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Switch turns on itself

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  1. #1
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    Default Switch turns on itself

    One for the Electricity brains trust

    Our solar hot water booster switch in the hallway has turned itself on twice now.

    It has a pilot light so we know it is on, and I remember questioning the sparky when he installed it as it is 10 amp

    It has turned on early evening and I am thinking either weak switch, ghost, or it is getting a spike when the off peak comes back on.

    I will replace it when I get around to it.

    What's your thoughts

  2. #2
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    ......hacking conspiracy to take over the worlds HW systems and will demand payment for it to be turned off!!!

  3. #3
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Any chance of water or moisture around the switch connectors, perhaps enough leakage to light the neon but not the booster element.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Any chance of water or moisture around the switch connectors, perhaps enough leakage to light the neon but not the booster element.

    No chance, this switch is in the hall way, backing onto the linen cupboard, totally dry.

    Unless of course you are thinking humidity 82% right now..

  5. #5
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    So.. is the "flip" part of the switch in the ON position, or is the light on only?

    I'm no expert but considering the effort it takes to switch a switch over, I cannot see how that could ever happen on it's own.
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

  6. #6
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Could it be a leakage to N/E by the element or thereabouts. Maybe the tank is leaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    So.. is the "flip" part of the switch in the ON position, or is the light on only?

    I'm no expert but considering the effort it takes to switch a switch over, I cannot see how that could ever happen on it's own.
    Switch on, pilot light on.

    Switches are spring loaded so if the springs were to go out of shape I can see how a switch could pop to the on position

    but I am more curious as to a spike causing it to go to the on position when the off peak kicks back on.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Could it be a leakage to N/E by the element or thereabouts. Maybe the tank is leaking.
    Anything is possible but I would think any leak would trip either through the earth or neutral.

  9. #9
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    If the switch is physically toggling, then the detent may be weak. Otherwise ghosts, sleepwalker or dementia patient ;-)

  10. #10
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    Does the switch have a positive click and require definite force to manually turn it on.
    If the springs and detent are weak you will be able to feel it in the operation.

    Otherwise do you have any pets ? Or has SHMBO been complaining about the temperature of the hot water.

    Final option is a security camera.

  11. #11
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    Is it the type of switch that can turn itself on if the temperature of the water gets too low? ie. it might be in the on position and the pilot light comes on when the water gets too cold and back off again when the water is warm enough?
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    Is it the type of switch that can turn itself on if the temperature of the water gets too low? ie. it might be in the on position and the pilot light comes on when the water gets too cold and back off again when the water is warm enough?
    No, never on unless manually flicked in overcast weather about twice a year.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by droog View Post
    Does the switch have a positive click and require definite force to manually turn it on.
    If the springs and detent are weak you will be able to feel it in the operation.

    Otherwise do you have any pets ? Or has SHMBO been complaining about the temperature of the hot water.

    Final option is a security camera.
    It operates fine about twice a year when necessary but yes, does not feel totally positive in it's operation, more so a little crunchy which tells me I have to replace it today

    but I have just never had a plain switch turn itself on.

    Years ago I did have a toaster turned on at the wall not being used which blew the lead out of the 3 pin plug, but that turned out to be a loose wire in the power point arching.

    No pets and the switch is about 1.4 m above the floor.

    Bob may have something with the D word, I hope not, but much safer for me to replace the switch than mention that.

    Might do one last test by turning the hot water power on and off at the board a few times and see if the switch comes on


    edit... I tested it a dozen times and it did not turn on

    I've now replaced it so we will see what happens.

    Thanks for all the replies people.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    does not feel totally positive in it's operation, more so a little crunchy
    That is a fairly telling sign, as it is an "over centre" operation any grit or unwanted build up in the mechanism can hold it much closer to its tipping point, small vibrations or a change in temperature may be all that is required for it to flip over centre.
    Hopefully the D word does not factor in.

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    Is this just a "normal" Australian Switch "mechanism" - such as https://hpm.com.au/product/self-illuminated-switch-mechanism/ ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    Is this just a "normal" Australian Switch "mechanism" - such as https://hpm.com.au/product/self-illuminated-switch-mechanism/ ?
    Yep

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    Good Evening, I'm Warwick Moss, and tonight on the Extraordinary you'll hear about a not so chilling experience, of a ghost that doesn't like cold showers...

    warwickmoss.jpg

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