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Author Topic: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice  (Read 9101 times)

Offline mbairhead

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I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« on: September 01, 2010, 09:04:16 am »
My GE switches have been failing one at a time since I installed them plus for some reason people that visit my house can't figure them out. Everyone that uses them holds them for some reason, instead of just tapping up/down, effectively dimming them to 1%. My wife has had it with them and said to just go get something intuitive and reliable. So with my wife's blessing I'm starting the search but now I'm a little shy about dropping the big bucks to replace all the switches in my house. My knee jerk was to buy a few test models and just eat the cost if I had to but I would obviously rather not (at $100+ each).  I am going to need dimmers and on/off and they must match. So my good fellow Z-Wavers, the question that's been asked a thousand times with a thousand different answers......

What is a good....no....GREAT Z-Wave switch?

Offline CMRancho

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Offline raskell

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 10:00:17 am »
I too have had it with the GE dimmers, specifically the three ways are a disaster and I sent them all back.  For  three way Dimmers, I finally used the Intermatics HA14W/D which you can still find even though they are becoming more scarce.  I like this one because it can use traditional 3-way switches in the remote location without much fuss about the wiring.  My wife likes the traditional auxiliary switch because it is just on/off and instant response time.  If you want to dim from multiple locations, don't use this one.

I have also had GE On/OFF switches failing within the first 30 days of use.  The supplier repalced them with no hassles but I am still annoyed that they failed.  The GE On/OFF three-way does seem to work where the GE 3-way dimmers could not. 

The Levitons and Insteons are much more expensive and I seriously doubt you can ever save enough energy using them to justify the extra cost.  My biggest complaint is that local stores (Home Depot / Lowes / Manards / etc..) don't carry anything for Home Automation.  Everyting has been mail-order, extra shipping charges and waiting on UPS/FedEx deliveries.

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Offline strangely

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 10:49:46 am »
I too have had it with the GE dimmers, specifically the three ways are a disaster and I sent them all back.  For  three way Dimmers, I finally used the Intermatics HA14W/D which you can still find even though they are becoming more scarce.  I like this one because it can use traditional 3-way switches in the remote location without much fuss about the wiring.  My wife likes the traditional auxiliary switch because it is just on/off and instant response time.  If you want to dim from multiple locations, don't use this one.

I have also had GE On/OFF switches failing within the first 30 days of use.  The supplier repalced them with no hassles but I am still annoyed that they failed.  The GE On/OFF three-way does seem to work where the GE 3-way dimmers could not. 

The Levitons and Insteons are much more expensive and I seriously doubt you can ever save enough energy using them to justify the extra cost.  My biggest complaint is that local stores (Home Depot / Lowes / Manards / etc..) don't carry anything for Home Automation.  Everyting has been mail-order, extra shipping charges and waiting on UPS/FedEx deliveries.


Home Depot used to carry Intermattic and one my local Lowes carries the GE/Jasco stuff.
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Offline ctvrod

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 11:03:30 am »
I guess I just have been lucky I have not had  problems with failures of the ge/jasco product.  I did find out that the at the present time there is some distance limitation on the three ways.  Also I don't know for sure but I believe that ge/jasco are the only ones that repeat the Schlage lock protocol.
just my 2 cents
wayne
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Offline strangely

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 11:18:56 am »
I guess I just have been lucky I have not had  problems with failures of the ge/jasco product.  I did find out that the at the present time there is some distance limitation on the three ways.  Also I don't know for sure but I believe that ge/jasco are the only ones that repeat the Schlage lock protocol.
just my 2 cents
wayne
You are partially correct; they don't really repeat any differently than other devices, they support "beaming" which is just a way for nodes to wake up battery device. Only the ones with a firmware ending with "a" support this. And Its not just schlage locks but also the kwikset locks that use it, and it doesn't just have to be just locks.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 11:30:40 am by strangely »
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Offline ctvrod

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 11:24:43 am »
thx for the correction, learning everyday.
Vera 1-oos, Vera 2-oos, Vera 3 UI5, Testing Vera +, Schlage Lock & Deadbolt, 4 Trane T'stats, 4 GE 3 way dimmer switch kit (45613), 3 GE Outdoor Modules (45604), 3 GE dimmer (45606), 1 GE switch (45609), 1 GE (45605 Outlet), 3 GE (45603 Modules), 1 HSM-100, 1 EtherRain

Offline zmistro

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 11:27:08 am »
I was wondering what kind of lamps are you powering with those dimmers. Are you using CFL's or Halogen or???? Are you over wattage on the switch.

You need to contact GE/ Jasco. I know the Engineer and he would like to know what is causing the issue.

Offline ctvrod

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 11:46:31 am »
I received this information about the distance for ge/jasco customer service.  I am controlling regular incandescent lamps.
Vera 1-oos, Vera 2-oos, Vera 3 UI5, Testing Vera +, Schlage Lock & Deadbolt, 4 Trane T'stats, 4 GE 3 way dimmer switch kit (45613), 3 GE Outdoor Modules (45604), 3 GE dimmer (45606), 1 GE switch (45609), 1 GE (45605 Outlet), 3 GE (45603 Modules), 1 HSM-100, 1 EtherRain

Offline raskell

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 11:51:59 am »
My most recent failure was on the driveway lights which uses 6x40W bulbs for 240W total.  The GE/Jasco dimmer is rated 300W incandescent.  I did contact GE/Jasco but since the HA Distributor agreed to replace, it was not a warranty issue.  They excepted it back as DOA.
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Offline mbairhead

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 02:53:47 pm »
I have spent so much time talking to support people about these switches that there's no chance I'm calling or talking to anyone else. I have officially given up on them and I'm moving on.

I really wish I could find a rocker style that looked like the GE though.

Offline garrettwp

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 03:13:03 pm »
I know price may be an issue, but I have been very happy with the leviton switches! 

- Garrett

Offline kd5ftn

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 04:19:10 pm »
What do your GE switches do once they've failed?

I have one that stopped working, yet the LED still glows blue when in the off position and goes away when I fade up - just no lights coming on. I haven't had a chance to examine the wiring yet.

Offline mbairhead

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 11:23:05 pm »
What do your GE switches do once they've failed?

I have one that stopped working, yet the LED still glows blue when in the off position and goes away when I fade up - just no lights coming on. I haven't had a chance to examine the wiring yet.

When this happened to me it was usually I got a traveler wire wrong. The easiest way to see if that switch is still good is to find the primary power source (always has power) and just set the switch up as a single pole, if you still have the same problem, the switch is probably bad. Another thing I found was if the aux switch was to far away, you could get that result (or the lights only come on to about 50%).

When my switches fail they usually start to flicker for a couple days then nothing. A couple just died.

Offline raskell

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Re: I've had it with these darn GE switches and need advice
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2010, 09:12:06 am »
What do your GE switches do once they've failed?

I have one that stopped working, yet the LED still glows blue when in the off position and goes away when I fade up - just no lights coming on. I haven't had a chance to examine the wiring yet.

On the 2 way Dimmers, exactly as you describe.  Z-wave and Vera indicate that the switch is turning on and off and scaling power, blue LED is working, etc...  Just no power going through the switch.  Using the same wiring and bypassing the switch, lights work fine.

As for the
Vera2, UI4, Trane/Schlage TStats(6), Schlage LeverLock, GE 3-wayswitches, WD HA14 3-way dimmers, Intermatic Outdoor Module, Hawking door/window sensor(s), VeraLite UI5, Everspring SM-103