Built-in timers

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by bobbobwhite, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. bobbobwhite

    bobbobwhite New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    California
    Are there built-in timers available that can be installed in the wall as a one piece unit that includes a wall receptacle? I have a very unique, wall hanging Christmas tree picture made out of women's costume jewelry in a picture frame that has lights on the tree. As the light cord is behind the frame, I would like to be able to plug the lights into a wall receptacle behind the picture that has a built-in timer that I can set when I first hang the picture at Chrismastime so it can turn on and off without having to manually plug it in and then unplug it later every time I want to use it as I now must do.

    Any suggestions? Looked at many timers on-line but cannot find a built-in wall recepticle unit. Need some expert help. Thanks so much for all your informed answers.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    I don't know of any that combine a timer with a receptacle, but there are remote controlled outlets that can do this. Look at www.smarthome.com and www.x10.com for some ideas. They have some you can control with a wired console or you could make up a small controller and remote. If you have a computer always on, you can do it from there as well.
  3. bobbobwhite

    bobbobwhite New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    California
    None say anything about whether the remote signal can/will be blocked by an object in the signal path, as would be the case in my situation. I would have to know that first before buying. If they don't say the signals won't be blocked, I must assume they will be. Do you know more?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    X10 stuff (and the newer version) send a coded signal on the power line from the controller/timer to the device in question. Depending on which controller you buy, you can set the receivers up to turn on or off under various conditions, some include a timer. Your house has 220vac coming in that is centertapped with the neutral/ground. If your controller is on one side of the 220 and the device is on the other, it may not make it. Otherwise, it's not a big deal. This may be your easiest means to turn these things on and off. The bits aren't very expensive. You could always rewire the existing outlet to be controlled by a hardwired switch and that switch could be a timer. There are lots of switch replacements that are timers. If you made the box a double, you could add a timer switch in there, but having it remoted is neater.

    If the x10 controller is on the same leg of the transformer feeding the house, it should work unless the house is huge. Since that plugs into an outlet to get the signal into the wiring, the easiest thing would be to just move it to one that is on the same side. If it is on the same breaker, it should work for sure. Doesn't have to be, as long as it is on the same leg. WOrse comes to worse, they make a bridge that connects the two sides together, but that's kind of overkill unless and until you decide to expand the system to control more devices.
  5. bobbobwhite

    bobbobwhite New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    California
    X10 fine but do not need an expensive central controller for just one receptacle

    Is there a simple 2 piece system of merely 1) a switchable wall receptacle and a 2) simple wireless remote that switches the receptacle on and off? That's it, that's all I need, unless the receptacle has a built-in timer and allows a choice of remote timer settings and on-off selection. That would be perfect, but I'll settle for just the former.

    Where can I buy this simple little system; model numbers, names, etc. if possible? Thanks so much for any details.
  6. Jeff1

    Jeff1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    So Cal
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    Replace the receptacle with Smarthome p/n 2040 and get the controller p/n 4030A, and that would work. There are numerous possibilities, some fancier than others and more capable. You could probably do it for less, but those cost less than $40 for both parts.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,237
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The plug on the picture should project out of the wall receptacle. Therefore, unless you have a "flat plug" a conventional plug in lamp timer should not intrude any more than the cord would. As for the X10's on different legs of the system, a capacitor connected between the two legs solves that problem. I would have to check mine to see what its capacity is.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010

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