x10 wall switch can't be remotely turned on.


New Member
Here's an email I sent to x-10 support and their response, can you guys help?

The following equipment is used:

HR12A PalmPad
WS467 500W Dimming Wall Switch Module
TM751 Wireless Transceiver Module

Symptoms: The wall switch will turn off and dim, but will not turn on using the palm pad. Physically pushing the wall switch button will turn it on and off.

I moved the transceiver to an outlet on the other side of the house. From the palm pad, the wall switch will now turn on and off approximately 2-3 times before it will no longer turn on (exactly like above). If you physically turn the wall switch on, you can once again use the palm pad to turn it off/on approximately 2-3 time before it will no longer turn on.

I have also tried using the firecracker computer interface which has the same effect. I have tried a different wall switch module with the same effect. All other lamp/appliance modules work fine. Only wall switches seem to be affected.

Any suggestions? Do I need a different model of wall switch module?

Thank you,



There are a number of possible causes. First, make sure you are using an
incandescent bulb that is 60W or higher. For 3-way wall switches, try
swapping the blue and black wires. If they are reversed, the switch will
typically respond to one command, but not the other.


www.x10.com (USA)
[email protected]
www.x10.co.uk (UK)


I'm using a 150W and a 2-way switch. Any thoughts? I'm about to send all this x10 stuff back. Every once in a while the light comes on for no reason, but other than that, nothing.


Do you have a coupler/repeater installed? Did you try a regular 60-100W bulb? I never had much luck with bulbs above 100W (your 150W isn't a halogen bulb is it). the X10 wallswitches are cheap, but they are usually crap (for lack of better words). If you are serious about wall switches, I suggest you look at the SwitchLinc's, which are far more reliable and even have 2way as an option. I have gone through 3 of these switches already, I bought 4 more, but I haven't even opened the box yet as I am afraid it will be a waste of time.
I would have to agree with Electron about x10 switches. They are very unreliable. What confuses me is the inconsistancy. Which would lean me towards a bad switch. Is this the only switch you have avail? If not, try putting another one in.

I don't THINK this is an issue a coupler / repeater would fix. If that were the case it would either work or not work, not both. But I'm not versed on coupler/repeater since I don't have one. I KNOW...." why don't I have one". Because the NEED hasn't yet reared it's ugly head.

I would be very curious to hear how this turns out. I thought it was a phase issue too, till I heard the sometime/sometime not working, and same from computer.

Hate to blame the switch, but not being there, that would be my gut feeling.

But DO try a differant watt bulb. I actually have 2 bulbs out in my addition that turn off, cool down, and relight. Sometimes the obvious is too easy, right?? :)
I have three switches and I've tried them all, same results. Even installed one in my roommate's room. Put a lamp on the same device number. After a couple off and ons, only the lamp lights, not the wall switch.

Unfortunately, I'm not looking to sink a lot of money into this project. I have $50 so far, and that's about as far as I'm willing to go right now. I just wanted a dimmable bedroom light that would turn off automatically after a period of no movement (from a motion sensor that I have yet to purchase.)

I will try a smaller bulb, but come to think of it, it may actually only be a 100W (which is ironic since the aforementioned lamp is a 150-100-75 threeway set at 150).

Don't know, maybe I'm expecting too much for my $50.


My switches have behaved this way before I installed a coupler, the lack of a coupler might cause these kind of problems, that's how unreliable X10 can be with cheap hardware. Have you tried this switch in a different location? Maybe your wiring is screwed up in that location. Also, don't be surprised if they are all bad, my first set of 3 all died at the exact same time!

Btw, I suggest you order the free firecracker kit if you haven't already, you can find the link on the front page.

This is a little hard to troubleshoot blindly here but I'll take a stab.

There is something you said in one of your later messages that raised a question in my mind. I think you said something about a roomate. Where do you live? a house? apartment? a dorm? That might help us a little.

Regarding phase issues. My inclination would be that it is not a phase issue unless you are in a dorm or apeartment maybe.

Noise is also a frequent cause for problems. The pattern of your problems doesn't make me think that's your problem though.

My best guess at this point would be a bad switch.