Replacing a switch


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Old 01-07-14, 01:05 PM
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Replacing a switch

I am trying to replace the dimmer switches for my porch and pathway lights with Leviton 7-Day programmable switches. I began by replacing the pathway lights.

Since my house was furbished in the '60s, the wiring is outdated.

The existing Leviton Decora switch which was connected with a red and black wire was functioning properly.

When I replaced the switch with the Leviton 7-Day programmable switch and connected it in the same fashion (black to black and red to red), the switch was operational (the LCD on the switch was functioning and I was able to set the time, zone, Lat, Long, etc.). But, the lights were not functioning. Even with the manual override enabled, the lights were not getting power.

A conversation with Leviton enlightened me: the timer switch will not function unless the neutral (white) cable is attached.

The wiring in the box does not have a neutral cable.

Any help would be appreciated. I plan to add a programmable switch to t
 
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Old 01-07-14, 01:19 PM
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It would be a neutral wire not a cable. It sounds like you have a 2-conductor cable (black and white) used as a switch loop from the light. You would need to replace it with a 3-conductor cable (black, red,white). That are assuming you are using incandescent bulbs use a timer that does not require a neutral.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 01:52 PM
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I replaced the switch with the Leviton 7-Day programmable switch and connected it in the same fashion (black to black and red to red), the switch was operational (the LCD on the switch was functioning and I was able to set the time, zone, Lat, Long, etc.). But, the lights were not functioning. Even with the manual override enabled, the lights were not getting power.

A conversation with Leviton enlightened me: the timer switch will not function unless the neutral (white) [wire] is attached.

The wiring in the box does not have a neutral [wire].
If you have a black and a red house wire and your house is wired with cable then you should have a white wire in that cable. I'm not aware of any electrical cable that's been made and installed in thr U.S. that has two hot wires and no neutral in it.

If your house is wired with conduit, you should be able to pull a white wire through the conduit.
 
 

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