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Wallplug quality and lifetime


alexndr
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So I've been with Fibaro for three years now. HC2, wall plugs, relays, "The buttons" (a really crapy product that should never have been released but that is for another topic) and some motion/door sensors. We had our ups and downs. Some things are great while others are don't. This topic deals with the wall plugs though. 

 

I have 10 of them and I turn them on/off a couple of times per day. 

2 of them that I replaced several times (I probably got replacements from same batch but never got it confirmed) had a tendency of living their own life. Turning on again after being turned off. Finally I got replacements that work.

1 of them gave me the purple flashing when plugin it in, replacement unit did it that time. 

Lately other problems have started to surface. I now have 4 Fibaro wall plugs (all of them 2-3 years old, no longer under warranty), where the relay seems to be "stuck". I can power them on/off manually using the button and via Z-wave but they will non control the plugged in unit. Power stays on all the time. What I got left is an expensive power meter, which still seems to work. 

 

The Fibaro wallplugs are not cheap. They're pretty expensive actually. They look good indeed, but hey, if someone told me that they would last 2-3 years tops I would never have gone for them at all. 

 

Finally, I can add that I have tried wall plugs from two other brands. Telldus (Z-wave) and wall plugs from my home alarm provider (which is not Z-wave). The Telldus plug worked for 6 months and them gave me the same stuck- relay symptom as explained above with the Fibaro- plugs. The wall plugs from my alarm provider have never failed me and they are 5 years now. 

 

So what are your experiences? 

 

/Alex

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Hi Alex,

I think it allways depends on what load you try to switch on and off.

For myself, I figured out, that the wall plug, that should switch a LED-stip, stopped working after a few month because the load during switching on was too high for the relais inside the wall plug.  

All other of my 5 wall plugs are working since 2013 without any issue. 

 

Best regards

Michael   

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  • Thanks for your feed back. 

     

    For instance; One plug has been dedicated for two Sonos speakers for the last years. When not used they're consuming like 4W each. Shouldn't be too much I think? As I said, they are turned off approximately 3-4 times per day. Maybe that is worning them out or something? 

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    I had the exact same thing happening to 3 or 4 fibaro wall plugs in 4 years. All got stuck on the ON position.  They ended up in the trash bin.  I don't think it has anything to do with the power as 2 of them had 20 watt max power to control.  I have others that control 2-2.5 KW and they still work great after 3 years.  

    Personally i think it was one or more batches from 3 years ago or so.

    Unfortunately nowadays it seems more and more electronics are designed to endure until they get out of warranty ;D. Had TVs, receivers and others break down only months after warranty expired.

     

     

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  • I sent a question to Fibaro support to get their opinion. Two weeks now and nothing. 

     

    Case#169801

     

    /Alex

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  • Got a reply from support after some time. They claim that the wallplugs doesn't have a defined expected life time and that I can send all of them to Poland for post- warranty service (that I have to pay for of course). Seems that they don't agree that there have been "bad batches" in the past which means that one can expect new plugs to have same problem . I will go for another brand whenever I need new plugs. 

    Edited by alexndr
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    I also had this "stuck in on position" failure on 2 devices already (old v101 hardware)... Not sure if the 102 has a better relay...

     

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    Same problem on latest hardware version 102. Fibaro was my huge mistake. Now, when world stuck (becouse of COVID-19), my home stuck, becouse of Fibaro. Fibaro's problem is the lack of production error handling. This is a company that is just learning. I understand that. But Fibaro charges customers for Fibaro mistakes. This is really mean and unethical.

     

    With Fibaro, your home will never be safe and friendly. With Fibaro you always have plenty to repair.

     

    Problem temporarily solved: An error in the internal memory of eprom caused an invisible change of parameter 1. Solution: You had to manually change parameter 1 to: active. Write down. Then change parameter 1 again to: inactive. Write down. The rewrite operation worked for me. This time... Poor quality of eprom memory will take revenge on me in the future.

    Edited by NCC1701D
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    Wow, thanks @NCC1701D, I opened this

    Please login or register to see this link.

    about wallplugs stopping to work.. and it seems your "temporary solution" fixed at least one of my plugs. That plug was seemingly stuck in "on state" and after I changed the parameter like you suggested I got the plug back to working.


    FIBARO: You should really look into this. It MUST be a known issue. It's really bad to not keep a clear communication with customers about stuff like this. I have seen the other thread about dead wallplugs has been here on the forum since 2017. You could argue this is not the place to respond to support, but you surely have seen this issue, and it's kinda weak as a company to just stick the head in the sand if there is really a hardware error here. Either supply a firmware fix that address this, or offer consumers compensation or replacement for their broken devices they paid top money for. (yes your plugs are expensive)
     

    Possible reason: 
    I've seen others mention that having a initial high load might be a problem. The plug that got it's EPROM messed up in this case was connected to a LED-driven lamp, and even though that lamp uses only a total of like 8W, perhaps when you turn it on it has a peak of load?.. It would be nice if someone from Fibaro could comment on this, and whether there's any potential fix for this?

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    On 3/23/2020 at 2:38 PM, NCC1701D said:

    Problem temporarily solved: An error in the internal memory of eprom caused an invisible change of parameter 1. Solution: You had to manually change parameter 1 to: active. Write down. Then change parameter 1 again to: inactive. Write down. The rewrite operation worked for me.

    Interesting observation.

     

    15 hours ago, Ettrig said:

    Possible reason: 
    I've seen others mention that having a initial high load might be a problem. The plug that got it's EPROM messed up in this case was connected to a LED-driven lamp, and even though that lamp uses only a total of like 8W, perhaps when you turn it on it has a peak of load?..

    LED drivers can have big capacitors in them and cause huge startup current. Interesting idea

     

    Possibly related to this, although that topic is more about plugs getting completely reset (and go dead because they are no longer part of a network)

     

     

    @m.roszak the idea of high inrush current causing issues is interesting imho...

     

     

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    Hi, I had again a failing wallplug, it is stuck in the on status. I can hear the relay swapping position in the wallplug but the contacts stick.

    I opened one the see why and found a cheap chineese relay without gold plated contacts.
    The relay was very black inside from the sparks during switching. For wall plugs in this price range I expect better relays applied.
    For me no more Fibaro, lost my confidence in this brand.  

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    On 9/28/2020 at 9:59 AM, APDK66 said:

    Hi, I had again a failing wallplug, it is stuck in the on status. I can hear the relay swapping position in the wallplug but the contacts stick.

    I opened one the see why and found a cheap chineese relay without gold plated contacts.
    The relay was very black inside from the sparks during switching. For wall plugs in this price range I expect better relays applied.
    For me no more Fibaro, lost my confidence in this brand.  

     

    Had the same on a brand new plug, sealed from Amazon. Just arrived today, registered it quite easily.

     

    UK type, registers fine but from the first device I tried (6w LED table lamp) the lamp is always ON even though I can hear the relay clicking and the LED changes.

     

    Checked it with a 30W mono FM type radio just to be sure, same issue.

     

    The wall devices are great, the HC2, well, it works ;)

     

    But this is terrible. Wish I'd stuck with 'cheapo' TKB Home rather than paying extra for 'quality' :(

    Edited by druqs
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