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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I am installing a timer outside lights. but I wasnt

Customer Question

I am installing a timer for the outside lights. but I wasnt expecting it to be jumped to the other light switch next to it. so im confused ho to put the switch in. can you help me
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.
Hi Inger, we just need to verify a few items on your situation.
Sharing a wire isnt uncommon, but usually that is when the connect 2 switches together with a single wire. Best to have separate wires but we can work it out and you can make the adjustment.
1. How many screws on your existing switch? Not counting the ground?
Is it 2 or 3?
2. The shared wire, does it come from the house wiring and then loop around one screw on one switch, then to a screw on the switch next to it?
3. Look in the rear of the switch BOX, and see if you find a group of 2 or more white wires joined together with a wire nut.
Let me know and we can continue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. I have 2 screws
2. yes it loops around both actually and it has a wire nut behind it
3. yes there is a group of 2 or more white wires joined together with a wire nut
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thank you for the information.
First, I suggest this to make the switches more accessible in the future, not sure why some electricians tend to loop wire instead of properly pig tailing.
What you do, is to remove the one wire that joins the 2 switches.
Then you cut that wire where it looped around the first switch and you strip it, then add 2 short 6" long pieces of wire to that one and apply a wire nut.
This gives you one wire per switch and you can work easier.
Put one of the wires on the switch that is not being removed first.
Then take the other one and connect to the BLACK wire on the Timer.
Take the wire off the second screw on the switch being removed, and connect it to the BLUE wire on the timer.
Take the WHITE wire on the timer and add it to the group of white wires joined with the wire nut.
Connect the green on the timer to a bare ground wire oin the box if they exist. If none exist, disregard the green.
CAP off the timer RED wire, it is not used for this situation.
That will get it powered and operating.
Let me know anything further needed,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okak thank You So Much for your Help
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome, glad to assist.