I'm going to take more photos of the insides of the terminals and post them as soon as I can locate my missing SD card.
No, there are no push button light switches but the house is 110 y/o so there might have been in the past.
no, none of the wires goes toward or even near the hot water heaters. The wires just disappear up into the house.
I wish I could find the owner of the house before the bank took it over. the timer looks so new... it has no dust on it and it should considering the basement has a dirt floor.
thanks for your help. I'll be back with more photos.
I just thought of something!!! Could the timer be controlling the furnace thermostats? There are 5 thermostats in the house (a 3 story Victorian). Aren't they controlled by low voltage wires? I know where the zone control box is maybe I could follow the wires OUT of that box and see if they connect to the green box. I'll bring some colored yarn with me and try and ID each wire since they all look like spaghetti to me.
Having the timer set to go on at 3 (when the sun is going down and it's getting colder out) and then off at 11pm (when everyone is in bed) would make sense... but...
thanks again for your help.