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Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:11 pm
by couch_potato
Why must there be so many appliances out there that don't have a real off switch, just a stand-by mode? This means there's a little glowing red light that slowly eats electricity and add a few $$ to the electricity bill.

TVs are not the only ones. My Nintendo Wii has a red stand-by light unless I unplug it. My printer has a flashing fluoro yellow light when it is on standby. This light is in the 'on' button and there is no 'off' button.

Switch the item off at the wall! so many magazine/newspaper articles on saving electricity have said. Maybe unplug the item too, for good measure.

That's easier said than done. A lot of our wall switches are located in hard to get to locations. You have to crawl under desks or get behind furniture to reach it. Move the furniture perhaps? Not easy or convenient. The switches/plugs are designed to be behind the TV, and low to the ground where they're under tables or bed frames.

If you use an appliance six times a day, you'd have to crawl under the table twelve times to switch the appliance on and off each time. Not fun when even after you crawl in there, you have to just about dislocate your shoulder to reach the thing.

Why is it so popular for product designers to not include an off button and include the stand-by feature instead?

My printer, when on stand-by, likes to occasionally start making noises for no reason. Those whirring noises printers make. What for? I'd like it to just be off.

When I worked at group homes, and did sleep over shifts, I found out their printers also did the same. Carers sleep in the staff bed which is in the staff office that has the printer/PC in it. Got the bejesus scared out of me a few times by whirring, clunking printers in the middle of the night. I took to unplugging the darn things before going to bed.

One client's mobile phone rang in the middle of the night. The rule is to store it in the office at night. It's a simple phone he can understand how to use. Only a small handful of people should have had access to his number. I couldn't figure out how to switch that phone off either. No actual off switch, nothing obvious. I tried pressing various buttons, but nothing. So I put it on the kitchen bench for the night so that if anyone else wanted to call in the middle of the night, I wouldn't be woken by it.

Ha, I've had my rant :mrgreen: What do you think about stand-by on products and does it bug you? Are you an appliance unplugger with all your switches in easy-to-reach places?

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:49 pm
by Rayne
What do you think about stand-by on products and does it bug you? Are you an appliance unplugger with all your switches in easy-to-reach places?


Nope. I can't unplug the TV or PVR/VCR/set top box because I'd lose all my settings (I do a lot of recording). The plugs are behind the entertainment unit anyway and it's a big bulky thing which can't be moved by just one person.

The computer and printer are turned off at night but not unplugged. In fact I never unplug anything unless it's the vacuum cleaner, fan, portable aircon or something I use only occasionally. Appliances that are used daily are never unplugged, it's just too much hassle.

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:10 pm
by Jayel
We've been tuning all unnecessary power off. Some you can't. It'll be interesting to see what difference it makes to the next power bill!

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:48 pm
by Rayne
We've started turning our hot water off when we're not going to be using it for several hours. It's switched on about an hour before we want to do dishes and/or have a shower. There are only the two of us so we can organise ourselves to only have it switched on for a couple of hours a day.

Will be waiting with bated breath to see if it makes any difference to the bill :)

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:12 pm
by Cellar Door
Rayne wrote:We've started turning our hot water off when we're not going to be using it for several hours. It's switched on about an hour before we want to do dishes and/or have a shower. There are only the two of us so we can organise ourselves to only have it switched on for a couple of hours a day.

Will be waiting with bated breath to see if it makes any difference to the bill :)


Interesting Rayne - can you please let us know if it does? 8-)

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:27 am
by Cyborg
I recently got some power plugs/adapters that saves power.

there's two parts to it, one that turns off what ever is plugged into it after a certain amount of time. say you don't wanna turn you TV off completely by pressing a button on the television itself, and would rather use the remote. normally if you use the remote to power it off it goes into standby mode and often has a red light when off. well you would plug your TV into the power saving section, the plug comes with a sensor so when the TV is off completely (no red light) you press power on your remote a couple times and it will turn standby mode on first and then press it again to turn the actual TV on. it also has a timer you can set yourself to the sensor so if you are away from 1 hour, 2 hours or even 3 and the remote hasn't been touched at all, the TV or device will shut off completely.

the second part of the adapter is for things you wanna leave on, like say a TiVo or PVR. you
would plug that into the 'always on' section and it will never turn off so no recordings are missed.

theres also a different one for computers too.
they are available from Office Works I believe.

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:06 pm
by treeman
Yes I got some of those for free. They are called embertech think. Pm me and I'll find out some more details.

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:41 am
by Jayel
Our last bill was $30 less this time - I'm impressed.

Re: Appliances on stand-by - not really 'off'

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:04 pm
by Rayne
Cellar Door wrote:
Rayne wrote:We've started turning our hot water off when we're not going to be using it for several hours. It's switched on about an hour before we want to do dishes and/or have a shower. There are only the two of us so we can organise ourselves to only have it switched on for a couple of hours a day.

Will be waiting with bated breath to see if it makes any difference to the bill :)


Interesting Rayne - can you please let us know if it does? 8-)


Just got our power bill today. It's about $53 cheaper than the last one :) Considering we'd only been turning the hot water off for a couple of months by the time it was read, I'm happy with that and it's not really an inconvenience provided we remember to turn it on about 30-40 minutes before we need it :<