My family reported something amiss this morning but I assumed it was them. It wasn't. I went to watch a Youtube video during lunch on the Fire TV and sure enough, the receiver was shutting off randomly. This is exacerbated by the particular setup I have for all this stuff.
Basically I use two of those auto switching energy saving surge protectors. I use the switching capability to turn off some vampire loads, which is their purpose, but also to switch one of my subwoofers which has a hard on/off switch. So the receiver is plugged into the Control plug, and when it turns on (with the remote), the surge protector sees current draw and turns on the other 4 plugs. This enables my subwoofer and a few other things (I think also my HDMI audio splitter so if that's not on, HDMI video also does not pass through). So, normally this issue would just cause the receiver to cut on and off. But with my setup it's also the video from the Fire TV.
Anyway, at first I thought it was the receiver. The thing is pushing 20 years old or at least a solid 17-19 years. But since I heard some clicking, I figured, maybe somehow the surge protector is killing power to the Control plug, even though that should be live all the time (t's not switched). So I plugged the receiver into a direct wall plug. Bingo, it worked just fine. So I simply swapped the switching surge protector for another one and that fixed the glitch. Weird. It's yet another energy saving thing that fails. I have a whole rant about energy saving things that fail because of the extra complexity. Items include:
- CFL bulbs (I know, old, but I still have some, and I've had quite a few fail over the years)
- LED bulbs (so far I think these have been good but it hasn't been long enough to really know)
- At my other house I have a simple gas fired hot water heater. Well the Energy Star ones use a piezo ignitor instead of a pilot light. Well aside from any issues with the ignitor, I can tell you that the piezo ignitor ones don't work with no power! How many dollars a year could it possibly be to run the pilot light AND have hot water regardless of the power state? Besides, the pilot light heat technically goes into the water anyway! That's a dumb one imo.
- Other high efficiency furnace/boiler stuff. These save more than a few bucks a year I'm sure but these newer boilers have so many controls, sensors, circuit boards, etc. This stuff won't last 25-50 years like they used to. So if you junk it after 15-20 (because it becomes cost prohibitive to fix), is that really good for the environment?
I bet there are a lot more examples....like the classic low flow toilet thing. Actually they have gotten pretty good but it took a couple decades it seems. The meme is, if you have to flush multiple times, how exactly are you saving water??
Wires, breakers, outlets, switches - be careful
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