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 Unacceptable Insteon failure rate
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A57
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  06:49:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been using both X10 and Insteon for several years and have not been at all happy with the high failure rate on Insteon products. It seems they usually last about 2 or 3 years then begin to self-destruct. Either the electronics go buggy or the switches physically fail. This year I have lost two more SwitchLinc and ToggleLinc units and have just had my second ControLinc go totally buggy and refuse to operate or reset. I even had a ToggleLinc literally fall apart in my hand when I turned it on. These products get used daily but they are not abused in any way (no children in the house). My X10 products on the other hand last for MANY years with very low failure rates. I have several X10 controllers and lighting modules that are at least 10 years old and still work perfectly.
So what is the issue here? Why the pathetic quality control? It's almost like the Insteons have a programmed expiration date built in at the factory. I will NOT continue buying these expensive products until such time as Smarthome offers a longer warranty.

EVIL Teken
Advanced Member

Canada
1243 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  08:20:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by A57

I have been using both X10 and Insteon for several years and have not been at all happy with the high failure rate on Insteon products. It seems they usually last about 2 or 3 years then begin to self-destruct. Either the electronics go buggy or the switches physically fail. This year I have lost two more SwitchLinc and ToggleLinc units and have just had my second ControLinc go totally buggy and refuse to operate or reset. I even had a ToggleLinc literally fall apart in my hand when I turned it on. These products get used daily but they are not abused in any way (no children in the house). My X10 products on the other hand last for MANY years with very low failure rates. I have several X10 controllers and lighting modules that are at least 10 years old and still work perfectly.
So what is the issue here? Why the pathetic quality control? It's almost like the Insteons have a programmed expiration date built in at the factory. I will NOT continue buying these expensive products until such time as Smarthome offers a longer warranty.



The first thing I would ask is how is your power? Before you answer this critical piece. Realize that most places in the United States have piss poor electricity when you compare it to Canada.

Unlike a lot of people I use several devices which measure, capture, and record the actual powerline voltage(s) along with any surge, lulls, and sags that may be present.

This is a small sample of how rock steady my power is in Canada.



As you can see my power is a rock steady 122.93 volts at all times. Now, this has no direct impact on your personal experience but I wanted to call this out if this has been an area you have not considered.

Teken . . .
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A57
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  4:02:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't have an analyzer handy other than my UPS monitor on the main computer and a DVM. I have filtering at the panel but the only thing I have with UPS protection is a single computer. All other electronics are just plugged into the wall. The ONLY electronics that I have continual issues with are Insteon items. As I said before, they physically fail as well. That is not a power related issue. It's just poor quality. My main kitchen SwitchLinc for example is in the process of failing now (bad contacts). It works remotely just fine but the physical switch is glitchy in the off direction - It turns on but takes some fiddling with it to make it turn off.

At fifty bucks a pop I can't keep replacing these things constantly. I'm ready to pull out all the Insteon and go back to X-10. It seems to be more rugged if not quite as responsive.


quote:

The first thing I would ask is how is your power? Before you answer this critical piece. Realize that most places in the United States have piss poor electricity when you compare it to Canada.

Unlike a lot of people I use several devices which measure, capture, and record the actual powerline voltage(s) along with any surge, lulls, and sags that may be present.

This is a small sample of how rock steady my power is in Canada.

As you can see my power is a rock steady 122.93 volts at all times. Now, this has no direct impact on your personal experience but I wanted to call this out if this has been an area you have not considered.

Teken . . .

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BLH
Advanced Member

4463 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  4:33:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Depending on the Switchlincs age. There was a known problem with the earlier hardware revisions. The small PC mounted Tact Switches would click but not activate. For the known problem date codes. Smarthome had extended the warranty to seven years and was replacing them.

I have had a few older version 1.3 ApplianceLincs fail. Though part of the problems could be my fault. They generate some heat and I have a few stacked on their pass through outlets. They get hotter than normal and heat is the enemy of electronics.

Edited by - BLH on 11/11/2012 4:45:50 PM
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11447 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  4:48:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
According to ANSI C84.1, the optimal voltage is anything within 5% of the nominal voltage. That would be between 114 V and 126 V for a 120 V supply. The NEC also allows for a 5% drop (3% in the main feeder, <3% in individual branch circuits). The maximum service voltage should not exceed 126 V.

ANSI and nearly all power companies include a disclaimer similar to the following:
It must be recognized that, because of conditions beyond the control of the power supplier or customer, or both, there will be infrequent and limited periods when sustained voltages outside of the service voltage ranges will occur. Utilization equipment may not operate satisfactorily under these conditions, and protective devices may operate to protect the equipment.

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Pster
Junior Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  6:33:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I measured 255 volts entering my house from Duke Energy. Duke measured 251 at the street side transformer.....they were flummoxed as to why the voltage was increasing! So they put a monitor on the house....they removed it today and said they would call after they downloaded the data. They said their acceptable tolerance limit was 252 volts. My electrician said anything much over 245 was hard on electronics. I had three whole house surge suppressors installed, but they only catch the big joule surges....smaller spikes can still get through to sensitive electronics. I have also had failure rates similar to A57 and think evil-taken is on the right track about power issues. I am in the remote mountains of NC and "at the end of Duke's line" so we get uneven power. I have a whole house back-up generator as a result. I just think INSTEON devices are very sensitive to power surges. I too am tiring of constantly replacing them.
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11447 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  6:55:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Using multiple whole house surge suppressors on the same panel may reduce their effectiveness, but it's OK if you have more than one panel and a suppressor for each. That's because any inconsistency will be divided among the various protectors, equally if they're identical.

It's virtually impossible for the voltage to be greater further away from the supply transformer. It can be caused by an errant auxiliary power source or other device. I'd suspect your meter or theirs. The only way to be sure that the voltage is different is to use the same measuring device at each location.

Also, 252 VAC is the maximum limit according to the various accepted standards.

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.
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rrunkle
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2013 :  07:14:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The insteon switches and keypads suck for quality. I've had mine for 3-5 years and I regularly lose a switch or a keypad. I've replaced all of them at least once each. I also have some x10 in the house, including some custom hacked x10 switches and I've only lost one x10 switch in 6 years.

Rob
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EVIL Teken
Advanced Member

Canada
1243 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2013 :  9:26:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pster

I measured 255 volts entering my house from Duke Energy. Duke measured 251 at the street side transformer.....they were flummoxed as to why the voltage was increasing! So they put a monitor on the house....they removed it today and said they would call after they downloaded the data. They said their acceptable tolerance limit was 252 volts. My electrician said anything much over 245 was hard on electronics. I had three whole house surge suppressors installed, but they only catch the big joule surges....smaller spikes can still get through to sensitive electronics. I have also had failure rates similar to A57 and think evil-taken is on the right track about power issues. I am in the remote mountains of NC and "at the end of Duke's line" so we get uneven power. I have a whole house back-up generator as a result. I just think INSTEON devices are very sensitive to power surges. I too am tiring of constantly replacing them.



I would love to know how this turned out for you. 252 VAC??

Teken . . .
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BLH
Advanced Member

4463 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2013 :  03:12:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Over in the X10 forums there are threads on the Duke Energy smart meters.
I believe the carrier signal riding the power lines can be quite high.
Maybe this signal is effecting the meter.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=26056.0
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