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    #16
    Originally posted by JimSpy View Post

    X-10 was more durable, but much less reliable.
    The home automation quote of the decade...

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      #17
      Originally posted by allenc3 View Post
      The home automation quote of the decade...
      I bequeath it to you, with full attribution of course.


      Jim Speiser
      35-year veteran of Home Automation
      Still don't know squat

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by JimSpy View Post

        How long ago? I agree that the technology is fairly solid, but it does have a lifespan, and I've had to replace several of my units, maybe a dozen, over the 12 years I've been using it.

        X-10 was more durable, but much less reliable.
        Back in June 2020.

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          #19
          Originally posted by Todd Register View Post

          Back in June 2020.
          Ah. Well then. You should remain happy...for about another year, year and a half. Then we'll check back with you!


          Jim Speiser
          35-year veteran of Home Automation
          Still don't know squat

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by JimSpy View Post

            Ah. Well then. You should remain happy...for about another year, year and a half. Then we'll check back with you!
            Pessimist or realist....time will tell.....what are you using?

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              #21
              I'm sorry to hear about some of your experiences. I hope I never have them. I recall that 10+ years ago, when the Icon line was still around, there were some quality control issues with some of the internal components in a few batches. I know the Icon line was affected since Smarthome sent me a bunch of replacement switches even though mine hadn't died yet. I wonder if the non-Icon switches were affected.

              I have had 2 PLMs die, but I've been assured that whatever was leading to that failure has since been fixed in later versions. They cut me a deal on my last PLM even though it was out of warranty.

              Smarthome customer service is quite good and fair, in my experience. If you're dealing with that many failures, give them a call to see what they're willing to do the next time you find yourself needing to replace a failed device. You will hopefully be pleasantly surprised.

              HomeSeer 3, Insteon, Z-wave, USB-UIRT, Google Hub/Chromecasts/Smart Speakers, Foscam cameras, Amcrest camera, RCA HSDB2a doorbell
              Plugins: BLLAN, BLOccupied, BLUSBUIRT, Chromecast, Insteon, Jon00 Homeseer/Echo Skill Helper, Jon00 DB Charting, MediaController, NetCAM, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, weatherXML, Z-wave

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                #22
                Originally posted by Burrington View Post
                If you know anyone who is adept at electronic soldering, take them a couple devices and ask them to change all the electrolytic capacitors and see if that brings it back to life. It is easily done and will only be a couple dollars worth of parts, certainly cheaper than replacing the device completely. Once out of circuit, the capacitors can be tested with a multimeter that has a capacitance setting. Typically they short out when they fail. In some cases the capacitor will bulge on the end, or even blow itself apart.

                When I do this in electronic equipment, I just replace them all and be done with it, rather than wait for the next one to go. If there is physical room, replace it with the exact same capacitance value (uF), but the next higher voltage rating. It will last longer. Also note that electrolytic capacitors are polarity sensitive. There is usually a long white line on the case to denote the negative side. Make sure you note where the white line is before removing the old one, and replace the new one facing the same way. I always take some photos.

                You can buy replacements at places like Digi-key or Mouser.
                Have you considered offering an Insteon repair service? From the sounds of it, you could make some money, and save others money in the process ;-)
                HomeSeer 3, Insteon, Z-wave, USB-UIRT, Google Hub/Chromecasts/Smart Speakers, Foscam cameras, Amcrest camera, RCA HSDB2a doorbell
                Plugins: BLLAN, BLOccupied, BLUSBUIRT, Chromecast, Insteon, Jon00 Homeseer/Echo Skill Helper, Jon00 DB Charting, MediaController, NetCAM, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, weatherXML, Z-wave

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                  #23
                  I have talked to their product manager as I am a dealer for Smarthome. We really didn’t hit it off since they feel that their product shouldn’t necessarily last 10 years. I mean they have a one or two year warranty. That’s crazy to think that it is ok to replace these switches that often. Nahh.

                  I even had a doubt of weakness and checked to see if I could buy some. Smarthome is out of stock. That is crazy as well.

                  No other electronic device has failed in our house other than Insteon devices. That pretty much tells me a lot.

                  At least we know that it is not Mark’s plugin. That is a definite.
                  HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Krumpy View Post
                    I have talked to their product manager as I am a dealer for Smarthome. We really didn’t hit it off since they feel that their product shouldn’t necessarily last 10 years. I mean they have a one or two year warranty. That’s crazy to think that it is ok to replace these switches that often. Nahh.
                    Unfortunately, that's the way it is in our disposable world. We do it to ourselves by always buying the cheapest product, forcing manufacturers to make them as cheap as possible. Then we throw them away when they break. Walmart has built an empire on that philosophy. For electronic products its even worse because they go obsolete so fast. From Smarthome's perspective, I'm sure they would rather sell lots of lower priced product and then have you buy the next generation a few years later before it breaks. "Why build it to last 10 years when it will be obsolete in 5"? Its a better business model than selling a few expensive products once. Sadly, that's the world we live in and most manufacturers are the same...

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Burrington View Post

                      "Why build it to last 10 years when it will be obsolete in 5"?
                      Hell, make it last 5, I'll be happy with that!




                      Jim Speiser
                      35-year veteran of Home Automation
                      Still don't know squat

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Burrington View Post

                        Unfortunately, that's the way it is in our disposable world. We do it to ourselves by always buying the cheapest product, forcing manufacturers to make them as cheap as possible. Then we throw them away when they break. Walmart has built an empire on that philosophy. For electronic products its even worse because they go obsolete so fast. From Smarthome's perspective, I'm sure they would rather sell lots of lower priced product and then have you buy the next generation a few years later before it breaks. "Why build it to last 10 years when it will be obsolete in 5"? Its a better business model than selling a few expensive products once. Sadly, that's the world we live in and most manufacturers are the same...
                        And maybe I'm out of touch with pricing, but $50-$100 for a switch doesn't exactly strike me as "cheap."


                        Jim Speiser
                        35-year veteran of Home Automation
                        Still don't know squat

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by Todd Register View Post

                          Pessimist or realist....time will tell.....what are you using?
                          Still all-Insteon, except for a Zigbee doorbell. I kinda like not having to mess with 4 or 5 different hubs, plug-ins, etc. Plus, I'm not well-suited to tearing out and replacing switches etc. There is something called WAF that I need to be wary of.


                          Jim Speiser
                          35-year veteran of Home Automation
                          Still don't know squat

                          Comment


                            #28
                            All I use are the Insteon Switches and recepticals out of 95 devices only one switch quit working. Didn't spend the time to trouble shoot it.

                            However I'm in a new house just kicking off the new HS4 stuff and one of my dimmer switches setup as the master in a 2-way had a very odd behavoir. I updated the ramp rate from 0.5 to 0.1 for a faster response and the switch went into a rapid On-Off-on-Off that wouldn't stop.

                            I de-energized the circuit breaker, then restored power same result.

                            I changed the ramp rate back to factory settings same On-Off rapid operation.

                            The slave switch was Synced to follow the master and it was reflecting the same behavior.


                            I had setup an event if the slave condition turned on then Turn on the Master switch , likewise an event for OFF .

                            When I disabled the events the stopped turning on and off.... Never had this happen before.

                            Enable the events and the switch hasn't repeated this odd behavior of rapid on-off switching. No clue what caused this...


                            Other than that I have been super pleased with the Insteon devices super reliable and responsive. The only other kind of switch I would consider buying is if the light switch and receptacles came with a motion sensor.... that would be so sweet..


                            Devoir

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                              #29
                              I suspect the difference in reliability experiences relates to power spikes. You should try installing a whole house surge suppressor and the device failures likely go away. They are not expensive and save ALL your electronics, not just Insteon.

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                                #30
                                I started using the Insteon line when if first came out (around 2007), replacing the few X-10 switches I had installed (which were endlessly frustrating). I've been through pretty much all the versions as I've installed bit by bit with remodeling the house along the way and have about 200 installed now. I have a drawer of failed switches. I just counted and there are 9 of them, most from the early Icon line but there was a bad batch of Switchlincs maybe 8 or 9 years ago. One of those died about a year ago. I've repaired some when I've gotten intermittently motivated and I agree that failed capacitors are a common cause. I do have a few Z wave devices in service and have had the unfortunate experience of one of them failing right out of the box. It seems to me that the Insteon line has matured considerably and is much more robust than the early devices.

                                By way of perspective during that period I've had 2 TVs, a stereo amplifier, 5 (I think?) computers, multiple controlled LED light strings, lots of small cheap, hobby electronics fail during that period. My ELK M1G hasn't had a hiccup, the NUVO Grand Concerto has been totally reliable. The house was originally built with low voltage switches for some of the lighting that controlled relays back in 1954. The relays started failing when we moved in in 1990. And some of the mechanical electrical switches were failing around that time as well.

                                Bottom line, if I can get 20 years from a switch, I'd call that a win. I think protecting the switches from lightning, power surges, aberrantly behaving electronics (CFLs) is important and would add that protecting them from heat (too many devices/current in same box) may help.

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