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Thread: Product - If we wanted to be able to turn on a towel warmer for 2 hours

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2023
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    Product - If we wanted to be able to turn on a towel warmer for 2 hours

    Use case: we want to be able to turn on a towel warmer for 2 hours. (manually turn on when it suits us, have it automatically turn off after 2 hours).
    Is there a Lutron product that you would recommend?

    Can it be done with the Lutron outdoor smart plug & the online app?
    (side question: Does the smart plug have a power draw?)

    or does Lutron have a non-Caseta product that can be used? Something that doesn't draw power when it's not being used.

    Thanks,
    Andra

  2. #2
    Lutron Technical Support
    Join Date
    May 2023
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    151
    Hello Andra,

    Thank you for inquiring. Our Caseta on/off switching devices (PD-6ANS, PD-15OUT-BL, etc.) are only rated for lighting or small motor loads. Unfortunately, we do not recommend controlling a heating element with a digital unit. For more information on the loads these devices can handle, please visit the specification here: assets.lutron.com/a/documents/369987_eng.pdf

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Hello - Looking at page 4 of the document you linked, the PD-6ANS has a max load of 600 - 720W for incandescent or halogen loads. (which are resistive, right?)
    If a towel warmer has a load of 300W, wouldn't that fit into the range of capabilities?

  4. #4
    Lutron Technical Support
    Join Date
    May 2023
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    151
    Thanks for following up Andra,

    That wattage would fall within the capacity of the switch. However, the switch was only ever designed to handle lighting load or light fan motor loads. Operating it on a towel warmer would be out of specification and warranty.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon W. View Post
    Thanks for following up Andra,

    That wattage would fall within the capacity of the switch. However, the switch was only ever designed to handle lighting load or light fan motor loads. Operating it on a towel warmer would be out of specification and warranty.
    This is a totally garbage reply! if its 300W resistive load there is no way it is out of the spec of the device based solely on what "type of device" it is. In fact a totally resistive load is better for the relay switching contacts than an incandescent light (high inrush current) or motor (inductive spikes) at the same power level. THINK BETTER!

    If you really need to control a higher load you can use a RIB relay ("Relay In a Box" an electrically enclosed & pre-wired relay) controlled by a Caseta Switch (not a dimmer) and this can get you up to 110V 30A, or up to 220V 30A switching (single or dual pole) by moving the load over to the bigger capacity relay. I have used this approach to automate my Pool Pump motor, Waterfall motor and Water heater using Lutron schedules, I also drive a high power outdoor 12V power supply in a similar manner. These have run seamlessly for many years - the Caseta switch drives only the relay's coil - a very minimal load @110V ~100mA. A competent electrician can install such a set-up for you.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon W. View Post
    Thanks for following up Andra,

    That wattage would fall within the capacity of the switch. However, the switch was only ever designed to handle lighting load or light fan motor loads. Operating it on a towel warmer would be out of specification and warranty.
    This is a totally garbage reply! if its 300W resistive load there is no way it is out of the spec of the device based solely on what "type of device" it is. In fact a totally resistive load is better for the relay switching contacts than an incandescent light (high inrush current) or motor (inductive spikes) at the same power level. THINK BETTER!

    If you really need to control a higher load you can use a RIB ("Relay In a Box" an electrically enclosed & pre-wired relay) relay controlled by a Caseta Switch (not a dimmer) and this can get you up to 110V 30A, or up to 220V 30A switching (single or dual pole) by moving the load over to the bigger capacity relay. I have used this approach to automate my Pool Pump motor, Waterfall motor and Water heater using Lutron schedules, I also drive a high power outdoor 12V power supply in a similar manner. These have run seamlessly for many years - the Caseta switch drives only the relay's coil - a very minimal load @~100mA. A competent electrician can install such a set-up for you.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2024
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    4
    Alan- I think you will appreciate my measurement of this situation, here: https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...ll=1#post47614

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jb54321 View Post
    Alan- I think you will appreciate my measurement of this situation, here: https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...ll=1#post47614
    Indeed - well done with the measurements. As an engineer this is very obviously a far easier load to switch than either inductive motor windings OR incandescent lights. Incandescent lights (although a resistive load) have a significantly higher (>5x) load at cold startup as the filament resistance changes significantly between room & running temperature.

    It would be nice if the Lutron Rep replies actually made any sense

    Alan

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