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Light controller/timer

hvac guy

Active member
Ok, you win. You're right and everyone else is wrong. There ya go. You showed 'em.

Before we put this puppy to bed....

There's just one thing I'd like to point out to you. The example you gave... https://www.saferproducts.gov/ViewIncident/1377268
That's a plastic box being deemed unsafe.


You obviously didn't read the details on the two main issues;




The safety and fire hazards associated with these light controllers fall into two categories; the first being the "Universal" receptacles used in these units. These receptacles will allow a cord cap (attachment plug) rated at either 120 or 240 Volt to be connected to the controller output. When the light controllers are connected to a 240 volt circuit all of the receptacles are supplied with that voltage. A 120 volt appliance plugged into the 240 volt circuit such as a fan, humidifier or other small appliance associated with the growing activity will overheat rapidly and fire may follow. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has very specific configurations for receptacles due to the hazards; these" Universal" receptacles aren't a listed item. See attached NEMA Charts.

The second hazard associated with these units concerns the amperage available at the 1S or 20 Amp receptacles. These units are called out for connection to a 30, 40, or 5O Amp circuit, there is no overcurrent device (fuse or circuit breaker) installed between the 5O Amp supply and the 15 or 20 amp receptacle. Without this protection an appliance such as a light ballast or other load could develop a short or overload and the current would continue to flow until it exceeded 5O amps and tripped the breaker supplying it or the wiring overheated, melted and burned open. The conductors used in the controller from the receptacles to the contactor aren't marked properly; there are no provisions for terminating the neutral conductor. If the controllers are used in dwelling units which all have been found in, they need to meet the requirements for arc-fault and tamper resistant receptacles.

As these units are currently being sold and installed, they violate the following sections of the 2010 California Electrical Code.

Section 200.6 (A) Means of Identifying Grounded Conductors. An insulated grounded conductor of 6AWG or smaller shall be identified by a continuous white or gray outer finish or by three continuous white stripes on other than green insulation along its entire length.

Section 210.S (A) Grounded Conductor. The grounded conductor of a branch circuit shall be identified in accordance with 200.6.

Section 210.12 (B) Dwelling Units. All120-volt single phase 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

Table 210.21 (B) (3) Receptacle Ratings for Various size Circuits

Circuit Rating (Amperes) Receptacle Rating (Amperes)

15 Not over 15

20 15 or 20

Section 240.3 (D) Small conductors.

(3) 14 AWG Copper 15 Amperes

(4) 12 AWG Copper 20 Amperes

Section 240.4 Protection of Conductors. Conductors other than flexible cords, flexible cables, and fixture wires, shall be protected against overcurrent in accordance with their ampacities specified in 310.15, unless otherwise permitted or required in 240. 4(A) through (G).

Section 310.12 (c) Ungrounded Conductors. Conductors that are intended for use as ungrounded conductors whether used as a single conductor or in multiconductor cables, shall be finished to be clearly distinguishable from grounded and grounding conductors. Distinguishing markings shall not conflict in any manner with the surface markings required by 310.11 (B) (1). Branch-circuit conductors shall be identified in accordance with 210.5 (c).

Section 406.3 (D) (3) (F) Noninterchangable Types. Receptacles connected to circuits that have different voltages, frequencies, or types of current ( ac or de ) on the same premises shall be of such design that the attachment plugs used on these circuits are not interchangeable.
 

Zeez

---------------->
ICMag Donor
I read it.

Great answer, well researched, and probably several of the details that would be included by the insurance company denying a claim when a house burns. No problem there.

Here's the thing. Dansbuds told you that he was a master electrician and he checked out the controller finding it to be compliant and capable. When you started in with the code and correction speech, he checked out out of the conversation. That's what I would expect a pro to do. It's too bad because it would be interesting to know more about these controllers from an experienced Master Electrician. Now we've got a code review.





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hvac guy

Active member
Master electrician is just a term, I was a Red Seal Industrial Electrician with an FSR in Canada, once you get Journeyman status you should what's right and wrong when it comes to electrical.
 

Zeez

---------------->
ICMag Donor
More than just a Master Electrician license, probably decades of experience pulling permits for electrical jobs and installations at all levels that are in full compliance with the NEC. These permits constantly require determinations on code compliance that put it all on the line, every time. This light controller was an easy one. The automatic transfer switch on my 17kw standby generator is way more complicated. I had 40 years of a highly technical profession where my ass was always on the line. Literally. One thing I figured out early in the game was that people who thought they knew everything were incapable of learning.

So............. You come rolling in and tell the guy he's full of shit and doesn't know what he's talking about. Really???? And then reams and reams of code. Look. In the USA, the Master Electrician is the boss. He knows his shit and makes the call because it's his license. Every time. The Journeyman (your license), he is the grunt and the gofur. He could even be the guy who goes to get the coffees "and don't forget, 2 sugars, light cream, and don't screw it up". Not saying that's you. 8)

Seriously, I don't have a horse in this race. But, I do have respect for Dansbuds. It's not just the electrical, but his grows and knowledge are tops. No kidding, Look 'em up. The best thing to do at this point is to end the bullshit and try and make it right so we can all move along, grow better shit and have fun. I've screwed up and pissed people off too. They're on my friends list now.
 

hvac guy

Active member
You don't shit about my background or how many years I've been in this business and what I've grown or built, A Red Seal Electrician with FSR in Canada, you don't know the difference between that and a master electrician, there is none, I've seen work done by so called master electricians and it was a joke, I've worked on primary power not just the secondary side. You are not really worth my time commenting on any more.
 

growshopfrank

Well-known member
Veteran
If I were to be caught by ESA (electrical safety authority,Canadian electrical enforcement) selling these controllers I would be fined up the ass and shut down.
Imagine what happens when the end user has a moment and plugs in a 120V device into a receptacle that is 240V. There are very good reasons why "universal" receptacles do not meet the electrical codes anywhere.
Any person that says that they are a electrician and approves of the design of those controllers would be very suspect in my opinion.
 

brown_thumb

Active member
I'm not an electrician but I do know mistakes happen. I would not want my 220v/240v receptacles to be interchangeable with 110v/120v.
 

Zeez

---------------->
ICMag Donor
So, we're on to a debate that Canadian electrical code is better because it would not allow this light controller to be sold and therefore it is inferior and unsafe.

Several European countries require all residential wiring to be in conduit. Could be very dangerous without it you know. Probably makes your code inferior, right? There's no end to it.

My electrician is a master and a retired inspector. If he checked it out, installed it and told me the limitations then that would be good for me. If your country requires extra stamps, certifications, codes, idiot proofing, and sanctions for gray market, well thats fine too. What ever floats your boat. I don't really care.

My _only_ issue here is the righteous insulting of a guy who made a professional, code complying, decision based on education and years of experience. To that I say - Make mine a large and get me a plain donut.
 

brown_thumb

Active member
I know you're not addressing me, Zeez. I'm sure you're probably correct about US code... I wouldn't know.

What I do know is I (me personally) would probably cause a disaster if 110/220 plugs were interchangeable. I know myself well enough to never install a system like that, code compliant or not. Accidents can and do happen. So, IMHO, it's a mistake if US electrical code truly does allow this and, IMHO, this most definitely should change.
 

Hookah79

Active member
Opened the door and the lights were off,checked my Titan controller,and it looked like it stopped 20 minutes after lunch lights came on.Went to check my electric panel,my 50 amp breaker popped so i knew something was up.I flipped it back ,lights came on then 15 minutes later breaker popped again.Ran to the room and there was a burnt smell and fumes coming from that controller.

Opened the controller and found that the red hot wire terminal was burnt.Very thankful there was no fire and also disappointed in this thing,it’s not even a year old.
 

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brown_thumb

Active member
Opened the door and the lights were off,checked my Titan controller,and it looked like it stopped 20 minutes after lunch lights came on.Went to check my electric panel,my 50 amp breaker popped so i knew something was up.I flipped it back ,lights came on then 15 minutes later breaker popped again.Ran to the room and there was a burnt smell and fumes coming from that controller.

Opened the controller and found that the red hot wire terminal was burnt.Very thankful there was no fire and also disappointed in this thing,it’s not even a year old.

Is it a problem with the timer, or something downstream from the timer? Perhaps a smaller breaker or slow fuse should be employed between the timer and main, and smaller individual fuses between the lights and timer.
 

Zeez

---------------->
ICMag Donor
Yes, On #19 in this thread, I'm mentioned that I brought the Titan back. Glad you're ok.
 

Hookah79

Active member
Yes, On #19 in this thread, I'm mentioned that I brought the Titan back. Glad you're ok.

Thanks Zeez,i am going to go to the store to get it exchanged,but have to wonder if this one was faulty or not?. I want to open it up completely but the sticker says “warranty void if opened”. I’ll ask the guy there if we can open it up just to see how far is the damage,cause i can tell that red lead on the inside was melted also.
 

hvac guy

Active member
What Guage of wire did you use, those ring terminals are only rated for 10AWG, 8AWG won't fit inside and allow you to crimp the wire.
 

brown_thumb

Active member
What Guage of wire did you use, those ring terminals are only rated for 10AWG, 8AWG won't fit inside and allow you to crimp the wire.

I don't see any color coding on the ring terminals. I know they can be made for up to at least 4AWG. I have a few. However, I wouldn't rely on crimping alone for wire that large. I'd solder them also.

Is it possible the ground wire made contact with the hot wire?
 

hvac guy

Active member
Possible, looks like none of the ring terminals are insulated, that's why they were taped. Do you have ratchet crimps?
 

Chemdawggy Dawg

Active member
It looks like he didn't have the wires screwed down tight to me. I have the same controller and it's worked nonstop for 3 or 4 years. I think think it said in the instructions to check your connections once a year. You are also supposed to use 6 awg wire for that controller. I'll be sure and check that my connections are tight after seeing that.
 
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