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Old 04-22-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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Harmonic Distortion - Which Timers to Avoid?


Hi,

I can't find any simple laymans answer to this question at all!

From the Panasonic whisperWarm VHL2 manual:

"Solid state controls may cause harmonic distortion which can cause motor humming noise. To reduce the
risk of fire or electric shock, do not use this unit with any solid-state control device."

Q: What is a solid state control device?

For Example: Electronic timer vs. Crank timer?

I already purchased Woods electronic timer CD600 ( http://www.woods.com/pdfs/Timers.pdf ).

Is this a solid state control device or not?

Thanks again, this site is the best!

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Old 04-22-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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Harmonic Distortion - Which Timers to Avoid?


I can't find any simple laymans answer to this question at all!

There might not be one.

From the Panasonic whisperWarm VHL2 manual:

"Solid state controls may cause harmonic distortion which can cause motor humming noise. To reduce the
risk of fire or electric shock, do not use this unit with any solid-state control device."

They seem to be referring to solid state speed controls.

Q: What is a solid state control device?

For Example: Electronic timer vs. Crank timer?

Solid state means no moving parts.

I already purchased Woods electronic timer CD600 ( http://www.woods.com/pdfs/Timers.pdf ).

Is this a solid state control device or not?

If it clicks when it turns on/off it's not solid state. It appears to be solid state [there's probably no relay in that small case] but if it only goes full on or full off it's less likely to cause a problem. It depends on what electronics is in the fan. It does have a brushless DC motor and circuit board.
I'd say ask the fan people.

Some of these timers depend on load continuity to keep the timer electronics working and I'm not sure what load continuity your brushless fan provides. But, the timer marketing people say it will work with bathroom fans and it is reasonably foreseeable that a consumer [like you] may purchase a sophisticated bathroom fan.

The line at the bottom = I can't say fer' sure and I've spent my whole life messin' wit' dis' stuff.

It's not easy being a consumer in 2009.


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Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-22-2009 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:12 AM   #3
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Harmonic Distortion - Which Timers to Avoid?


Thanks for the speedy reply!

Yes, to the timer being full on or off. So even if it's solid state, it's the lesser evil?

Some sales websites for the WhisperWarm recommend a crank timer - which I'm assuming is not solid state? Unfortunatelly, a crank timer is not an option for the simple case of my wife whom has a high distaste for buzzing timers - especially whilst trying to relax. (I really wish Panasonic would just be clear on what is required, not about what is not required.)

And another quick question:

These timers are for my bathroom fan heater project (see other posts), which require the dedicated 20A circuit with 12 guage wiring. Unfortunatelly the timer only has 14 guage wire:

Q: Will this aspect of the timer (14awg) be cause for concern for my 1400W heater? It will be the only weak link.

IF so, then I really do need to shop for new timers, this will exclude both HomeDepot and Rona, since they both have such limited selection.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:42 AM   #4
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Harmonic Distortion - Which Timers to Avoid?


In this case the 14 ga wire is not a problem, it is considered fixture wiring and the ampacity ratings are different.

I saw no specs on the timer but would guess it to be solid state and therefor subject to harmonic distortion. This can be over come by having the timer control an electro/mechanical relay and controlling the WisperWarm through the relay contacts.
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