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Anyone having issues with Intermatic Astrological Timers?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I've been installing these on every lighting install for the last year and a half or so. But I've started to have some call-backs this year. And each time I went by to check it out, the time on the timer is off by about 10-15 minutes. Why would these timers not be keeping good time?

    Just curious if it was something anyone else was experiencing.
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    After reading your post, I had to go outside and check the one on my own home. It's about two minutes slow in 4 months since installation. (Maybe I wasn't so careful when I set it.) I've installed several of the Intermatic Astronomical timers this year and so far haven't had any calls.
  3. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    We quit using them due to numerous call backs. We tried GE & Intermatic. Google the model number and you'll see quite a few complaints.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    Tommy, Was this recently that you had the callbacks? Just wondering if the product may have been improved in the last year.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I'm curious what the call-backs were for too.

    What are you using now then, for compact Astro timers? the GE models?
  6. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    Why use a compact astro timer? We use the dual outlet green astro timers on budget installs. 2 watch batteries a year we replace during spring service call. No problems in 3.5 years of using them. I have gotten away from inside transformer timers. Will use upb app modules from time to time. But even then we try to use a upb switch inside the home that powers transformer receptacles.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Steve Atkinson

    Steve Atkinson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94


    Have you considered using the Simply Automated DKIT-05? Contains a UCS master timer and two plug-in relay modules that go in place of the timer in each transformer.

    Timer keeps very accurate time, has astronomical feature calculated by zip code, backup battery, and will run up to 99 different timed events. Extra components can be added for advanced control of other lighting, appliances, or electrical circuits.

    Costs more than a standard timer, but it gives the client many more control options when the control source is not within the transformer.
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    The only intermatic timers we have had any success with have been the ET series, but they are not for those with thin wallets. All of the in-wall or plug in astros by intermatic are nothing but a pain in the butt, but I won't go on too much as my competition seems to like them. Carry on... :laugh:
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Steve, you should also advise people that they will need a phase coupler with the Simply Automated system. Expecting UPB to be really reliable without a phase coupler is a bit of a gamble.
  10. Steve Atkinson

    Steve Atkinson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I have seen it work reliably without, but you are correct it may be needed.

    Testing at my house here in the country, 2200sq ft, 2-phase panel, about 160ft to transformer on the pole, no need for phase coupler. In the city with typical street grids of houses, no need. But I just finished helping with a large country home that had a main panel and 3 sub-panels. Needless to say phase couplers were definitely required.

    Anyone considering making SAI a regular part of your work, PM me and we can cover specifics.

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