Installing digital timer with three switches controlling the lights


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Old 06-18-20, 09:46 PM
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Installing digital timer with three switches controlling the lights

Sorry for the long title, but the issue is that I have a set of porch lights that are controlled by three separate wall switches and I wanted to install one of those timer wall switches so I could program the time they came on, etc. I choose the one switch that was inside the house, by the front door, not the two other wall switches in the garage that do the same thing. I got it wired per the directions and it didnít work.

What it does is when I toggle it between the on and off feature, the lights flash for a quick moment and then noth8ng. Iíve included a picture of the Westek light switch Incase it helps. And, I did try swapping the the red and black wire of the switch with no difference.

Also, the switch I was replacing had a black wire on the hot side, a white wire on the common, a red wire for the power after the switch was moved, and a ground wire. I donít have a pic5ure if that or of the wiring of the other 2 switches. I hope Iíve just made a bone-head mistake and you guys will see
<img src="https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.doityourselft.com-vbulletin/2000x1493/f2c5e27d_59e9_49db_b4af_d6a6ab669d11_ad55c02dc5f411430f8490625a72cc7c83e03bb9.jpeg" width="1999" height="1493"/>
 
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Old 06-19-20, 12:22 AM
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I changed the title to better reflect the topic.

The timer in your picture is a single pole timer. It won't work in a three way application.
Actually..... since you have three switches controlling the lights..... it's actually a four way system.
A four way system is two 3way switches and one 4way switch in the middle.

It is not easy putting even a three way timer in that type of setup as the timer needs to be in the location where the hot originates and it needs neutral.

If you want those lights controlled by a timer...... the switches should be bypassed so that the timer has full control over the circuit. we could help you with that but we'd need to know the wiring at each switch.
 
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Old 06-19-20, 03:40 AM
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I just installed a few of these: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Intermat...700W/304600961 at customers home. This will work with a three-way system but I had to install it at the point where the switch leg starts.

I also had to change the wiring at the three-way where the hot is connecting the hot to both the standard switch and to one of the travelers feeding the timer switch.
 
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Old 06-19-20, 07:16 AM
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Thanks for clarifying the title. So your saying, since Iím installing a timer, Iím really changing the function of the lighting scheme and I ought to eliminate the 4 way function. This light is at my vacation home so Iíll be a few weeks before I can uncover all three of the wall plates and photograph the original wiring. Thank you the help so far.
 
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Old 06-19-20, 11:22 AM
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The timer needs power to run.
If you put it in the wrong place..... a switch turned off before it would render it dead.

It would make the most sense to eliminate the manual switching part.
It should also lead to the easiest wiring changes.
 
 

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