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I currently have two exterior lights above my front door. They stay on 24/7, mainly because I always forget to turn them on and off at the right times. In the interest of trying to save energy, I ordered one of these nifty little switches:

http://www.smarthome.com/1122W/Leviton-In-Wall-LCD-Timer-6124H-W/p.aspx

When the package arrived, I took it out and noticed the back had four protruding wires: green, black, white, and blue. There is a wiring diagram at the link above for specifics.

Currently, I have a Leviton decora switch controlling the lights. However, when I went to take that switch out, I found that there were just two black wires coming out of the box to the switch (in addition to the ground). The whites were capped at the back of the box, and there wasn't a blue to be found.

I've replaced every light switch in my house, and I haven't had a problem since most of them were plug and play, just like the old ones were wired. But this one is throwing me a curveball. I have a multimeter, but have never really learned to use it beacuse of the simple replacement jobs I've been doing.

Can anyone help?

Thanks!
 

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You have two black wires, right?

One of them will be "hot" as in energized and the other one will run to the light. You need to find out which one is which, because the black wire to the light gets connected to the blue wire.

Your going to need a voltmeter or voltage tester to find out which one is which
 

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Yes Git, I have two black wires. If the hot one goes to the blue, where does the other one go? And what do I do with the spare wire coming from the switch?
 

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Connect wires per wirring diagram as follows:WHITE lead to NEUTRAL (WHITE WIRE).GREEN lead to ground wire(bare wire): This is where you need a volt tester-Black lead to line wire(feed 120 volts).Blue lead to LOAD wire (Wire going to lights)
 

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I bought one of the 5A Timers, it has only 3 wires coming from it: black, blue, and green.
I connected the green to ground (screwed it into the back of the box itself).
I connected the blue to what I thought was the hot black wire (I don't have a multimeter), and the black to the other black wire, but when I restored power, the fan came on and never went off, and no red lights are on on the switch. So I reversed the blue and black wires and the same thing happens - always on.

I don't really know what's going on here...
 

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List out exactly how many wires you have and their colors?

Also, how many switches currently control the device - only one, two?

The blue wire "usually" gets connected to the "load" - the device your trying to power - a light, fan, etc
 

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This is a bathroom, with two switches, one for the light and one for the fan. I've already replaced the light switch with a motion-detecting one. It is on the left and the fan switch is on the right.

Here's a crude diagram, hopefully it tells the story...
 

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You have two black wires, right?

One of them will be "hot" as in energized and the other one will run to the light. You need to find out which one is which, because the black wire to the light gets connected to the blue wire.

Your going to need a voltmeter or voltage tester to find out which one is which
While you're at it, you might as well instruct the OP how to tell which one of the Black wires is HOT and which one goes to the light. Attach one of the wires/leads of the Voltmeter or Tester to EITHER of the BLACK wires.The other (lead of tester) should be attached to the base of the box. (Assuming the box is Grounded). When the tester or VM indicates power, that's where you attach the Black wire of the timer, to. The other wire gets attached to the BLUE lead of the timer. (No matter what) :yes::no::drink:Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
 

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"Yes Git, I have two black wires. If the hot one goes to the blue, where does the other one go? And what do I do with the spare wire coming from the switch?"

The hot does not connect to the blue!

If your uncertain about using a voltmeter, or don't have one, go to your local hardware store, Lowes or HD and ask an associate (in the Electrical Dept. - because the other three people working in the store are sure to tell you "thats not my department") for a voltage detector (Greenlee makes a nice one for about $15). Separate your two black wires apart from each other, turn on the power to that circuit and simply place the detector to the wire, it will light up/buzz. Thats your wire to connect to the Black wire on the back of your switch. The other black wire connects to the Blue wire, all the whites get tied together, and of course the grounds together.
 

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What I depicted in the diagram was the box the way it was before I installed the new lightswitch.
All wires in the box are black, like in the diagram.
There's a bundle of 3 white wires all going into the same marette. None of those wires actually attach to the switches in any way.

Since I plan on doing a lot of general electric work in the new house (replacing switches, lights), I'll spring for a multimeter. I will report back later tonight with my findings.

Thanks for your patience!
 

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Okay I have a multimeter and I have identified the hot black wire and I have connected the blue wire from the fan switch to it as instructed by the manual. The black wire is going to black neutral, and green is screwed into the back of the box. Attached is a picture of what I have. It's kind of hard to see, but the hot black wire goes into the wires near the orange marette, and the other goes into the wall.
thanks!
 

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Okay I have a multimeter and I have identified the hot black wire and I have connected the blue wire from the fan switch to it as instructed by the manual. The black wire is going to black neutral, and green is screwed into the back of the box. Attached is a picture of what I have. It's kind of hard to see, but the hot black wire goes into the wires near the orange marette, and the other goes into the wall.
thanks!
Look at the diagram a few post down Blue goes to the load not the hot -Black goes to the hot ground to ground and if you have a white that goes to neutral IT MIGHT BE TIME TO CALL AN ELECTRICIAN!!!!
Originally Posted by 300zx
 

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The picture is helpfull, but I still can't see how many wires we are dealing with. It looks like you have at least four white (neutral wires) which would lead me to believe that you should have four black wires. BUT since you never actually took the time to list the wires coming into the box as I requested, I have no idea what you have there.

If you can't even list the wires out, maybe you shouldn't be trying to do this...
 

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300ZX (post #14) I tend to agree with you that this is one of the times to call in a "Qualified Electrician" as it says on most of the inserts. Additionally, there's an adapter plate (single or 2-gang) missing on the 1900 box. There's no term in electrical wiring "Black Neutral". In electronics there is a definition of a Black wire having Negative polarity. (No matter what) :yes::no::drink:Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
 

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Kripes,

I'm sure we can figure this out for you. What I would like to see is a picture, with the switches (not wired ) so you can pull the electrical wires out of the box, just extend them out and bend them up or down in their respective corners, with the exception of the white wires. Just the black wires. In your description, just mention which one is the "hot" wire (i.e - upper right, lower left, same for black wire going to fan and black wire going to light.) Its too crowded in the current pics to determine what wires are coming from where. If I am unclear, or you need more specifics, post a response. This shouldn't be that complicated of a swap for you, so if you don't mind, take some more pics, preferably one straight at the box, after wires extended out - and we'll help you complete this task.
 

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:no:
Kripes,

I'm sure we can figure this out for you. What I would like to see is a picture, with the switches (not wired ) so you can pull the electrical wires out of the box, just extend them out and bend them up or down in their respective corners, with the exception of the white wires. Just the black wires. In your description, just mention which one is the "hot" wire (i.e - upper right, lower left, same for black wire going to fan and black wire going to light.) Its too crowded in the current pics to determine what wires are coming from where. If I am unclear, or you need more specifics, post a response. This shouldn't be that complicated of a swap for you, so if you don't mind, take some more pics, preferably one straight at the box, after wires extended out - and we'll help you complete this task.
Sad to say but everyone here has said the feed(hot) dosn't go to the blue wire.Also there is a diagram has been posted 3 times and its the right one go to the site you list and this is the diagram I f you can't figure that out we can't help you anymore YOU NEED TO CALL AN ELECTRICIAN!!!!! http://www.smarthome.com/1122W/Levit...6124H-W/p.aspx
 

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Okay I did as you asked. Only the lower right wire is hot. I guess I have my multimeter to the wrong setting because the needle never moved on it. But I also have a little line tester meant for power outlets with a light on it, and that worked.
 

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Hey 300zx you don't have to be that way. If you read my posts you'd discover I have a 5A, not the 20A you depicted so there are different wires. You would also discover that I have tried to connect the blue to the hot wire, and then to the neutral wire, both with the same effect.
 
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