Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Question Need indoor, programmable, plug-in timer for house
Old 01-06-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Question Need indoor, programmable, plug-in timer for house

Can anyone suggest a good indoor, programmable, plug-in style timer for the house? I looked on amazon.com, and was really disappointed that they hardly had anything at all in this line.
Since I'm sure some of the travelers here use timers for their house, is there a brand that is better than others? Where do you buy these?
I'm surprised it appears so tough to find out about these. Maybe I just looked in the wrong place?
__________________

__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-06-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Are you looking for something special? I'm pretty sure the plain-old mechanical ones are available at Lowes and HD. I bought a few recently for a good price at Harbor Freight. I'd go there if you have one close by.

Here's the model I bought. It was six bucks.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,429
I've got a few of these Utilitech at Lowe's: 1-Outlet Daily Timer, White. Also $6. Pretty much infinitely programmable, and even my Mom could figure it out.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Not looking for anything that whistles "Dixie"--just wanted one that I could program to go on and off at different times during the day and not just for a week. Never used one, but getting some for the house. I figure one per room?
That Harbor Freight seems to be a pretty popular site. I do like their prices alot.

harley, you could sell me with the "even my Mom could figure it out." I am so burned out on learning new technology--when it is SO not my thing--that I like that!
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,899
I got mine for $1 at the Dollar Store. It's not very fancy! It's one of the mechanical timers. But you can set it to turn a lamp on and off at the same times every day. That is what I needed it for, back when I was traveling for work every month or two. Quick and easy - - you just set it, plug it into the socket, and plug your lamp into it.

It would keep turning the lamp on at the given time and off at that same time, every day until it is disconnected. In fact, I used to use it just to turn the living room lamp off after I went to bed so that I didn't have to walk from that room to my bedroom in the dark.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 09:58 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Amazon.com: Intermatic TN111C Lamp/Appl Plug In Timer: Home Improvement
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
I use a couple of "Intermatic" brand #TN311 single outlet timers to turn a couple of lamps on/off a couple times a day when we're gone. They come on and go off at the same time everyday which is OK in our situation, because it's the times we normally turn them on and off when we're home too. The on/off times are set using pins that plug into the front dial at your chosen times. They each cost about $4 at the local hardware store. I also have an "Intermatic Digital Tabletop Timer" that has a 5-foot cord on it so you can plug it into the wall, and the timer itself sits on your table instead being plugged directly into the wall outlet. I haven't used it yet though. It's a #TB121C and cost about $14 at the hardware store.

We've been using the #TN311's for several years with no problems!!!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 10:52 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
When on vacation I also plug a radio into one of these timers (set it to sports or talk radio station) and turn the volume up nice and loud.

I'm sure they make random timers that can make the lamp on-off schedule appear more lifelike, but I doubt that's really necessary to deter most "casual" burglaries in low-payoff homes like mine. You could also achieve a similar result by plugging one timer (set to be "on" all the time except for 30 minutes/day) into the wall and plugging another timer into it (with a few on/off times per day, with a lamp plugged into this second timer). In this way all the on/off times for the lamp would shift later by 30 minutes each day.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 10:59 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,278
I bought an digital one at I believe Wally World.....

I had one that most people show here.... and left it on the lamp for a long time.... it is good that the light goes on and off at the same time when we are there or not...

BUT, once I was laying on the couch and kept hearing this 'grinding' noise... kept me awake from my nap... search for it and finally found it was the timer... being mechanical and all.... so went digital... YMMV
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 07:01 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
The reason I posted this is I will be gone (after eldercaring duties done and leaving here) for a month at a time sometimes, so I HAVE to have something reliable...and easy to use as I am no mechanical engineer (Lordy, how I hate to say "typical woman" here).
Never thought of plugging one into a radio. Smart.
Guess I could plug one into the tv, too.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 08:17 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
... I will be gone for a month at a time sometimes, ....


Never thought of plugging one into a radio. Smart.
Guess I could plug one into the tv, too.
Two important things then:

1) - DO NOT get one of the "digital", or "electronic" ones - these are nice, but if there is a power glitch they will lose their time settings. You do not want that risk if you are gone for a month.

2) Check that your TV and/or radio will actually come on by turning the power on/off at the timer. Many of the new units ( and "new" could be 25 years old) are all electronically controlled - the "on/off" switch feeds a circuit, it's not just a power switch. So often times, turning power on/off at the power cord may just return the unit to a "standby" state. I have one that does different things depending how long the power is off - a real pain. A power glitch in the middle of the night leaves it blaring at full volume bad engineers!

If yours don't work OK this way, you could probably find a cheap radio at good will or other second hand shop - just plug it in to test it, then unplug it for a minute and plug it back in to see if it comes back on in the same mode as it turned off.

For the timer, loook for something more "mechanical", a rotating clock face, and a little tab to slide ON/OFF for each hour of the day - it looks like the one that harley posted in #3 fits the bill ( a little hard to tell from the pic). These are the simplest and the most flexible (set it on/off for any hour) - those two things are often mutually exclusive, but not in this case. Some have removable pins for the hours - well, those things will get lost - look for the sliding or rocking tabs for each hour. Simple, effective, reliable. Just remember to rotate the dial to the current time when you set it, oh, and make sure it isn't plugged into a switched outlet that you (or someone watching your house) might inadvertently turn off when leaving.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 08:42 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
One more thing - if the radio/TV has a three prong plug, the kind with the round grounding pin (unlikely, but some do), you will need a timer with a three prong outlet, and a three prong outlet to plug the timer into.

Many timers are two prong only.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Two important things then:

1) - DO NOT get one of the "digital", or "electronic" ones - these are nice, but if there is a power glitch they will lose their time settings. You do not want that risk if you are gone for a month.

Disagree with ERD50 on this one.... I have the digital and it has a battery (or something in there) backup... it has kept its time during many blackouts AND being unplugged for awhile...

The mechanical ones are subject to blackouts... if your electricity is out for a few hours, it does not know it when it comes back on it just starts up not knowing how long it was 'out' and now your on and off are a few hours off....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 10:03 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Disagree with ERD50 on this one.... I have the digital and it has a battery (or something in there) backup... it has kept its time during many blackouts AND being unplugged for awhile...

The mechanical ones are subject to blackouts... if your electricity is out for a few hours, it does not know it when it comes back on it just starts up not knowing how long it was 'out' and now your on and off are a few hours off....
Good points - the digital ones that I have do not have battery backups, so that is the problem I've seen.

And yes, an extended blackout will cause the mechanical timer to be off and lose time for that amount of time. I was thinking in terms of a glitch, a few minutes or hours - not such a big deal for mechanical ones. But an 8 hour black out would have you off by 8 hours - not so good.

So a good digital model WITH battery back up, that is easy to program would be the best of both worlds. Do they make any that are as easy to program as the clock style ones with the tabs for each hour? I hate going through menus to do something so simple. Often, the 'analog' interface is best.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 10:09 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Agree on needing to be sensitive to what power outages do to the time a light or tv is coming on. We have walkway lights on timers at the apartments and have them set to be on from about 4pm to 7am in the winter - a good power outage or two and tenants are walking in the dark.

Also, test the volume of the radio or tv you have turn on. Again, at the apartments, I've had cranky neighbors not loving having a tv set to come on at OmiGAWD o'clock. At extreme volume. And no one will answer the door because they're not home. Doesn't make the landlord happy either.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 10:40 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
I have this one:

Amazon.com: Digital Timer with Random Feature: Home Improvement

and it's excellent. It's digital, but has a battery and doesn't lose settings if the power goes off.

It has a big advantage, for us, over most mechanical ones. We use it to turn on the electric mattress pad so that when we get in bed, the bed will be warm. The advantage is that when getting into bed, we turn it off, but it's still in automatic mode, so that it will come on again automatically the next night.

It also has a surprisingly good interface.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 10:44 AM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
I have been using this timer:

Amazon.com: Intermatic DT500CL 10 Amp Indoor Digital Timer, White: Home Improvement

It works well enough. It has a battery so power outages do not mess up the settings. It has a random function. You can program each day individually or program the whole week at once.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 04:20 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
I've looked at various sites and seems Intermatic is the big name in timers, for sure.
Gosh, you folks have given me some great suggestions for this.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 04:50 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
GoodSense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 678
TromboneAl, that's a great idea! I have never thought of plugging my electric blanket into a timer. It makes total sense.

Orchidflower, if you are concerned about one timer failing, maybe having a couple of lamps in different rooms on different timers? I do that when I am on vacation so it seems that I am moving around in the house. Just an idea.
__________________
GoodSense is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
I plan to do 2 in the living room just in case, and one in each bedroom.

Can't use this at all with ceiling fans I guess, which is what's in the kitchen. Oh well, I should be covered.

I'll definitely be buying those spiral type new lightbulbs that last a long, long time. Wouldn't it be something to have the timer work and the lightbulb itself die out..ha!

Unfortunately, most robberies occur between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm, so this helps...but not so much as we would think to deter Mr. Robber. Other than a radio on, what else can be left on in the daytime (ok, the tv, too)? I'm not coming up with anything.
__________________

__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Programmable Thermostats and Energy Savings inquisitive FIRE and Money 16 11-29-2009 03:12 PM
Programmable Thermostat joesxm3 Other topics 11 07-25-2008 01:01 PM
Indoor Flea Killer Fogger Dude Other topics 13 04-24-2008 12:28 PM
Worlds first indoor golf course............ Dawg52 Other topics 0 08-14-2006 02:49 PM
First Timer simplelife Hi, I am... 3 06-29-2004 04:13 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:04 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.