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In an old house, with just 2 poles wired on my old switch,

In an old house...

In an old house, with just 2 poles wired on my old switch, how is supposed to be wired?

Contractor's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

5minutes. trying to install a new timer for an outside light

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

Woods 59108 7 day digital timer o replace standard switch

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/19/2017
Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
Verified

Hello, are there any other wires in the back of the box other than what is connected to the old switch?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
This is both a junction box and switch box. 4 wires in from the bottom. 2 out the top. Of the 4 from the bottom, 2 are tied together on one side of the standard switch. one passes (white) through to the light. one is capped. all are black except for the one white
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
is it possible that this could work without a neutral?

No, you will need to make a pigtail from the white bundle to the new timer. You will want to connect the black going up to the light to the red of the new timer switch. Power black from the old switch to black on the timer. White from timer to whites in box that pass through in the back. Grounds (green and bare copper) together.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
yeah, white doesn't stop here. I'd have to splice into it to make a pigtail to connect to the switch

You mean a white wire goes all the way through your box without a wire nut splice? Do you have conduit and wire or romex cables?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
conduit and wire

ah ok, is there a loop in the white or enough slack to cut it in the middle? You will definitely need a neutral connection to make this timer work.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
thanks. i came to that conclusion. not much slack. i need a "t" device that can cut through the insulation. not much slack. ya think wiring to the box is sufficient?

what do you mean wiring to the box?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
run wire straight to box. see if there is enough of a path to ground through the conduit

No, that's a code violation for neutral current to be run through the equipment grounding path. My recommendation is to get the T-tap, or see if you can pull some slack from the light fixture so you can splice at the box. Also, you could buy a length of white wire and pull a new section from the fixture to the switch box using the old section as a pull wire. You should be able to buy it by the foot or in short rolls at a hardware store.

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*short rolls

Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
Verified
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thanks.
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