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Old 10-01-2012, 05:23 PM   #1
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Timer wiring


I am trying to wire a light switch to a GE timer. From the wall the previous switch had a red, black and ground connected to it with a white wire capped and unused.

The timer switch has a black, blue and ground wire. I tried wiring like before with the black to black, red to blue, and ground to ground. Didn't work.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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Timer wiring


Is this the only switch that controls this light?

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:47 PM   #3
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Timer wiring


How is it wired in the old fixture (that you're replacing with a timer)?

Are you replacing the switch with the timer, the fixture with a timer, or do you want to have switch --> timer --> fixture ?

Last edited by Dave632; 10-01-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
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Timer wiring


Use a meter and find continuity between two wires from the switch. Or check the instructions included from the manufacturer for this information. They will tell where each wire needs to go.

With a 3 wires at the switch (I think is what you have), it would be a good idea to check the voltage on the wires to ground and to each other. Then you will know for sure where they need to go. It is possible you have a 3 way switch, and if you connect the white in your box to the ground of your switch you may short out the inside of the switch.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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Timer wiring


I would think there would have to be three wires (plus ground) on the timer.

An always hot wire to run the timing device. Probably black.
A return/neutral for the timing device. Probably white.
A switched hot that connects to the light or fixture. Some color other than black or white.

I'm stumped if the timer only has black, blue and bare ground, as the OP stated.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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Timer wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave632 View Post
How is it wired in the old fixture (that you're replacing with a timer)?

Are you replacing the switch with the timer, the fixture with a timer, or do you want to have switch --> timer --> fixture ?
This switch only controls one light. The switch is inside of my house and controls my pool light. It is the only switch that controls this light. It has a separate breaker just for this light.

Why there is a capped white wire in there I am not sure.

On the box the switch came in it says "no neutral wire needed"

Attached are some pics of the box, the old switch with the black, red and ground wire, the new switch, wires from the wall and GE's directions.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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Timer wiring


I would try to switch the wires from how you had them last time. Line and load could matter and its no guarantee that black is the line.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Timer wiring


Try reversing the leads on the switch....check for power. Is this a flourescent light? Some timers won't control flourescents. The capped white is a neutral which is required by code (now) but you apparently do not need it with the timer you purchased.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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Timer wiring


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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
Try reversing the leads on the switch....check for power. Is this a flourescent light? Some timers won't control flourescents. The capped white is a neutral which is required by code (now) but you apparently do not need it with the timer you purchased.
I checked the GE (actually, it's made/sold by Jasco Products under license from GE) web page... it is for incandescent or tungsten only, 5A maximum.

I guess the current return to neutral is through the lamp... probably so little current that the lamp doesn't illuminate.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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Timer wiring


The pool light uses a par20 halogen light. So are you guys telling me this timer won't work? I haven't tried to switch the wires yet. Will do it tomorrow. If you don't think this timer will work can anyone recommend a timer that would be a bit more straight forward?
Thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:19 AM   #11
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Timer wiring


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Originally Posted by scent of a mule View Post
The pool light uses a par20 halogen light. So are you guys telling me this timer won't work? I haven't tried to switch the wires yet. Will do it tomorrow. If you don't think this timer will work can anyone recommend a timer that would be a bit more straight forward?
Thanks for all your help.
It should work on halogen. From the GE 15313 Installation Guide:

If you are unsure or unclear about this installation, contact a qualified licensed electrician. Not for use with CFL or fluorescent bulbs. Use with incandescent, xenon, halogen.
Safety ground (green) must be connected for proper operation.

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