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Old 07-20-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
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parallel switching issue


I'm working on a new house build. In one instance I'd like to have a single receptacle with the capability of being switched on by 3 timers in 3 separate rooms. Thus, if any one of the timers is running (switched on), the receptacle is powered.

I thought that wiring the timer switches in parallel would work, but when I spoke with the switch the manufacturer's technician, to make sure that I wouldn't run into any problems. He said that if this particular timer is wired in parallel, then when any one of the 3 switched was on, that the other two switches would start to burn out (backfeed issues?)... and I would soon only have one functional timer.

The timer I wanted to use was the 6652-1W from Leviton.
http://store.leviton.com/dp/B004FRQSEQ#.UAoVyfXHllM
I liked it because of the option for a very short timer (I need 30 to 60 second timer) and the fact that it has an LED to indicate when the timer is running.

Can anyone explain why this switch can not be run in parallel and/or offer up alternative timer switches with similar features that can be run in parallel? Thanks!

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Old 07-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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parallel switching issue


You called the manufacture directly, what possible answer could you possibly want from a DIY site?

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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parallel switching issue


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Originally Posted by sworks View Post
The timer I wanted to use was the 6652-1W from Leviton.

Can anyone explain why this switch can not be run in parallel and/or offer up alternative timer switches with similar features that can be run in parallel? Thanks!
These are electronic switches so they cannot be put in parallel as the mfg states. When they are active, i.e. on they actually don't switch to zero volts across them as they have a semiconductor switching device (like a dimmer switch, known as a Triac). This forward voltage bias is also used to power other portions of the electronics in the switch. When you put such switches in parallel the traics compete with each other for forward bias and you can get unpredictable results.

To make this work each timer would need to drive a 120VAC relay coil (contactor) and then wire the N.O. contact sides of the three relays in parallel. That seems a lot of work and cost though so hopefully your application warrants such complexity and cost.
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:13 AM   #4
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parallel switching issue


If you could explain your application a little more, we may be able to offer up some solutions.

For instance, what will these receptacles be used for? Are the times the same for each room? When you say "single" receptacle, do you mean single or duplex?

One thing that comes to mind is, you were contemplating using a 500 watt switch for the receptacle(s). Being that common sense isn't so common, is there a likelihood of these receptacles being used for something other than their intended purpose.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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parallel switching issue


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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
You called the manufacture directly, what possible answer could you possibly want from a DIY site?
A credible refutation of the maker's warning so the OP could proceed as planned?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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parallel switching issue


curiousB thanks for the info. Yes that does sound like a lot of work and expense for the use. It was a crazy idea to begin with. And definitely not worth the cost. I appreciate your help with understanding the issue and the possible solution you offered. Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:21 AM   #7
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parallel switching issue


wirenut1110 - the application was for requesting a refresh to a hot water loop instead of using a 24hr timer. HW loops are money wasters to begin with and not worth putting another couple hundred dollars into. Oh well. On to the next crazy idea.

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