Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
initial item faulty - replacement item (updated) is near perfection, and perfectly reliable
on 8 January 2013
I purchased one of these from an independent electrical wholesaler for £36.55. It was used to control a storage heater.
I had two major issues/problems with the original unit. The first problem is that whilst the clock display automatically changed for GMT and BST switching, it also changed the programmed time too - this is totally undesireable if your electricity provider keeps its off-peak switching static (ie, permanent GMT). For example, for Economy 7 operation, your electricity company may have cheap-rate off-peak tarif set to 00:15 to 07:15 GMT - but when the clocks change for BST, the switching (whilst techincally remaining static with GMT) will appear to change at 01:15 to 08:15 BST. This meant that when the clocks change, the timeswitch will allow a high current draw either on hour earlier before actual Economy 7 switching, or one hour after Economy 7 switching (depending on weather it was summer- or winter-time when the timeswitch was programmed). If you are using this for a storage heater, and it comes on one hour before E7 switching, this could be quite expensive.
The second problem is that the unit stopped working after about five months!
Having built up a good relationship with my supplying electrical wholesaler, I returned the product to them, initially wanting a refund. They advised me they were aware of some problems, and that the manufacuter (Timeguard of London) had revised, modifed and updated the unit - so I agreed to take one of the new updated items free of charge.
The replacement unit has been working perfectly for about eight months.
General comments and observations: the original unmodifed unit (which had the non-adjustable GMT/BST switching) has a few visual clues different from the latest version. On the reverse, the original unit had domed philips cross-head terminal screws, new unit has straight-slot cheese-head terminal screws. On the front face, the obvious visual difference is the word 'Reset' on the top-right next to the reset button (above the square 'Adv' button) on the new updated version - this wording is missing on the original version. Technical improvements on the new updated version include the option allow for user-selectable switching for GMT / BST adjustments - there is a small adendum to the instruction manual which describes how to do this - this is a HUGE improvement, and now makes the product genuinely fit for purpose for accurately controlling high-demand Economy 7 storage heaters or immersion heater.
Niggles: the (updated) unit works perfectly acceptably, and switches consistently accurately, and correctly adjusts for GMT / BST time changes. Two minor criticisms though. The first - the long term accuracy of the clock could be better. Over about five months, the clock lost about 4 minutes - certainly not a deal breaker, just an exceedingly minor inconvenience. The other criticism occurs during the switching period (and also when the manual boost is selected) - during the active switching, the blue LED on the top left remains permanently illuminated (and is very bright); and the timeswitch also emits an annoying hum when the clock backlight is illuminated (though the clock backlight turns off after about 30 seconds). This hum and bright LED might be a problem if the timeswitch is located say in a bedroom - but not so if it is say mounted in a living room, kitchen or conservatory. Mine is located inside my airing cupboard - so causes me no problems.
Summary: highly recommended - much greater controllability compared to say mechanical dial based timeswitches.
Two years later, my updated replacement version is still working totally satisfactorily, and is still highly recommended.