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Old 03-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


Hi all,

I'm getting braver, trying to replace a light switch today. It's a standard single pole switch inside a box with 3 other switches. I have a few wiring questions, though, so I make sure I do the right thing.

The timer switch I'm installing is an Intermatic ST01. There are four wires - a red wire, black wire, blue wire, and green wire.

I am following this instruction video to install the switch:

Per the instructions, I have capped the red wire because it's only used for a 3 way switch. No problem there. I'm then supposed to connect the black wire to one of the black wires on my existing switch, and the blue wire to the other black wire on my existing switch. Here's my first question. As you can see in the attached pictures, one terminal of my existing switch has two wires connected to the same screw. I'm no electrician, but that doesn't look right. How do I proceed here? Should I connect these two wires and the black wire from the timer switch together in one wire nut? It seems, logically, that that would be the same electrical path.

My second question is about a ground wire. The instructions say to connect the green wire on the timer switch to the ground wire. As you can see in the photos, there is a bare wire that I assume is the ground wire, but it wasn't connected to the original switch. How would I connect this to the ground wire on my timer switch? I am probably incorrect, but it seems like I would cut that ground wire, and pigtail them together with the green ground wire on the timer switch with another wire nut.

Does this make sense? Or am I completely wrong? First switch replacement so I'm a little unsure.
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch-switch1.jpg   A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch-switch2.jpg  

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


Doesnt look like a double tap. That looks like one wire wrapped around that terminal. But looks like someone took the insulation of it somewhere midway and then wrapped it around the terminal.

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


After taking a closer look, I think you're right! What would I do in this situation?
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


Like this:
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:36 PM   #5
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


I see you responded already. Is that wrapped wire the ALWAYS HOT wire or is it the switched hot??
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:41 PM   #6
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


Hang on, I'll check. What's the easiest way to check, turn the power back on and test each wire with a multimeter?
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #7
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


The wrapped wire is the ALWAYS HOT wire.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #8
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


yes keep power to circuit but have light off..with light off check from one terminal to a neutral or ground.

with light still off check from other terminal to neutral or ground.

whichever terminal shows about 115V that is your always HOT
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


you can cut it at the wrap point then use a pigtail and wire nut.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


That's what I figured. Thanks for the diagram. Is the "pigtail" the wire coming from the new timer switch?
Should I do the same thing for the ground wire? cut it and join it with the ground wire from the timer switch? (the current switch is not connected to the ground wire)
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #11
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


OK, here's what I did. I didn't want to go cutting more wires, so for now I left the ground not connected. I cut the hot wire where you suggested and joined the two halves, plus the black wire from the timer switch, in a wire nut. I joined the other black wire with the blue wire from the timer switch, in a wire nut. Then put electrical tape around those.

I didn't do anything with the green ground wire on the timer switch until I'm sure what to do, so for now I just shoved that into the box with the other wires. Should I have capped that with a wire nut also?

I turned the power on and tested it, and the switch seems to work. I just want to make sure I didn't make an amateur mistake and burn my house down.

I noticed that the solid copper wire looked a little chipped/dinged (first picture), from the pliers. Is this dangerous?







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Old 03-03-2013, 06:03 AM   #12
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by thinksincode View Post
I didn't do anything with the green ground wire on the timer switch until I'm sure what to do, so for now I just shoved that into the box with the other wires. Should I have capped that with a wire nut also?

I noticed that the solid copper wire looked a little chipped/dinged (first picture), from the pliers. Is this dangerous?
I prob would of put a wire nut on that unused ground but if you are positive its not gonna flop around in the box and touch a hot or neutral wire it would be fine. That small nick on that wire looks not too bad.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


All of the ground is bare, so putting a wire nut on it is somewhat useless
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:43 AM   #14
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastsparky View Post
All of the ground is bare, so putting a wire nut on it is somewhat useless
Not the ground wire coming from the timer which is what I think he was referring to.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #15
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A few wiring questions on installing this timer switch


I attached the green ground wire from the timer switch to a screw in the electrical box. But I'm not sure if this is acceptable. Does this look safe? Or am I asking for trouble?

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