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arby 12-19-2007 08:29 PM

outdoor mechanical timer problem
I recently bought an out door timer for my Christmas lights, but I can't get it to work as advertised. It is supposed to turn on at dusk and keep the lights on for 2, 4,6, or 8 hours or until dawn. The dusk and dawn work ok , but the timed functions do not work. I have set it to go on at dusk and stay on for 8 hours but it shuts off in a random short amount of time .(usually less than 2 hours) I returned the original one to the store and the second one does the exact same thing. I have 150 LED lights plus 400 miniature lights in 35 light strings on the timer for a load. Does any one have any suggestions on how to make it function properly. There is no reference on the package that says any minimum load be applied.

Thanks in advance for any help

bigredc 12-20-2007 07:16 AM

Does this timer plug into an outlet? I had a basic 24 hr. plug in timer. The kind you pull out the little tabs on the times you want it on, and push in on the off time. It was about 40' from the outlet in the garage to the first light stringer. It didn't work. After lots of trouble shooting, all I had to do was run a extension cord the first 30' then plug the timer into it there. It worked. I have no idea why. I've had to it the way about 5 years now. I've tried to put it back a few times because it didn't make sense. It stopped working. You might want to just plug a lamp into it in the house and see if it works. Outside you could try with a partial load, see if it works, then add on more. Those things are usualy good for about 5-10 amps. You should under that. Try the cord thing. It doesn't make sense but it worked for me.

arby 12-20-2007 01:17 PM

The timer is plugged directly into an outlet on my house, and there are 2 outdoor 3 prong extension cords plugged into it. It has a dial on the front above the photo sensor, which has settings to select "on at dusk off at dawn" or "on at dusk off in 2 hours" , "on at dusk off in 4 hours" and a "6 hour" and "8 hour" setting. Plus an Allways ON position and an OFF position. I'm really stumped. I am ready to go get the old style with tabs like you refered to in your reply.

bigredc 12-20-2007 01:43 PM

I'm heading off to Fla. for Christmas so this will be my last post. I thought of something else. The polarity might be crossed in that rec. Use a cord so you can plug into a diff. outlet. You could also just try to bring it in the house like I had said, try a room you can make pitch black, plug a radio into it and see what happens. If it works you might have to take the outlet apart and see what's up. Turn off the power first. I'm off to warm weather. Good luck.

arby 12-20-2007 01:48 PM

I'LL try that . thanks for your ideas.

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