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Old 07-09-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


Hello! So, I've done a smidge of basic wiring (new light fixtures, etc) and thought switching over a basic switch to a timer switch would be a breeze. Then I took off the cover plate and looked inside and got confused!

There is an electrical outlet beside the switch. Inside the box, there are:
-3 black wires (one of which is hot)
-3 white wires

The outlet has black/white/ground wires, while the timer switch has black/red/ground wires. The light in the room also appears to be wired in somehow to this box, because in my troubleshooting I kept losing/gaining the light back into the mix, even though there is a separate switch outside of the bathroom for that.

As wired in the picture, I now have power to the light, and power to the outlet. The timer switch, however, has an LED light that lights up but no power seems to be going through to the fan.

Help! Any help will be most greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


Looks right to me. Check your connections again and if you have a meter you can turn the timer on and check the red wire coming off the timer for 120V. It is also possible that your timer is bad out of the box.

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Old 07-09-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


All I have is a voltage tester (not a multimeter). If I am to check the red wire, how do I do that without uncapping it (and losing power to the timer?). I'm wondering if it is bad out of the box, but of course after a trip to the store they seem to be out of stock.... :P

I'm glad the wiring looks ok to you though, because I was/am doubting myself!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


You wouldn't lose power to the timer by taking the red splice apart. Power should come to the timer on the black.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


I don't seem to be getting 120V off of the red wire... Did I do something wrong or does that mean that the timer is faulty?
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:30 AM   #6
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


It looks like cable "A" is going to the fan. It appears that the red wire from the timer is attached to the black wire from cable "A".

WHich black wire, from cable "B" or "C" is your power into the setup?
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:40 AM   #7
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


After looking at the picture again...how deep is that box? Is the timer going to physically fit into the box? Also, if this is in a bathroom, where is the GFI protection for that outlet?
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


I'm going to chime in here, not to thread jack, but it could pertain to OP's situation as well. If his home was wired with a GFI breaker at the panel for bathroom receptacles and exterior receptacles only, would that be up to code in todays standards?
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:57 AM   #9
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


Thanks for all of your help guys! Cable 'B' is the hot one. The wiring is currently 'as is' from when I purchased the house and was thinking that while I have it all open I would like to attempt switching the outlet to GFI - may as well - but I haven't ever done that before... And was tackling the timer first (which does fit in the box.... Just barely without pinching any wires.)
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:32 AM   #10
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


Vanny, I can't help you with your issue, but we installed a couple of those timers in our bathrooms and love them.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #11
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


Quote:
Originally Posted by vanny View Post
The timer switch, however, has an LED light that lights up but no power seems to be going through to the fan.
Can you tell us the make and model of the timer? Is the timer rated for use with a fan? This timer does not have a neutral (white wire), so the timer is powered by a small voltage drop across the circuitry. This type of timer normally does not work with a fan.

Also, verify that the box is actually grounded. You tied the green wire to the box to ground, but there is no visible ground wire coming from the source. This could be fine, the box could be grounded through the conduit. If the box is grounded, you should measure ~120V between the hot black wire and the box and 0V between the white and the box.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #12
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


The timer is Cooper PT18M-W-K. It mentions fans on the packaging so I feel like it should be ok! But now I've gone and bought myself a GFCI receptacle for the outlet and now I'm really confused!!! :P oh boy!
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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Wiring help for a timer switch (for bathroom exhaust fan)!


I figured it out. All is working! The original switch was faulty (or I broke it, who knows!) but now I have a working GFCI and timer switch. And my tester says I have the correct wiring. Huzzah! Thanks for all of your help

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