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Old 08-12-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


We moved into a home that had a timer box on the garage wall. We just can't figure it out. I think it operates outside lights, but I'm not positive, and if so, to what lights. One outside light comes on at a certain time and turns off at a certain time. But the rest of the outside lights won't come on. We've replaced most outside lightbulbs, but they still don't come on. Question: How do we figure out what goes with what? Here's what it says on the box: Timing Motor, Model 4003-0, 120V-60C, and then it has a spec number.

Here's some pictures of it:
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out-box1.jpg   Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out-box1a.jpg   Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out-box2.jpg   Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out-box3.jpg  

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Old 08-12-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


That's one magical box! Looks like a three-way switch on the cover that would be used to turn off a light from two locations; looks like blue wire used sometimes as a hot and sometimes as a neutral. Hard to tell what is going on since some of the wire paths are tough to follow in the photograph. Maybe someone else has a better monitor/eyes than I do. If you don't feel comfortable around electrical things, call a pro in who should easily be able to figure it out given enough time.

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Old 08-12-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


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Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
That's one magical box! Looks like a three-way switch on the cover that would be used to turn off a light from two locations; looks like blue wire used sometimes as a hot and sometimes as a neutral. Hard to tell what is going on since some of the wire paths are tough to follow in the photograph. Maybe someone else has a better monitor/eyes than I do. If you don't feel comfortable around electrical things, call a pro in who should easily be able to figure it out given enough time.

I'm guessing the switch is an override, for either a timer or photocell, either way, I cant tell anything just by looking at a picture of wires... nice violation by the way with the way the NM's enter the back of the cabinet.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


It is a Paragon time switch. It is a 2-circuit, 120V switch.

Here is a link to the website. From this link, click on the "download sell sheet" and open up a 2-page document showing your part number and the specs. Click on "download the manual" for instructions.

http://www.icca.invensys.com/paragon/4000_series.htm

Now, the wiring graphic in the manual will seem easier to understand than the diagram in the sell sheet. Yours will be diagram number 5.3.

In a nutshell, 120VAC power is tied to terminal 1 (HOT/BLACK). The built-in jumper is tied to this terminal for the motor to have power to operate. The NEUTRAL from the power supply and the loads served by this timer are all wirenutted together, and must also go to terminal 6 in order to allow the timer motor to work.

A jumper wire from terminal 1 goes to terminal 3 to provide the HOT for circuit #2.

When the timer trips "ON", the Circuit #1 HOT from terminal 1 is connected to terminal 2, and the Circuit #2 HOT (which came from terminal #1 anyway) from terminal 3 is connected to terminal 4.

There is also a terminal for grounding.

With this in mind, your setup is rather involved (read: A MESS!).

Start with this info, and track down your cables to figure everything out.

(You should also consider revamping this whole setup, as it is not entirely within code).

good luck!
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:12 PM   #5
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


Thanks for all the information and the great advice.

Can you tell me what "NM's" are?

Also, what are you referring to with regard to the noted violation and "not entirely within code"?

Is it safe as is right now?
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


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Originally Posted by proofer View Post
Thanks for all the information and the great advice.

Can you tell me what "NM's" are?

Also, what are you referring to with regard to the noted violation and "not entirely within code"?

Is it safe as is right now?

NM's are the romex's that enter the back of the cabinet, dont loose any sleep over it, its safe, just not up to code.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:19 PM   #7
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


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Originally Posted by proofer View Post
Thanks for all the information and the great advice.

Can you tell me what "NM's" are?

Also, what are you referring to with regard to the noted violation and "not entirely within code"?

Is it safe as is right now?
1) You are welcome. To figure out why it doesn't work right, you need to know what you have going on.

2) "NM's" refers to the type of cables that are visible in your photos, a.k.a. a type of Nonmetallic-sheathed cable. They are normally used for exposed and concealed use in normally dry locations in a dwelling, with some exception.

Here is the NEC definition:
Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable. A factory assembly of two or more insulated conductors enclosed within an overall nonmetallic jacket.

Type NM. Insulated conductors enclosed within an overall nonmetallic jacket.


3)"Not entirely in code" refers to some violations and some possible violations that can be seen in your photos. Such as:
  • NM cable entering the box without listed clamps (can be cut on the sharp metal, can be pulled out, etc. because they are not secured)
  • Having a large bundle of NM's in that big hole entering the box (again, no clamps, no securing, possible overheating of the innermost cable). Question - do they all go to your lights?
  • All neutrals and ground connected to the same bus. If there is more than 1 circuit breaker involved in the cables whose neutrals are connected together, you now have an unsafe condition (voltage could be on the wiring when you though you shut off the breaker - because it's coming from another breaker). Another possible issue is whether there are receptacles in use from these wires.
  • unused holes in the box not being sealed (shock hazard, way for rodents to get into the box and cause shorts)
4) Whether it is safe right now depends on the whole circuit layout. Nobody can tell from the photos, except for an interpretation as to what is "safe" as it relates to the violations mentioned above. For example, is there a nick or cut in the outer sheath or inner insulation of that NM cable entering the hole from the top? If the answer is no, it wouldn't be an immediate safety concern right now. If YES, you betcha it's a concern.

The 1st safety concern is the rating of the circuit breaker that is feeding this mess, together with the wire size of the conductors attached to any part of that particular circuit breaker's wiring layout. What you don't want is a CB to have too small of a wire in use on it's circuit per NEC requirements (some exceptions apply, but mostly for those little wires found in light fixtures).

Feel free to post your wiring diagram(s) as you learn the layout and we can find more answers to your concerns...
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:32 AM   #8
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


There are few matter that need to be taken care

the netual and ground bar that need to be clean up.

few unmarked hot conductors which they are not hook up at all.


It may be wise to call in a electrician if you can't able indentify the rest of circuits on that box and there a other issue you need to address which a good electrician can fix that is the door { the wires between the timer wall to the door it have to be stranded not soild conductor due when you open and close the door it can put a stress on the wire and also need to secure it properly so it don't go everywhere.

and final thing is that I have a hunch but the numbers of wires there I have feeling that there is more than one circuits there.

Merci,Marc
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:57 AM   #9
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


I had an electrician on another job take a peek at this timer box. He said that it'd take about 8 hours' worth of his time ($500) to sort this all out. Sound about right?

I really am not sure if it's worth $500 to have this timer box. Maybe I can just have the box disconnected and instead have standalone switches to activate the individual lights (instead of them running through this box).

At this point, I just want an assurance (his blessing) that the wiring is safe, so I think it would be beneficial to just have it disconnected and checked out.

What would YOU do if it were your box?
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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Timer Box -- Need help in figuring out


Z-Wave!

Disconnect the box and convert to standalone switches - but use Z-wave remote control devices:

A switch like this can handle up to 300 watts for about $32



Here is a web site with more info or you can buy a lot of the stuff from Amazon

HomeSeer

Once you get the switches installed, a master remote like this can be used to program on or off times, cost is around $40 from Amazon. A remote like this can easily control 14 different devices.



I have recently started using Z-Wave in my home and I have been very impressed with the technology. All the switches/devices talk to each other and relay the signal. I even have a couple of heavy duty relay type switches controlling a couple of whole house type fans in my attic - they come on around 9 pm, go off at midnight and then back on around 6 to 8 am to cool the house down. As a security measure, I changed the receptacles for the garage door openers to z-wave. They turn off at night, so the garage door can't be opened, and then back on in the morning

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