Talk About the Latest in Home Automation/Home Electronics -
Home Automation Forum

Smarthome Forum
Insteon Home Automation
Login or Register
 
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Search | FAQ | Smarthome | Security and Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info
 All Forums
 General Discussion
 Insteon
 100% failure rate over time.
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Xpendable
Advanced Member

USA
618 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2019 :  08:31:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Xpendable's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Now that I've been in my house with Insteon installed for over 11 years, I thought I would share my observations and experiences.

I moved into my house in April 2008 and immediately installed 30+ Insteon devices. I replaced nearly all the wall switches with either SwitchLinc dimmers, relays, or KeypadLincs. I had a bunch of the older style LampLinc dimmers as well, a ControlLinc, a couple of RemoteLinc's, one of those 8 button wireless charging remotes, an outdoorLinc, a garage door I/O kit, an irrigation kit, one of the early water leak sensors, the IrLinc, and more. Over time I've added a few outletLinc's and some of the newer LampLinc's.

The biggest observation I have is 100% of my products that I originally installed in 2008 have since failed. Every single one of them. The most recent failure happened last night. An expensive 8-button keypadLinc installed in a desktop enclosure (with no controlling load) failed right before my eyes and is now dead. The previous failure occurred just 2 months ago (a SwitchLinc dimmer). All of the original LampLinc's have failed. I had 3 accesPoints that have all failed.

As things failed, (usually after a few years), I originally was buying replacements. I got tired of the failures and eventually stopped replacing them. I still have a lot of stuff left, but it's all stuff I've had to replace. I've even had a replacement fail on me.

Which leads me to my own personal conclusion: All Insteon stuff fails over time. If you can get 10 years out of an Insteon product, then you should count yourself lucky. Most of my stuff failed within 5-7 years, with almost nothing lasting 11 years. My leak detector failed, my garage I/O kit failed, my IRLinc failed, all of my SwitchLinc's failed, ALL of my keypadLinc's have failed. This goes on and on. The only things that haven't failed are the newer outletLinc's and the newer LampLincs, but they just aren't old enough to determine whether they will fail in a few years.

But the bottom line is... I'm no longer buying Insteon products. I have not switched to another technology, and I probably won't. It's just frustrating that I sunk so much cash into this. It was fun while it worked, but eventually it doesn't work anymore, and that's the sad truth.

Edited by - Xpendable on 10/18/2019 08:32:16 AM

BLH
Advanced Member

6319 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2019 :  3:30:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for sharing your terrible findings.
Go to Top of Page

silverton38
Advanced Member

Canada
421 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2019 :  8:35:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use many different products including Insteon. I have found that the newer dual band stuff is a lot better then the older wireline only stuff. I also see failures on my Z-wave and Zigbee devices at about the same rate as Insteon. The quality of your power in your area can also be a factor.
Go to Top of Page

lilyoyo1
Senior Member

341 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2019 :  1:46:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All electronics fail. Unfortunately it is what it is. Even mechanical switches will need to be replaced at some point (though not as fast as an electronic switch.

With that said, newer device quality is much better than older devices, though 11 years is pretty good.

Being that insteon (zwave or any other electronic smart device) has power running through it, it is worth protecting with a whole home surge protector.

Edited by - lilyoyo1 on 10/25/2019 1:48:08 PM
Go to Top of Page

Doughboy
Starting Member

Canada
5 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2019 :  3:28:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The switches I have purchased way back in 2005-2006 were mostly all replaced because they had microswitch problems - the switches would fail and not turn on/off lights.
The replacements I got were mostly 2475S SwitchLinc Relay W/Sense v.37 (that is how they show in my ISY)and the actual sticker on them is V5.2. In the past year I have had maybe three or four deteriorate where they would not respond 100% of time to commands. Replacing them with Dual Band versions also makes my network more robust. I did have some older switches that never got swapped re: microswitches that failed outright eventually. I also added more dual band to make my system more stable.

I have had a KeyPadLinc fail also last year that needed to be replaced.
I/O Linc - had three fail (I am on my last for Garage Door control and I expect that to fail anytime).
This year:
EZFlora Fail
LampLinc Dimmer Fail
ApplianceLinc Fail
PLM Serial Modem Fail
All devices that use PLM fail it seems.

I don't use access points anymore because of all dual band, but those had failed also I think. I also had the older wireless phase bridge that also failed.


Go to Top of Page

BLH
Advanced Member

6319 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2019 :  3:37:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The ISY reports the modules firmware revision. The hardware revision is on the sticker.
Go to Top of Page

Commander Balok
Average Member

USA
111 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2019 :  10:02:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder if you have dirty power. I have been using Insteon for about ten years and I still have old "ApplianceLinc" modules that are in good working order. This is what is now called "SwitchLinc On/Off", but it was somewhat larger then. I had one 6-button in-wall switch fail within the warranty; SmartLabs replaced it without question. And I had a serial modem fail; the problems with those are pretty well documented. I probably have a few dozen permanently deployed devices and many more that come out once a year for holiday automation.

Who knows what the future holds... but as has been said no electronic device will last forever.
Go to Top of Page

BLH
Advanced Member

6319 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2019 :  10:07:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have 2456S2 AppliancLinc still in use.
Some have failed but as a technician. I changed the power supply capacitors and they again are fine.
My 2476S SwitchLinc relay modules are from 2006 if memory is correct. Still working fine. Both Insteon and optional X10 address.
Go to Top of Page

jtmoderate876
Junior Member

39 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2019 :  07:04:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had insteon since it's inception and one thing I've noticed is that every time a hub or USB PLM fails the process of Factory Resetting the switches causes like 10% of my switches to fail as well.

Summary: Factory resets cause random, permanent failure.
Go to Top of Page

JWillis
Average Member

USA
162 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2020 :  1:06:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have over 40 Insteon and related devices in my home. I've spent about $2,700 on them at SmartHome over time. The original installation was in 2012, starting with about 25 devices, adding and replacing since then. I am running a first generation HUB. With a few exceptions, most of my stuff is going strong after 8 years, knock on wood.

Problems I have had:

1. Initially used it with the old 2412N Central Controller, for about a year, until they came out with the HUB. The controller software was pretty crappy by today's HUB standards. $130 gone.
2 ApplianceLinc. Installed 3 in initial installation. One went within 5 years. Another just went out this month. Only 1 of 3 still operational. $90 gone.
3. I was talked into using an ISY994i by people on this board. That was an unmitigated disaster. It sits on a closet shelf, $225 gone.
4. Was an early user of EZFlora 8 Zone Sprinkler. They stopped supporting the software interface when they migrated from Central Controller to HUB around 2014 or so. $125 gone. (Replaced it with Blossom for $225. It has been far superior experience anyway.)
5. Bought a mini remote in 2014. It doesn't hold much of a charge, and has always been spotty in terms of whether or not it would work properly. $45 gone.
6. Early on, they had desktop software that would run your system. You had to keep your computer on 24x7. It also required a serial controller, which now sits in a closet. $80 gone.
7. I tried an Insteon Wireless SD Security IP Camera. It was junk. $99 gone.

So, about $800 of the $2,700 was a waste.

Still, I am pleased with Insteon:

1. I have 7 Keypads, those are GREAT.
2. I'm running 25 scenes. Once set, I've rarely had to circle back around to adjust.
3. I use timers on some of the devices, they work well.
4. I have so rarely had to adjust devices or software, that I always need to pull up the documentation and read to re-familiarize myself with how the stuff works, before I can adjust anything.
5. The system is especially valuable in running a recirculating hot water system in my home. My home is rather large. There's a recirculating pump that keeps hot water recirculating throughout the house. Insteon solved that problem extraordinarily well. A button on KeyPads in all the bathrooms, and Kitchen, turn the recirculating pump on when needed. All my neighbors simply allow their recirculating pumps to operate 24 x 7, wasting massive amounts of gas and electricity.


Overall though, I'm pleased with Insteon.

Just an average Man trying to automate my home.
Go to Top of Page

JWillis
Average Member

USA
162 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2020 :  1:10:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BLH

I have 2456S2 AppliancLinc still in use.
Some have failed but as a technician. I changed the power supply capacitors and they again are fine.
My 2476S SwitchLinc relay modules are from 2006 if memory is correct. Still working fine. Both Insteon and optional X10 address.



Have you posted any pointers on how to replace the power supply capacitors on those SwitchLincs? I'd like to give that a try on two I have that are dead.

Thanks.

Just an average Man trying to automate my home.
Go to Top of Page

jackman
Senior Member

225 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2020 :  10:29:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I'd bump this thread and let you know that I had one of my SwitchLinc 2476S die. My experience suggests it has about a 75,000 hour MTBF. It was strobing when it failed and I suspect it's one of the capacitors but I don't have any interest in taking it apart. I do like the dual band replacements (2477S) which have much faster response time than the older power line only models. Hopefully the newer models have a longer MTBF.
Go to Top of Page

jackman
Senior Member

225 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  09:04:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh my, another one failed with the exact same symptom. It was installed on the same day as the last one October 11th, 2011. That confirms, for me, that it's an end of life (EOL) failure mode. The mean time between failures (MTBF) is approximately 77,000 hours.
Go to Top of Page

BLH
Advanced Member

6319 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  10:31:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That does sound like the filter capacitors.
The Dual Band models. Have a small switching supply in them and it depends on the quality of capacitors they used. The 2413S/U are a good example of poor capacitor choices until the real recent hardware ones.
Go to Top of Page

AD8BC
Senior Member

324 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2020 :  11:55:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yup. Just yesterday the final switch of my original install in 2007-2008 failed -- an old Icon Relay switch for our bedroom closet light. I've also now had a 100% failure of all of my first-generation Insteon devices. Every device I have purchased since 2010 is still operational, save for two PLMs and one Keypadlinc Dimmer.
Go to Top of Page

mhunterdts
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2020 :  1:36:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sadly, I'd have to concur with this one. My old house (which I now rent out) has had devices fail. I'd say about 75% have failed but I'm not fully up to ten years. Sadly now I have to pay an electrician to go in and swap it with a $2 regular on/off switch, or a $20 dimmer. No way will I pay him to link that stuff back up. It typically costs me ~ $150 for the labor. My wife yells at me each time this happens, asking why we bought that stuff. I have to shrug it off, I don't have any more explanations. Sad when we did some remodeling with 3 way switches, I didn't run the wires to accommodate regular devices so I'm stuck using some sort of smart switch. Right before we moved it was kind of stormy the lights went out for 2 seconds. The keypadlinc died right before my eyes. When power came back on, KPL was black, dead, nothing.
For years now, when people would ask me about smart switches I steer them away from anything in general. I was a huge Insteon fan, and this hurts. But fundamentally the power line is a very crappy environment to work in. Now it is possible to design in robustness, but it costs money. We all know where that is going.....
In my new house, I've put in only 6 Insteon products (yes I should have learned my lessons) because we could not retrofit wiring. It's been 3 years and all is well.... Hope I don't jinx it.
I've never had to replace a mechanical toggle switch or old round dimmer switch, ever because of a failure. Talk about reliable.
Go to Top of Page

oberkc
Moderator

USA
4160 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2020 :  12:32:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, automation is currently expensive. I also believe that expectations of reliability equalling the old mechanical switches to be unreasonable. If reliability is your highest priority, I would stay away from automation at this point.
Go to Top of Page

lakeguy
Average Member

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2020 :  07:45:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I chuckle every time I see the title of this topic. EVERYTHING has a 100% failure rate over time. :-)

I have over 50 Insteon devices, some over 10 years old. I think I've had 2 failures over time. This includes several that I have outside where they are exposed to temps during the year that exceed the specs for the device. Perhaps those having a high failure rate should look to environmental issues that may be causing premature failures.
Go to Top of Page

davep
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2021 :  3:15:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lakeguy

I chuckle every time I see the title of this topic. EVERYTHING has a 100% failure rate over time. :-)

I have over 50 Insteon devices, some over 10 years old. I think I've had 2 failures over time. This includes several that I have outside where they are exposed to temps during the year that exceed the specs for the device. Perhaps those having a high failure rate should look to environmental issues that may be causing premature failures.


You are fortunate. Perhaps Smarthome finally got smart and started sourcing higher quality components in the newer stuff that has been out for the last ten years or so. I only have maybe ten devices and I've had probably 6-7 failures over the years. The problems I have found are in the electrolytic capacitors. It is a known fact that aluminum electrolytics have limited lifespans but I think they should have lasted longer than they did in my case.
Go to Top of Page

vekokit877
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2021 :  08:18:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for sharing your terrible findings.
Go to Top of Page

arora2deepak
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2021 :  03:42:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have over 40 Insteon and related devices in my home. I've spent about $2,700 on them at SmartHome over time. The original installation was in 2012, starting with about 25 devices, adding and replacing since then. I am running a first generation HUB. With a few exceptions, most of my stuff is going strong after 8 years, knock on wood.

Edited by - arora2deepak on 04/22/2021 01:28:11 AM
Go to Top of Page

silverton38
Advanced Member

Canada
421 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2021 :  11:58:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am also on the same timeline and have replaced almost all my original switches. The new Dual Band switches seem to last much longer and work much better.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Smarthome Forum © 2000-2021 Smartlabs, Inc Go To Top Of Page
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.07