Light-Switch Timer Requires Neutral

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Old 08-09-20, 06:06 AM
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Light-Switch Timer Requires Neutral

I'd like to purchase this countdown timer switch from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.ca/Switch-Fosmon-.../dp/B07BB2FYV4
(It would replace a manual switch that powers an HRV unit that removes moist air during/after showering in the bathroom.) However, the product description on the above switch says that a neutral wire is required. When I look inside the 4-gang switch box, the switch to be replaced has only one 14-2 wire attached: one black, one white, and one bare.

I posted a Q on Amazon's site, asking if I can wire the above countdown timer, but I received contradictory answers:
https://www.amazon.ca/ask/questions/...k_ql_ql_al_hza

Seems to me that the white wire is really not neutral (but rather either hot supply or load). However, I see another bundle of white wires inside the 4-gang box, which are wire-nutted together. I assume that these are true neutrals.

Q: Can I attach the neutral wire from the desired countdown timer to the wire nut connecting these other neutral wires? Or does the countdown switch require its own dedicated neutral wire?

Thanks for you help.

Wayne
 
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Old 08-09-20, 06:23 AM
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Yes you should be able to connect it to the common Neutrals.
It should not require it's own dedicated Neutral.

Then you just have to figure out which of the other wires is always hot.
 
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Old 08-09-20, 08:57 AM
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If those neutrals are on the same circuit you can attach your timer.
 
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Old 08-09-20, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

How can I check which wire is always hot?

Wayne
 
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Old 08-09-20, 11:35 AM
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The white wire is supposed to be hot but many handymen don't know that and either wire could be hot. The only way to know for sure which one is power is to check from either wire to the bare ground wire.
 
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Old 08-09-20, 03:25 PM
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OK, I just determined that the bathroom switch that runs the HRV is on a different breaker than the breaker for the other light switches in that bathroom. (The neutral wires that I want to use travel to a different breaker on the same electrical panel as the HRV switch.)

Does that mean that the desired timer switch will work so long as both breakers are ON? Or will it work at all?

Thanks.

Wayne
 
  #7  
Old 08-09-20, 04:50 PM
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You should not use the neutral from a different circuit to operate your new timer.
 
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Old 08-09-20, 05:57 PM
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Are there any other options for putting a timer on this switch?
 
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Old 08-09-20, 06:57 PM
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All timers require a neutral for the circuit to run. There are some that use the ground for the neutral as it is below a certain current threshold. In the link is one of them..... there are others.

Timer - no neutral required
 
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