Need help instaling timer light switch

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Old 01-27-13, 06:32 AM
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Need help instaling timer light switch

I purchased a GE Sunsmart digital timer to control the porch lights on our house. The lights are outdoors but the switch is inside. There is only one switch for these lights so i assumed its a single pole switch but its on a plate with four other switches and when i opened it up i saw the switch has three wires. There are a black and a red that same to come form the same cable. There is a white wire that comes out of that cable but it isn't attached to the switch it disappears into the mass of wires in the box so I don't know where that goes.

There is a second black wire that loops around and attaches to the second screw on the same side of the switch as the red wire. Since it loops around I assume that it is attached to more than one switch on the panel.

I have already tried hooking this up with no success yet. ( images below) I was only able to get the screen to come on if I hooked the blue wire to the single black wire, then the black wire on the switch to the looped black wire and finally the white wire from the switch to the red wire. When the display came on i thought we were good but when I set the digital timer to on the display faded slightly and the lights would not come on ( yes i tested the lights before installing the switch and they work). I connected a circuit tested across the white and blue wires and got no current and then clicked the switch on and got a current so the switch seems to be working. The bulbs are all CFL's but the product information says the switch is CFL and LED ready. Any ideas?


Attachment 8440

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Old 01-27-13, 09:19 AM
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First off......welcome to the forum.
Second.....your pics did not transfer.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

If you had three screws on the switch then you had a three way switch. Look at the toggle on the switch. It should not say on or off like a regular single pole switch does.

All three way switches have an odd colored (or darker) screw. Did you notice which wire(s) where attached to that screw ?

You'll need to check all the wires that were attached to the old switch to see if any are live. You're going to need to find the other switch and toggle it to see if the wire you found live stays live.

We need to find out if you are at the light end or the feed end of the three way circuit.

Try re-posting your pics too,
 
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Old 01-27-13, 03:54 PM
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You were right. The configuration of the switch seemed consistent with a 3 way switch but the other switch was hidden behind drapes so long ago I forgot it even existed.

Sorry about the images. This site is very finicky about image size even when they are being hosted on another site so i tried to upload them directly but obviously that didnt work. Here they are.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]8488[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]8489[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 01-27-13, 06:02 PM
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You need to check that looped wire that is on the odd colored screw. My guess is you'll find it's always hot regardless of any switch change at either location.

If that is the case then that switch location is considered the line side of the three way circuit.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 06:28 PM
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Thanks. I did that and yes the looped wire is aways live. What do i do about the white wire. The red wire and one of the black wires comes out of a cable that does have a white wire but that wire disappears somewhere behind the rest of the switches. Do I need to figure out where that wire is and hook it up the like it is in the diagram?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 06:40 PM
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Ok.....so the looped wire is your black to your timer.
The white of the timer goes to a neutral connection in that box. Probably same place the other timer gets neutral from......and yes it's going to be buried.

The red and blue will connect to the red and black going to the other three way switch and you'll have to make a wiring change at that switch to unless it already works without any wiring changes and you don't intend to use that switch.
 
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