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Old 07-16-2010, 09:02 PM   #1
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Wiring Question! In-Wall Timer


Hi,
I know a little bit about wiring, but obviously not enough ... so I thought I would post some pictures below.

I have yellow and black in the box, but the in-wall timer has a ground (easy enough), a black and red wire and a neutral...pictures below will explain it better.

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:38 PM   #2
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I'm confussed what is your question?
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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According to your third link you need to test each of the insulated wires in the switchbox to find out if one goes to neutral.
After you remove the switch you can use an ohmmeter to do this test if you turn off all power or use any incand. test lamp in series with a known "hot" connection.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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Or a faster way of doing it is red goes to yellow, black goes to black, green goes to bare, white goes to white tucked into the back of the box
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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For a SPST time-controlled switch you. . .nah. . .you might be OK.
The black and white power the switch independently of having a load, inside the switch the red connects the black to the load, etc., etc.
Dunno' if this switch handles CFLs.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-16-2010 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:22 PM   #6
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To clarify: based on the instructions you show for that timer, if wires you show connected to the original switch in picture #1 are the only wires in the box, you are hosed. That timer needs a neutral(white) wire to work.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:36 AM   #7
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I noted that you live in Chicago area if you don't have netural there it very simple to bring the netural in the conduit and you are golden the netural will always be white { some case it will use grey as well }

Once you have netrual there the timer will function correct.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:46 AM   #8
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Wow! Fast responses...thank-you.
I might be a little over-my-head here, and I apologize in advance.

The confusion I had was there was an extra wire I didn't know what to do with on the timer. The timer is ok for CFL's.

1) Anyway, I'll have to check when I pull the box apart again, but could I be slightly color-blind...and is the yellow wire hot, and the other wire could be gray not black? (neutral?)

IF this is the case, I have hot (yellow) to black, gray to white (neutral), green to the box (ground), BUT what happens to the RED wire (which the instructions say go to the 2nd black wire).

I am in Chicago, so there is conduit to pull an extra wire...but if that's is needed I think this is above my know-how.

2) Also, there is a another switch in the box which goes to a completely separate hallway light (the switch in the picture is for the outdoor lights). Does it matter go to this other switch? If it could, I'll get a better picture. I thought that would be exclusive of this switch so I didnt think to include a picture of that what wires were going to this switch too.

It might be time to call out an electrician...but I was hoping this would be more simple than it appears (to me).
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
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Just to clarify, neutrals are not switched. They are also limited to white or gray in color. You have black and yellow on that switch. One is power in and one is switch controlled power.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:47 AM   #10
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Now that you mention that, dooh it makes sense....the power has to continue to the fixture somehow.

So...are you saying there could be a neutral in the box on the other switch I could possibly use...or no?

This is what I have to deal with..unfortunately aren't purple and red...with yellow and black ALL hot?

I'm guessing I'm hosed (i.e. no neutral)....$20 switch replacement is suddenly going to be $95 job
when I call the electrician out :-(
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Last edited by bergerdude; 07-17-2010 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:12 PM   #11
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Ok then....I believe my options are...

Have an electrician pull a neutral (above my skills).

Get a mechanical timer....2, 4, 6, 8 hour, but unfortunately I would have to set it each night.

Has anyone ever heard of a programmable timer, possibly battery powered, where NO neutral is required?

What exactly does the neutral do....does it permit the timer computer to be powered....then why can't a battery power it??


Thanks!

Berg
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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Also....quick question regarding loads...

I have an x10 wall switch I could use, but it is rated between 40w and 500w.

Would this be safe to use if my switch controls 5 coachlight fixtures, incandescant bulbs, 60w each.

5x60w should be a total load of 300W...but is there a safety range, i.e. is it acceptable to go right to the limits of these things?
I'm well under the max....but I'm just being cautious.

Thanks again for all your knowledge/help.
Berg
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:38 PM   #13
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There are definitely some timers that can work without a neutral. This one, for example:

http://www.intermatic.com/products/t...ers/st01c.aspx
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:42 PM   #14
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Thanks!
That looks like just the thing I need!!!

The rating is 15amps....so am I safe with 5x 60watt fixtures...?

15a is about 1800watts right?
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bergerdude View Post
Thanks!
That looks like just the thing I need!!!

The rating is 15amps....so am I safe with 5x 60watt fixtures...?

15a is about 1800watts right?
That is plenty big due you only have 300 watts in your luminaire now.

Yeah 15 amp @120 V is 1800 watts

Merci.
Marc
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