COMMUNITY FORUM

BV005117

06:41PM | 07/26/14
Bvelectrical
I am trying to install an in wall timer switch for my exterior lights. The timer does require a white nuetral wire. My house is brand new, and I know it should have a white nuetral wire. There is what looks like 3 white wires joined by a nut but not connected to any switch, is this the nuetral? The switch I am trying to replace is a single switch. It has two red wires connected to 1 of the screws and two orange wires connected to the other screw. I am not sure which one is the 'hot' and which is the 'load' as they do not match the colors I am used to. There is also no visible copper ground wire or green screw. I am not sure what steps to take next. Timer has 3 wires needing to be connected. A black to go to a hot wire, a red to go to the load wire, and a green to go to ground wire. Any help would be appreciated.

LarryG

09:05AM | 07/27/14
Member Since: 07/22/04
530 lifetime posts
"There is what looks like 3 white wires joined by a nut but not connected to any switch, is this the nuetral?" More than likely the three bundle is the neutral. The line would be the one that is hot all the time and the load would be the one that is hot when the switch is on and cold when the switch is in the off position. Also are you sure two wires connect to one screw? Not code. Maybe it's just stranded wire around the screw with insulation left on to prevent unraveling.

BV005117

03:12PM | 07/27/14
So after looking at it, it is not two wires, but one with the wire exposed and wrapped around the screw before heading elsewhere. One end of each red wire goes into the wall and then after wrapping around the screw the other end connects with the other switch. The switch on the left of the picture is to the interior ceiling light (I do not want to change anything with that one, the switch on the right controls 3 coach lights on the exterior(this is the one I am putting a timer on). If the white bundle on the bottom of picture is the nuetral, then I am still not sure where to connect my green ground wire. Besides putting up a ceiling fan, I do not know much about electrical. Any help is appreciated.
Light_switch_photo

BV005117

07:16PM | 07/27/14
I was able to install the timer by experimenting. I connected the nuetral wire to the white bundle on the bottom, the black hot wire to the red wire from the current switch (since it was the only color going to both original switches, I figured it had to be the hot), The load wire to the orange and connected the green wire to the green 'ground' screw on the other original light switch. It is working great.
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