New timer switch install

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  #1  
Old 05-12-14, 11:48 AM
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New timer switch install

Hello Everyone,

I am trying to install a Utilitec lighting timer I purchased from Lowe's:
Shop Utilitech 15-Amp Digital Residential Hardwired Lighting Timer at Lowes.com

Unfortunately, I have an older house in which the wiring isn't colored in a straightforward manner. I've taken a photo to demonstrate below. From what I can tell, there's a couple of white wires red capped in the back, a copper ground wire in the bottom of the box, and black wires attaching the switches. I want to disconnect the switch on the left and add the timer on that side. I called Utilitec and asked for help, but a person answered who was not an electrician, and she said "if you have an older house, it might not work"--not exactly helpful. So, I would appreciate any advice here. I'm certainly not an electrician, and if it's a lost cause I will just return it to Lowe's. Thanks in advance!

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Edit: the top photo became rotated on the upload; the switch I want to replace is the upper one.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-12-14, 12:29 PM
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The group of whites connected only to each other is your neutrals. Your new switch wire goes there.
the wiring isn't colored in a straightforward manner.
Actually it is but I can't see if your new switch has a black wire in addition to the red. If it does then the black goes to the hot wire on the old switch and the red goes to the wire on the load side of the old switch. Best way to determine which black is hot is with a multimeter or test light. A non contact tester won't work. You may be able to tell just by looking. The black shared by both switches is your hot.
 
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Old 05-12-14, 02:51 PM
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Ray, just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your advice. I actually was able to use a non-contact tester to figure out which was hot. I turned off the circuit breaker, unwired the switch, then turned it back on and tested the wires separately. In any case, you were completely right on how everything wired together. The hardest part was trying to cram all the wiring back into the box. I will submit a picture below of the final wiring.

Also just wanted to say my dad was an electrician, and I would always ask his advice for this sort of thing. He helped me do some easy wiring of switches in my house a few months ago. Unfortunately, acute leukemia took him rather quickly a couple of weeks ago. He would be proud I got this new timer switch in place!

Thanks again for all your help, Ray.

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Old 05-12-14, 03:16 PM
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Glad you got it, good job. Thanks for letting us know.
 
  #5  
Old 05-12-14, 05:56 PM
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My sympathy for your loss of your Dad .

God bless
Wyr
 
  #6  
Old 05-12-14, 06:57 PM
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Thanks Wyr. He was an amazing person, a jack-of-all-trades. Wish he was here to check out this new timer switch!
 
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