time switches

How reliable are time switches?
I ask because once a year we use some for our Christmas lights, sow e
are not talking about heavy loads, but they are not working properly.
A few years ago I used some digital ones from Wickes. They stopped
working. I had them exchanged and the replacements stopped working
So then I decided to give up on digital technology and invest in some
clockwork time switches from B&Q. They worked fine last year but this
year they are not keeping time: I am not expecting quartz accuracy but
the dial says 6am when it is 10pm!
Do the clocks seize if not used for long periods? These only get used
in December.
Any suggestions on what type to replace these with?
Reply to
In article , Fred writes:
Are timeswitches what you really want? I use a movement detector to switch the Christmas tree lights on for 15 minutes, which means they go off when the room is not occupied, or if everyone falls asleep (which can happen at that time of year;-)
Reply to
Andrew Gabriel
Depends which ones you buy
"B&Q" ...
They might do, but it sounds like you've just bought shite ones.
In descending order of quality:
Venner Sangamo Smiths
Reply to
I had the same experience with cheap 3-pin plug-in timeswitches.The digital ones forget their settings (even the ones with a backup battery) and the clockwork ones stop working after a while, presumably due to mechanical wear.
In the end I bought a digital timeswitch designed to be permanently wired to an immersion heater, mounted it on a bit of wood alongside a 4-way powerstrip, and fed it from a 13amp plug on the end of some flex. I think it's made by Smiths. It has been very reliable, but the programming procedure was designed by a martian.
Reply to
Mechanical time switches have been utterly reliable in my experience. Prior to burglar alarms being available, we used mechanical time switches to flick on and off various lights and radios around the house whilst we were away from home. We still do with the same mechanical switches which are over 25 years old as well as the complete burglar alarm system for the house.
Reply to
I've always wondered, why do people buy burglar alarms? No-one pays any attention to them when they go off, and a dummy box on the front of the house would surely just put enough doubt into the opportunistic criminal's mind to send him to the house next door instead.
Reply to
That's what I've got, with a battery powered flashing LED that keeps going for over 5 years on a couple of D Cells.
Reply to
Mark Carver
That wouldn't work here because there is no house next door. However the alarm system is remotely monitored so someone *does* pay attention if it goes off.
Reply to
Mike Barnes

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