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Thread: Question on replacing my Light Switches

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    Question on replacing my Light Switches

    My pool light and spa light switches are currently X10 Pro XPS3. However, yesterday they started to make a strange humming noice, smelled a little and stopped working. They were very nice to have as I could turn my lights on and off from inside with a remote pad. However, now nothing is working as far as the lights go.

    Looking at the lights, I was wondering if, perhaps, the XPS3, due to the fact that they are dimable, might have been the cause of the meltdown of the switch. I saw that since, if I ever dimmed the switch, nothing happened to the lights, and that would cause the humming noise. I have a feeling that last night, one of the switches might have been set, not at full power, but dimmed a little.

    If this is the case, can I replace the switches with just a regular switch, or perhaps the X10 Pro WS13 switch. this switch is not dimable, but still gives me the ability to remotely turn the lights off from inside instead of having to go outside to the control panel and turn things on and off.

    We purchased the home a year ago, and the XPS3's were the switches in the pool controller. I have taken the lights out of the pool once, however, I do not remember the make of them, though I can go out to the pool this afternoon and get that information if needed.
    10,500 Gal
    14X28 Rectangle W/spa
    RJ30 Salt Water Clorinator
    Heatpump
    Gas Heater (spa)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question on replacing my Light Switches

    Replacing a dimmable unit with a non-dimmable one isn't a problem. However the XPS3 is a non-dimmable unit rated at 20 amps. The WS13A is just the non-pro version of that same unit.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Question on replacing my Light Switches

    Thanks, For some odd reason I thought that was a dimable switch. Do you know if the Pro Version is any better for a pool than the non-pro version?
    10,500 Gal
    14X28 Rectangle W/spa
    RJ30 Salt Water Clorinator
    Heatpump
    Gas Heater (spa)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question on replacing my Light Switches

    I am not familiar with the X10 stuff, but what you described is familiar. I have a room with 3 dimmer switches, and have currently replaced all the bulbs with non-dimmable CFLs. Moving the dimmer does not affect the light output, but in some orientations a hum is audible.

    If the dimmer is all the way down, sometimes the lights will not turn on, but you can raise the dimmer and they will come on and then I can lower the dimmer and they stay on. I probably should just replace them with regular switches ... not sure if the dimmer switch is harming the bulbs, or if in fact the CFL work fine on the lower voltages and thus the dimmers are actually saving me money. {I guess I am not sure how the dimmers work ... whether they actually lower the power usage, or if the power not need for the lights on lower setting is just lost to heat or something}

    Sorry that this post turned out to be completely worthless
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question on replacing my Light Switches

    They put a few cents better electronics in the pro stuff but it's usually not enough to matter.

    JB -- The way most electronic dimmers work is not by physically reducing the voltage. They do it by chopping out part of the sine wave, thereby creating a pulsed wave and the final unit sees a lower voltage because of that. Incandescent lamps don't care that the wave isn't sinusoidal but some things do. Non-dimming CFL's work within a specified voltage range and as long as you're in that range the light output won't vary. It's when you get below that range that the lights won't turn on. The buzzing you hear is the ballasts reacting to the chopped wave of the dimmer. In short, it would be best to change the dimmer out to a regular switch to avoid shortening the life of the CFL's.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question on replacing my Light Switches

    Thanks for the education
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Question on replacing my Light Switches

    I went and took out the XPS3 switches, and they are actually XPS3-IW switches, and those are dimable. i have gone online and ordered the XPS3 (not the IW version) and should have those in my hand soon. Then I will be back in buisness. I have a feeling that the switch was partially dimmed and thus I heard that sound, and the pool lights must not have liked that and blown something in the switch. Better than than the lights.
    10,500 Gal
    14X28 Rectangle W/spa
    RJ30 Salt Water Clorinator
    Heatpump
    Gas Heater (spa)

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