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Thread: Can a Caseta Plug in Lamp dimmer/switch control load?

  1. #1
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    Can a Caseta Plug in Lamp dimmer/switch control load?

    The box says you can only control lights.

    I want to control a solenoid valve, or a small section of in-floor heating with this. What is the real deal here?

    I can't imagine that I couldn't plug in a small motor or coffee maker and to the thing and have it work... but what are your experiences?

    I could plug in a wall-wart DC transformer which would then power a relay/contactor to turn on/off well... pretty much anything from a water heater to a dryer...

    What am I missing here?

  2. #2
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    The PD-3PCL is only UL rated to control 120V incandescent, halogen, CFL, and LED lights. It's not rated to control any low voltage lights, or anything that's not a light. There is a caution in the installation instructions that warns against using the device to control motor-driven or transformer-supplied appliances.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W. View Post
    The PD-3PCL is only UL rated to control 120V incandescent, halogen, CFL, and LED lights. It's not rated to control any low voltage lights, or anything that's not a light. There is a caution in the installation instructions that warns against using the device to control motor-driven or transformer-supplied appliances.
    Thank you for your response Brian. I understand that as an authorized contributor you may not be able to give a thumbs up for an "off label use". I just don't get why it is specifically made ONLY for lights. At 110 Volt power, 300 watts of CFL light bulbs is going to pull about 3 amps.

    My solenoid valve pulls max of .84 amps, so I can't see why this wouldn't work.

    I want to use Siri to turn on and off zones of my irrigation system, or use the apps associated with Homekit to put my sprinklers on a a schedule IF various other triggers are present.

    3 amps is 3 amps if you ask me, no matter where the electricity is going, but was hoping to get some people who have tried this out. Should I go to a competitor to get a controllable appliance outlet?

  5. #4
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    Well, I can see how 3 amp motor load can be a problem for a switch rated for 3 amp resistive load, but I would think that .8 amps would be just fine... If you (or anyone else reading it) are going to try that, make sure you set this plug-in dimmer into the switch mode, as mentioned in

    https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...ed-as-a-switch

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeeh View Post
    Well, I can see how 3 amp motor load can be a problem for a switch rated for 3 amp resistive load, but I would think that .8 amps would be just fine... If you (or anyone else reading it) are going to try that, make sure you set this plug-in dimmer into the switch mode, as mentioned in

    https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...ed-as-a-switch

    Thank you Veeh. If anyone else reading wants to turn their plug in dimmer to switch mode, you hold down the on and off buttons simultaneously for 6 seconds.

    I didn't read the above in time, so just tried this last night right out of the box and it worked fine. Again the draw of my device plugged in is only .8 amps. It is a solenoid valve that actually controls my shower head. I set the mixing valve to the temperature I want, and then the normally closed valve is downstream of that. So I plugged my Iphone into the wall with the "Hey Siri" function on, and I freaked my girlfriend out when I walked into the bathroom and said "Hey Siri, turn on the Bathroom Scene.... Hue color strips turned on, Caseta overhead lights were on at 10%" She was impressed. Then I said "Hey Siri, turn on the F*#king Shower" (that's the name of scene)" and then the water turned on! GF draw dropped. When I saw that, I was like "Hey girlfriend...." Turns out I have yet to figure out how to turn on the "Hey you" mode on the GF. Anyone figure that out? LOL


    Just to forewarn you guys out there, that you need to have a secondary switch in this system so that when you say, turn all the lights on, my shower doesn't turn on too! I'm sure that is why Lutron says "Lamps only" so you aren't firing off disposals, and electric chainsaws and such with Geofencing as you drive up. In my case I have a seeing eye that looks straight down next to my rainfall shower head and was activating my shower. The problem is that when the housekeeper walked under it to clean the shower wall, she got a surprise shower, ran away, and the shower instantly turned off. I wish I had video of that! So now, this plug in switch actually turns on the sensor that controls the solenoid so that I don't mistakenly douse anyone.

    I imagine as I install more stuff, I will set all my scenes to not include that plug in module, and one scene that only includes that plug in switch...

  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Automate View Post
    Thank you Veeh. If anyone else reading wants to turn their plug in dimmer to switch mode, you hold down the on and off buttons simultaneously for 6 seconds.
    Automate, can you elaborate a little on your findings regarding making the dimmer into a switch. Because I didn't know this, I bought a Caseta Switch which costs more and didn't come with a Pico like the Dimmer Kit does. If you change it to a switch with this 6 second rule, can it be changed back? Maybe a full reset?

    Lastly, it was my experience that even when the dimmer was full-on, with no max limit, the lights were still wasn't as bright as a switch. I confirmed this situation with Lutron Support. I want to use a dimmer plug for a couple devices that can't use a dimmable resistance. So does converting the dimmer to a switch give it truly no resistance full power? Thanks for coming up with such a great use. Now considering other possibilities.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by msterling View Post
    can you elaborate a little on your findings regarding making the dimmer into a switch. Because I didn't know this, I bought a Caseta Switch which costs more and didn't come with a Pico like the Dimmer Kit does. If you change it to a switch with this 6 second rule, can it be changed back?
    Only plug-in dimmer can be converted to a switch (not in-wall dimmer). See advanced instructions. Page 27, Step 3 says: "To change back to dimmer mode repeat step 1"
    http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...structions.pdf

    Quote Quote
    Lastly, it was my experience that even when the dimmer was full-on, with no max limit, the lights were still wasn't as bright as a switch. I confirmed this situation with Lutron Support. I want to use a dimmer plug for a couple devices that can't use a dimmable resistance. So does converting the dimmer to a switch give it truly no resistance full power? Thanks for coming up with such a great use. Now considering other possibilities.
    Yes, that is right. After switching it into a switch mode, it will go to 100% as any normal switch would.

  10. #8
    Thanks for info. No wonder I couldn't find this on the in-wall dimmer. I guess my choice to buy the in-wall switch for this one location was best. But I do have a water circulating pump for my hot water. Right now, I have it plugged into a digital timer switch to go on at 7am, off at 11pm. It's not a heavy load - only max 12watts. But I would be happier, if I had more control over it. And it sounds like the dimmer in switch mode might be the answer.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by msterling View Post
    Thanks for info. No wonder I couldn't find this on the in-wall dimmer. I guess my choice to buy the in-wall switch for this one location was best. But I do have a water circulating pump for my hot water. Right now, I have it plugged into a digital timer switch to go on at 7am, off at 11pm. It's not a heavy load - only max 12watts. But I would be happier, if I had more control over it. And it sounds like the dimmer in switch mode might be the answer.
    Plus if you integrate the switch into an app, you can have the hot water pump go on and off as you enter and leave the geofence around your house... Not only are you saving the 12 watts, but pumping all that hot water around, heats your house which then needs to be cooled, and cools the water which makes your hot water heater work more.... it adds up!


    The glitch I haven't figured a way around yet, is that since all the systems view that plug in dimmer as a light, when you say "Turn off all the lights" Its gonna turn off too. If anyone has a bright idea about a workaround, don't keep it to yourself!

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Automate View Post
    The glitch I haven't figured a way around yet, is that since all the systems view that plug in dimmer as a light, when you say "Turn off all the lights" Its gonna turn off too. If anyone has a bright idea about a workaround, don't keep it to yourself!
    Yes, there is a way to change switch type. This isn't built into Caseta app, and I don't know yet which app has this already built in, but I'm sure it will be available later when apps supporting HomeKit had time to mature.

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