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maybe an unusual signal sucker - the washing machine -


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While dropping in a couple new switches this morning, I had one that was going to 0 hopes and not working with on and off from the plm/isy.


Since I have an Elk X-10 signal meter, I brought it over and plugged it into the outlet right by the switch (don't ask why the electrician that did this house has outlets and fixtures on the same breaker). I was not even getting 1 volt. I pulled a led transformer and that made a bit of a voltage difference, but the hops stayed at 0 and the light didn't work.


Pulled the iron, no difference, pulled another led transformer no difference. Looked around and thought, na, could not be the washer (was not even on). Well, low and behold I unplug that bugger and I go to 5v on a on and about 2 on an off (apparently it sends a smaller voltage off signal?) and the light works beautiful. Plug in the washer and whamo, WAY back down and no light control.


I put an older x-10 filter on. I still get maybe 2.5 volts now, but the light works all the time.


Never read about someone checking their washer, but might be a good idea.

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Any appliance with electronics in it is suspect. My refrigerator is a big sucker. Most do not need to be turned on to be a sucker.

I had measured my washer a while back and it is not a sucker, but also an older model without digital electronics.


I have never experienced an Insteon device sending a different signal level for on vs off commands. Sometimes having the switches load on will load the circuit more, especially if the load is a sucker. This can result in the off command reading lower than the on command.



You did not state the filter model number, is your X-10 filter rated to handle a washer load?


I was still waiting for you to post a video of your meter in action, or have I missed it?

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We see this all the time in the X10 forums.

Any new appliance with ELECTRONIC controls frequently act like a signal sucker.

Most manufacturers just put a nice big AC Rated capacitor across the power line input to keep their electronic garbage off the power lines. This cap is a real nice X10 and Insteon signal sucker.


Of course for the few extra pennies of cost. The controls could have included a small coil between the line input and the controls. Before the capacitors connection.


Sometimes a stronger On with a weaker Off. Can be the load being controlled. When it is On it acts like a signal sucker or noise maker. Making the Off a lower level.


Just saw in the X10 forums. A user had lost control of a few X10 modules after Christmas. Turns out it was a new cooler sized Coke refrigerator Christmas present was the culprit. They unplugged it and their problem modules where gone. :roll:

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Arw01, thank you for the insights.


I noticed from the post with the washing machine unplugged you got 5V and with the x10 filter you got 2.5v. Looks like the filter does not solve the problem entirely.


I was wondering are some filters better then others? E.g. is the FIlterLinc ($29) then the XPPF ($18 in some places)?


Thank you,


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Unless x10Pro has updated the XPPF.

It is rated at 5 amps. Don't push them to 5 amps. The coils in them get HOT and Smell.

I loaded one with 4 amps worth of pure incandescent type loads. The coils started to overheat and the plastic forms they where wound on got soft.

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