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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I'm doing some research on a light switch I want to connect

Customer Question

Hi Mike I'm doing some research on a light switch I want to connect a digital timer to. the switch has two black and one red wire, the timer has a black, red, white and green and I can't seem to get it to work
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

Please provide some more detail on the situation:

1. If the original switch has 2 blacks and one red, did the switch have 3 large connection screws and each wire was connected to a different location?

2. There is a second switch that also controls the same light?

3. How many wires int he switch box total? ALL wires int he entire box?

Let me know and we can continue,

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tommy1. yes the switch has four connection screws and each wire is connected to one, the fourth is ground.
2. there used to be a second switch that controlled the same light before I did a remodel - that switch is now disconnected (there is actually a switch in the old spot that does nothing now)
3. there are two switches in the box the second switch also has two black and a red. plus a bundle of capped white wires, ground wires.*Note- I believe there are two different sets of wires coming into the box. I'm not at home right now so I can't be sure of the exact configuration
3.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks for the details.

That is a 3 way setup when you operate from 2 locations.

Since one of them is removed from the operation, we should be able to get the timer installed.

The timer is a single pole, and not for 3 way operation.

But this is what we need:

1. Where the other switch was disconnected, need to know what was done with the 3 wires that used to be on that switch.

2. Need the cable count in the switch box where the timer is going to be located

3. Need the color count on #3 as well

Post when you are able to acquire the information and we will continue.

Time is not an issue.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I included some photos of what I have. I also did some experimentation based on something you said, so please read all that I have written before answering.1. image #1 and #2 shows the wiring and location of the switch that does nothing...it's odd because I did not expect to see anything connected to the switch. I swear it does nothing when I operate the switch. I turn it on and off and it has no effect on the actual switch that turns the outside light on.2. Image #3 shows the cable count in the box where the timer is going to be located
3. Same as question 2 above
4. this is what I discovered - Image #8 shows one of the black wires disconnected from the current switch location where the timer is going BUT the light still works with the one black and red wire.Please let me know if you need anything else
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks for the info and pictures.

Since each picture has 2 switches, I have no idea of which switch is the one in question.

So, lets look ONLY at the location you want the timer.

Which switch is being replaced? Left or right?

Let me know,

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I assumed since the question was about a switch with two black wires and one red it would be easy to spot. Any way the right switch with three wires connected to it, 2 black and one red is where I would like to put the timer.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks.

I did not know what changes had been made, since you posted a red and black alone does the job and actually showed the switch with 2 wires also in another picture.

If the other switch has all 3 wires connected and it doesn't affect the light, then it isn't the mate for that switch or else is bad.

There is another switch and it can turn the power off once we get this connected, so be aware of that.

Now, take the wires off the switch you wish to remove and MARK the wire that comes off the BLACK screw.

The other 2 are on brass screws.

Then connect the wire from the black screw to one of the wires off the brass screws and turn on power and see if the light comes on.

Then do the same with the other wire from the brass screws

That will tell us the 2 main wires for the timer, but we still need to know which one is power.

Do you have a 2 lead voltage tester to test the 2 wires?

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I'll do this when I get home today. Please note that the red wire is the one connected to the black screw. Also this image shows that I removed one of the black wires and it did not affect the operation of the light. However if I connect just the two wires to the timer, which only has black, red and green wires, the timer still does not work (could the timer switch be bad?).
yes I do have a 2 lead voltage tester
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks.

If you know the 2 that make the light work, then those will be tested one at a time and ONE of them will be power

use the voltage tester and touch one lead to the wire and one to the bare ground wires in the box.

Once we have the Power wire marked, you are ready to go.

Take the timer black wire and connect to the power wire just found

Take the timer red wire and connect to the other wire

Take the timer white wire and connect to that Bundle of white wires under that red wire nut.

Take the timer green and connect to the bare ground wire.

The white on the timer is the other side of power, the common. It must be connected in order for the timer to have power.

You will just cap off the unused wire form the original switch

That should get you going

let me know any problems.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This worked,Thank you .
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Excellent, good work on your end as well.

You are most welcome, glad to assist.

Thanks

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