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Old 02-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
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Wall Timer with 4 wires connecting to box with 3 wires


I just purchased a GE wall timer to install at my Mothers house. The plan here is for the timer (which is located inside the enclosed garage) to turn on/off the outdoor lights thereby increasing her comfort in the home at night. I removed the old switch only to find I had three wires - two white (one of which I know is the hot wire) and a ground breaker. The timer, however has four wires - red/black/white/green. I'm ok with the placement of the red/black and green wires but the white wire has me stumped. Can you offer any help?

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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Wall Timer with 4 wires connecting to box with 3 wires


Many in-wall timers these days require a dedicated connection to neutral, which I believe is why you have a white wire on this switch. I'm sure one of the experienced electricians here can provide more detail.

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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Wall Timer with 4 wires connecting to box with 3 wires


Check the back of the box are there any neutrals?
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Wall Timer with 4 wires connecting to box with 3 wires


I pulled the box completely out of the drywall and there are no other wires. I connected the red wire (Load) and the black wire the connected the white neutral wire to the grounded copper wire just to see what would g
Happen and the lights turned on. But I was afraid to leave the connection like that because I don't want to do the " wrong" thing even if it seems to be right
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Wall Timer with 4 wires connecting to box with 3 wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by LLeno22
I pulled the box completely out of the drywall and there are no other wires. I connected the red wire (Load) and the black wire the connected the white neutral wire to the grounded copper wire just to see what would g
Happen and the lights turned on. But I was afraid to leave the connection like that because I don't want to do the " wrong" thing even if it seems to be right
Well DONT do it!!!! go get another timer that doesn't need a neutral.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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Wall Timer with 4 wires connecting to box with 3 wires


Thanks! I'm going to do just that.

Just a side note: I ended up checking the wall switch that turns on the flood lights in Mothers backyard and surprisingly, it had 2 black wires the ground wire AND two white wires (which where bound together and not in use). I installed the timer adding its white neutral wire to the two white wires in the box and the timer worked!

I'm going to check Lowes and Ace for a timer without the neutral wire for the first switch that prompted my initial post!

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