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Timers. What am I doing wrong?


Bobster
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A recurring theme in my life is digital timers, the sort of thing that one would use for controlling a geyser (perhaps in conjunction with a solenoid) or a pool pump.

Repeatedly I fit a new one, it works and then a few months later I find they get hard to read and thus hard to reprogram because all the segments of the LCD display appear to be on at the same time. OK... if you can position your head at a certain, usually uncomfortable angle, you may be able to read the display but it's still hard work.

They usually will reset, and will control the slave device, and the battery backup appears to still be working, but the display is problematic.

Sure you can take them back to the store, but they will insist that unless you're a qualified electrician then sorry...

So is this just a fact of life with budget timer switches? Or am I doing something to damage them?

Analog switches are available, sure, but the digital switches are usually easier to override, give finer control and usually can be programmed over 7 days rather than just 24 hours.

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1 hour ago, hoohloc said:

strange, I have my geyser timer for almost six years now and it is working fine. No issue with the LCD display at all and it is one of the budget timers. The brand is MAJOR Tech. Is your display under direct sunlight?

I also have two of those that have been working fine for a few years now. The only funny thing with those is I notice if I am running a generator a lot then they start to gain time, although I keep the genny at 50Hz.

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1 hour ago, DeepBass9 said:

I also have two of those that have been working fine for a few years now. The only funny thing with those is I notice if I am running a generator a lot then they start to gain time, although I keep the genny at 50Hz.

Most likely is the electrical noise that the genny produces. Fit a transient suppressor (e.g. Clearline) on the supply and plug the timer into that..  

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Well I ran off to Lido Electrical this morning to get a replacement switch.

Annoyingly when I disconnected the old one it started working properly again. Almost instantly. Beautifully legible display.

To answer one question - no, the switch isn't in direct sunlight, it's inside a pool pump cover. It had occurred to me that an aggravating factor may have been the evening light coming from over my shoulder, but I checked again early this morning with the light obviously coming from a very different direction and the display was just as hard to read. And then, see above, I took it out and it started working properly.

Not amused.

Edited by Bobster
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4 hours ago, hoohloc said:

strange, I have my geyser timer for almost six years now and it is working fine. No issue with the LCD display at all and it is one of the budget timers. The brand is MAJOR Tech. Is your display under direct sunlight?

No. It's under cover.

I have had repeated problems over the years. In my previous house I had a budget timer (whatever Builders Warehouse were selling at the time) controlling the geyser and that eventually gave problems (after I sold the house. The new owner called me to complain that the display was showing all 8s).


In the current house I have changed the switch controlling the pool pump twice in 6 months (I went for a pricier item from a specialist electrical supplier this time).

I have had a couple of the plug in ones go belly up on me.

Edited by Bobster
clarity
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Try the sonoff smart switches,I use the TH16 with temp sensor for the pool motor works like a charm easy to wire up and set up operation parameters i.e set an on off schedule times daily/weekly, all done on an app on your phone set and forget. You Can even remotely switch off/on device, I monitor my solar system from work and if needs be I switch the pool pump off if pv is not sufficient (rainy/cloudy days)

Haven't set up the geyser as i have the geyserwise,though many members have had success check out home automation thread.

Super cheap at around R260/R280 for the switch, just make sure you get the 16amp 3600w max version for pool or geyser not the basic which is around 10amp 2200w max, which is around R130

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9 hours ago, Gelo said:

Try the sonoff smart switches,I use the TH16 with temp sensor for the pool motor works like a charm easy to wire up and set up operation parameters i.e set an on off schedule times daily/weekly, all done on an app on your phone set and forget. You Can even remotely switch off/on device, I monitor my solar system from work and if needs be I switch the pool pump off if pv is not sufficient (rainy/cloudy days)

Thanks. That's a good solution for the same price.

But is there some network set up involved here? I presume the switch is somehow mapped to an IP address.

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10 hours ago, Gelo said:

Super cheap at around R260/R280 for the switch, just make sure you get the 16amp 3600w max version for pool or geyser not the basic which is around 10amp 2200w max, which is around R130

2.2 kw should be sufficient for a pool pump. OK... depends on the size of the pump. Mine consumes about a little over 1 kw

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56 minutes ago, Bloubul7 said:
1 hour ago, Bobster said:

Thanks. That's a good solution for the same price.

But is there some network set up involved here? I presume the switch is somehow mapped to an IP address.

 

Yes, it would need a wifi connection

Then what? It connects to some hub, and the app on the phone also connects to the same hub to facilitate remote control?

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9 minutes ago, Bobster said:

Then what? It connects to some hub, and the app on the phone also connects to the same hub to facilitate remote control?

Correct, it connect to the Ewelink website.  There is an Ewelink app that you download which enables you to set up the timer function and control the unit

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Very simple download app,power on your sonoff device search it on app and it automatically adds device and your done. Then u can play around with settings.  Check if your wifi signal reaches where you wish to install as it will need connection to wifi. As far as physical wiring its as simple as wiring N L E after your main supply then N L E out the box to your device, picture this plug point, cable, sonoff, cable, light

4 hours ago, Bobster said:

Then what? It connects to some hub, and the app on the phone also connects to the same hub to facilitate remote control?

 

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