Hello, we are in the process of replacing our dumb light switches with Red series dimmers and Aux switches for 3-way setups.
In the living room area, we still have old school switched outlets with plugin upright lamps. We have not converted that room to canned lights yet. Can we use a red series switch along with a aux switch for switched outlets? If so, what settings do we have to change in Smartthings for this setup? Will the dimmer work with switched outlets or is there a way to tell the switches to be just on/off switches instead of dimmers?
We have setup some red series and aux switches using the new edge drivers and the app settings for 3-way momentary. I am not sure if we would use 3-way momentary or 3-way toggle for a Aux switch and I am not sure if/how you would change the mode of the switch from dimmer to on/off if we need to do that.
If you are in the US, the NEC prohibits it. Switches controlling receptacles must be rated for the capacity of the branch circuit. i.e. the breaker capacity. The Inovelli switches and dimmers are not rated at anywhere near 15A or 20A.
The reason for the code is that while you only intend upon plugging a lamp into the receptacle, there is nothing to prevent someone from plugging in a vacuum cleaner, for example.
What you can do with an Inovelli is to mate it with a dry contact relay rated appropriately in the receptacle box. Ensure the receptacle is fully powered. (It may be already depending on whether or not it is split.) Power the relay and use it to switch the receptacle. Then use the Inovelli to send scene commands to turn the relay on and off.
Alternatively, swap out the receptacle for a smart outlet. If the protocol matches the switch, you can bind or associate it. Otherwise, control it with scene commands.
I have a couple of switched outlets I’ve converted to use Reds or Blues paired with a smart plug-in lamp dimmer. You have to do some minor adjustments to the wiring so the receptacle has constant power, and the switch receives power but has no load. With this setup, you can keep the dimmer functionality, and you aren’t limited to using the existing switched outlet, if it’s not in the ideal location.
I guess I don’t understand why a $2 switch that works with the wiring now can’t be replaced by a $30 smart switch. Shouldn’t the $30 smart switch be able to have the $.50 of circuitry it needs to be 15A rated or is that overly simplifying things? I mean there is a switch there now, it’s not like the load isn’t on the switch currently.
Why doesn’t a vacuum cleaner fry the current dumb 3-way switch? What am I missing?
I don’t recall if the LZW30-SN is rated for 15A or not. You’re not going to want to plug in a vacuum to a receptacle being controlled by the smart switch. Some of those pull 12-15 Amps nominal. Start up current will be higher.
That part is easy. It doesn’t get fried because it’s capable of carrying 15A and it’s purely mechanical.
I honestly don’t know why smart switches have limitations. But AFAIK, there aren’t any that can carry 15A, at least the most popular. There must be some valid reason, as you would think with all of the manufacturers like GE/Jasco, HomeSeer, Inovelli, Zooz, etc, someone would have figured out how to do it.
@Bry Can you tell whether this would be suitable for switched outlet in US?
says 1800W resistive which is 15A, but limits the motor rating to 1/2hp, so I would assume that is still an issue. 2038 (byjasco.com)
Interesting question. So this is my interpretation based on the NEC:
1 - The Jasco switch would not be compliant for a switched receptacle. Although the resistive (motor) rating looks ok at 15A, the incandescent max is only 8A. And the LED max which is sometimes less, isn’t listed. Since the switch can’t carry 1800W/15A incandescent load (presuming a 15A branch circuit), it doesn’t meet the requirements set forth in the NEC.
2 - The Jasco receptacle’s published rating is for the Zwave controlled (only 1 of 2) outlet. 8A for incandescent, 15A for resistive/motor, no idea for LED.
I took a quick look at NEC receptacle requirements. The NEC mostly addresses where they need to go, how many, which need to be dedicated and at what rating, etc. It generally refers to them as 15A and 20A receptacles.
I couldn’t find any parallel to the switch requirement where the switch needs to meet the branch circuit load requirements. And I don’t believe that’s specified similarly, as 15A receptacles are commonly used on 20A branch circuits. This is ok because an appliance drawing more than 15A has a different plug that will only plug into a 20A receptacle.
So the NEC only says you must use 15A and 20A receptacles. Is the Jasco a 15A receptacle? One of its outlets is rated for incandescents at 8A, but what about the uncontrolled outlet? Is that rated at 15A? I don’t know. If it is, does that make it a 15A receptacle? I’ll leave that to you to decide!