Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Problem wiring new timer switch, please help

Posted by amg1978 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 29, 12 at 3:17

I tried, I am confused and so I am reaching out to you guys who know what your doing, as I obviously don't in this situation.

Near my front door there is a standard light switch which has 2 wires going to it. This light switch controls three lights outside, all go on and off at the same time (the porch light and the two on the side of the garage) when you operate it. There are two wires going in to the switch, both appear black with no white stripe, etc. but the box has lots of paint and on the wires, etc. Inside the box are what appear to be a ton of unshielded copper ground wires bundled together that terminate in a pack. The other two light switches have 3 wires going to them and those are three way switches as I have other areas near my staircase that i can operate and those lights (inside lights and such) which switch.

The switch I bought at Home Depot was this GE Sunsmart digital timer
3-Way Sunsmart In-Wall Digital Timer-15312 at The Home Depot

Here is a link to the wiring guide

There are BLACK, WHITE, BLUE, GREEN and RED wires. The box says for 3-way or single light operation, but I just don't see how I can make this work.

In the picture below the switch on the left with the two wires in it, is the switch that I want to replace with this GE timer. I have a nice digital multimeter which I can use to check continuity and voltage. I know that I checked and obviously one of the wires going to that switch on the left (the top wire) is 120V so that is LOAD I assume? and the one on the bottom is LINE? What do I do? Do I need a different timer? Can I make this work? Thanks!!

Here is the link to my wiring so far ,the switch is on the left that i want to remove.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Problem wiring new timer switch, please help

The green gets connected to the ground wires (those bare ones clipped together int he back.

The white goes to that bunch of white wires already connected by wire nut.

The black wire goes to the mess of black ones in the wire nut (one of which is connected to the switch you are replacing).

The blue wire goes to the other wire connected to the switch you are replacing.

RE: Problem wiring new timer switch, please help

"two wires going in to the switch"

Sounds like a switch loop.

There is no neutral in the box to run a load on.

RE: Problem wiring new timer switch, please help

Checkout the picture at the last link in his first post. The box appears to have power running to it rather than being switch loops.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of the box

RE: Problem wiring new timer switch, please help

"The box appears to have power running to it rather than being switch loops."

Link was not working when I tried.

Looks like power is there and NOT just a switch loop.

RE: Problem wiring new timer switch, please help

If you have the hot coming in on top then it is the line and it continues out on the second black to the load so its not a switch loop youre just switching the hot before it reahes the load which is to be expected...on a switch loop the hot comes into the switch after the load and continues back out after being relabeled white where it pigtails to the second terminal on the load...remember the line comes in thru the switch on black wire to the load then returns to the panel on the white

or it could be coming from the load hot and returning to the other screw on the load after the switch

the timer is single pole

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here