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White wire on a three way switch with new timer being installed as one switch.

White wire on a three way switch with new timer being installed as one switch.

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  #1  
Old 02-10-13, 07:38 AM
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White wire on a three way switch with new timer being installed as one switch.

A friend is installing a timer for outside lights that are controlled via a three way switch. On the timer there is no connection point for the white wire. The outlet box where we would like to install the timer has the standard black, red, white and ground wires coming from (I assume the fixture). The other box (unfortunately I didn't look at it before posting this) I assume is where the line is connect to the fixture and the white wire is directly connected to the load/light.

I assume that I connect the black wire from the timer to the black wire to the fixture, the blue wire to the red and of course the ground to the ground...

My question is what do I do with the white --- Just cap it off ?

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Old 02-10-13, 08:48 AM
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I assume that I connect the black wire from the timer to the black wire to the fixture, the blue wire to the red
Wire colors are not always relevant when referring to a 3-way switch. what is relevant is the common and two travelers. The color wies attached to those are the installers option. On three conductor cable used on a 3-way the white is usually a hot but is not sometimes remarked hot as code requires.

My question is what do I do with the white --- Just cap it off ?
No. It is connected to the neutral. If this is switch loop such as is the case if power comes in at the light then you have no neutral to connect it to so the switch can not be used with out replacing at least one cable from the light or a different type of switch*.
  • Does power come in at the light?
  • Is there a 2-conductor cable from the light to the box where you want the timer or is there just a 3-conductor cable?

*A switch that has no neutral can not be used with CFL bulbs.
 
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Old 02-11-13, 01:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Unless the timer is a 3-way switch, your friend will only be able to have the timer control it, or, possibly (depending on the wiring) have a switch at the second location that can override the timer and turn the light off, but not on. Is that the outcome s/he would like?
 
  #4  
Old 02-12-13, 09:12 AM
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Power does not come in at the light... Thre is a 3 conductor cable (red, black, white and ground)
 
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