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Author Topic: X10 in a new home (new construction)  (Read 3628 times)

Tcsekhar

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X10 in a new home (new construction)
« on: September 27, 2012, 07:30:08 AM »

I'm building a new home and exploring options. I haven't seen this before but sounds really interesting.

What is the cost difference between going the traditional wiring and a X10 wiring for a new construction 5BR home - if I were to have only X10 controlled lights and fans throughout the home? Are there certified electricians who would install X10 along with the rest of the wiring?

I really would appreciate you reply with some practical $ figures who has done this before.

Thanks.
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dhouston

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Re: X10 in a new home (new construction)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 08:50:57 AM »

X10 does not require any special wiring although you might want to read a few of the troubleshooting sites as there may be a few things you could do at this stage to simplify troubleshootng later.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 in a new home (new construction)
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 09:29:41 AM »


Since I designed this home, there were a few things I did to make it "X10 ready".  I believe the code now requires that neutral be available in all switchboxes, but that was one of my groundrules.

Then I specified deep metal boxes to be used at all locations where a X10 dimmer switch might be installed in the future.  X10 switches are significantly larger than normal switches, and the larger box makes it easier to fit them in.  Metal was to help dissipate the power from the triac, but that is less of a factor now that incandescent bulbs are being phased out.

Finally, I specified a few "dead" switch locations where I later planned to install the 4-button controllers.  That allows us to control all our exterior lighting from several locations around the home.  And one is used to override the automatic irrigation when necessary.

I had the electrician install the normal switches, and then retrofitted the X10 devices after we moved in.

Jeff
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X-10 automation since the BSR days

Brian H

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Re: X10 in a new home (new construction)
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 11:57:19 AM »

You may also want to consider the loads would want on the switches.
The X10 two wire wall switches are only rated for incandescent type loads.
CFLs, Low Voltage Lights, LED loads and inductive loads like fans probably will not work correctly.
Some dimmable CFLs and LED bulbs may work but my tests showed most did not.
The Relay types need a neutral and Jeff covered that already.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 12:02:37 PM by Brian H »
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Sammer

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Re: X10 in a new home (new construction)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 11:47:56 AM »

X10 does not require any special wiring although you might want to read a few of the troubleshooting sites as there may be a few things you could do at this stage to simplify troubleshootng later.
While it may be technically true that no special wiring is required besides the already mentioned neutrals in switchboxes (now required in U.S. areas that have adopted the 2011 National Electrical Code but not in areas such my state, PA) the fact that most North American homes have 120 volt power on two legs should also be considered. X10 signals don't always make it from one leg to the other. One possible solution is a passive coupler such as the X10 XPCP or Smarthome 2406 installed close to the main electrical panel. Another is to plan to have all X10 devices on the same leg.
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jacklam

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Re: X10 in a new home (new construction)
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 11:05:03 PM »

I would not recommend extensive use of x10 for the whole house as the x10 communication protocol is inherently not reliable. Using x10 to turn on and off hall way lights is ok because there is a real chance that it will not turn on or off.
I would not use x10 to control a hot water pot as an example as there is a real danger if this type of device is left on for a long time.
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dave w

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Re: X10 in a new home (new construction)
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 07:59:11 AM »

X10 PLC communications can achieve 95% reliability with a very high output repeater. i.e. Digital Engineering's XTBIIR. X10 and Smarthome models are not in the same league. Not even close. However following jacklams lead.... Whether using X10, Insteon, Z-Wave, Zigbee, UPB, etc. etc. etc. ALWAYS ask yourself "What *could* happen if this does not turn off, when sent an OFF command?" Let that answer guide you when you automate.

As a side note: I control coffepots, space heaters, etc with X10 and have for 30 years. I have a XTBIIR and my automation software sends redundant OFF commands to critical applications throughout the day when we are gone.
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