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Insteon outlet connection issues


ahwman

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Recently I’ve been getting communication errors with an Insteon outlet (v.44). The issues have been getting worse to the point where I can no longer query the device. Manual control of the top and bottom outlet works normally as does the power output. I’ve tried restoring the device, however it fails to complete. I think my PLM is fine since all of my other Insteon devices work fine and query without errors. The only other thing I can think of is a factory reset of the outlet. I’m using ISY firmware v5.0.16A.

Any thoughts?

 

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Model number of the Outlet would help.

Is it the older model with only the Top Outlet controlled, the latest one where both Outlets can be controlled or the Dimmer using the special enable load key?

Any new or moved electronic devices in the home around the same time the communications started to go bad?

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Is anything plugged into the outlet? (if so, unplug it temporarily and see if query now works.)

How far away is the PLM from the outlet?  Try an extension cord, plugging directly into the outlet, and bring other end to PLM.  Plug the PLM into the outlet.  Does that solve the query problem?  Does that cause other problems?

I suppose you could try a factory reset, but that would not be my first step.  If you reset it and you are experiencing communication problems, you may not be able to add back in its current location.

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3 hours ago, Brian H said:

Model number of the Outlet would help.

Is it the older model with only the Top Outlet controlled, the latest one where both Outlets can be controlled or the Dimmer using the special enable load key?

Any new or moved electronic devices in the home around the same time the communications started to go bad?

It’s the latest version with both outlets controllable. No new devices or equipment.

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3 hours ago, oberkc said:

Is anything plugged into the outlet? (if so, unplug it temporarily and see if query now works.)

How far away is the PLM from the outlet?  Try an extension cord, plugging directly into the outlet, and bring other end to PLM.  Plug the PLM into the outlet.  Does that solve the query problem?  Does that cause other problems?

I suppose you could try a factory reset, but that would not be my first step.  If you reset it and you are experiencing communication problems, you may not be able to add back in its current location.

I will try unplugging everything connected to the outlet and see if that helps. The PLM is only a few  rooms away on the same level approximately 30’.  Last night I noticed another communication error on a different device. Is it possible to rule out the PLM as I know they have a high failure rate over time and I’m on my third one. This behavior seems reminiscent of how my others failed...

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 I don't think that it is possible to rule out a PLM. I had always assumed that they failed catastrophically, but more recent experience that they may fail gradually. When I replaced my PLM, some things were working. Some things were not. Trying a new PLM made everything new again.

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Well, after more testing, I’ve arrived at an interesting result. After taking the advise of oberkc, I unplugged everything from the outlet and low and behold communication was restored between the ISY and the outlet. I then plugged into the top outlet and bam, no communication.  I unplug the top outlet and plug into the bottom outlet and success - everything works. So I can conclude that there is something awry with the top outlet. I even tested a power strip with the power switch turned off (no load) plugged into the top outlet and again, communication failure. I then did a factory reset on the outlet and retested and got the same results. I’m not sure why just one receptacle would fail however that is the case.

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That is, indeed, a little weird.  Was your power strip one of those surge suppressor types?  

Are you saying that when certain things are plugged into the bottom outlet, it works, but when those same things are plugged into the top outlet, it does not work?  

Normally, when unplugging something causes insteon to work, I would have assumed that the unplugged item causes some type of interference.  What happens when you plug a simple extension cord (connected to nothing) into the top outlet.  Does that cause it to fail?

 

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This is even more odd.  I did as you suggested and plugged in an empty extension cord and it had no affect.  I then plugged a nightlight into the extension cord and turned it on, again no effect.  I’m thinking that this is a load issue with the top outlet which causes it to fail to communicate with the PLM.  I can replicate the issue by plugging in a power strip with multiple AV devices.  It’s also not relegated to a specific power strip or devices as I reversed the two power strips I’ve been using (switched top to bottom and visa versa) each with different devices and the issue then reappears...

Very odd indeed...

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