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Repair defective Insteon switches


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#1 cliffs

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:06 PM

After all of my Insteon switches failed(wouldn't turn on by the paddle on the switch, although
the remote worked fine). I looked into trying to repair same.

I found that it was the small push switches that were defective.
I replaced them with some from Digikey #SW424CT-ND, they were exact replacements.

It helps if you are familiar with surface mount PCB's. I used a very fine tip on the
soldering iron and the job was not too difficult.

The best news is that now the Insteon switches work perfectly.

So, if you have some defective switches they can be repaired.

Cliff s

#2 BLH

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:08 AM

Thank you for the information. That adds positive feedback on our suspecting the switches where failing. I have a few myself. I may try a few replacements myself.

#3 Steve

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:43 AM

That takes DIY to a whole new level! :) Good job on the repair...

#4 opie

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:35 AM

After all of my Insteon switches failed(wouldn't turn on by the paddle on the switch, although
the remote worked fine). I looked into trying to repair same.

I found that it was the small push switches that were defective.
I replaced them with some from Digikey #SW424CT-ND, they were exact replacements.

It helps if you are familiar with surface mount PCB's. I used a very fine tip on the
soldering iron and the job was not too difficult.

The best news is that now the Insteon switches work perfectly.

So, if you have some defective switches they can be repaired.

Cliff s


First, thanks for posting this.

So, do you think there was possibly a bad batch of switches? I ask because I am curious if this will happen again over time or are the new ones any better. I have a few switches that need this repair and wonder if there is a different switch that would hold up better?

Also, I have never done any surface mount soldering but have done a lot of soldering in general. Would it be wise to practice with something that is already trashed?

Thanks

#5 ginigma

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 03:03 PM

So who's going to start the side business of repairing Insteon switches??? :o

#6 BLH

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:25 PM

The contamination thing sound reasonable. One that I took apart had fuzzy solder joints and switches.

#7 AutomatedOutlet

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:17 PM

So who's going to start the side business of repairing Insteon switches??? :o


Sounds like a good way to go broke to me!

#8 Madcodger

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:39 PM

I just RMA's more switches due to paddle issues today. Sounds like I should get some of these to have on hand.

BTW, Digger, I'm not sure the oxidation idea is true for all of these. I've had at least one go bad in less than a week. That would be some fast oxidizing... But it certainly may be true for some. I just hope they have the issue resolved now.

#9 TonyNo

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:42 PM

Well, if you charge for the repair you won't go broke (if you have the proper tools to do it quickly). Seems like it would need to be under $20. That gives you about 16 minutes max if you only charge $75 per hour. :o

#10 AutomatedOutlet

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:50 PM

Well, if you charge for the repair you won't go broke (if you have the proper tools to do it quickly). Seems like it would need to be under $20. That gives you about 16 minutes max if you only charge $75 per hour. :o


Assuming the fix works for a while and you don't have to deal with warranty issues!

#11 cliffs

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:18 PM

FWIW: I did disassemble some of the switches and they are defective.
I seems as though the domed piece which contacts the contacts was never plated.
It was just copper plated steel which corroded over time. It looks like the copper had some sort
of coating on it. I would suspect that the switches did work a few times before the stopped
functioning. I saw no evidence of flux contamination.

This examination confirms that the switches themselves were defective from the manufacturer.
They should have all been recalled and replaced, but SM decided to stonewall the issue and
not honor the warranty. By stalling and stalling the 1 year warranty ran out and they didn't have to
replace the switches. A very unethical way of doing business, but the CEO still got his bonus
for saving the company money.

Cliff s

#12 Mike

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:05 PM

In regards to the question about the version, I had a few that had this problem and I was surprised that one of them was a version 2.1 dimmer (not surprising) but then another was a 2.4. The most recent one I had was a 2.5 (which I also noticed 'seemed' heavier than the others, but I did not weigh it).

#13 ebarish

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:39 PM

I did a few more repairs today. The easiest way to do this in my opinion is to clip the four leads on the old switch, heat each solderpad and remove the stub, and then place the new switch.

So far so good.




Completed 8 tonight. Thanks Cliff for the post. Why did we not think of this before ? Used the same method Digger outlined above. So far mostly relay on/off icon switches. Did one dimmer switch ( not sure how to handle the the rivited heat sink nicely). Hopefully the replacements will last longer than the original. You would think SH could have fixed these for customers and saved a lot of flack.

EBarish

#14 PatW

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 01:56 PM

Cliff/Digger, thanks for the specs on the Digikey switches. I ordered 100 of them and have been feverishing working to get my switches working. Eight changed thus far and no problems.

The majority of my switches are dimmers and in my first attempt, I just finessed the boards out of the case, carefully bending the three leads that connect to the triac. Bad move. I ended up breaking one (at the bottom). Very difficult to reconnect (i.e. resolder).

On the remaining dimmers, I very carefully clipped the three leads and pulled the board out to work on it. After I was done, I soldered them together and checked to make sure it was solid before closing everything up.

I test everything out on each switch before it goes into service and it has all been working very well so far.

If there's anyone out there who is not willing to try to fix their switches, I would be willing to purchase dimmers that have the contact issue.

#15 RandyKnight

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 04:51 PM

Cliff/Digger, thanks for the specs on the Digikey switches. I ordered 100 of them and have been feverishing working to get my switches working. Eight changed thus far and no problems.

The majority of my switches are dimmers and in my first attempt, I just finessed the boards out of the case, carefully bending the three leads that connect to the triac. Bad move. I ended up breaking one (at the bottom). Very difficult to reconnect (i.e. resolder).

On the remaining dimmers, I very carefully clipped the three leads and pulled the board out to work on it. After I was done, I soldered them together and checked to make sure it was solid before closing everything up.

I test everything out on each switch before it goes into service and it has all been working very well so far.

If there's anyone out there who is not willing to try to fix their switches, I would be willing to purchase dimmers that have the contact issue.


The dimmers are a real pia to repair. I have about 10 or 12 left that I have not repaired that are sitting in a box.

Instean of clipping the pins I was thinking of trying a SMT hot air desoldering tool to heat the three connections at once and pull the leads from the board but I havent had a chance to try that.


Maybe I'm just lucky but I've had 100+ switches installed for over a year and have yet to have a SwitchLinc fail.




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