Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- Occasionally switching my EcoSwitch® trips my RCD/Earth Leakage device. Why? And what can I do about it?
- How long are the cords?
- Do I need an electrician to install my Ecoswitch?
- How many devices can I connect to one Ecoswitch?
- I don’t want a bright light glaring at me. How bright is the light?
- How do I mount one to the side of eg. my home theatre system?
- Will using an EcoSwitch® mean I have to reset all my digital clocks?
- Before shutting down my office with an EcoSwitch®, should I shut down my computer through Windows® first?
- Can my EcoSwitch® handle multiple appliances?
- Does the EcoSwitch® have built-in overload or surge protection?
- Is the EcoSwitch® approved for use in New Zealand too?
- Is there anything that shouldn’t be controlled with an EcoSwitch®?
- What other uses are there for an EcoSwitch®?
Occasionally switching my EcoSwitch® trips my RCD/Earth Leakage device. Why? And what can I do about it?
On power-up or power-down, some electrical/electronic appliances can have momentary increases in their earth leakage, but of course this level of leakage is insufficient to trip the RCD by itself (note that the EcoSwitch does not itself produce any earth leakage current). However, the RCD in your house’s distribution board is monitoring the cumulative earth leakage from all devices in the house. The “background” earth leakage from the other appliances in use (especially the compressors in fridges, freezers, air cons, etc.), when added to the momentary increase in earth leakage when the EcoSwitch is used for switching, can then exceed the RCD trip level.
The reason that the RCD doesn’t always trip when the EcoSwitch is switched is that the “background” earth leakage level varies due to the randomness of the various appliances in use.
In practise, there is little that can be done to avoid the RCD tripping, except not switching the EcoSwitch when an air con is operating, etc. (if that is contributing to the “background” earth leakage level). In fact, switching at the wall outlet can cause this to occur; it is not the fault of your EcoSwitch!
How long are the cords?
The EcoSwitch® is a generous 2500mm (2.5m) from plug to switch. It’s like an extension cord but with a remote switch, making your life easier. It’s also much safer than any ordinary extension cord because having this switch allows you to de-energised locally before connecting any equipment. Think safety! (Plug-junction=1.0m, junction-socket=0.3m, junction-switch=1.5m). Here’s a picture and (just a few) examples of how and where to use your EcoSwitch®. More examples of where to use yours are below.
Do I need an electrician to install my EcoSwitch®?
No – it’s quick, easy and legal to install it yourself. And so very simple. Here is a pic showing just a few examples of how and where to use your EcoSwitch®. No programming, no batteries, no codes!
As the genius Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
How many devices can I connect to one EcoSwitch®?
Rated at 240V with a full 10A capacity, which is the maximum that your standard wall outlet (powerpoint) is rated at, your EcoSwitch® can safely handle the big jobs. Connect as many appliances as you like; just ensure that the total sum of the ratings of all your appliances switched via one EcoSwitch® does not exceed 10A in total. Always exercise due care and don’t overload! 240V 10A is the same as 2400W.
I don’t want a bright light glaring at me. How bright is the light?
The switch light is 17mmx23mm and uses less than half a Watt – and only when it’s On. This makes it bright enough for you to see light leaking under a door at night to remind you you’ve left stuff on in there, but not so bright to be too bright. Anyway, you can always mount it on the side of, below, or even behind your appliance (so the light reflects gently off the wall instead). If you’ve already positioned your EcoSwitch and don’t want to re-position it, you could simply put a small piece of opaque tape over the lit part of the switch or even paint it with marker pen. Easy!
How do I mount one to the side of eg. my home theatre system?
Easily. Inside the EcoSwitch® packaging you’ll find a double-sided self-adhesive tab to mount the switch part securely. For other installations there is an eye on the switch that you can put a screw through, or hang it from a hook. Additionally, each EcoSwitch® comes with 2 cord organisers to keep everything nice and tidy.
What about my clocks? Won’t using an EcoSwitch® make me have to reset all my digital clocks?
Firstly ask yourself: “how many clocks do I really need?” Did you know many microwave ovens use more energy with their digital clock running all day every day than the few minutes each day actually microwaving?
Should you insist on leaving a heap of digital clocks running, the answer to your losing time settings question is… maybe. Many modern appliances have small capacitors inside them that, for example should the power go off unexpectedly, they will retain their settings (eg. overnight) with no problem. Similarly, these same appliances can of course be turned off and/or on with an EcoSwitch® with no loss of settings. Of course the best way to be sure is to simply trial this appliance with an EcoSwitch®. The money you’ll save will make the small initial effort worthwhile.
Where you might use a TV recorder to record a program at some future point in time eg. via Foxtel (which doesn’t lose its settings) you could switch this appliance on with it’s own EcoSwitch® (using a vacant power outlet) only when you expect to be recording, rather than remaining on, 24/7.
As for other TV recorders that do lose their settings when without power, just plug this device into a non-EcoSwitched power outlet.
Before shutting down my office with an EcoSwitch®, should I shut down my computer through Windows® first?
Yes. We recommend shutting all computers down via their operating system first.
Can my EcoSwitch® handle multiple appliances?
Rated at 240V with a full 10A capacity, which is the maximum that your standard wall outlet (powerpoint) is rated at, your EcoSwitch® can safely handle the big jobs. Just ensure that the rating of all appliances switched via one EcoSwitch® does not exceed 10A in total. Always exercise due care and don’t overload! 240V 10A is the same as 2400W.
Does the EcoSwitch® have built-in overload or surge protection?
No, and deliberately not. We reckon that if you wanted these extras, you’d already have them either stand-alone or in your existing powerboard/s. We see no good reason to ask you to pay more money for something you most likely already have!
Nonetheless, because the EcoSwitch® switches off your power 100%, this creates a longer – and ‘broken’ – path for any lighting surge to travel along. And when your power is 100% off, your risk of fire is reduced too. Very few other standby power controllers are this safe!
Is the EcoSwitch® approved for use in New Zealand too?
Absolutely. The EcoSwitch® has undergone rigorous independent laboratory testing ensuring it passed strict Australian/NZ Standards and thus Electrical Safety Certification successfully. Approval number SGS079.
Is there anything that shouldn’t be controlled with an EcoSwitch®?
If you use one, check your data projectors instructions; these appliances typically rely on extended cool-down cycles to prevent overheating and damage to the projector.
What other uses are there for an EcoSwitch®?
- One lady complained that her husband would stay up late in bed reading but always fall asleep leaving his lamp on. Every night she would have to get out of bed in the cold, go around to his side, turn the lamp off and get back into bed. With an EcoSwitch® she now has complete authority!
- When her grandchildren visit, Beryl cleverly uses hers to hide the power to her TV from them
- Dominic uses an EcoSwitch® to turn his distant dust extractor on (or off) when he’s at his table saw
- Teenager Josh uses his to make his room absolutely dark. Apparently even standby lights are too bright for Josh after a night of clubbing. Find more proven teenager-taming tips.
- From in bed on hot nights I use an EcoSwitch® to turn the fan off
- Likewise, use one to easily turn off your portable heater each time you leave the room
- One unfortunate woman had burglars break into her house one night and steal her expensive electrical equipment. The police later told her the robbers had chosen her house because all her standby lights lit up the room so the bad guys could see whether it was worth robbing!
- Here’s a tip: use one of the supplied cord clips to hang your keys from.Put this next to your EcoSwitch as a reminder to turn off whenever you leave AND you’ll never forget where your keys are!
- Lots more useful ideas here!
Get your EcoSwitches now.
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