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Old 03-13-2010, 11:41 AM   #1
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


I'm trying to replace a standard single wall switch with an electronic timer switch. The switch turns on a bathroom fan.
**Currently there are two black wires from the wall that connect to the single wall switch.
**My new timer switch has four different colored wires. It tells me to connect the red and black wires to the red and black wires in the wall, however BOTH wires from the wall are black.
**So how do I connect this? I want to connect the red wire from the new switch to the correct wire from the wall.

Thanks,
James

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Old 03-13-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


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Originally Posted by jamesjames View Post
I'm trying to replace a standard single wall switch with an electronic timer switch. The switch turns on a bathroom fan.
**Currently there are two black wires from the wall that connect to the single wall switch.
**My new timer switch has four different colored wires. It tells me to connect the red and black wires to the red and black wires in the wall, however BOTH wires from the wall are black.
**So how do I connect this? I want to connect the red wire from the new switch to the correct wire from the wall.

Thanks,
James
One of the black wires in the wall is the line and the other is the load. The line is the power coming in when the breaker/fuse is on. The load takes the power through the switch to the fan. Line and load should be on the timer or in the instructions. White goes to the whites in the switch box. Green goes to the bare or green grounding wires in the switch box. If there are no white(neutrals in the switch box then the electronic timer will not work and you will have to use a mechanical (springwound) timer.


Last edited by brric; 03-13-2010 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


How do I determine which wire is the load and which is the line? They are both black wires...and I need to connect them to the red and black wire on the switch.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


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How do I determine which wire is the load and which is the line? They are both black wires...and I need to connect them to the red and black wire on the switch.
Is one of the black wires wire nutted to several other? That is probably the line. Should be checked with a voltmeter.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


trial and error if you don't have a meter. Try it one way and then flip the wires if it doesn't work.

Do you have a model number for the timer then we may be able to look at the instructions and give you a more detail answer.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


This is likely a switch loop, so you don't have a neutral. You may have to find a timer that does not require a neutral.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:44 AM   #7
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I'm having trouble replacing a wall switch


Both black wires appear to be coming out of the wall. There is a white wire that is bundles up into itself in the wall.
Can there be any harm in trying it one way to see if it works? Would I risk damage to the circuit breaker or anything else if I got it wrong?

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