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rasta 11-11-2008 04:46 PM

installing wall box programmable timer
I was hoping to replace the switch from a switch-controlled ceiling light with a programmable timer/switch unfortunately I don't know what to connect to the blue wire that originates from the timer.

The wall box has the standard ground wire (copper), 1 neutral wire (white) and 1 hot wire (black).

The timer has 4 wires (white, green , black and blue). The instructions say to connect the white to neutral, the green to ground, the black to the line wire and the blue to the load wire. The instructions don't provide any information related to connections besides this.

My guess is that the black and blue from the timer should be connected to the single black wire from the wall box but my gut tells me that that may just be wishful thinking and not a good idea to do without some further instruction. I plan on calling the manufacturer as a follow-up but was wondering if I could get some input from you DIY folks.

Much appreciated

jbfan 11-11-2008 04:59 PM

If both the black and white wires were conneted to the switch, then you have a switch loop. It brings the hot from the ceiling box, through the switch and back to the fan. You will not be able to use the timmer without another wire brought into the box.

rasta 11-11-2008 05:05 PM

Thank you. I kind of thought that might be the case. My home is about 15 years old. Are new homes wired differently now?

jbfan 11-11-2008 05:12 PM

I do not wire them that way because of the problem you are facing, but it is legal to do and is still done today.

EBFD6 11-11-2008 05:29 PM

there are some timers out there that are powered by a battery and will work with only the switched loop needing to be connected, no neutral.


rasta 11-11-2008 06:20 PM

Thanks for that tip. I'll definately look further into it. What with the shorter days now I was wanting to regulate the room lighting for my parrots but not wanting to rewire my house in the process. The battery option sounds viable. My birds thank you too!

Yoyizit 11-11-2008 08:57 PM

There are also two wire timers that drop a volt or two across themselves to power their innards, but if the bulb they control burns out you have to reprogram the timer.

rasta 11-11-2008 09:12 PM

That is doable as well. What companies make these - any that you might recommend?

Thanks for your time on this.

Yoyizit 11-12-2008 08:36 AM

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