Timer switch for outside light

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Old 12-09-18, 05:49 PM
J
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Timer switch for outside light

So I replaced my regular light switch with a timer switch. When I removed the old switch there were three wires; black, bare copper and a white. The white was wrapped in black electrical tape. The new switch had 4 wires; red, green, black and white. When I color matched the wires, I had no place for the red, so I left it unconnected. When I did that, nothing happened. Well, I take that back. The light did turn on when I flipped the breaker back on, but it wouldn't turn off....or do anything, for that matter. So I unhooked the green wire and hooked the red to the bare copper wire and did nothing with the green wire. When I flipped the breaker back on, the switch worked. The timer works. The on/off button works. It does what it's supposed to do. BUT, here's the problem. Everything is backwards. The 'on' button turns the light off. The 'off' button turns the light on. The 'custom on' and the 'custom off' buttons (the buttons to customize the timer to my preferred time the light kicks on and off) are also backwards, meaning, the 'custom on' is what shuts the light off and vise versa. Can anyone advise why this is happening? And is it safe to have the red wire connected to the bare copper wire?
 
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Old 12-09-18, 07:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

IF you only have the two wires there..... white and black....and they were on the switch...... you have what is called a switch loop. You cannot use that timer there. That timer calls for a neutral and you don't have a neutral there. You have a hot wire and a switched/load wire.

You can get timers that don't require a neutral to operate.
The one I use all the time is the Intermatic ST01....... Intermatic ST01 timer
 
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Old 12-09-18, 08:46 PM
J
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Ok. Thank you for your feedback. I'll check Lowe's or Home Depot for that other timer.
 
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