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Old 11-23-2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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Help with timer switch

Newbie here with a little electrical experience, a little.

I have an old house with knob and tube wiring. I want to replace a timer to control the porch lights. In the box there are two single wires. One is hot and the other is the load (that runs back to the lights.) I am assuming that the common runs separately since knob and tube does not use the current romex type wiring.

I needed a common for the GE timer I am using so I fished a common and a ground wire up from the basement from an existing outlet that is in a new addition and wired to code.

I now have 4 wires in the box. I connected the hot wire to the black of the switch, the load to the red, the white common to the white common I ran into the box and the ground to the ground. The digital switch came to life, the timer is working just fine but when the lights come on they are blinking.

Is it the common that is causing the problem?


Last edited by aftermath; 11-25-2011 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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You can not use the neutral from one circuit to power another circuit.


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Old 11-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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OK, thanks.

I still am confused because all the neutrals are connected together back at the service. I was under the impression that the timer part of the timer switch needed a neutral for it to operate, the light has its own.

I am replacing a mechanical timer that will not run CFLs. It is wired into this end run and worked fine for a number of years. I guess my next move is to try to find a similar timer to replace the Intermatic that I need to replace. Certainly there are some out there that allow you to wire into an end run. Any ideas?
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