Problem Wiring Porch Light Timer On A 60 Year Old House

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Old 09-11-14, 03:29 PM
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Problem Wiring Porch Light Timer On A 60 Year Old House

I am trying to install an automatic light timer for my porch and have run into a problem with the 60 year old wiring and any help given would be greatly appreciated.

The hot wire was looped around and attached to the light switch.


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The looped hot black wire is connected to the other switch that turns on an outlet in the living room.



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The second switch with the red wire also has another black wire attached to the back.


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Here is a side by side picture.


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How do I install the timer if the wire is looped and needs to fit into a twist cap?

I would also like to replace the second switch but I am not sure what to do with the red wire, the black wire stuck in the back, and the black wire that is looped and connected.

Thank you in advance for your help and suggestions.

Michael
 
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Old 09-11-14, 04:12 PM
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.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 04:57 PM
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Ray,

Thank you for the quick reply.

I am a little confused. If I cut the wire at the loop to attach that to the timer, do I discard the remaining piece? The wire you pointed to is the wire that loops and connects to the porch light switch.

When you say combine the other black and the red into a pigtail. what does that mean?

When I buy a new light switch, don't the wires get attached separately to the screws and which wire do I attach to which screw. (I am assuming I will only be using two of the three original wires until you can answer)

Sorry to come off as a newb, but I want to be absolutely sure about this.

Thank you so much for your time.


Michael
 
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Old 09-11-14, 05:32 PM
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If I cut the wire at the loop to attach that to the timer, do I discard the remaining piece? The wire you pointed to is the wire that loops and connects to the porch light switch.
Nothing is discarded that just forms your pigtail to the next switch. If it is less then 6" when you cut it use a new piece of wire.
When you say combine the other black and the red into a pigtail. what does that mean?
A pigtail is a short length of wire 6"-8" long. That is connected to the other two using a wire nut.
which wire do I attach to which screw.
It doesn't matter
(I am assuming I will only be using two of the three original wires until you can answer)
No the two wires that were spliced* at the switch go to a pigtail and the pigtail to the switch.

*The place where you had one wire on the screw and the other in the back stab associated with that screw was a splice.

Will post a diagram later if you tell me about the red wire. Does it go to a 3-conductor cable that carries power to both lights? Is there a group of whites connected only to each other?. Does the timer have a white wire?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-11-14 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 09-11-14, 05:46 PM
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OK...thanks.

A diagram will be very helpful.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 06:31 PM
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Till you give me the requested information here is a general one on pigtailing.

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Old 09-11-14, 07:50 PM
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Since I don't know what cables you have in the box but the red wire seems to suggest a single 3-conductor cable out to the lights and a 2-conductor cable bringing power in and the timer probably has a neutral this is one possible arrangement of cables:

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But here is what I would normally expect to see:

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Does one match your cables? If not tell us how yours is different and we will go from there.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 10:38 AM
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I hope this makes sense to you.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 10:52 AM
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Yes, a pigtail in both cases. Look at the two diagrams to get a better idea of what you are doing. Both are the same except for cable to lights. If you will look you will see if the timer has wires instead of screws you will use that instead of a pigtail.

To explain it another way power in has pigtails, one to each switch if they have screws. If one has wires that wire substitutes for one of the pigtails the pigtail.

The connection to the hot wire, the one looped around both switches that you cut is circled in red below.

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Last edited by ray2047; 09-12-14 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 09-12-14, 11:24 AM
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If that is correct then please accept my sincere gratitude for your time and generous help.
 
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