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 insteon - high device failure rate
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bennett
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  4:37:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am experiencing a very high failure rate on my intseon appliance switches. The failure often occurs after 12 - 18 months of use. The control stops working, the light next to the switch no longer lites and the appear to be dead as a dornail.

Does anyone experience this. Is a there way to fix them. I have 6 that have "burned out" in the last 2-3 months

EVIL Teken
Advanced Member

Canada
1243 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  4:49:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1. I would confirm that all connections at the service panel are tight. It goes with out saying you will of course turn off the primary mains, prior to making any adjustments.

2. Confirm that all outlets / switches are also tight in their respective connections.

3. How is the power in your area? Prone to sags (brown outs), surges, or just over all intermittent power? Is the power clean in your local?

4. What year, model of devices are failing?

5. Are all of the switches correctly rated for the load in question and are they also controlling the right loads?

Teken . . .

Edited by - EVIL Teken on 03/30/2012 4:50:55 PM
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8604 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  4:50:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Like other built-in or non-portable electronics (built-in microwaves, irrigation controls, sprinkler controls, computerized refrigerators, etc.), your Insteon gear doesn't get the protection of surge protector/power strips like other electronic gadgets. If you are in an area that experiences frequent power fluctuations, brownouts or surges, it may make sense for you to invest in whole-house surge protection and the newer dual-voltage SwitchLincs.

Volunteer Moderator & Home Automation Enthusiast
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11466 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  5:10:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Do you have other SwitchLinc relays and/or dimmers that have not been affected? Of the six that failed, were any replaced more than once (i.e., same location)?

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bennett
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  5:31:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

Do you have other SwitchLinc relays and/or dimmers that have not been affected? Of the six that failed, were any replaced more than once (i.e., same location)?

Yes about 15 others
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arw01
Junior Member

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2012 :  05:11:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do they have the "magic smoke" got away smell when sniffed up close?
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ELA
Senior Member

318 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2012 :  08:51:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit ELA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tfitzpatri8

Like other built-in or non-portable electronics (built-in microwaves, irrigation controls, sprinkler controls, computerized refrigerators, etc.), your Insteon gear doesn't get the protection of surge protector/power strips like other electronic gadgets. If you are in an area that experiences frequent power fluctuations, brownouts or surges, it may make sense for you to invest in whole-house surge protection and the newer dual-voltage SwitchLincs.



Insteon does incorporate MOV's (surge protectors) inside of the product (just like other electronics).
Additional external protection is always a good thing to have.

When people tell other people not to use Surge Strips (or protectors) without a qualification, they do them a disservice.

Surge Strips without EMI Filtration are highly desirable to help protect devices.

This is especially true if the Insteon device is located close to an Inductive (motor etc. type) load.

You may find it difficult to distinguish between a surge strip with or without EMI filtration.

Avoid surge strips that state something like " EMI/RFI Noise Filtration: 100khz - 30MHz up to 40dB reduction". These will attenuate the Insteon signal.

Those with MOVs only and no internal EMI filter(Capacitor) will not affect communications but will add transient protection for your devices.

I have a lot of surge protectors (non EMI filtered) distributed throughout my house. I seek out units specifically with MOVs but no capacitors.
This is not always as easy as it should be. Some do not list EMI protection (capacitors) on the outside but you open them and find a paper inside that states EMI protection.

I mention this because it can be difficult for the average user to find what they want (MOVs but no EMI filter). Therefore people tend to say to avoid surge protectors.
I feel it is worth the extra effort, some may not.

Insteon Test Data ->: http://www.elavenue.com/insteon_test_data.html
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ScottAvery
Average Member

71 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2012 :  2:56:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
can you give some common examples of this type product? Smarthome carry them?
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photoret
Junior Member

Canada
32 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2012 :  3:27:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the concept of MOVs. Do these MOVs provide some indication of their health. That is, when the MOVs takes a hit of some sort (voltage surge initiated by a lighting strike)how do you know the protective device is still fully functional?
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EVIL Teken
Advanced Member

Canada
1243 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2012 :  4:14:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by photoret

I like the concept of MOVs. Do these MOVs provide some indication of their health. That is, when the MOVs takes a hit of some sort (voltage surge initiated by a lighting strike)how do you know the protective device is still fully functional?



You will only know if the MOV in a surge protector is completely dead is when the LED is no longer lit for most newer surge protectors. Some older surge arrestors, did not even incorporate any sort of LED indicator.

While, many if not all MOV based surge protectors can and will endure small surges as they come and go. This affect does indeed take away the over all protection and life span of the MOV's. The gradual spikes and surges will over time reduce its over all protection and those things it is attached to.

For those so inclined you can always incorporate SSR optically isolated relays. The benefit is that they are impervious to line spikes, while offering true isolation.

The only other method while using an attached protector is using a isolating transformer which is so designed to limit the surge current. Keep in mind in all cases, the only two goals of these devices is first to limit the surge current, and two to isolate the load from the line power.

In all cases the only job for these devices is to sacrifice themselves to protect your assets.

Teken . . .


Edited by - EVIL Teken on 04/02/2012 4:16:46 PM
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photoret
Junior Member

Canada
32 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2012 :  4:55:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The MOV with the LED indicator appears to me the best way to go. I'm going into look into this for my installation. Thanks for the great info.
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kryoder
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2012 :  9:40:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Try www.surgearrest.com . I have not used them with INSTEON yet, but they have decent product support and should be able to tell you if there would be any issues.

Just Say "Y.E.S."
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kryoder
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2012 :  07:36:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I called SurgeAssure this morning to see if they have EMI/RFI filtering in their devices. They normally do, but you can order them without filtering when you place an order.

Just Say "Y.E.S."
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