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Thread: How Long Do You Leave Your Sewing Machine "Idle" Before Turning Off?

  1. #1
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    How Long Do You Leave Your Sewing Machine "Idle" Before Turning Off?

    I want to preserve the life of the bulbs that provide lighting on my sewing machine so I try to turn it off if I am not going to use it for more than 5 to 7 minutes or so (if I'm pinning and it will only take a few minutes, I leave it on, but if I have pressing or more tasks I turn it off). I was really annoyed at myself one time when I left it on for over 4 hours while I was downstairs.

    I have a Babylock Espire (computerize) and wonder if it is more harmful to the machine to be turned on and off several times in a 2 to 3 hour period?

  2. #2
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    Sorry, no help here. When I decide which machine is going to be "it" for the day, she stays on until I quit...usually 6-12 hours or more...no problems yet, but I only have a Babylock serger; my other machines are Singers, Janomes, Vikings, etc.
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  3. #3
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about this but I know that turning household lights off and on every few minutes is not good for them. I would think sewing machines would be more sensitive to the electricity than house lights. I leave my embroidery machine on when I have a design on the screen but not actively sewing.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't know about sewing machines, but my dh told me turning the regular light bulbs on and off is harder on them than leaving them on. I would definitely not be turning my machine off and on several times over a 2 to 3 hour period.

    Why so concerned about the sewing machine light? I would just purchase a spare or two as "security" and use the sewing machine normally. I have a Bernina 1230 that must be close to 15 years old and have left it on overnight once in awhile. I suppose one would call my usage of it light to moderate, since there were several years when I didn't do much sewing, but the light bulb is still going strong! Haven't had to change it yet. As for energy consumption, I should think that is at most a few pennies per hour. Years ago I figured out the energy requirements of a tv left on for 24 hours, and I think it was something on the order of 25 cents per day! (Edit: I think my memory on that was wrong. I think I amortized the cost of the tv over its life, and *that* came to 25 cents per day. Not that I'm an authority on that subject......)

  5. #5
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    I usually leave my machine on for whatever duration I'm in the sewing room. If I know I'm just popping out for a short bit -- changing laundry; lunch; etc. -- I'll leave it on as well. If I know there's a likelihood I won't get back in there for hours/days I usually remember to turn off the machine (but not always). Following those practices, one of the lights only recently blew in my Viking and it's about 10 years old. I don't know that the lights or machine draw enough power for it to be a significant cost savings to turn it on/off every few minutes. Then again, it might.

  6. #6
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    its on from the time i start until i stop for the day..

  7. #7
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    The only thing to worry about is not the light bulb, but if you have a computerized machine with a screen (similar to a computer) then leaving it on for long periods I have heard can burn images into your screen. Some of those machines have a screen saver type mode that you can put it into when being away for a period. I am not sure if this is true but kind of makes sense

  8. #8
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I leave mine on until I leave the sewing room.

  9. #9
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I also leave mine on as long as i'm in my sewing room. I do turn everything off when I leave the room, even if I think it may be for a short time, because I have a bad habit of getting busy doing something else and forgetting I have left the sewing machine, iron. lights etc on.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think the screensaver thing makes sense. I know that an image can "burn in" to our tv if left on for too long. My Bernina does not have one of those computerized screens, so I didn't think of that. Don't really know if it's a problem with screens on sewing machines, but might be worth checking out.

    One thing to keep in mind if you are turning the sewing machine on and off frequently is that you might be wearing out the on/off switch! To my mind, that's a much bigger repair than simply replacing a burned out light bulb.

  11. #11
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I did have a Singer machine that you couldn't get a replacement bulb for..it said the bulb was supposed to last thousands of hours, so was not replaceable...I always wondered what if something did go wrong with the bulb, I mean nothing is fool proof.. I now have Brother machines, and I usually turn them off if I am not going to sew for 10 mins or more...no scientific reason, just what I do...
    K
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  12. #12
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I have a basic $99 brother machine. Sometimes it has at time been left on for Days!! The bulb finally blew after 3 years, so I will just get a new bulb~!!

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    I have a Janome Horizon and I usually turn it off when I go and pin and iron. I have also been wondering about turning it off just leave it on until I finish sewing. I think that I will now leave it on and ask my dealer. I am wondering how I get another bulb too.

  14. #14
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    I turn mine on when I go into my sewing area to sew and turn it off when I leave for the day. I don't turn it off betwwen tasks in my sewing room. I figure what's the difference between sewing on a large project all day and sewing and ironing and sewing and cutting and....

  15. #15
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 100000, the computer screen goes into sleep mode when it is idle. I keep it "on" when even when I am away for over an hour or so. When I am sewing it could be one for 4-5 hours (ADAH). It is over 10 years old and I have never replaced a light bulb yet.
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  16. #16
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Electric things heat up when they're on. Things expand and contract when they heat up and cool off. Frequent expansion and contraction will cause tiny wires in circuit boards to break eventually. If I turn my sewing machine on I leave it on for the day.

  17. #17
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    Have you ever turned on a light and it go out forever? It gets an energy surge and out it goes. I leave my stuff on until I get done with whatever I'm doing. I love light. I've also been told it's hard on tv's to turn off and on. I really don't know.

  18. #18
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I leave mine on for the whole "Session" . One of the hardest time for any piece of equipment is the "start- up".

  19. #19
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    In all of my fifty years of sewing with at White, Brother, and now Bernina I have never replaced a bulb. I turn it on when I sit down to sew or piece and turn it off when I am finished for the day. Try not to worry.

  20. #20
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If you can't get a replacement bulb get this: http://www.ecoluxlighting.com/index.html It works great. I use it for my FW because the light cover is metal and it gets too hot to turn the light on.
    Got fabric?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Helovesme's Avatar
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    I leave mine on for as long as I plan on sewing. I don't get a whole lot of time anyway PLUS, if I keep turning it off, then I lose any programming I did for the particular project I am working on, such as stitch length or whatever.

  22. #22
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    I have two 301's and a featherweight that I use all the time - they are all older than 50 years and have the original light bulbs in them and when I start to sew, they are one anywhere from 2-5 hours. They are still going strong.
    Busy in Ohio

  23. #23
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    I only turn my machine off if I am leaving the studio for the day. I always turn off my iron and unplug it as well when I leave the room if only for a short break ... our kitty likes to get close to the iron if she can...

  24. #24
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    Keep in mind the machines are not usually computerized; but when teaching classes especially children and teens, I had them turn off the machines whenever they got up from them to go iron, cut etc. It was a safety issue. I also reminded them to At home, sewing without students my iron and machines are on until I quit. However, if I have to go upstairs for any reason; I turn everything off on my way out because I have a tendency to get side tracked as well. hehehe Teresa

  25. #25
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Turning any electrical equipment on causes the most wear. It's better to leave the machine on and turn off the light if you have a separate light switch, when using the machine every day.
    Got fabric?

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