Problem with new switch

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-13-04, 04:37 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Problem with new switch

Hey,

I'm trying to install a timer light switch on an incandescent light. I've replaced many light switches in the past but this one is different. Instead of only black, white and green, this one has BLACK, WHITE, BLUE and GREEN. It also speaks of LINE and LOAD. I've never heard of this. Someone care to explain how to hook this up? Or direct me to a good site? Also, the actual wires coming out of the wall are WHITE, BLACK and GREEN. The diagram states that there should be two black wires...

Many thanks for any help... =D

Also, my first guess would be to put the blue and black wires of the switch to the BLACK coming out of the wall.. would that be okay?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-13-04, 04:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
You bought the wrong switch for your application. You bought a switch that requires a neutral connection, but you don't have a neutral wire to connect to. They do make timer switches that do not require a neutral connection (for incandescent lighting control), and you need to buy one of those.
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-04, 04:53 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I'm not very knowledgeable in this field, so I took a photo of the box. I see that there is a white cable in the back not being used. Perhaps this is the neutral cable of which you speak?

I sure hope so, I don't want to return this 40$ gizmo.

Here's the photo:
http://www.chopinmusic.net/files/External/cords.jpg

Thanks a lot for the help!
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-04, 05:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Well, the picture is a bit dark to see clearly, but it appears that you have more wires in your box than your first post admitted to. You can probably do this, but I would appreciate a clearer picture and/or a detailed description of what I am seeing.

I used some photo-enhancing software to clear this up (now I feel like I'm a CSI lab) and it seems that you have one cable with black/red/white, and another cable with black/white. This is all you need. All we need now to tell you exactly what to do is a description of the wiring at the light.
 
  #5  
Old 12-13-04, 05:26 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Would it be safe to connect it as such?..

Cords order...
APPLICATION - OUT OF WALL

- the WHITE to that WHITE in back
- the BLUE to the BLACK deriving from the black
- the BLACK to the BLACK straight out of cord

(basing on that picture)

I hope that made sense.

P.S. sorry for the quality of the picture, but you must understand that all the lights are out due to the power being off. I'll see what I can do, however.
 
  #6  
Old 12-13-04, 05:39 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Here, a better picture of the cords...

http://www.chopinmusic.net/files/External/cords2.jpg

and the device - for what it's worth...

http://www.chopinmusic.net/files/External/app.jpg
 
  #7  
Old 12-13-04, 05:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Actually, I see three white wires in the switch box. I can't quite tell what that big black thing is in the middle of the black wire on the left side of the switch box (from which the third white wire seems to emerge). Is that a bunch of electrical tape? Or a black wire nut? And where exactly does that third white wire come from?

Thanks for the additional pictures. But I still need to know about the connections at the light. Can you pull down the light without disconnecting anything and take a picture of that?

The existing rocker switch has two wires connected to it (a black and a red), and two white wires connected to each other in the back of the box (certainly neutral wires), but the box also has a black and a white wire just hanging out in the air. What was the former state of these two wires?
 
  #8  
Old 12-13-04, 06:05 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I certainly appreciate all of your help, to answer both of these questions...
Originally Posted by John Nelson
Actually, I see three white wires in the switch box. I can't quite tell what that big black thing is in the middle of the black wire on the left side of the switch box (from which the third white wire seems to emerge). Is that a bunch of electrical tape? Or a black wire nut? And where exactly does that third white wire come from?
The black cable which you cannot distinguish where the WHITE wire emerges, it is indeed electrical tape surrounding it. I am not too sure why it is like this. I recently bought this house and some of the wiring is wacky.

Originally Posted by John Nelson
The existing rocker switch has two wires connected to it (a black and a red), and two white wires connected to each other in the back of the box (certainly neutral wires), but the box also has a black and a white wire just hanging out in the air. What was the former state of these two wires?
Those two wires hanging in the air (which one is the one I mentioned above (the white emerging one)) were connected to the former rocker switch. The white on top and the black on bottom.

Originally Posted by John Nelson
Thanks for the additional pictures. But I still need to know about the connections at the light. Can you pull down the light without disconnecting anything and take a picture of that?
Here is a picture of the lighting fixture, it is actually an outdoor light...

http://www.chopinmusic.net/files/External/fixt.jpg

Basicly, the BLACK and WHITE wires come in, and split into the two that feed each light.
 
  #9  
Old 12-13-04, 06:12 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Oh, I didn't catch the fact that there were two switches in this box. That's significant. Let me look at your new picture for a minute.
 
  #10  
Old 12-13-04, 06:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
I wish this guy wasn't so darn fond of electrical tape (I bet you do too).

The literature that came with your new switch surely says whether the black wire is "line" and the blue wire is "load" or vice versa. Which is it?

And is there a wire nut under that black tape at the switch box? If not, take off that silly tape and make a proper connection (the guy probably liked his soldering iron as much as he liked electrical tape).
 
  #11  
Old 12-13-04, 06:18 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Perhaps I was not clear.


In the box (cords2.jpg), there are (supposed to be) 2 lightswitches, but I removed one to do the replacement. The one on the left (connected to red and black) controls a completely different light inside the house. The one on the right controls the outdoor light. I wish to put the timer switch (Red, Gre, Bla, Blu) on the outdoor light.

Ah, I suck at explaining things.
 
  #12  
Old 12-13-04, 06:20 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by John Nelson
I wish this guy wasn't so darn fond of electrical tape (I bet you do too).

The literature that came with your new switch surely says whether the black wire is "line" and the blue wire is "load" or vice versa. Which is it?
It identifies the BLUE as LOAD and the BLACK as LINE. (I was going to take another pic, but this is simple enough)

Originally Posted by John Nelson
And is there a wire nut under that black tape at the switch box? If not, take off that silly tape and make a proper connection (the guy probably liked his soldering iron as much as he liked electrical tape).
Hahaha, I think he did love his tape, better safe than sorry. And yes, there is a wire nut under the big mess of tape.

Thanks again for all help.
 
  #13  
Old 12-13-04, 06:21 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
No, you explain things just fine. Read this forum for a while and you'll see examples of explanations that really suck.
 
  #14  
Old 12-13-04, 06:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Okay, that white wire emerging from the two blacks on the left side is "line" (although the wire should really have been black). So connect that to the black of your new switch.

Then the black wire on the right is the "load", so connect that to the blue of your new switch.

Then connect the white from your switch to the two white wires in the wire nut in the back of the box.

Connect the green wire to that screw in the back of the box (actually, since you don't want to put two wires under one screw, you should really connect all the grounding wires to a grounding pigtail, and run that pigtail to the screw in the back of the box).

This is almost what you guessed earlier, but you had the line and load reversed.
 
  #15  
Old 12-13-04, 06:28 PM
PianistSk8er
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Great! Thanks a lot!

I'll go try this now, hopefully the thing won't blow up!

May I ask what would have happened if the LOAD and LINE would have been mixed up? (something bad? =O)

Toodles and thanks again.
 
  #16  
Old 12-13-04, 06:31 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The "line" powers the timer even when the switch is off. If you had reversed the line and load, the timer would not work properly, since the timer would stop operating when the light got switched off.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'