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

Convert 2 Separate switch items to 1 swtch

Posted by casualfc (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 2, 10 at 23:19

I have a 3 switch plate on my wall. One switch is for an indoor light switch ( 3 wire, as there are 2 on the same line). The other 2 switches are two separate outdoor light fixtures. I would like to install an in-wall timer that controls both lights at the same time. Is this possible?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Convert 2 Separate switch items to 1 swtch

Shouldn't be a problem. You would just connect, say, both top wires from the existing switches to the one pole of the switch and the two bottom wires to the other pole of the switch.

The only trouble I foresee is some (many, all?) of those timers require a neutral to be present. Depending on how those lights are wired, you may not have a neutral in the box. You might also have a difficult time finding a wall plate to cover the missing device at your local home center. You'll probably need an electrical supply house or order one online.

RE: Convert 2 Separate switch items to 1 swtch

It MAY be possible, depending on several factors. I would get an electrician to take a look at it.

RE: Convert 2 Separate switch items to 1 swtch

If both switches are currently fed from the same incoming hot - pigtailed to both switches - it shouldn't be too tough. You simply wirenut the feeds to the lights together with a pigtail, and connect the pigtail to the one switch.

If they aren't wired that way - one or both on switchloops - then it gets quite a bit more complicated.

Others have pointed out the additional concerns here. I would add that some timers are powered by small internal batteries and thus don't need a neutral.

 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