Can't get timer switch to work/odd wiring

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  #1  
Old 09-15-09, 02:26 PM
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Can't get timer switch to work/odd wiring

I'm trying to install a timer switch in my bathroom. There's a junction box with two switches. One controls a light fixture and the other controls an exhaust fan. I'm trying to put the timer on the exhaust fan. The switch for the fan is on the right, light on the left:



Gray is actually white. The circles are wire nuts.


Here are the instructions that came with my switch.


Now I know that the color of the wire doesn't always reflect what it does, but I went ahead and connected color to color thinking it'd work. The timer doesn't do anything--no power to it.

I popped off the covers to the fan and the light but I can't get to the part where the wire connects in without messing up the drywall.

I'm not really sure where to go from here. This is what it looks like now; I connected red to red and black to black from the old switch, and tapped into the white nut for the white wire on the timer.

 

Last edited by HuskyFan; 09-15-09 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-15-09, 03:03 PM
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in the current box, do you know which wires/cables are which? Which cable brings power into the box? Which are the switch legs for the light/fan? Not in the drawing or the directions, but in the actual box.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nickdel View Post
in the current box, do you know which wires/cables are which? Which cable brings power into the box? Which are the switch legs for the light/fan? Not in the drawing or the directions, but in the actual box.
I have no clue what goes to what. And as I stated above, I have no way of finding out.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 06:55 PM
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Connect the black from the timer to the black power wire (the black that goes to both the fan and the light switches) and connect the red from the timer to the black going to the fan.

When switches (or timers in this case) have both red and black wires the black is usually the power input and the red the power output.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 08:38 PM
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OK it doesn't make any sense to me, but this works:




The switch is clicking when I turn it on. I'm thinking the fan has more horses than the switch can handle, but I'm not sure.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 03:09 PM
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With a little bit of help from a guy from Intermatic and a lot of trial and error, found out:

White wire from "top" is a common neutral wire for both the exhaust fan and light that the two switches control.

Red wire was common hot wire.

Two wires come from left because circuit is wired in series. If I uncapped one of the red or white wires coming in from the right, the whole circuit doesn't work. Make sense.

So what I did was connect the white on the timer to the bundle of whites, and the black on the timer to the top red, and red on the timer to the right red.


I'm just glad it works
 
 

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