While our heated towel racks are designed to be 24 hours a day, seven days a week, some would prefer to ensure their towel warmers are available only when needed. Programmable timers are an excellent option for guest rooms or vacation homes where Individuals may not be using bathrooms. Suppose you would like to add a timer to your heated towel rack, this post will help you weigh the pros and cons of each type of controller. We refer to specific controllers that we offer, but you are NOT limited to our products - most hardwired control devices with the proper electrical requirements will work with our products!
USING A HEATED TOWEL RACK
The most critical factor when deciding which controller to use is understanding how our heated towel racks work. Our products take time to warm up when they start from an off position. This time will vary depending on the ambient bathroom temperature, the thickness of your towels, and the surface area of the towels that touch the bars. You will need to factor in these variables when calculating how much time you need for optimum warming.
THE TIME FACTOR
This delay means you cannot turn on your rack and immediately enjoy a warm towel. This fact needs to be taken into account when setting your operational schedule. For example, if you want to shower at 7 AM, ensure that you give your towel rack a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour before use and have the rack turn on at 5:30–6 AM. The longer a heated towel rack stays on with a towel hung, the more heat it can absorb, guaranteeing maximum warmth and comfort when used.
MAKING YOUR CHOICE
Choosing a timer depends on how exactly you prefer to schedule your shower/bath time - are you someone that takes a shower at a specific time every day, like right before work and before bed? Or do you need the towel rack to work for a specific duration when you need to use it, like an hour or so after you wake up or arrive home at the end of the day, but not at a specific time?
PLUG-IN PROGRAMMABLE TIMERS
If you have a PLUG-IN heated towel rack you will have to get a compatible timer that plugs directly into an outlet, with an additional outlet built-in for your device. As of this post we only offer one plug-in timer, the ATW-P24, so options are limited. The plug-in programmable timer operates identically to the ATW-T24 (hardwired) version shown below.
24/7 PROGRAMMABLE TIMERS
Suppose you're someone who showers before going to work every morning at a specific time. In that case, a 24/7 programmable timer might be for you! Using the integrated buttons on our ATW-T24, you program specific windows of time during the week you want your heated towel rack to run. For example, you can run it from 7 AM to 9 AM Monday through Friday but then have it start at 9 AM and turn off at noon on a Saturday or Sunday. It is possible to specify multiple windows throughout the day so you can have your rack on in the morning and evenings on the same day. The front panel, when closed, can be pushed in to override any programming, allowing the timer to be used as a simple on/off switch if needed.
Spa and jacuzzi visitors will be accustomed to these types of controllers. Countdown timers simply will run for a specific duration and then turn themselves off. The big difference between these and the programmable timers is the need to start the heating process manually versus scheduling a pre-determined timeframe. You generally want to ensure that the duration is long enough for your towel to be warm enough to use, and also consider giving the towel enough time to dry off after use: not powering the rack long enough after use will lead to towels not thoroughly drying. Our ATW-CDT offers 2 /4 / 8 / 12 hour durations, but also comes with a 'manual override' mode which just allows it to be used as a simple on/off switch.
WIFI-ENABLED SMART SWITCH
The wifi-enabled Smart Switch (ATW-SS) is the latest addition to our controller offering. These switches can be programmed via an app or similar service when wired and connected to the internet via Wi-Fi. Our specific model runs through the myLeviton app, but it can also connect to other wifi-enabled services and home automation smart products.
Exact automation functionality will vary between apps and services, but the myLeviton app allows you the option of both 24/7 programming and countdown timers. The most significant advantage is that you can trigger this programming wherever you can access the app. You can even use things like Geolocation to have your rack automatically turn on when it detects your phone in a specific location. For example, you can have your rack turn on when your phone has detected that you have left your work address, ensuring that your towel will be warm and waiting for you after your commute!