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Thread: Occupancy switch triggers itself every hour

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Occupancy switch triggers itself every hour

    I have six of Lutron's most basic motion sensor switches. They worked well for two years until a few days ago when I notice one started to get triggered without a motion (I can see the light and hear the click under my bedroom door). It still works properly otherwise. Initially I thought the self triggers were random. Then I found out it triggers itself EXACTLY EVERY HOUR! I came here more for curiosity than help; how could this happen? Maybe some Lutron engineers will read my post and explain it to me. Anyway thanks for reading and I look forward to any explanations!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2013
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    Triggering every hour? Are you using some sort of fan system in the house that periodically turns the air over? Any change in the HVAC requirements over the last few days? While excellent, the sensor may be fooled by large air masses of a different temperature suddenly moving within the space. The sensors are passive infrared; and this can be a problem for any sensor, although Lutron sensors are the best at the false triggers. Try setting the sensor to one less sensitive setting, and see if the problem persists.
    Residential Lighting and Shading Specialist for CED Escondido

    mbalay@cedescondido.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks for replying. I'm sure it's malfunction. I don't have anything automatic in the house that starts every hour. Furthermore all my other switches are fine so is not the electricity system. Furthermore the hourly triggers started out of the blue a while ago without any changes to the house. Furthermore it's warm enough here that I've turned off heating when these triggers happened. Furthermore I set the switch to low sensitivity but it didn't work. It's truly mystical. My wife actually thought this is paranormal...

    What I'm curious about is how can it malfunction in this particular way. The switch itself doesn't have a program function. It must have a timer for the 1 minute switch off function, so that part may have gone haywire, but then the switch works well otherwise. I think it may take a Lutron engineer to truly explain...

  4. #4
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    One thought that comes to mind is make sure it's not the sensor itself that's malfunctioning. One simple test would be to block the sensor. Tightly tape a cardboard box over the sensor and wait for the hourly trigger. If it triggers with the sensor completely blocked then replacing the unit would be in order. If it doesn't trigger then there's something else in the environment triggering it. However, it could still be the sensor having 'gone bad' and falsely triggering due to something that wouldn't normally be detected.

    Where's this sensor installed? What's in it's 'field of view'?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
    One thought that comes to mind is make sure it's not the sensor itself that's malfunctioning. One simple test would be to block the sensor. Tightly tape a cardboard box over the sensor and wait for the hourly trigger. If it triggers with the sensor completely blocked then replacing the unit would be in order. If it doesn't trigger then there's something else in the environment triggering it. However, it could still be the sensor having 'gone bad' and falsely triggering due to something that wouldn't normally be detected.

    Where's this sensor installed? What's in it's 'field of view'?
    Nice thoughts. This will rule out other possibilities. Although I highly doubt it's anything other than the switch, because it's been triggering every hour day and night, shine and rain, with no exception. I'll report after the experiment.

  6. #6
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    Quick update: I blocked the sensor solid, set an alarm for the 16 minute of the hour--that's the magical minute, and the light went on exactly at that minute. So no, it's not any motion interference I'm not aware of. I also don't think it's any electricity interference because I have nothing set to trigger every hour in my house. It's confirmed it's a bad unit, although I'm still at a loss how such a malfunction is possible.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I guess I would try swapping switches around just for kicks. Move the haunted switch to another location where a good switch is located, and vice versa. I figure the problem will follow the haunted switch but you don't know till you try. If the problem stays with the location and not the switch then I'm REALLY curious to know what the cause might be.

  8. #8
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Hello icefox. I would recommend contacting our 24/7 customer support team. What you are experiencing is not something I have run across before. We would go through some troubleshooting procedures to determine if you have a faulty unit. Have you tried swapping with a control that is not having the same issue? I'd be curious to see if the problem follows the sensor, or stays at the current location.

  9. #9
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    Thank you. What's the support contact? I prefer online chat or email. So far the problem persists. I haven't tried swapping the switch because I've very busy and light on 1 minute per hour is not worth the effort. If the support will offer a replacement I may send this faulty unit back. I haven't done any switching but all circumstantial evidence points to a faulty unit (no change to the house, hourly switching regardless of day and night, heating or no heating, other switches not affected, etc.).

  10. #10
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Hello icefox, I apologize for not leaving you with the tech support number. The number is 1-844-LUTRON1. Tech support is 24/7. We also have online chat available from 1pm-5pm EST. If you'd rather email, you can email into appsgroup@lutron.com. To be quite honest, I feel the telephone support will be the most effective for troubleshooting this sensor.

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