Replacing a wall switch with a timer

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Old 10-18-10, 07:24 PM
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Replacing a wall switch with a timer

I have a switch for an outdoor flood light I want to replace with a wired timer. There are three wires on the switch; black, white, (uninsulated) ground. The timer has four wires; black, white, red, green. I connected black to black, white to white, ground to green. What am I supposed to do with the extra red wire on the timer? Without the red wire connected the timer doesn't work.
 
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Old 10-18-10, 07:51 PM
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The switch is on a switch loop. There is no neutral. The switch you bought needs a neutral. If the lights are incandescent or halogen you can use a timer with no neutral. Return the switch and buy one that does not need a neutral. Usually a switch that does not require a neutral will only have two wires plus ground.
 
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Old 10-19-10, 04:31 PM
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Thanks Ray. The lights are CFL's. There is another switch for a ceiling light right next to it that does have four wires but it is controlled by a different circuit breaker. Could I hook the neutral onto that line?
 
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Old 10-19-10, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RonSMeyer View Post
Thanks Ray. The lights are CFL's. There is another switch for a ceiling light right next to it that does have four wires but it is controlled by a different circuit breaker. Could I hook the neutral onto that line?
Stealing a neutral is not permited. You might though be able to move the light to that circuit. What all is on the other circuit besides the ceiling light?
 
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