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Ask Steven Parent Your Own Question
Steven Parent
Steven Parent,
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 69
Experience:  Journeymen Electrician at Harvey's Electric Industrial Maintenance & Contracting Ltd.
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I am replacing an existing light switch to the model TM -097

Customer Question

I am replacing an existing light switch to the model TM -097 S timer. The old switch had two black wires and the ground wire. There was no neutral wire. I have a voltage tester. I identified the hot wire. I connect the hot wire to the L-I terminal. I connected the other black wire to the L- O terminal. The ground is attached to the proper terminal. When I power it up, turn on the light using manual the light does not turn on. I tested the L-I and it is hot. The L-O is not. However the neutral is hot. Can you give me opinion of what you think is happening?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Hello good afternoon, my name is ***** ***** will be happy to assist with your electrical questions. Inside the switch box is there only the 1 switch? Where are you measuring voltage on the neutral?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The switch is in a three gang box. One switch operates the light in the garage. The second switch operates a three way switch which turns on the interior hall light. The third switch is for the exterior light for which I am trying to install the timer. I am measuring the voltage on the timer neutral terminal.
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
So from terminals L-I to neutral you read 120 volt?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. When I turn the unit to on, voltage is registering on the neutral. No voltage on the L-I terminal
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
What kind of voltage tester do you have? a 2 wire? or non contact
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I connected the black white to the light fixture to the neutral terminal, no voltage registered. When I then tested the L-O terminal it was hot
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Two wire south wire 4way voltage tester
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Ok cool. So you have identified which 2 wire cable runs to the lights correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are only two wires, the hot and the line to the light. The ground is the remaining wire.
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Oh ok, so the old switch had 2 wires connected to it. A white and a black?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only two black
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Ok, and you know which of those black wires is the hot, and which is the switch leg to the lights ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
OK, and are there a few neutral wires connected together in the box, that you took a pigtail from to the new switch?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. There are several neutral wires connected using a wire connected cap
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
OK, and when you put your voltage tester across L-I and N on the switch you show voltage ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes when I turn on the seitch
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Switch
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
You should have voltage between L-I and N before the switch it turned on because that wire should be hot at all times
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. Understand
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
And L-O to N should only show voltage once the switch is on
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The L-O showed voltage when the non hot black wire was disconnected. When I connected that wire to the L-O terminal it went dead. This is what is creating the problem for me. I may just put the old switch back in place and call my electrician to solve this and connect the timer.
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Where the lights working fine before? What kind of lights are they
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They worked. They are outside lights above the garage door. Two light candlelabra
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Oh ok, no issues there then. So right now, you have a white to N and the hot black to L-I and nothing connected to L-O and the one loose black
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no white wire at all. There is the hot black and the black to the light.
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
So you have the hot black to L-I and the black to the light to L-O ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. Nothing connected to the neutral terminal
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Ok, you need to take a white wire from N on the switch and connect it will the bundle of whites inside the box. This switch needs a neutral.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So if I connect the additional wire the bundle of white wires this should dove the issue?
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
Yes, take a white wire from N on the switch and connect it under the wire nut with the rest of the bundle. That should solve your problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I shall do this. If I have any additional problems I'll contact you again. Thanks for your help
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.
OK great. Yes just let me know if you have any other issues. But you should be good to go. You're welcome.