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Old 11-14-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


I purchased the above timer to replace a single pole light switch. I wanted the timer to turn onm my porch lights a dusk and off atr dawn. I wired the timer per included instructions. I programed it per instructions. The video panal shows the correct time, the word AUTO and off or on.
The on or off can be changed by pressing the override. However this is the only way to turn on or off the porch lights. The programmed on at dusk and off at Dawn does NOT work. I have reprogrammed twice to no avail. I now have a $30 single pole switch in esence. Before I take it out and replace with the original single pole switch, I am asking for a solution, short of replacement.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


If you are sure it’s wired and programmed correctly, especially the am/pm time of day, etc., it might be bad. Have you exchanged it for another one?
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Mike, you're correct...and I have the EXACT same issue...I see the AUTO show up but the timer will NOT honor the dusk/dawn programmed times, regardless of how I program the unit. GE is useless as I've tried to pursue troubleshooting with it.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:47 AM   #4
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Are you sure you've a neutral in the circuit and not a switch loop?
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:48 AM   #5
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


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Old 11-16-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Okay....I finally resolved the issue. My wiring was perfectly fine, and it was a programming issue. I basically took the time to go through the unit's goofy user interface and GE documentation and just assumed what the documentation was "trying" to say, but didn't. Long story short...You can only have 1 program active. The documentation doesn't say that. What I did was this:

Programming ON/OFF Events:
1. Press "SETUP" twice to begin programming times.

2. P1 (Program 1) ON should be blinking. Press "ENTER" to begin setting P1 ON time. You may also use the + or buttons to scroll through all 7 programs.

3. The screen will show SET, if you wish to set a time press "ENTER" to confirm. You may also use the + or button to scroll to DEL. (If you have to Delete extra/additional programs, which I had to do, you'll need to use this step/process). If you press "Enter" on DEL you will delete the program you are on. (Had to do this for P2)

4. If you pushed "ENTER" at SET for P1 the screen will show PRG, P1 ON and the days of the week will be blinking. Use the + or buttons to scroll through the options in which the timer will be active. The options are:
S, S
M, T, W, F
M through S: Individual days
T, TH
M, W, F
S, M, T, W, Th, F, S (default) - - (I used the DEFAULT option and all of those days were blinking)
5. Choose the days you want the program to be active and press "ENTER."

6. Now that you have chosen the DAYS THE TIMER WILL FUNCTION the next step is to choose the TIME.

7. The screen should show DAWN blinking. There are 3 options to choose from when selecting the program ON time. Use the + or to scroll through the options. Options are either DAWN, DUSK, or TIME (to set custom time).
  • If you would like the timer to turn ON at the Pre Set time for DAWN press "ENTER" and move to P1 OFF setting.
  • If you would like the timer to turn ON at the Pre Set time for DUSK use the + or buttons to change the option on the screen to DUSK and press "ENTER" and move to P1 OFF setting
  • If you would like choose a custom time other than DAWN or DUSK use the + or buttons to change the option on the screen to TIME and press "ENTER". The hour should be blinking. Use the + or to set the correct hour. If you pass 11 to 12 you will change the
  • AM to PM. Once the correct hour is found press "ENTER" to confirm. The Minute should be blinking. Use the + or to set the correct minute. Press "Enter" to confirm.
7. After deciding your time, The screen will show PRG, P1 OFF and the days of the week will be blinking. Choose the days you want the program to be active and press "ENTER".

8. Now that you have chosen the days the timer will function the next step is to choose the time the program will turn OFF. There are 3 options to choose from when selecting the program OFF time. Use the + or to scroll through the options. Options are DAWN, DUSK, or TIME.

9. Just like you did for the ON setting, do the exact same for the OFF setting now....
  • If you would like the timer to turn OFF at the Pre Set time for DAWN press "Enter" .
  • If you would like the timer to turn OFF at the Pre Set time for DUSK use the + or buttons to change the option on the screen to DUSK and press "ENTER" .
  • If you would like choose a custom time other than DAWN or DUSK use the + or buttons to change the option on the screen to TIME and press "ENTER". The hour should be blinking. Use the + or to set the correct hour. If you pass 11 to 12 you will change the AM to PM. Once the correct hour is found press "ENTER" to confirm. The Minute should be blinking. Use the + or to set the correct minute. Press "ENTER" to confirm.

10. The screen will now say "SAVE" Press "ENTER" to save P1 (program 1) to the timer. P2 (Program 2) ON should be blinking. DO NOT SET UP A PROGRAM FOR P2...this was my problem before....

11. Instead, just push AUTO to complete the program process.Press "ENTER" to begin setting P2 ON.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have other programs set (P2 through P7), you'll want to delete those. How do you know if an additional program is set? Good question...Very easy. As you toggle through the programs, each one should have " --:-- " If not, then you've entered soemthing there and you need to delete it. Reference step 3 above when I had to delete my P2 program.

12. Again, after you've confirmed that all additional programs (P2-P7) are empty, just hit AUTO and then that completes the Programming.


I did this again last night and came out to lights that had MIRACULOUSLY turned OFF at DAWN, which is what I programmed. I'll be looking tonight to ensure that the LIGHTS are ON when I get home, since I have them programmed to come ON at DUSK. HOPE THIS HELPS.

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Old 11-18-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddLivengood
Okay....I finally resolved the issue. My wiring was perfectly fine, and it was a programming issue. I basically took the time to go through the unit's goofy user interface and GE documentation and just assumed what the documentation was "trying" to say, but didn't. Long story short...You can only have 1 program active. The documentation doesn't say that.
What do you mean "you can only have 1 program active"? I'm sure the timer supports multiple programs as there are P1 though P7 programs that you can set up if you need them. Perhaps the problem was that the timer was set to turn on and off under P1 but the timer also had a P2 program which interfered with P1, etc.

The one thing this timer apparently is missing is an easy way to turn off the AUTO mode. It looks like they only give you the option of AUTO or RANDOM. There isn't a button to turn off the AUTO or RANDOM mode so that the program doesn't run. It would appear that the only way to turn off the program is to erase anything you have programmed. In other words, if I have the timer set up to turn lights on/off in the house while I'm away on vacation there isn't a way to turn the program off when I get back home from vacation. It looks like you have to manually erase any program setting you have. What a wasted pain in the butt. Can anyone confirm this is true or am I missing something?

p.s. I'm not talking about manually turning the light on/off by pushing the manual on/off button. I'm talking about disabling the AUTO program without having to erase the program.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:41 AM   #8
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


ClemBert....I can't speak for GE, but I tried for 3 days to program with goofy thing....then, finally, after scouring the directions and just guessing at what they were trying to say, I got it fixed. My issues was that I had a second program that was interfereing with the first program. Once I deleted that, it worked fine. But that said, you have to wonder why they would give you the option to have 7 different programs if it can only run one...I guess the only way you could do the multiple programs would be if the times didn't overlap. The "auto" setting is there regardless after you program the unit, so yeah, you are right in that respect and it's not something that you can simply turn off/stop to do a different program for a vacation mode. The question comes back to GE...if you setup 3 programs (P1 which could be your "normal", P2 which could be your vacation mode, and P3 which could be a "special hours" mode), how can you switch between the three without having any interference issues and without having to delete non-used programs - - The directions state ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about that from what I see.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddLivengood
The question comes back to GE...if you setup 3 programs (P1 which could be your "normal", P2 which could be your vacation mode, and P3 which could be a "special hours" mode), how can you switch between the three without having any interference issues and without having to delete non-used programs - - The directions state ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about that from what I see.
Hmm, I wasn't thinking of "a program" in the same light as you were. I completely understand now what it was you were getting at. To me, P1 through P7 give you the "time periods" you want the light to come on. Essentially, the term "program" was a poor choice of words for GE to use because as you indicated "a program" should be separate from another "program". Anyhow, I have two of these timers in my house. One timer turns on the lights in the family room. The other timer turns the lights on in the master bathroom. For the living room I set it up to turn on the lights at DUSK then they go off at around 11PM to simulate people at home. So, I only use P1. For the master bathroom I use P1, P2, P3 to set up three different time periods for the lights to go on and off. This simulates someone going to the bathroom several times in an evening. I use the RANDOM feature to alter the on/off times slightly.

I only use these timers for when I'm gone on vacation etc. Otherwise when I'm home I don't use the timers. Your point on how you'd like to use the timers is a good one but it doesn't apply to my situation.

Last edited by ClemBert; 11-22-2011 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:35 AM   #10
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Ahhh...that makes sense on your use/programming. I only use one single pole timer and I use it to turn on my coach lights at dusk and then turn them off at dawn, based on the times the timer automatically syncs for my zone of the country. I love that feature. It even auto adjusts for daylight savings....I'm finally satisfied with the timer since it's now programmed successfully and working like a charm.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


I have a similar problem with this switch. I have programmed it to turn it on and off in the evening and to come on and off in the morning, and I use this when we are on vacation.
It works quite well and I have not as of yet programmed it to go on and off randomly. My problem is that when I am not on vacation, I turned the timer slide switch to off, thinking I could now use the switch as a normal on and off. It does not turn on. I thought I had a defective switch and exchanged it but the new one is the same. Is this normal?
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:16 PM   #12
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


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I have a similar problem with this switch. I have programmed it to turn it on and off in the evening and to come on and off in the morning, and I use this when we are on vacation.
It works quite well and I have not as of yet programmed it to go on and off randomly. My problem is that when I am not on vacation, I turned the timer slide switch to off, thinking I could now use the switch as a normal on and off. It does not turn on. I thought I had a defective switch and exchanged it but the new one is the same. Is this normal?
There is a "slide switch" to disable the timer without erasing the program? LOL, I didn't know that. I guess you learn something new everyday. When I get home from vacation I'm gonna look for the slide switch. I don't want to erase "the program" as I need to use it again during Xmas vacation.

Last edited by ClemBert; 11-27-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:59 AM   #13
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Just to clarify
I have installed the GE 15266 single pole. I have purchased the GE 15312 three way, and have not installed it yet, because if you can,t turn off the timer, then I will return both switches, and look for a different brand that one can use it as a normal switch.

Any sugestions?
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:43 PM   #14
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


Quote:
Just to clarify
I have installed the GE 15266 single pole. I have purchased the GE 15312 three way, and have not installed it yet, because if you can,t turn off the timer, then I will return both switches, and look for a different brand that one can use it as a normal switch.

Any sugestions?
Oh, okay...the 15312 probably doesn't have the slide switch then...I'm still on vacation and haven't been able to verify.

As far as alternative timers to use I have been using Intermatic brand timers for years that used to be available at Home Depot or Lowes. The ones I used were also digital programmable timers similar to the 15312. However, the difference was that the Intermatic timers always had a battery for either power failure backup of the program/clock or to activate the switch solenoid. I always went for them because at the time they were the only ones who had the power failure backup capability. I notice on the GE 15312 that when the power goes out that they advertise that the program will be kept for up to 24 hours. I also like how the 15312 has an LED backlight so you can read it in the dark. The Intermatics didn't have that feature way back when. The Intermatic had the capability to allow you to turn off the program (MANUAL MODE) without erasing the program. The GE 15312 appears to always be in AUTOMATIC/RANDOM mode with no way to turn off the program without erasing it. The reason I replaced the Intermatic timers with GE is because either the timers wore out or the batteries seemed to constantly need changing as they got old.

Last edited by ClemBert; 11-27-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #15
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Problems, GE SunSmart Digital Timer 15312


When you press the reset button before setting up, doesn't that delete all the settings in every program?

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