How about setting a group of devices that includes all of your exterior lights, and when something goes bump in the night you can say, “Alexa, turn on panic."

What have you been doing with your Alexa and Z-Wave devices? What questions do you have?
Please let us know by leaving a message in the box in the lower right corner of this website, or by filling out the Ask An Expert form.
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