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Old 05-20-2009, 09:56 PM   #1
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Let's Talk UL.


Is Underwriter's Laboratories dropping the ball? Have you ever wondered if they rubberstamped their approval on electrical devices?
About 6 months ago, I purchased and installed two light and fan switches with delay off feature for the fan. Now both switches seem to be failing. Both will make a crackling sound like current jumping from one pole to another or not making or breaking properly. They will do this about 35% of the time. I believe that the manufacturer has chosen to have a small tolerance when the switch makes or breaks the circuit. In other words, the switches are half on and half off with not enough clearance for a clean break, until the switch is in the full off position. I believe this partial contact is making the poles of the switch start to pit. The switch is distributed by "Marktime" model 42503 Series 42 at $32.95. The switch is sealed and cannot be inspected. It has a black and white wire for hot and neutral plus a red wire for the fan and a blue for the light. Both fan and light are operating correctly with the exception of the crackling sound from the switch. Has anyone purchased this timer switch? Your opinion please.
Also while doing a search, I came across a "Broan-Nutone" model 64V with the same features and I think it is the same switch but with a differant faceplate. And its cost is much higher at $65.56. Your opinion on this model vs the "Marktime" please.
More info on the Marktime can be found at: http://www.energyfederation.org/citi...th/39_766_3058
" " Broan-Nutone can be found at:
http://www.plumbersurplus.com/Prod/B...03781/Cat/1335

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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Let's Talk UL.


I think the job of UL is to check that the product is safe, and nothing to do with quality of the product or how long it will last. Also there have been problems with counterfeit UL labels.

As to quality of products lately, I spend a LOT of time anymore fixing or modifying new things I buy because they don't work right or are not designed right. EVERYTHING! I think this is corporate greed! They just don't care about quality anymore.

I went to a hamburger chain, bought a hamburger, and had to put more sauce on because there was only a tiny little blob on it.

I had to install a fuel filter on a new lawnmower I bought because it did not come with one! (Instructions said fuel filter was optional.)

I bought a new lawn sprayer and had to use a tap to thread a fitting so I could attach the wand, something which should have been done at the factory.

I went through 3 new replacement dome light bulbs for my car within a month. The new ones were only lasting a week or two before they burned out. (Electric in car is fine, other bulbs in car OK.) I finally got disgusted and replaced it with an LED replacement.

Etc., etc., etc., I could go on and on! I'm just glad I know how to fix things....

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:09 AM   #3
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Let's Talk UL.


UL is a joke.

A few years ago, I did all the control work on a power plant. There were a half-dozen or so control cabinets, a 35KV switchgear, a 4160 volt motor control center, and a 480 volt motor control center.

The switchgear and motor control centers were UL listed, the control cabinets were not. These control cabinets had PLCs, generator protection relays, transformer protection relays, etc. in them. The voltages were 120AC, 24DC, and 125DC. Several thousand wires were involved.

The local inspector would not pass the job unless all electrical apparatus was UL listed. A few days later, this guy shows up, looks around a bit, and places UL stickers on each control panel. He never even looked inside any of them! For all he knew, they could have been boxes full of rocks, with lights and meters on the doors.

But now, they're UL listed. The inspector signed it off, and everyone was happy. Every day until the plant was finished, I'd look at those UL stickers and laugh.

Rob
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:27 AM   #4
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Let's Talk UL.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
...The switch is sealed and cannot be inspected...
And that is another thing they are doing these days, sealing things so you can't take them apart to fix them!

I'm getting to where I look at things before I buy to see if I can take it apart or not. If I can't, then I buy another product which I can take apart.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:24 AM   #5
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Let's Talk UL.


MarkTime is supposed to be a reputable manufacturer. Have you contacted them and/or EFI for a replacement?

Could be a surge got to your units, or you ended up with a bad batch.

Either way, they should replace your bad devices.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:49 AM   #6
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Let's Talk UL.


I'll email Marktime to see if they will replace both switches. I may need an old receipt to prove date of purchase.

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