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Old 08-18-2010, 04:44 AM   #1
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timer requires a 40 watt min. load, I only have 10...now what?


I have a Leviton electronic timer wired into a woodworking project, but just discovered that the transformer that is going into this project is only 10 watts. When I tested the timer with the transformer, I was dismayed to find that the lights pulse on and off. (The transformer, if plugged into a regular wall outlet without the timer, produces a steady light.) According to the directions, this timer needs a minimum load of 40 watts. Great.

I know the easy answer...add something that uses 30 watts, or more. But in this situation, there is no obvious way to do that. There is very little room, and I do not need a light or a fan or ...

Is there some sort of small plug-in device that can be added that "uses up" the necessary watts to make this timer work with only 10 watts? I realize it's a waste of power, but replacing this timer is more aggravation than I need.

Suggestions welcome!

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Old 08-18-2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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timer requires a 40 watt min. load, I only have 10...now what?


Is there room to plug another "thing" into the timer?

Add an ordinary light fixture with a 25 or 40 watt incandescent bulb, that can sit alongside as opposed to in your cabinet so only the cord has to go inside.

If you are going to dissipate (waste) the power to make the timer work correctly, it is easier to buy a table lamp fixture as opposed to rig up resistors.

If you do want to rig up resistors, the resistance value needed is 480 ohms (you can round it off 5% either way if you can't find exactly 480 ohms) to draw 0.25 amp. at 120 volts, or 30 watts. But resistors are rated in watts as well as ohms. Here you need a 30 watt resistor, or better go 40 watts for a safety margin. It is much bigger than the resistors on a printed circuit board. And it gives off just as much heat as a 30 watt incandescent bulb (actually a tad more) and therefore needs adequate ventilation. (The heat depends on the power actually dissipated, not the rating of the resistor.)

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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-18-2010 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
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timer requires a 40 watt min. load, I only have 10...now what?


Find a different timer that does not require 40 watts to operate.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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timer requires a 40 watt min. load, I only have 10...now what?


AllanJ, thank you for the info on resistors! That's what I needed! Now I know what to look for.

Plugging a light fixture into this project will not work, as the plug is eventually going to be hidden inside for safety. This project will be used by children, and I want to minimize access to the electrical parts. And having an extra cord protruding would be a trip hazard...bad enough there will be one cord, without adding a second.

Any other suggestions will be welcome, but in the meantime I am off to search for resistors!

Thanks again!
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