Appliances turning on

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by PamCr, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. PamCr

    PamCr New Member

    We have had a problem with electrical devices turning themselves on at random times for over a year. At first it was funny, now it's upsetting. Until now, the only devices that tuned themselves on were those that had remote controls: the sound system amp for the home theater, the light on a little electric fireplace, the set top box for DirecTV. This time though, the motor on the JennAir range that locks the door prior to a self-clean cycle started itself. Until the range problem, we chalked it up to our obnoxious neighbors who have hacked our internet and cable TV for years. We guessed that they were just running something that caused the various remote controls to operate from time to time. Now that it's the stove, that theory is obviously wrong as there is no remote control to trigger on the range. Could this be a a problem in the house wiring - like a ground wire problem? We had an electrical storm the night before the oven door lock started on it's own, but the door lock motor started on it's own later the next morning. Any advice as to how to proceed is greatly appreciated. But please - no one suggest an exorcist as that joke is getting old and we're actually pretty upset about this.
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Houston, TX
    Sounds like you have power problems.

    Many things do not start properly when the power gets interrupted for a short term. ( a AC cycle or three )

    A Kill-a-Watt may help to find your problem, and can log power loss.

    If you have a smart meter, then that is a different story.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Some remotes are IR, some are RF. IR needs line-of-sight, RF does not, it'll go through walls, limited by the structure and distance. If you have one of the devices set to use an RF remote, if a neighbor has a similar/same type, it could on occasion (if it's tuned to the same channel) activate your set when they use yours. RF remotes don't usually have more than a couple of channels, so it's not uncommon. If you have one, try going to the setup; to change to an alternate channel.

    Surges on the power lines doesn't have to be big to damage things...each spike above a certain level (depends on the design) can chip away at the junction (the control layer) of the electronic device. These can be cumulative, of course, 'the big one' can damage things the first time, but lots of smaller ones are more stealthy - you may not notice it until it fails that it is on the threshold of failure. I'm an advocate of both whole-house and point of use surge/noise suppression. All it takes is one near miss, and it will have paid for itself many times over.
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Houston, TX
    If the stove has a programmable clock, then it may be best to Kill its breaker for a few minuets so that the processor can reset.

    It may have scrambled brains because of a power glitch.

    IR remotes are bad about failing do to Sunlight and other IR sources.

    And like Jim says, your RF remotes could be on a neighbors frequency.

    The only thing in the stove that can turn it on, is a program set in its memory, or a mechanical timer.

    You should Kill power to reset it properly.

    Good Luck
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