Reverse Countdown Timer

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Seems like this should be available, but I can’t find it.

Situation Dehumidifier is loud and installed in the media room. Kids turn off dehumidifier and forget to turn it back on. Humidity gets excessive.

I would like a timer that turns power off for a specified time, then turns it on again. There are a bajillion timers that do the opposite. It would be optimal if hitting a clearly identified button turns power off for, say, 3 hours — but that’s not a requirement.

Any ideas?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
jebmke
Posts: 11383
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Delmarva Peninsula

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by jebmke »

Fines?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

jebmke wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:13 amFines?
Haha. Their bank accounts are deeper than their memories, so I don’t know if that would work 😁
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
telemark
Posts: 2728
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by telemark »

I used to do that with the radio when a commercial came on. An hour later I'd notice how quiet it was.

It might be possible to DIY something using home automation gear. Even better would be for it to come on automatically when the humidity hits a certain level.
bob60014
Posts: 1687
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by bob60014 »

If the dehumidifier is digital controlled rather than mechanical, just be sure it has a auto restart feature. Some, when they lose power need to be manually restarted.
rkhusky
Posts: 10169
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by rkhusky »

There are light timers that have a series (ring) of pins that turn the power on/off depending on the position of the pin. Could have all the pins set for on and then push some down when you want the power off. Of course you have to remember to reset or the power will go off the next day too at the same time (wonder if you would have to remember to reset a smart plug too).
Last edited by rkhusky on Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

bob60014 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:42 am If the dehumidifier is digital controlled rather than mechanical, just be sure it has a auto restart feature. Some, when they lose power need to be manually restarted.
It restarts fine, and the installer put it on a power strip to make it easy to turn on/off. It has a rotary knob for setting desired humidity (ie, mechanical).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5202
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by lthenderson »

There are such things but they quickly get complicated when you are talking about children being involved. Personally I think I would just put it on a smart plug programmed to turn off when they normally are using the media room and turn on every evening after their bedtimes.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

lthenderson wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:12 am There are such things but they quickly get complicated when you are talking about children being involved. Personally I think I would just put it on a smart plug programmed to turn off when they normally are using the media room and turn on every evening after their bedtimes.
I should mention that the “children” are at least 22 years old and are intelligent knuckleheads 😁. Emphasis on knuckleheads.

Maybe a Wemo plug. I’m having a carpenter build an enclosure to hide the monstrosity and hopefully dampen (ha!) the noise of the dehumidifier. The return and supply are outside the media room, but the enclosure still needs venting to keep the unit from overheating.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 41942
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by nisiprius »

I'm not going to dig in too far, but the first result of a search on "SPDT timer" turned up lots of hits. They all look like good, old-fashioned, mechanical clockwork devices.

SPDT (single pole, double throw) switches are simple, classic devices used e.g. when a light is to be controlled by two switches in different places... commonly the top and bottom of a staircase. I am sure I am not the only person who played games as a kid in which I would go to one switch and my brother would go to the other and we would compete, with one attempting to keep the light turned on and the other attempting to keep it turned off.

I feel sure that there must be a way to cobble one of these switches to do exactly what you need to do. You would need to make some kind of enclosed box to accommodate an SPDT wall timer switch and an outlet, and a plug, and connect the outlet to the "wrong" terminal on the timer. At worst maybe, to do it as designed, you'd actually need to include a second regular SPDT switch with a handle--when the handle is "on", the outlet is energized for a period of time, when it is "off," it is de-energized for that period of time.

Anyway, I suspect "SPDT" is the key here.

There is no way I would try to get involved with anything programmable.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
wanderer
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:09 pm
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by wanderer »

Perhaps this item: $58 - https://www.grainger.com/product/8TM03? ... 30153637:s

From manual:
SETTING THE COUNTDOWN TIMER
The countdown timer function can be used to turn the
timer on or off for a period from 1 second up to 23 hours
59 minutes 59 seconds.

Of course you will still need to re-train the "knuckleheads" :?
User avatar
batpot
Posts: 1171
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by batpot »

smart plug, or smart switch would do it.
I'm familiar w/ SmartThings, and I created a "virtual switch" to make a timer for bathroom fans. You can select On or Off for the timer.

Another slick way would be control the dehumidifier based on the status of whatever device they're using...you might need to get creative.
Ultimate slickness would be a humidity sensor, but I'm not seeing such a device. SmartThings makes a water sensor, but then you'd have to get super creative to make a condenser to actually make it wet at a given humidity.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

batpot wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:53 am smart plug, or smart switch would do it.
I'm familiar w/ SmartThings, and I created a "virtual switch" to make a timer for bathroom fans. You can select On or Off for the timer.

Another slick way would be control the dehumidifier based on the status of whatever device they're using...you might need to get creative.
I purchased but haven’t really used SmartThings much. My Wemo smart switch seems oriented to a schedule rather than a countdown. Might be operator error.

Your slick approach might work. I have to think on it, but IFTTT TV is on then dehumidifier is off (smartswitch off).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
batpot
Posts: 1171
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by batpot »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:35 am My Wemo smart switch seems oriented to a schedule rather than a countdown. Might be operator error.
SmartThings is the same. I was surprised there was not built in functionality for a timer, but found using a virtual switch and a couple automations wasn't too bad. Followed the instructions here to create virtual switches:
https://community.smartthings.com/t/faq ... vice/11282

I did find this well-reviewed humidity sensor compatible with IFTTT, but not worth getting another hub:
https://www.amazon.com/Temperature-Humi ... B0824DCSQN
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5202
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by lthenderson »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 am
lthenderson wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:12 am There are such things but they quickly get complicated when you are talking about children being involved. Personally I think I would just put it on a smart plug programmed to turn off when they normally are using the media room and turn on every evening after their bedtimes.
I should mention that the “children” are at least 22 years old and are intelligent knuckleheads 😁. Emphasis on knuckleheads.

I’m having a carpenter build an enclosure to hide the monstrosity and hopefully dampen (ha!) the noise of the dehumidifier. The return and supply are outside the media room, but the enclosure still needs venting to keep the unit from overheating.
If you or the carpenter are handy with wiring and since you are building something to enclose it, one could buy a 120V normally closed relay and put it on the power wires to the dehumidifier so by default it receives power. Then buy your normal countdown twist timer and mount it nearby. Run power to it and then to the other poles on the relay so that when you energize the timer, it will open the relay and turn off power to the unit until the time runs down.
Roinsborg
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:48 am

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by Roinsborg »

If I'm understanding your request correctly a mechanical timer would be a pretty cheap option. You should be able to set the "pins" up or down to dictate whether you're supplying power to the outlet or not. This of course assumes that your dehumidifier will "automatically" turn on and function when the outlet is energized.

Here is one such example:
https://www.amazon.com/Century-Plug-Mec ... 731&sr=8-1
Roinsborg
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:48 am

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by Roinsborg »

Roinsborg wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:25 pm If I'm understanding your request correctly a mechanical timer would be a pretty cheap option. You should be able to set the "pins" up or down to dictate whether you're supplying power to the outlet or not. This of course assumes that your dehumidifier will "automatically" turn on and function when the outlet is energized.

Here is one such example:
https://www.amazon.com/Century-Plug-Mec ... 731&sr=8-1
I reread your OP and realized that this isn't exactly what you were asking for.

I believe this is has the functionality of setting a timer that you originally requested.
https://www.amazon.com/Multifunctional- ... 232&sr=8-2
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Roinsborg wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:25 pm If I'm understanding your request correctly a mechanical timer would be a pretty cheap option. You should be able to set the "pins" up or down to dictate whether you're supplying power to the outlet or not. This of course assumes that your dehumidifier will "automatically" turn on and function when the outlet is energized.

Here is one such example:
https://www.amazon.com/Century-Plug-Mec ... 731&sr=8-1
That would work if I always wanted the dehumidifier not to run between x and y, and otherwise run. The turned off state is an exception; some days the kids are not here, some days they don’t use the media room, and when they do use the media room the hours can be anywhere between 5PM and 2AM. So, we would have excessive off times for the dehumidifier.

That said, I should think on this. I wonder if being off for 9 hours per day would be a big deal. I could program a smart switch routine; enable it when the kids are here and disable it when they’re not. I have to see how humid the area gets when you turn off the dehumidifier for 9 hours.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 3760
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by adamthesmythe »

Look up Intermatic Spring Wound Timers on Grainger.com. Some are SPDT.

Of course you would have to hardwire it into a box that connects to the dehumidifier outlet.

Personally I think a rechargeable cattle prod would be a simpler solution.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:01 pm Personally I think a rechargeable cattle prod would be a simpler solution.
Unfortunately, the kids are young and fit; I am neither 😩
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
surtu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:31 pm
Location: California

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by surtu »

I'm not saying this is a good idea, but it is *an* idea .... Use a countdown timer to power a lamp directed at a photosensitive controller like this: https://www.amazon.com/Woods-59407-5940 ... B003Z3U7JS. When the lamp is on, the humidifier is off and vice versa.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

surtu wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:16 pm I'm not saying this is a good idea, but it is *an* idea .... Use a countdown timer to power a lamp directed at a photosensitive controller like this: https://www.amazon.com/Woods-59407-5940 ... B003Z3U7JS. When the lamp is on, the humidifier is off and vice versa.
Uh, yeah, and I could put the light behind the TV in the media room to act ask a bias light 🤣
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
batpot
Posts: 1171
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by batpot »

User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

batpot wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:09 am Of course this device exists...
https://www.amazon.com/Humidity-Control ... 01J1E5LWM/
That’s a handy device for someplace else I’m considering, but doesn’t fit the media room requirements.

I have reached out to the carpenter to see if he feels comfortable/qualified to set up a SPDT relay gizmo inside the dehumidifier enclosure. I’m not qualified. As always, getting a call back takes time
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
hand
Posts: 1494
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by hand »

I've wanted similar, and this post plus the SPDT hint motivated me to do a search for "spring wound countup timer"

McMaster Carr seems to have something that would work:
Control equipment with high currents such as air conditioners, heaters, and ventilating equipment. They automatically turn electrical equipment on or off after a set interval of time.

Switches with override can bypass the automatic shut-off.

With Override
https://www.mcmaster.com/7672K53/ (1min - 1 hr)
https://www.mcmaster.com/7672K54/ (15min - 12 hr)

Without Override
https://www.mcmaster.com/7672K51 (1min - 1 hr)
https://www.mcmaster.com/7672K52 (15min - 12 hr)
clip651
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by clip651 »

How about a low tech solution?

Post it note (or note attached to something that could be hung on the doorknob, etc) on the on/off switch says "turn dehumidifier back on". When someone turns it off, they remove the post it, and put it on a place where they will see it before they leave the room (door, light switch for the room, etc). As they leave the room, they see the note, remove it, go turn the humdifier on, and replace the post it note by the humdifier switch for next time.

Even young adults might be trainable, LOL.

cj
BuddyJet
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by BuddyJet »

adamthesmythe wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:01 pm Look up Intermatic Spring Wound Timers on Grainger.com. Some are SPDT.

Of course you would have to hardwire it into a box that connects to the dehumidifier outlet.

Personally I think a rechargeable cattle prod would be a simpler solution.
This is a much simpler solution than the relay since it just requires a switch in an electrical box.

Here is the link at intermatic to the switch and instructions.

https://www.intermatic.com/en/in-wall-c ... ers/fd32hw



https://www.intermatic.com/-/media/inri ... tions%20EN
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
User avatar
hand
Posts: 1494
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by hand »

And some other low tech solutions - get a quieter dehumidifier / position and vent differently / build a sound absorbing a dehumidifier enclosure.
Nearly A Moose
Posts: 1128
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by Nearly A Moose »

If you have a voice enabled device like an Alexa, or are willing to get one, the most elegant solution would seem to be to put in a WiFi enabled plug, and set it up so you can do a spoken command, like “Alexa, turn off the dehumidifier,” and program that to turn off the switch for an hour or two. Have the 22-year old whippersnappers set that up for.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

BuddyJet wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:49 am This is a much simpler solution than the relay since it just requires a switch in an electrical box.
Here is the link at intermatic to the switch and instructions.
https://www.intermatic.com/en/in-wall-c ... ers/fd32hw
https://www.intermatic.com/-/media/inri ... tions%20EN
I think those time how long a device runs, I need something that regulates how long a device doesn’t run. I’m a blithering idiot about SPDT and relays, so I’m reaching out to my carpenter about combining intermatic and a device that will “reverse” its operation.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Nearly A Moose wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:55 am If you have a voice enabled device like an Alexa, or are willing to get one, the most elegant solution would seem to be to put in a WiFi enabled plug, and set it up so you can do a spoken command, like “Alexa, turn off the dehumidifier,” and program that to turn off the switch for an hour or two. Have the 22-year old whippersnappers set that up for.
That’s the easy part :D and it’s basically what I do with our hot water recirculating pump. Getting the kids to remember to turn it back on is tough, although I could just schedule the switch to always turn back on at 2AM.

Alexa, AFAIK, can be programmed to a schedule, but not an interval.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
Unhandled
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:28 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by Unhandled »

Is the humidifier plugged into a wall outlet that is controlled by a wall switch (i.e.: a typical wall light switch)? If so, would replacing the wall switch with a programmable switch meet your requirements?
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

hand wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:50 am And some other low tech solutions - get a quieter dehumidifier / position and vent differently / build a sound absorbing a dehumidifier enclosure.
Started on the last of your recommendations, but there are limits to how air tight the enclosure can be without overheating. We will have to have ventilation holes. The enclosure is mostly to hide the damned ducts (shiny silver ducts aren’t recommended for a media room :D )

It’s already a pretty quiet dehumidifier (Santa Fe Classic) and the supply and return are vented to a large common area outside the media room.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 9087
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by whodidntante »

I have some Wi-Fi connected switches that can be programmed to turn off and then back on at specified times.
The exact model I have is discontinued, but this one appears to be the updated version.
https://www.amazon.com/50050-Indoor-Gro ... B00ZYLRQNE

A dehumidifier uses quite a bit of energy, so you need a plug rated to interrupt that much current. If you use any old cool looking thing you find, it will croak in short order, and then you'll be leaving a bad review someplace for a failure that was your fault. :happy
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Unhandled wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:04 pm Is the humidifier plugged into a wall outlet that is controlled by a wall switch (i.e.: a typical wall light switch)? If so, would replacing the wall switch with a programmable switch meet your requirements?
There’s a power strip plugged into the wall that supplies power to the dehumidifier. A programmable switch could be installed on the enclosure, but would be difficult to mount it on the wall.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

The Leviton Decora DW15P smart plug can handle motors and other heavy loads. I think that might be the ticket: “Alexa, turn off dehumidifier” and then a 2AM turn on of dehumidifier.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
BuddyJet
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by BuddyJet »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:56 am
BuddyJet wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:49 am This is a much simpler solution than the relay since it just requires a switch in an electrical box.
Here is the link at intermatic to the switch and instructions.
https://www.intermatic.com/en/in-wall-c ... ers/fd32hw
https://www.intermatic.com/-/media/inri ... tions%20EN
I think those time how long a device runs, I need something that regulates how long a device doesn’t run. I’m a blithering idiot about SPDT and relays, so I’m reaching out to my carpenter about combining intermatic and a device that will “reverse” its operation.
The SPDT switch will do the reverse that you want. From the Intermatic installation sheet:

SPDT
For applications requiring 3-way switching (2 timers or timer and 3-way switch) or
reverse action applications. Reverse action applications allow a load to be turned
“OFF” for a limited time, after which the load will switch back “ON”.
Three way applications are used for controlling a load from two different locations
such as:

The instruction sheet even has a wiring picture for the reverse action application.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
ironman
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by ironman »

I would make a homebrew solution using a OFF delay timer relay and a momentary pushbutton.

-The load is intercepted by a normally closed contact from the OFF Delay timer relay.
-The OFF Delay timer relay coil is energized by a momentary pushbutton and the normally closed contact is opened.
-The OFF Delay timer relay counts down then resets the contact to the normally closed position.

Timer: https://www.factorymation.com/CRM-81J-UNI-ZR-10H
Unhandled
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:28 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by Unhandled »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:13 pm
Unhandled wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:04 pm Is the humidifier plugged into a wall outlet that is controlled by a wall switch (i.e.: a typical wall light switch)? If so, would replacing the wall switch with a programmable switch meet your requirements?
There’s a power strip plugged into the wall that supplies power to the dehumidifier. A programmable switch could be installed on the enclosure, but would be difficult to mount it on the wall.
This might work if you can find a way to wire it with the enclosure properly. It's $40.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honeywell-H ... /206359939

From the manual:
5.1.4 Temporary Override
When the RPLS740B/RPLS741B is in Automatic or Random mode, you can press the main button at any
time to override the default state for the current program. The lights will turn off if they are on and vice versa.
The icon (On or Off) of the new state flashes to indicate that the state is temporary. The new state is
maintained until you press the main button again or till the next “On” or “Off” program.
Key phrases:
"press the main button at any time to override...The lights will turn off if they are on and vice versa."
"The new state is maintained until you press the main button again or till the next “On” or “Off” program."

Setup:
After I've read through the manual, I think you can accomplish the following:
Set up six programs (supports seven but 24-hours divides into six evenly) at four hour intervals. Each of the six programs says to turn "On" but has no "Off" command. Therefore what should happen is that every four hours, the switch will close (energize) if not already closed. At any point, a person can press the main button to open (de-energize) the switch. At the next program time (could be anywhere between 1sec, 3h:59m) the switch will close again (energize).

Proposed program schedule:

Code: Select all

| Program | Days       | Time      |  Program | Days | Time |
-------------------------------------------------------------
| P01 On  | All 7 days | 12:00 am  |  P01 Off | None | -    |
| P02 On  | All 7 days | 04:00 am  |  P02 Off | None | -    |
| P03 On  | All 7 days | 08:00 am  |  P03 Off | None | -    |
| P04 On  | All 7 days | 12:00 pm  |  P04 Off | None | -    |
| P05 On  | All 7 days | 04:00 pm  |  P05 Off | None | -    |
| P06 On  | All 7 days | 08:00 pm  |  P06 Off | None | -    |
| P07 On  | None       | -         |  P07 Off | None | -    |
Advantages:
  • Humidifier stays on all day if no one interacts with the switch.
  • Just press the main button to turn off humidifier. Will turn back on within four hours.
Disadvantages:
  • Install requires electrical wiring. (not as simple as plugging in a power cord to a timer)
  • Humidifier may be off for up to four hours at a time. (Could reduce to 3h30m by using all seven programs).
  • Humidifier may be off for as little as one second, would be annoying.
    For example: Kid turns it off at 3:55 PM. Comes back on five minutes into their movie. Starts complaining to you that your solution stinks.
    You could adjust program start times to around kid's schedule. For example, my proposed schedule probably doesn't need a "4AM" and "8AM" (kids are probably (maybe?) sleeping this time of day).
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Thanks everyone for your help. I have learned today how little I know about switches, relays, SPDT, etc.

I know enough now to be dangerous when I speak with my electrician, who luckily owes me a favor :D I will put him together with the carpenter, and spec how I want it to work. They will install it in the media room. Bob’s your uncle.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
BuddyJet
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by BuddyJet »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:20 pm Thanks everyone for your help. I have learned today how little I know about switches, relays, SPDT, etc.

I know enough now to be dangerous when I speak with my electrician, who luckily owes me a favor :D I will put him together with the carpenter, and spec how I want it to work. They will install it in the media room. Bob’s your uncle.
My plan would be to make the cabinet large enough to mount an old work electrical box (get switch first since the instructions say some timers need a double wide box and others take a single) where you want the control. I’d then wire the SPDT timer in reverse mode to a grounded cord to plug into the wall. Then mount a surface grounded receptacle inside the cabinet to plug in the dehumidifier.

Btw, the white intermatic spdt only comes in a 2 hour max model, the ivory is only available as a 4 hour max and the metal cover is available as a 2, 4, 6 or 12hour. I’d also get a no hold model timer to avoid the timer being bypassed.

On the cabinet front, consider the air flow needs of the dehumidifier so the cabinet is ventilated enough. For my projects, I use perforated metal to allow ventilation. I also put black speaker cloth behind the metal so you can’t see through.

https://www.mcnichols.com/perforated-metal
Last edited by BuddyJet on Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
inbox788
Posts: 7579
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by inbox788 »

BuddyJet wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:31 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:56 am
BuddyJet wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:49 am This is a much simpler solution than the relay since it just requires a switch in an electrical box.
Here is the link at intermatic to the switch and instructions.
https://www.intermatic.com/en/in-wall-c ... ers/fd32hw
https://www.intermatic.com/-/media/inri ... tions%20EN
I think those time how long a device runs, I need something that regulates how long a device doesn’t run. I’m a blithering idiot about SPDT and relays, so I’m reaching out to my carpenter about combining intermatic and a device that will “reverse” its operation.
The SPDT switch will do the reverse that you want. From the Intermatic installation sheet:

SPDT
For applications requiring 3-way switching (2 timers or timer and 3-way switch) or
reverse action applications. Reverse action applications allow a load to be turned
“OFF” for a limited time, after which the load will switch back “ON”.
Three way applications are used for controlling a load from two different locations
such as:

The instruction sheet even has a wiring picture for the reverse action application.
This reverse relay use type of solution seems simplest. Always on, except when the timer shuts it off. And it's mounted where it's convinient.

https://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-TN311 ... 005MMSTNG/

This plug in timer would be a quick and dirty solution. Turn off with the dial in the top left corner and get some extra green turn on tabs to turn on at the minimum time interval desired, say 3 hours. You might have to turn past the next on time before turning off to get the maximum time desired. Basically ignoring the time function and only using it as a a timer.

The low tech plug in timer you rejected might work if you get one one of the really old ones that users clips like this. You can put the green turn on ones every 3 hours and leave the turn off ones. Turning off is manual via switch or changing time by rotating the face. Not elegant, but functional, though location as a switch is not well placed.

https://www.amazon.com/Timers-Plastic-T ... B0789YJ65W

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppgSXcbwb00
kenbt
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:48 am

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by kenbt »

$15.00 on Amazon. They can be set to turn off in 1/2, 3, or 6 hours.

Belkin Conserve Energy Saving Outlet
BuddyJet
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by BuddyJet »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:20 pm Thanks everyone for your help. I have learned today how little I know about switches, relays, SPDT, etc.

I know enough now to be dangerous when I speak with my electrician, who luckily owes me a favor :D I will put him together with the carpenter, and spec how I want it to work. They will install it in the media room. Bob’s your uncle.
How was the plan received by the electrician and cabinet maker?
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
User avatar
flossy21
Posts: 524
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 2:04 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by flossy21 »

If you use Alexa enabled devices in the house you could try this.

1.) Buy an Echo Flex w/ a smart plug - https://www.amazon.com/Echo-Flex-Amazon ... 196&sr=8-5

2.) Buy the Echo Flex accessory Motion Sensor -- https://www.amazon.com/Made-Amazon-THIR ... 196&sr=8-5

3.) Plug the Motion Sensor Accessory into the Flex and plug the flex into a wall receptacle so that it "sees" the motion on the TV screen.

4.) Plug the dehumidifier into the smart plug which is plugged into the wall receptacle where the dehumidifier is currently getting power.

5.) Set up a routine for Alexa such then when the motion sensor "sees" motion the plug is off. Otherwise the plug is on. -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer ... =202200080

Also gives you the added benefit of voice control in that room.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

BuddyJet wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:38 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:20 pm Thanks everyone for your help. I have learned today how little I know about switches, relays, SPDT, etc.

I know enough now to be dangerous when I speak with my electrician, who luckily owes me a favor :D I will put him together with the carpenter, and spec how I want it to work. They will install it in the media room. Bob’s your uncle.
How was the plan received by the electrician and cabinet maker?
My carpenter is also a kids’ hockey coach and believe it or not, they’re having a season. The rules are crazy (no corner scrums, for example) but they are carrying on. I don’t expect to hear from him while season is on.

ETA: kids are going to CA for some number of months and I don’t expect visitors, so no longer as big an issue.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
User avatar
Topic Author
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11111
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by TomatoTomahto »

flossy21 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:54 am If you use Alexa enabled devices in the house you could try this.

1.) Buy an Echo Flex w/ a smart plug - https://www.amazon.com/Echo-Flex-Amazon ... 196&sr=8-5

2.) Buy the Echo Flex accessory Motion Sensor -- https://www.amazon.com/Made-Amazon-THIR ... 196&sr=8-5

3.) Plug the Motion Sensor Accessory into the Flex and plug the flex into a wall receptacle so that it "sees" the motion on the TV screen.

4.) Plug the dehumidifier into the smart plug which is plugged into the wall receptacle where the dehumidifier is currently getting power.

5.) Set up a routine for Alexa such then when the motion sensor "sees" motion the plug is off. Otherwise the plug is on. -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer ... =202200080

Also gives you the added benefit of voice control in that room.
I’d also have to keep door closed so pets don’t set off the motion sensor. Have to think on it. Thanks.

ETA: good deals for Prime Day, so I ordered some.
Last edited by TomatoTomahto on Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
runninginvestor
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:00 pm

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by runninginvestor »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:00 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:55 am If you have a voice enabled device like an Alexa, or are willing to get one, the most elegant solution would seem to be to put in a WiFi enabled plug, and set it up so you can do a spoken command, like “Alexa, turn off the dehumidifier,” and program that to turn off the switch for an hour or two. Have the 22-year old whippersnappers set that up for.
That’s the easy part :D and it’s basically what I do with our hot water recirculating pump. Getting the kids to remember to turn it back on is tough, although I could just schedule the switch to always turn back on at 2AM.

Alexa, AFAIK, can be programmed to a schedule, but not an interval.
Just schedule repeatedly to turn the device on, say every hour. If it's already on it won't do anything, but if the kids have turned it off in the past hour it will turn back on
linuxizer
Posts: 1621
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:55 am

Re: Reverse Countdown Timer

Post by linuxizer »

Homeassistant and a Z-wave power outlet or inline switch seems much simpler than custom electronics....
Post Reply