Can a timer be used on a three way switch circuit

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Old 07-22-16, 04:21 AM
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Can a timer be used on a three way switch circuit

Had a customer ask if a three way switch, two toggle switches operating one light, can be substituted with a timer at one of the switches. I told him I don't think so, but was not sure. He confirmed he had three conductor wire (red, black and white). He said the timer would be powered by the hot wire. But I told him where would you connect the traveler (red) wire to provide power if the switch is flipped. I think it would work only if the switch was in one position only. Your thoughts?

Edit...Are there timers made for a three way switch set up?
 
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Old 07-22-16, 05:19 AM
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They are available ,but note that a neutral is required.

https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-PLS...y+timer+switch
 
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Old 07-22-16, 10:41 AM
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Check out the Intermatic STO1.

They make a 3-way version, no neutral required. It's battery powered.

Intermatic 15-Amp In-Wall Heavy Duty Astronomic Digital Timer-EI600WC - The Home Depot
 
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Old 07-22-16, 11:34 AM
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Gentleman, thank you both for the leads. I did not know about these.

I'm still waiting for Ray to confirm or deny if an ordinary timer can be wired into the circuit.
 
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Old 07-22-16, 11:49 AM
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I'm still waiting for Ray
Sorry, that's Pete's ball park not mine.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-22-16 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 07-22-16, 12:44 PM
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Oops. Got my people mixed up. I thought you were the electrical guru.
 
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Old 07-22-16, 06:54 PM
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Not possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Old 07-22-16, 07:09 PM
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GE makes a timer I use all the time. The link is below. Here's the poop.

You need a neutral which isn't really a problem because the timer becomes the switching device and the remaining three way switch is only used as a single pole switch. The switch tells the timer to turn on or off.

They give you instructions which are not easy to follow. I have helped a number of members here wire them but it requires pictures of the wiring at both ends. It is NOT a cake installation if you don't understand wiring.

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GE 3-Way Sunsmart In-Wall Digital Timer-15312 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 07-22-16, 07:20 PM
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OK. That confirms my suspicions and I learned about some new product. Thanks to both Geochurci and PJ for the heads up and concise answer.

PJ, that Intermatic unit looks interesting that aandpdan (post #3) listed. No neutral required, multi voltage, AC or DC and multi type lights, single pole or 3 way. But it does use a battery.
 
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Old 07-22-16, 09:49 PM
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Yes.... I have used them too. At one time they were very reliable. I've found the quality has slipped and no longer use them.
 
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