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Old 08-05-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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3 way timer switch - help!


I am trying to add a digital timer switch to a 3 way configuration. I got the switch to work with one issue, it only works it the 2nd switch in the circuit is in the on position. Please note that the other switch is a standard on off switch. If I turn the second switch off, I cannot turn the lights on from the digital timer. If I have it on, then the timer works perfectly to control the lights. To make matters a little more interesting, I do not have the more common configuration for 3 way switches. I have the configuration in the attached picture where one switch flows through the second junction box to the lights.

Can anyone help me to get this working correctly? Do I just need a second digital switch or am I SOL to get the timer to work with this setup?
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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3 way timer switch - help!


For clarity, the digital timer is going into the #2 switch position in the diagram.

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Old 08-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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3 way timer switch - help!


From what I have seen on these digital timers, you need to run constant power with a neutral to them. It doesn't appear you have a neutral. It would help if you could post the manufacturer and model # of the timer.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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3 way timer switch - help!


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
From what I have seen on these digital timers, you need to run constant power with a neutral to them. It doesn't appear you have a neutral. It would help if you could post the manufacturer and model # of the timer.
Thanks for the response. The timer switch is in the attached link.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UB_24_ZlSa8
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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3 way timer switch - help!


Read this pdf file it will show the diagram and of course this will need netural to get this function properly.

http://www.jascoproducts.com/support...de-eng-spa.pdf

Merci,
Marc
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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3 way timer switch - help!


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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Read this pdf file it will show the diagram and of course this will need netural to get this function properly.

http://www.jascoproducts.com/support...de-eng-spa.pdf

Merci,
Marc
Thanks for the response. I have studied that diagram for hours but it is not overly helpful because of the way the wiring is setup on my circuit. The 1st switch (switch A) only has one 14/3 wire in the box that goes directly to the 2nd switch box (switch B) with the digital timer whereas the diagrams you sent show power into switch A and then a connection out from there to switch B.

In terms of how it was wired before I made the replacement of switch B to the digital timer...the red and black went directly from switch A to switch B while the white from switch A went to the light. The black was spliced with power from the circuit at switch B. Then there was a white wire taped black that was wired to switch B and went to the light. Does this help at all?
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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3 way timer switch - help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by lambed3 View Post
Thanks for the response. I have studied that diagram for hours but it is not overly helpful because of the way the wiring is setup on my circuit. The 1st switch (switch A) only has one 14/3 wire in the box that goes directly to the 2nd switch box (switch B) with the digital timer whereas the diagrams you sent show power into switch A and then a connection out from there to switch B.

In terms of how it was wired before I made the replacement of switch B to the digital timer...the red and black went directly from switch A to switch B while the white from switch A went to the light. The black was spliced with power from the circuit at switch B. Then there was a white wire taped black that was wired to switch B and went to the light. Does this help at all?
Ouais ( yeah ) it does help a bit and you have full three way switch loop and there is NO netural there at all.

So I hate to be bearer of bad news you may want to change to differnt timer which it will not use the netural.

Do you have CFL or LED in the luminaire ? if not then the conventail three way timer will work very well for this useage.

Only one major qurik some of the electronic timer without netural if you have CFL or LED they will flicker when they are in off mode so to slove it, you may want to put a low wattage indentscent bulb if you have multi bulb type that will useally stop the flicker pretty fast.

There other members in here may know a other trick they can chime in here as well.

As you know why with the pretty recent change in the NEC code we are required to have netural in the switch boxes due that main reason of electronique device.


Merci,
Marc
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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3 way timer switch - help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Ouais ( yeah ) it does help a bit and you have full three way switch loop and there is NO netural there at all.

So I hate to be bearer of bad news you may want to change to differnt timer which it will not use the netural.

Do you have CFL or LED in the luminaire ? if not then the conventail three way timer will work very well for this useage.

Only one major qurik some of the electronic timer without netural if you have CFL or LED they will flicker when they are in off mode so to slove it, you may want to put a low wattage indentscent bulb if you have multi bulb type that will useally stop the flicker pretty fast.

There other members in here may know a other trick they can chime in here as well.

As you know why with the pretty recent change in the NEC code we are required to have netural in the switch boxes due that main reason of electronique device.


Merci,
Marc

The bulbs are all CFL on that circuit. I have to believe there is a neutral in the 2nd switch box because the house is not that old. I just must have it wired wrong at that point. I might have to bite the bullet and hire an electrician for this one who will probably have this sorted in 5 minutes.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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3 way timer switch - help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Ouais ( yeah ) it does help a bit and you have full three way switch loop and there is NO netural there at all.

So I hate to be bearer of bad news you may want to change to differnt timer which it will not use the netural.

Do you have CFL or LED in the luminaire ? if not then the conventail three way timer will work very well for this useage.

Only one major qurik some of the electronic timer without netural if you have CFL or LED they will flicker when they are in off mode so to slove it, you may want to put a low wattage indentscent bulb if you have multi bulb type that will useally stop the flicker pretty fast.

There other members in here may know a other trick they can chime in here as well.

As you know why with the pretty recent change in the NEC code we are required to have netural in the switch boxes due that main reason of electronique device.


Merci,
Marc

I think that you are right that there is no neutral in the box as that is what I came up with as well after numerous hours of research. After looking for wiring diagrams for hours to see if I could find the setup at my parents house, I stumbled across the attached diagram. The top part is what i believe was the setup before I made any change although I need to verify the wiring at the terminals on switch #1 to verify.

What do you think of the proposal in the bottom part of the diagram? It seems to indicate that I can still use this switch without the neutral.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:46 AM   #10
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3 way timer switch - help!


How do you want each switch to behave (describe in English)?

That is, do you want the timer to turn the light on regardless of the other switch settings or do you want the timer to keep the light off regardless of the other switch settings?
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-08-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:16 AM   #11
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3 way timer switch - help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by lambed3 View Post
What do you think of the proposal in the bottom part of the diagram? It seems to indicate that I can still use this switch without the neutral.
This is unsafe and against code. Unlike water electricity flows in a loop or circuit. The neutral wire carries current back to back to the panel. The ground wire is a "0 V reference" provided for safety and should not carry current. That is why a properly used ground wire does not need insulation.

Where did you get that drawing? I haven't found anything on GE web site that shows this switch can use a common neutral/ground.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
How do you want each switch to behave (describe in English)?

That is, do you want the timer to turn the light on regardless of the other switch settings or do you want the timer to keep the light off regardless of the other switch settings?
Good question - I was trying to get the circuit to work from either switch. I want to be able to turn on or off the lights from either location absent of the settings or position of the other switch.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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3 way timer switch - help!


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Originally Posted by goosebarry View Post
This is unsafe and against code. Unlike water electricity flows in a loop or circuit. The neutral wire carries current back to back to the panel. The ground wire is a "0 V reference" provided for safety and should not carry current. That is why a properly used ground wire does not need insulation.

Where did you get that drawing? I haven't found anything on GE web site that shows this switch can use a common neutral/ground.
Thank you for this explanation. It is very helpful. I am no electrician so that is why I am here It is interesting that someone put this diagram together then. I found it here...

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-w...312-timer.html
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:10 AM   #14
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3 way timer switch - help!


One last question...in the switch box with the timer switch, there is another 3 way switch but I believe this is wired in such a way that there is a neutral present. That switch however is on a different circuit in a different circuit breaker box in another part of the home as it was put in with an addition. Am I able to tie into that neutral line or does it need to be the neutral of the circuit I am connected to. I assume I need to stay on the same circuit for safety reasons but wanted to be sure as I am not certain.

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