Problems replacing a switch

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  #1  
Old 05-28-13, 02:07 PM
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Problems replacing a switch

Having some weird problems replacing a timer light switch. The old timer stopped working (on/off still works sometimes, but it feels like wheel of fortune) and shows a matching error code which according to the manual means: “Replace it”. So, I bought a new timer switch, but upon replacing it things got really strange.

So, the old switch was hooked up as a single switch. I have 2 black wires come out of the wall that were connected to the switch, but no ground. The old switch had a black, a blue, and a red. Only one of the 2 blacks is hot and it was connected to the blue wire of the switch and the second black was connected to the black wire of the switch. A ground wire is in the wall, but pushed into the far corner and was not used. The red wire of the switch was not hooked up to anything and just covered with a wire nut.

The new switch has a black, a blue, and green wire. According to the instructions the blue gets connected to the hot black wire. The green gets connected to ground. And the remaining black gets connected to the non-hot black from the wall.

I pull out the ground and connected it to the green. Hot gets connected to blue and black to black. So, it should be straight forward and easy, but it was not.

The new timer switch did not work. I moved the power button to on and the display is supposed to come up, but it does not. I double-check all the connection and use a multimeter. All looks good “on paper”. I disconnected everything, checked the wires and the instructions again, put it all back together with no luck. I have a non-timer one-way switch and use that for testing, but it does not work either. I had bought this one-way switch for another room. I went and hooked it up at its final “destination” and it works fine.

I went and reconnected the old timer switch and sure enough things work just fine. While the timer is toast, I am able to use on/off a couple times.

So, I am not sure what is going on. The old timer was hooked up in one-way mode (according to what the online manual shows). It did not have ground connected, but 2 blacks (one hot, the other one not). A multimeter test shows everything looks good from a power perspective. The new timer is not coming online, and a second one-way switch does not work either, but works in another location.

Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-13, 02:19 PM
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What is the make and model of your new timer switch? Can you post a link to the installation instructions for it?

Blue to line and black to load sounds backwards, but only the manufacturer's instructions will clarify that.
 
  #3  
Old 05-30-13, 06:37 AM
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Here is a link to the manual:

http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/GE-15313-Manual.pdf

GE 15313 7-day timer
 
  #4  
Old 05-30-13, 07:36 AM
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OK, blue to line and black to load is backwards. The instructions you linked to show it the other way around.

Connect the black wire on your new timer to the hot feed black wire in the box and connect the blue wire on the timer to the black wire going to the lights. Tell us how that works out.
 
  #5  
Old 05-31-13, 06:18 AM
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I switched the wires, but it did not make a difference. I went back to Home Depot to get a simple one-way switch, but also looked at the other timers. Got to talk to one of their electricians and he mentioned that even though there was no neutral required to check on the white (neutral) to see if it was loose.

I bought another timer switch that actually required a neutral (white). At home I checked, but the 2 whites inside the box were connected just fine. I installed the simple one-way switch, but nothing.

I installed that new timer switch (incl. neutral) and things started working. Really weird. I bought this house 3 years ago and had some other issues where some 3-way switches were not hooked up properly. So, I am thinking that this situation fits in quite well - something was not right in the first place. Anyway, it's all good now that I have the other timer switch installed that required a neutral in addition to the other ones.

But I really appreciate your help!!!!!!!!!! It's good to get a second opinion. Thank you.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 10:35 AM
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Glad you got it done, and thank you for letting us know how it worked out.
 
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