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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I have a timer (old) and two on / off switches and other

Customer Question

I have a timer (old) and two on / off switches for indoor and other for the outside porch. The timer is hooked to the porch. The porch light is staying on and the timer does not seem to work properly any more. The old timer only had two black wires. The new timer has a hot, load, neutral and ground. The problem is that the wires in the box are all black. So where to connect? The only timer had one wire ( I'm assuming hot ) connected to 2(two) black wires. The other timer wire hooked to the porch light switch.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

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

When was the home built?

Do you have a 2 lead voltage tester with readout for testing?

Do you have the original 2 wires on the old timer isolated and loose at this time?

Let me know and we can continue,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
House was built in 1998
Sorry No tester
I removed the old timer
There seems not to have been a neutral for the old timer. There was a wire in the boxed nutted. I believe that would probably have been the neutral.
I have one wire running out from the middle switch. I believe this is hot.
There are two wires together going into the box ( they were attached to the old timer ) I believe they lead to porch and garage lights
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks.

If built in 1998 there should be more wires the box than just black wires.

The power connects to the HOT wire on the timer

The wire going to the lights connects to the LOAD wire

The white wire on the timer connects to a group of 2 or more whites that will be in the rear of the box

Then ground to the ground wire if on the timer

If you do not have any white wires in the rear of the box, the home must be wired in conduit, since all other wiring in 1998 has a white wire in every cable.

The old timer was only a 2 lead timer and did not need a neutral.

The new one needs the neutral to provide its own power source with the HOT wire.

If you do not have whites available in the rear of the box for connecting to the white, then you can either add a wire in the conduit or will have to get a 2 wire timer.

Intermatic makes the 2 wire timer still today. Most manufacturers have adapted to the neutral need wire unfortunately.

I can recommend the proper timer if you need the 2 wire type, just let me know.

Something is strange on your timer, as I have found the original one. The HET01 is shown that it also has the same 4 wires on the timer. Red,black,white and green.

Not sure how yours only has 2 black wires?

CLICK HERE to see the HET01 Does yours not match?


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