timer-3way-flouresence lights-not?

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  #1  
Old 11-28-02, 07:52 AM
bobcar
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timer-3way-flouresence lights-not?

Trying to install timer on 3 way switch to turn on off flourescense lights in kitchen when away. 3 sets of (2 tubes each)-total 240 watts of light. I have tried two different timers (GE & Intermactic), both won't do it. The switch (by hall) replaced with the timer, will turn on-off the lights. The switch in the kitchen island, once lights are on, (by operation of timer) will turn lights off, but if you turn lights back on by this switch, they will not come back on. I have checked all wiring, (to many times-checked timers on other circuits-OK), so I'm clueless. I beginning to think it must be the ballast in the lights, yet the timers state that they will work for flourescense lights. Anybody venture a guess to help? Thanks Bob
 
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Old 11-28-02, 08:06 AM
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Are the timers you have, set up as a three way? Most timers are not 3-way type. Meaning they will operate like a regular light switch (2 insulate conductors terminated on the switch).
How many wires are on the timer?
 
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Old 11-28-02, 08:46 AM
bobcar
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Yes

Both the Intermatic and the GE have the correct wires (number) for replacing a 3way switch. They also state that they can be used for 2way or 3way switches. Naturally, depending on your app. you would use and wire different. This is what has me so confused, I have check the wiring on each timer so many times, it's crazy. I have even gone so far as to (if you will) trace the elec. route and just experimented with different wiring arrangements (not to create a short), but to see if the timers directions for wiring (color coded wires) were printed wrong. And it's still no go. Really has me baffled. That's why I'm beginning to think it has to do something with the ballast in the lights, for whatever reason, not letting them juice back up, from the second switch. I know this is crazy, but I am at a total loss as to why this is not going. I've wired stuff before, but never have I been at such a loss as to why?
 
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Old 11-28-02, 01:23 PM
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Just curiousity on my part but ate the timers rated for Florencent lamps? The next thing is does this timer allow an override from the other switch ? Many timers do not allow that funtion.
 
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Old 11-28-02, 02:03 PM
bobcar
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Yes

Yes they state that the timers can be used for incandesant(sp) or flourescense lighting. Min. watts is 40, with max of 500. I have 3 sets (2 tubes each-total 80 watts set), a total of 240 watts. Each direction states, that once wired up, that you can turn lights on/off by the timer itself, and the other 3 way switch (wired the way they show in the wiring diagram, can also be used as normal for on/off function. What gets me, is once I use the 2nd 3way (non timer) switch to turn lights off, as should be, it's like it trips something in the timer that won't let the lights come back on. Because if I can break the circuit by the 2nd switch, to stop the flow, (cause the lights to turn off), why shouldn't they come back on by flipping the switch (same one) to re-energize them. But it's like the timer has shut down (in a way) or is doing something like saying "I'm not going to let you have the elec. back." But to me this is impossible, sort of, if the elec. is there with the lights on, and I kill it with turning them off, turning the switch back on, it should still be there, but they won't light. Crazy.
 
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Old 11-28-02, 03:35 PM
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Do you have the make and model number of the timer maybe we can find out a little about the wiring on the unit? how many leads are there on the timer and is it possible you have the common mixed up? Where does the power to the lights go to first , the timer, the switch, or the fixture itself? Also what wires are where?
Maybe then someone can come up with an explaination.
 
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Old 11-28-02, 04:39 PM
bobcar
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The Intermatic is EJ353-3 wire, Black-Blue-Red. the GE is an GE5123-3 wire, Black-Blue-Red. Both timers wiring diagram are almost identical as for as wiring in the timer itself, and the other 3 way switch, (which I must admit, seems strange, because I would not think the other 3way would need to be rewired, but I followed their instructions, which called for wiring up one of the travlers into the common of the 2nd 3way, via a short jumper wire, GE Model. Even states that you will now notice that one travler spot in now empty. The Intermatic calls for a jumper from travler to common, in their rewiring of the 2nd 3way.) Must also add, I did what they said, tried leaving it alone, replacing with the other travler, etc. nothing seems to work. The switch where the timer was going (or replacing) was the hot switch, (there are other switches at this location-but not having anything to do with this switch-just that all the leads from the elec panel run here first). The 2nd 3way was the load switch. I identified the 2 travler wires to the 2nd 3way from where the timer was going (1st switch), and also verified the common ter.& wire at both locations. Not counting ground, the 1st switch (timer) has 3 wires, com.(from panel) & 2 travlers. The 2nd 3way has three wires, common-(from light) and the 2 travlers from the 1st switch (or timer). Have also verified the 2 travlers by way of long leads for continuity test. Hope this helps, let me know if you see anything wrong here, I'm at a loss.
 
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Old 11-28-02, 06:09 PM
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If you return everything to your starting point will the two three ways work? That would tell you if you have a problem elsewhere I doubt it but I have to ask. Does it say which wire on the timer is the common? Does it specify that the travellers I identical or does one of the two have a second function. It almost sounds like the timer wants to be in a 4 way switch system not a 3 way.

I can't seem to find any information on either of these timers on the net at least nothing of help, unless someone else knows these parts I will have to go to a supplier tomorrow and see if they have anything on their makeup.?
 
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Old 11-28-02, 08:17 PM
bobcar
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On the Intermatic EJ353--The common (hot) goes to the black lead of timer, the two travellers attach to the blue and red of timer-(does not specify that it makes a difference.) On the GE5123--the common (hot lead) attaches to the blue wire of time-the black (to black traveller) and red (to red traveller), which mine just happen to be this color. Remember, I said almost the same wiring direction, as you see the common goes to different color lead of timer, depending on the timer. They both specify this as "3-way (two light switches) application". Yes, I don't have the timer installed, got fed up trying to find the problem. I wired back in both 3way switches as should be, and they are working as the should. I appreciate your time, but it gets fustrating, we live in the country on 5 acres, I really wanted to use these to have the lights come on/off at different times, which both state they will do, but I don't know what the problem is. Without them, the lights (switches) function the way they should, I can't find a problem anywhere in the wiring, I have checked and rechecked things, shown my wife the wiring with explanation hoping she might catch something I say as not quite so. I have wired in other things, but this takes first place as being the Murphys Law.
 
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Old 11-29-02, 08:15 AM
RickJ6956
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Does the timer continue to keep time when the other switch is off?
 
  #11  
Old 11-29-02, 09:24 AM
bobcar
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I don't know. Since I could never get it to work correctly, for what ever reason, I never left it on (connected). I always took it off, and reinstalled the 3way switches to their original working. Have done this 3 times now, because not being able to get the lights to come back on from the second switch (as described above) was to much of a pain in the the a__. I or Penny would have to be always going over to the other side of the dining room to the timer itself, to get the kitchen lights on.
 
  #12  
Old 11-30-02, 07:39 AM
RickJ6956
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My thinking (without knowing specs on the timer) was that the timer wasn't getting power all the time and it was resetting -- not allowing power to get to the other switch. But if it is wired correctly, it can't turn off. All it can do is switch the power from one wire to the other.

The switch and timer must both be single pole/double throw. You can test the timer without hooking it up. Just run a meter between the hot and the outs/loads. Check for continuity. One should show a short, the other should read open. Now switch the timer's switch. The reading should be the opposite of the first reading. If not, you have a single pole/single throw timer -- or wrong wiring instructions.
 
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