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help installing a timer on a single pole switch in the same box as a 3 way

help installing a timer on a single pole switch in the same box as a 3 way

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  #1  
Old 06-05-13, 12:06 PM
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help installing a timer on a single pole switch in the same box as a 3 way

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i'll try my best to describe this mess....

i want to install a timer on a single pole switch for my outside garage light. next to it in the same box is a 3 way switch (with it's match on the other side of garage) that controls the overhead indoor garage light. got the timer installed and it works! BUT now the 3 way does not. ??

the pics below show the current configuration with the working timer and non-working overhead light. ideas?

this is the timer Shop Utilitech Digital Residential Hardwired Timer at Lowes.com
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-13, 12:11 PM
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EDIT: in the bottom pic the two black wires are actually connected in real life. my spouse disconnected them here but when they are connected the timer works.
 
  #3  
Old 06-05-13, 01:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

If you didn't change any of the wiring associated with the 3-way switch pair then they should still work.

I would replace what looks like tape on the splice for the ground wire for the timer with a small wire nut. I would also take the neutrals splice apart and double-check that each of the 4 or 5 conductors in it are making good contact with the others.
 
  #4  
Old 06-05-13, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for your reply! I didn't touch either of the 3 way switches but since I installed the timer, they don't work. It's so strange. The 5 neutrals are making a good connection. Also the tape on the ground was my spouse's doing after I had a nut on it. I ditched the tape and put the nut back on.
 
  #5  
Old 06-05-13, 05:30 PM
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One of the three way switch commons should be hot. Disconnect the wire on the common in each 3-way box and measure to neutral if present or ground. If neither common shows ~120 volts then you have lost power to the switches. I'd bet it is in the box where you put the timer.
 
  #6  
Old 06-05-13, 05:39 PM
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In that 2-gang box, I'd guess that the wire connected to common on the 3-switch would be the black wire with the curl in it. Is that correct?
 
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