Will this timer work?


Old 01-20-17, 02:27 PM
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Will this timer work?

I have some older GE digital timers that I bought when they were clearanced a while back. GE5100E30. They are electronic and require just a black and white (no ground). It feeds the line side of the fixture from a blue wire. I have 2 black, 2 white, 2 grounds in the boxes and know how to ID supply from load.

It has all sorts of loads listed. Resistive, inductive, and incandescent. Says it's ok for heat lamps, fans, steam rooms, lighting.

Before I go to the trouble of pulling the old switches, cutting and stripping the texture and paint coated old wires, etc...anyone have an idea if this will work with CFLs or LEDs? I currently have some CFLs in a couple of closets (but can switch to non-dimmable LEDs if needed). The switches are just poorly located and I often forget to turn the lights off. Don't plan on using for bath att, but may use for the fan at a later date.

Note, it's purely a timer, not a dimmer.
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Old 01-20-17, 03:00 PM
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By requiring a "black and white", I can assume they need a neutral. I don't think the timers will have the same problems that a dimmer when associated with CFL's . However this is a picture I captured with the same model number on it and it says it is specifically for incandescent loads.

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Old 01-20-17, 07:46 PM
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I know Larry, that's what's messing me up. Mine is exactly as shown, even the same QC inspector...lol. Thing is, I think I got it before CFL's became common, let alone LED. If it's just a switch and doesn't draw power through the bulb, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

I may try just wiring it to a test plug/socket I have and see what happens.
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Vic, those are all maximum loads and they are based upon inrush currents. The incandescent rating, sometimes called tungsten rating, is low because cold incandescent bulbs are essentially a short circuit when first switched on and take a high inrush current. Too high and the relay contacts in the timer will fuse.

Inductive currents are more indicative of a motor, still high inrush so the same action as the incandescent (tungsten) rating.

Resistive loads are more like heaters and have a low inrush current so welding of the relay contacts is less likely and they can carry larger current loads.

Since the time has both power and neutral input it almost certainly has a mechanical relay and will work just fine with both LED and CFL lamps. It is the devices that utilize solid state switching (no neutral wire) that have problems switching lower load lamps.
Old 01-20-17, 09:06 PM
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That's kinda where I was. It does say "Electronic...no ticking!" but as old and as cheap as it was I figured it had to have electronics that just tripped a relay. I figure it's sort of like leaving the switch in the on position when you change a bulb or plug in the new bath exhaust fan, the switch doesn't explode or the bulb doesn't burn out (most times). It doesn't have to control voltage, current, frequency or anything, it just has to switch the power on and off, and a simple circuit with a relay is a cheap and easy way to accomplish that.
Old 01-21-17, 06:12 AM
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and it says it is specifically for incandescent loads
It also says inductive loads up to 1/2HP. I see no reason why this would not work fine for LED's and CFL's. It is a timer, not a motion sensor or dimmer.

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