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Old 01-19-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
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Wiring timer from receptacle


Hi there,
I have an older home and am trying to install a heater on a timer in my bathroom. I found a circuit that had very little load, in the spare room (few unused receptacles) I removed the receptacle, pigtailed the wires (black to black, white to white) in the box, and did not reconnect the receptacle right away, as I've learned not to assume everything will work ;-) I pulled through another Romex and fed it into the bathroom. Wired the timer (load line and neutral) and now the heater doesn't work (never did). When I went back to recheck my work (starting at the original receptacle location) I noticed that when I test power black to ground I get nothing, white to ground nothing, across the two (Black to white) I'm getting 118 volts or so. Is this normal? Also, the receptacle feeds the switch to the light in the room (3 romex in the box) and this continues to work. I'm kind of stumped here....Anyway to verify my work? troubleshooting tips?

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Old 01-19-2009, 10:06 AM   #2
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Wiring timer from receptacle


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Originally Posted by intotao View Post
Hi there,
I have an older home and am trying to install a heater on a timer in my bathroom. I found a circuit that had very little load, in the spare room (few unused receptacles) I removed the receptacle, pigtailed the wires (black to black, white to white) in the box, and did not reconnect the receptacle right away, as I've learned not to assume everything will work ;-) I pulled through another Romex and fed it into the bathroom. Wired the timer (load line and neutral) and now the heater doesn't work (never did). When I went back to recheck my work (starting at the original receptacle location) I noticed that when I test power black to ground I get nothing, white to ground nothing, across the two (Black to white) I'm getting 118 volts or so. Is this normal? Also, the receptacle feeds the switch to the light in the room (3 romex in the box) and this continues to work. I'm kind of stumped here....Anyway to verify my work? troubleshooting tips?
Issue 1:
Your voltage measurements sound like you have an open ground. But that will not keep the timer from working. Check connections and find the lost ground.

Issue 2:
Turn the light on in the room and recheck the 118 volts between black and white. Check voltage at the timer to make sure you have voltage there. If that all works out, connect the timer to another source to see if it is working.

I suspect your connections. Are you using wire nuts to make the connections? Are you measuring with an AC volt meter?

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Old 01-19-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
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Wiring timer from receptacle


You need to check that ground. Check each outlet or j-box.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Wiring timer from receptacle


Thanks for the speedy reply, sorry for the delay, was ready to submit and the page refreshed taking my response with it. (Seem electricla isn't the only thin I suck at :-)

Anyway, removed the timer from the equation completely. Have 120 in the junction, hotwired line to load, leaving neutrals intact. No heat in the element...next step is open the final jbox (element to romex from timer) and see if there's power down there?

As for open ground, the original feed in first jbox is old romex, ergo no ground wire. I've susbequently added an additional romex (feed to washroom) and grounded to the back of the box) I've also grounded every subsequent connection to the back of their boxes (timer, 3rd jbox for heater). As for joining them all using #35 marrettes.

This help?
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:39 AM   #5
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Wiring timer from receptacle


If you put your meter across the hot and neutral and see 120volts, you should also see 120volts across hot and ground. If the ground is good. If you don't, there is a problem.

I'm not clear on your "hotwired line to load, leaving neutrals intact." What does that mean?
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:06 PM   #6
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Wiring timer from receptacle


Sorry, to clarify I removed the timer from the equation altogether. Then wired the feed romex (Black) to the black wire on the heater. White from the feed went directly to the white on the heater. Wonder if the ground issue is a residual issue because the original feed from the old romex is a two wire without ground. Everything I have added (14-2 new romex) has all been grounded to the back of their respective boxes. Make sense?
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:42 PM   #7
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Wiring timer from receptacle


Yes, that makes sense. Now you should check voltage at the heater connections to make sure they have 120 volts across them. Hot to neutral.

If there is no grounding conductor in the original circuit, that would explain your open ground. The boxes you are connecting your ground wire to must also be connected to ground back at the service panel in order to have the ground work.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:57 AM   #8
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Wiring timer from receptacle


Ok I'll check tonight after work!

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