Switch Turns On But Not Off

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Why does my Wall Switch Module turn on but not off?

Standard wall switch modules are wired in series with the light bulb, meaning that the electrical signals have to pass through the filament of the bulb in order to complete the circuit. The reason you can get the wall switch module to turn on but not off is because the X10 signal has to pass through the lamp, and a hot lamp has a higher resistance than a cold lamp, therefore it takes a slightly stronger signal to turn a wall switch off than it takes to turn it on. If however you have a powerful enough signal, you would not notice the difference. Also, certain types of bulbs block the X10 signal.

The following types of bulbs should NOT be used with a WS467 or WS12A Wall Switch Module:

  • Florescent bulbs
  • Halogen Bulbs
  • Sodium Vapor Bulbs
  • Any kind of energy saver bulb (i.e. Sylvania Capsellite, GE Miser, etc.)
  • Any kind of low voltage bulb

To control fluorescent fixtures, we recommend the use of X10 Non-dimming Decorator Wall Switch (WS13A) or X10 Pro Non-dimming Wall Switch (XPS3).

Note that these versions require a neutral connection and are therefore recommended for installation only by a qualified electrician.

Why does my Non-dimming Wall Switch Module turn on but not off?

Although the XPS3 and the WS13A can safely be used to control any type of load, if the load produces too much powerline noise, it can prevent the wall switch from hearing the command to turn off. This problem is comonly seen when controlling certain brands of Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).

The easiest solution is to change the load so it does not produce as much powerline noise (switching brand of CFL for example). If that is not possible, or does not solve the problem, you will need to install a noise blocker (such as the X10 Pro 20A 3-wire Noise Filter (XPF) or a Leviton 5 amp noise block (6287)) between the wall switch and the load. Be sure to choose one that is rated higher than the maximum current draw of the load. The filter will also filter out X10 commands, so do not install it between the wall switch and the breaker panel.

Related Articles

Modules Work in Some Locations but not Others
Fluorescent Lights
Phase Coupling
Noise, Noise Filters and Automatic Gain Control

Key Topics: neutral, ground, incandescent, wire, load, ballast, noise

Relates to: WS467, WS4777, WS12A, WS13A