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Author Topic: Wall Switches coming on at Random  (Read 4905 times)

kevinv

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Wall Switches coming on at Random
« on: December 28, 2015, 10:07:23 PM »

Hi All,

I am not exactly a newbie but seem to be having a problem I haven't seen before.  Maybe someone has some advice?

I've got a fairly large house here with some non-softstart wall switches that seem to randomly come on.   I've tried using different house codes and unit codes and still it happens.

I've got a CM15 connected to an XTBII driving both phases on the same panel as these lights that like to randomly come on. 

I had the same set of hardware in a different house (except for the switches) and didn't have this problem.

Any ideas what can cause a wall switch to come on regardless of House or Unit code?

Thanks!!!
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bkenobi

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 11:35:22 PM »

One thought is you could try switching the module for a possessed module to one that's working ok.  If the problem moves, then it must be the module.  If it stays, it must be the wiring (lights, ballast, other noisy components).

kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 11:41:08 PM »

I guess I'll actually have to try something like that.  The funny thing is that I have four modules in this room and the "possession" seems to affect more than one of them.

Ever heard of adjacent modules affecting each other somehow?   Any other ideas?

Maybe I have numerous bad modules???   

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Brian H

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 06:43:13 AM »

Do you have a Smart Power Meter from the power company? One that sends data back to the power company over the power lines.
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kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 08:42:44 AM »

hmmm...   there is a smart meter here.... not sure how it xmit's    you think that can do it?  Wow....
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Brian H

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 09:26:38 AM »

There are known issues with some Smart Meters. It depended on the exact model of the meter and what signaling method it was using.
Here is one Thread I found fairly quickly. There are others you may find with the advanced search feature here.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=26056.0

If you can see the make and model of the Smart Meter. That maybe a help.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 10:09:02 AM by Brian H »
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kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 10:24:49 AM »

Very good info... I'll look into this!!!
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kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 01:50:29 PM »

The power company says I have an Elster meter that communicates through the power lines...   need to try to verify that.

Thanks for the leads!
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dhouston

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 03:16:54 PM »

The power company says I have an Elster meter that communicates through the power lines...

What model? At least one Elster smart meter uses 900Mhz RF which should not cause problems.
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Elster+REX2+Smart+Meter+Teardown/5710

The REX2 also has an optional Zigbee radio, the purpose of which is not clear.
http://www.bestenergymonitor.com/energy_monitoring_news/post_535.html
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 03:28:15 AM by dhouston »
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kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 04:56:17 PM »

I double checked with United Power and they now say that my meter is an RF meter....   so that should not be causing my random turn-on's....   

I'll hunt around for other sources  :)
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Brian H

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 05:44:04 PM »

I doubt it is RF all the way back to the power station.
It could be RF to the data collector on the street and its power line signals are what is getting back into your home.

If they are like the one on my home that only is read from the street by an RF signal and not sending data back over the power lines. That is another possibility you have other noise gremlins in the home.

Have you seen Jeff's great X10 troubleshooting tutorials?
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 06:00:45 PM by Brian H »
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dhouston

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 06:48:05 PM »

Any ideas what can cause a wall switch to come on regardless of House or Unit code?

Do you know the model numer of the switches? Several older models exhibited this behavior long before there were any smart meters. The likely cause was spikes or dips on the powerline.
http://web.archive.org/web/20150811192010/http://davehouston.org/noise.htm


AC & furnace fans were frequent culprits.
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kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 07:13:06 PM »

The company states that the meter I have communicates by a 1.5 second cell phone signal (likely GSM) 7 times a day.   I tend to believe this as I worked on some chips for smart meters that had GSM radio's in them...   but who knows?

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kevinv

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 07:15:09 PM »

The wall switches I am fighting are definitely old... pre- soft start era.   They are the WS467 I believe... the most basic switch.

I'll check out your link Dave.  Thanks!
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dhouston

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Re: Wall Switches coming on at Random
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 07:57:15 PM »

The wall switches I am fighting are definitely old... pre- soft start era.

Here's a link from 1999 that describes the same (or similar) issue.
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!searchin/comp.home.automation/wallswitch$20random/comp.home.automation/mzxpwzzQhW4/Epn8Ve5X7AwJ

Jeff Volp even contributed to the thread.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 08:01:50 PM by dhouston »
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