DIY Applications
12/01/2010 at 10:25
By design, X10 equipment does not need much in the way of special wiring. The following are six items we recommend for all homes with X10 installations:

Neutral Wire at Each Wall Switch

Ask your builder/electrician to run the neutral wire to each wall switch location (the neutral cable is optional in many light switch wiring schemes and unless you specify it explicitly, it may get omitted). Most enhanced X10 Switch / Dimming Modules require a 3-wire (hot -[Live], neutral and load) connection.

n-Wall Transmitters

You are likely to want a number of X10 In wall / On Wall Controller MicroModules such as the TMA4, TIWD4 (or the SS13E) throughout the house.
These In-Wall transmitters can control groups of lights or execute complex lighting macros. With one touch, you can quickly adjust all the lights in a room to match the occasion or mood.
Plan these locations and have a hot and neutral wire run to a J-box at these locations.

Use Deep Junction Boxes

Specify the installation of deep J-boxes in all locations that you are likely to want to use X10 switches, receptacles or transmitters. While X10 products fit in the spacing offered by all electrical boxes marketed in South Africa, the deep models have extra working space and make the installation go a little easier. Deep boxes only costs a few cents more than normal depth models. Look for single gang boxes that are 125cm2 or higher and double gang boxes that are 200cm2 or higher.

Whole House Surge Protection

Install a Whole House Surge Suppressor (available from all leading electrical outlets) to protect your electrical appliances and home entertainment products. If you are going to be using a significant number of X10 components in your home adding one of the whole house surge protectors will give you a good insurance policy against costly damage to both your X10 system and other delicate electrical equipment in your house.

Signal Bridge or Coupler-Repeater (Only really required for 3 phase electrical supplies)

Install an X10 Signal Bridge (FD10) or Coupler-Repeater (CAT6272) at the incoming electrical service. This is used to ensure that X10 signals get to all your phases of electricity that service your home. We like to recommend using a Coupler-Repeater (amplifier) if the home's square metering is 300m2 or greater. Smaller homes will work well with a passive signal bridge like the FD10

Isolate Non-Automation Loads

Work with your electrician to isolate non-automation loads. Ask the electrician to place the non-X10 carrying lines on one of the two incoming lines. Having the kitchens and laundry appliances plus the heating systems on one phase will help keep potential noise off the X10 carrying lines. He probably won't be able to accommodate 100% of the loads on one phase or another, but an attempt should be made.