(Question for electricians/engineers only) Is it appropriate to control an electrical outlet with a smart things wall switch?

I have an indoor junction box for a 15A electrical outlet that is normally used for the transformer for low voltage outdoor lights. I’d like to put a smartthings light switch in the indoor junction box to control the outdoor lights. But I also might occasionally use the outdoor outlet for something else like electric hedge trimmers. Is it safe/appropriate to use the samsung switch for a high-current, high reactance load like hedge trimmers, etc? Or is it only suitable for lighting? I’m concerned that if the Samsung switches use a triac instead of a relay, that could be a limitation. Bottom line: I want a Smartthings switch that uses a relay, and fits in a junction box.

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I am actually using ST outlets for 2Kw space heaters, but you say you are using a smart switch rather than a plug? If it says it’s for lighting then I’d be reluctant to use it for anything other than that.

Thanks, I edited my post to say that I want a SmartThings switch that fits in a junction box and that internally uses a 15 A (minimum) relay.

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I’m a network engineer, I hope that’s close enough. :wink:

SmartThings as a brand doesn’t make any switches.

There are many SmartThings-compatible switches from other brands which can fit your use case, you just have to read the technical specifications for any device you are considering.

There are many that are binary on/off relays, not dimmers or fan controls, which I think is what you’re asking.

They vary in the amperage they can handle. Some are just for lights and only go up to 10 amp although technically those might not meet US code in many jurisdictions.

Lots of them handle 15 A which would be NEC code for A standard wall switch and are typically fine for handling a switched outlet, which is essentially your use case. ( again, code does vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the US, so you do have to check your local requirements.)

And there are even some with are heavy duty for up to 40 A and can handle things like pool pumps. These are often physically larger than a standard single gang light switch, though.

So it just depends on what you were looking at, but, definitely, there are some relays which can work with a switched outlet of up to 15 A. Most of these are limited to 1/2 hp motors, so it would depend on whether your hedge trimmer is a typical residential model or something commercial. As always, you just have to check the specs.

Here is a typical model from GE that can handle up to a 1/2 hp motor and 15 A. (The load specs are buried in the user manual.)

https://ezzwave.com/ge-branded-enbrighten-z-wave-in-wall-light-almond-smart-switch-with-quickfittm-and-simplewiretm

But there are also many others from other brands, some less expensive, some more expensive with more features. for example, Leviton makes a similar one.

https://www.leviton.com/en/products/dz15s-1bz

Choice is good. :sunglasses:

One note: always check the model number and the product specifications. Many of these companies reuse the same outer case for multiple different models, but the internal specifications may be quite different. In particular, Leviton makes the same design in multiple protocols, not all of which work with smartthings.

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Thanks JD!

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