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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    62
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    Intermatic Wall Timer Sparks, Trips Breaker

    I have an Intermatic wall timer, model 885L that controls a single heat lamp in a bathroom. The house and timer (20 amp rating) are about 32 years old. Tonight while switching on the timer, a spark shot out of the wall and (fortunately) the breaker tripped before anything else happened.

    Are there any known problems with these timers? I can have it easily replaced, but it gives me an uneasy feeling that this happened. I'm curious why something would work fine for years and suddenly fail like that. If it is a timer issue, I will have others in my house replaced too.

    Kudos to the circuit breaker designer, it may have prevented Intermatic from starting a fire!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    N. Canada
    Posts
    816
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor View Post
    I have an Intermatic wall timer, model 885L that controls a single heat lamp in a bathroom. The house and timer (20 amp rating) are about 32 years old. Tonight while switching on the timer, a spark shot out of the wall and (fortunately) the breaker tripped before anything else happened.

    Are there any known problems with these timers? I can have it easily replaced, but it gives me an uneasy feeling that this happened. I'm curious why something would work fine for years and suddenly fail like that. If it is a timer issue, I will have others in my house replaced too.

    Kudos to the circuit breaker designer, it may have prevented Intermatic from starting a fire!
    I'd be cking for a grnded/shorted heater before blaming the timer!
    (last closure in ckt gets the arc)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Altoona, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    361
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    I agree IRBH! Check to see if it is grounded out some where. Sparks to shot out in my opinion is an indication of a short.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    7
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    This all information for intermatic wall timer sparks while switching on the timer, a spark shot out of the wall and (fortunately) the breaker tripped before anything else happened.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,894
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    My Uncle lost his entire house to an old defective bath heatlamp, it started a smoldering fire in the attic, after his morning shower. When the sun hit the roof, air started moving and that's all it took.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    3,703
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    Install a 20 amp switch and measure the load on the heater. If it is within limits, replace the timer.
    AOP Rules: Rules For Equipment Owners.

    Free online load calculator: http://www.loadcalc.net/


    There = not here. Their = possessive pronoun. They're = they are
    It's = contraction of it is. Its = the possessive form of it
    Too = also. To = expressing motion. Two = 2
    Then = after that, next. Than = indicates a comparison.
    Questions should end with a question mark "?" Statements end with a period "."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    edmonds wa
    Posts
    3,000
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    At that age i am surprised it still worked.
    UA Local 32

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