Repairing Dead Smartenit Insteon Relay Modules - EZIO4O and EZIO2x4 with Bad Capacitors

 I have a new automation project underway. Hydro Quebec, my provincial electrical utility, is trialing periodic time of use electricity pricing during peak periods. I assume that they're preparing for widespread adoption of electric cars and the additional strain that they will place on the electricity network. I signed up for the trial, since I figured much of my home is automated in some fashion, I should be able to come up with some simple control programs to take advantage of the revised rate structure. More on this project later. 

Smartenit 2x4 Relay Module - Cover Off. Main Board underneath, Daughter Board above

I have some Smartenit Insteon relay modules that I installed to control certain loads and interface with other systems, such as my home alarm system and smoke detectors. The EZIO4O controls contactors which switch the feed to my 60 gallon hot water tank, my shower steam generator, and some 220V electric heating circuits in my garage and basement. When I originally set up the wiring for these circuits, I set them up to be fail safe - that is - they allowed power to the control contactors in the relay normally closed positions. Switching the relays cuts power to the contactors. I'm glad I did this - the EZIO4O died about three years after I installed it, and I didn't notice it for some time because the NC wiring kept the loads functioning despite the failure. It's only when I wanted to be able to switch the contactors off that I ran into the problem of the dead EZIO device. I could tell there was a problem - my ISY994i Admin Console couldn't communicate with the three devices, and their side LEDs were not lit despite their circuits being powered. 

These Smartenit Devices have a Smartlabs 2413X PLM Main Board

Off to the internet for some research - and I found that these Smartenit devices have Insteon PLM circuit boards that are the same as those found in the 2413S PLM. There are a number of useful posts on the Universal Devices forums describing how to resurrect these devices by replacing the capacitors - these devices have been plagued with the "Bad Capacity" problem.  I've been through this a few times with the 2413S PLM, and I just replaced these devices because I didn't want the hassle of trying to repair them. With three devices down at the same time, the cost of replacement is now prohibitive with respect to the economic value they provide in my home automation system. So - I bought a batch of capacitors and decided to try out repairing them myself. 

Model #5010D EZIO2x4 4 Input / 2 Output Hardware Revision 1.B, Software V2.B. Cover Off

Disassembly of the devices is easy. 4 screws to split the clamshell.  4 screws to detach the 110V blades from the bottom clamshell. 2 screws to detach the daughter card from the mainboard. 4 riser posts to unscrew to release the mainboard from the bottom clamshell. I noticed a few assembly issues, including a daughtercard with no screws holding it to the mainboard, the terminal block was loose. I rectified this later on reassembly. 
Disassembly is easy. This is the main board removed from the body.

In order to perform the repair - I used a small desktop third hand clamp to hold the board while I did the removal and replacement of the capacitors. There's some great youtube videos on the capacitor replacement technique - I won't describe that here, all I will say is that I didn't have much luck removing solder with the handheld solder vacuum pencil - I had much better luck using desoldering braid with a little flux - did a great job to wick up the old solder leaving the board holes free or mostly free.

Note the general poor assembly quality - cold solder joints, flux residue. Not pretty

By the time I got to the third board, my repair time was down from about an hour to maybe 30 minutes, including disassembly and reassembly of the devices. It's really not that difficult. Note the replacement solder joints in the photo below. 

Board following capacitor replacement - my new solder joints are circled. 

I replaced the capacitors with name brand caps purchased directly from Mouser. Here's my parts list:

        MFG Part No: ESX106M400AH4AA
        KEMET 400V 10uF 105C  /  Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors - Radial Leaded
        US HTS:8532220020 ECCN:EAR99 COO:CN
        MFG Part No: UTT1E101MPD
        Nichicon 25volts 100uF  /  Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors - Radial Leaded
        US HTS:8532220020 ECCN:EAR99 COO:JP

        MFG Part No: EKY-500ETD100ME11D (Quantity 2)
        United Chemi-Con 10uF 50 Volt  /  Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors - Radial Leaded
        US HTS:8532220020 ECCN:EAR99 COO:ID

        MFG Part No: USV1C100MFD
        Nichicon 16volts 10uF  /  Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors - Radial Leaded
        US HTS:8532220020 ECCN:EAR99 COO:JP

Photos of the installed Caps below:

The new capacitors (5), including the oversized blue 10uF 400V beauty on the left side of the board

Here are the two Smartenit EZIO2x4 relay modules installed back in the panel, with the LEDs working again. The left module interfaces with the house alarm system contacts - it allows me to have the ISY send me text messages when the alarm system is armed, disarmed, and there is an alarm condition. 

The right EZIO2x4 relay module interfaces with the smoke and CO detectors in the house. I use standard 110V Kidde detectors with battery backup. The red wire from the smoke detector chain comes back to the relay shown in the photo under the two EZIOs. The relay allows me to send one signal to the alarm system - to be able to send a smoke / CO event alarm to my alarm monitoring service. The other signal goes to the EZIO2x4 - which gives the ISY the smoke / CO detection event allowing the ISY to send me text messages, and turn all lights on in the house on a smoke alarm event. 

EZIO2x4 reinstalled in the panel. Nice not to have to redo wiring with the removable terminal block design. 

Here's the EZIO4O reinstalled in the contactor panel. This allows me to control the contactors for 220V heating, hot water heater, and shower steam generator. 

EZIO4O reinstalled in the contactor cabinet, side LED working again.

One all was done and tested, I used a handheld multimeter to test the capacitance of the capacitors I replaced. All still read within 1 to 2% of their rated capacitance, except for three 10uF capacitors shown on the left, which were off by more than 60%.
Caps that I replaced. All tested close to their rated capactance except for three. 

I have some spare capacitors, They are listed for sale here on eBay if you would like to purchase your own kit. 


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