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Insteon Devices Dying

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  • JimSpy
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Todd Register
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • allenc3
    replied
    Originally posted by JimSpy View Post

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

    Leave a comment:


  • JimSpy
    replied
    Originally posted by Todd Register View Post
    I upgraded to more modern technology from X10 finally going with Insteon and I can say, it has been flawless. No issues at all. They are very consistent and working great.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Todd Register
    replied
    I upgraded to more modern technology from X10 finally going with Insteon and I can say, it has been flawless. No issues at all. They are very consistent and working great.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimSpy
    replied
    Originally posted by Krumpy View Post
    Thanks guys, I figured as much. No sure that I will replace them. I may just switch to z-wave. But they may fail as well.

    One year warranty is not enough. Five is pushing it. Ten years is what I would expect a product that you need to install in the wall to last at least. It’s not like a bulb which you can switch easily. I don’t have a problem doing it myself. It would be a crazy expense to keep hiring a electrician each time.

    So, I am guessing that root cause is spikes and noise on the line.

    I guess the only reason I like Insteon is because of the little led on the side which is always on. It is kind of a night light. Too bad that HomeSeer refuses to support the same functionality with the z-wave wall dimmers.
    I like my Insteon too, but, dude....buy a nightlight at the dollar store!

    Leave a comment:


  • Burrington
    replied
    If your problem is powerline spikes, it won't matter which brand or technology you use, they will get zapped. Your better solution would be to install a whole-house surge suppressor.

    As I said, I have more than 200 Insteon devices and have had very few failures over many years. But, I am on underground power lines in a residential area so probably have very few power spikes. In spite of that, I made the investment of installing a whole-house surge suppressor. Maybe that explains why I've had so few Insteon device failures...

    Leave a comment:


  • Krumpy
    replied
    Thanks guys, I figured as much. No sure that I will replace them. I may just switch to z-wave. But they may fail as well.

    One year warranty is not enough. Five is pushing it. Ten years is what I would expect a product that you need to install in the wall to last at least. It’s not like a bulb which you can switch easily. I don’t have a problem doing it myself. It would be a crazy expense to keep hiring a electrician each time.

    So, I am guessing that root cause is spikes and noise on the line.

    I guess the only reason I like Insteon is because of the little led on the side which is always on. It is kind of a night light. Too bad that HomeSeer refuses to support the same functionality with the z-wave wall dimmers.

    Leave a comment:


  • allenc3
    replied
    I bought all new Insteon modules and wall switches about year ago as I made the switch from 50 years of X-10. Since then I’ve had 4 switchlink wall switches lock up (tiny LED light goes off). I contacted Smartlab and they replaced them all no charge. I guess they were in warranty but not sure. Like another said I had X-10 modules still in service that were 25 years old or older. Not sure I ever had one fail, so in comparison it is disappointing to have failures so soon.

    I am certain inductive load switching in nearby circuits made the switches lock up. Ceiling fan for sure knocks them out. The switches can be brought back in service by pulling the air gap switch. But if I am in Europe for a month and a switch locks up it is as good as dead until I return home so it is a serious problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • joegr
    replied
    My experience is similar. For me, about half the failures are electrolytic capacitors that are well below their rated capacitance. The other half are something else, and I am generally unable to figure it out and fix it. I think that some (or maybe most?) of those are corruptions on the flash memory. I say this because they fail when the power blips, and in failure, they do very odd things sometimes. I lost two switches when the power blinked a few times before in failed during this last hurricane. I also lost one of the eight LEDs on a keypadlinc. Robust, these Insteon devices are not.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnsonmj
    replied
    Thank you for sharing the potential fix Burrington. Although I'm not an EE or electrician, I do a lot of soldering and may try see if I can fix some myself. Unfortunately I won't be able to do this anytime soon, but if and when I do, I'll report back.

    Leave a comment:


  • Burrington
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnsonmj
    replied
    I am in a very similar situation with 117 installed Insteon switches plus another 16 "movable" Insteon devices for holiday lights. When I built my current house in 2007, I used Insteon for all switches. Over the years the switches have slowly died in a way similar to what Krumpy has pointed out. Each switch typically has a slow death where communication becomes less reliable, the link registers become more difficult to write to or inaccessible, and the light begins to flicker on/off when other switches are operated, then eventually the switch becomes totally inoperable. Occasionally switches die immediately or the paddles/toggles stop working.

    Over the past 13 years I have replaced 85 Insteon switches, 2 PLMs, and 7 "movable" devices, removed 8 SignaLinc RF & Access Point devices, and there is more. I have a master spreadsheet to track everything and it has gotten complicated. Every so often I reconsider the platform, but am so invested and it works well when it works. So, despite the ongoing maintenance cost, I've stuck with Insteon. Unfortunately, I have not been able to or taken the time to figure out a way to troubleshoot and repair the failed devices. I have, though, spoken to many at Insteon, including their CEO, but this hasn't fixed the problems.

    If you figure out any good solutions, please post. In the meantime, once it's light out in the morning, I'm going to replace three more Insteon switches bringing me to 88 in the grave.

    Good luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • Burrington
    replied
    If you're handy with a soldering iron, you could open them up and test and/or replace all the electrolytic capacitors. If they are spec'd with a voltage rating close to the actual operating voltage, they are prone to failure. This can happen in any electronic equipment. In my experience, that usually happens after about 10 years. Usually when they fail, they don't take anything else out with them, so just replacing the bad electrolytic will bring the device back to life. I have fixed all sorts of electronic devices this way.

    Leave a comment:

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