12:04PM | 04/27/09
Member Since: 04/26/09
1 lifetime posts
I have a 3-gang box, and I'm interested in combining 2 of the existing single-pole light switches in the box into 1 switch (that controls both lights simultaneously). My reason for doing this is because I want to install an in-wall timer (such as this:,

and I want the timer to control both lights simultaneously (same on and off times). I'd rather not have to purchase 2 timers, and the box itself does not have room for 2 bulky timers anyways.

My thoughts are to pigtail 2 wires from each switch together, and connect each combined pair to the timer, as in the attached diagram (wire colours are only used to identify wires in the diagram). The result would the 2 switches replaced by 1 timer and 1 blank in the box. Does this make sense, and are there any caveats or things I should watch out for?

doug seibert

06:52PM | 04/27/09
Member Since: 08/10/02
843 lifetime posts
Of course the lights would need to be on the same circuit......

"......measure Once.....cut Twice....

throw that one away and cut a new one...."


02:17PM | 04/28/09
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
The 2 incoming wires to the switches should probably NOT be connected together, unless they both go back to the same breaker in the panel.

If they go to different breakers, they may be on different phases -- you will find that out soon enough, because there will be 240V between them, and the breakers will blow immediately once you power this on. Even if they are on the same phase, you will still have 2 different breakers feeding power to this timer switch. That is a possibly dangerous situation, because you need to turn off BOTH breakers to kill power to this. Someone could think it is safe to work on this, when it is still powered from the other breaker.

Either verify that both incoming power wires come from the same breaker, or choose one to use and deadend the other with a wire nut.


04:54AM | 05/03/09
Member Since: 03/30/09
4 lifetime posts
What you're trying to do can be done. How you do it depends on what you have. It may help to simplify it and only use one of the power wires instead of both for the reasons given in the previous replies.

I've found Intermatic in-wall timers to have a high failure rate, so good luck with that.


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Colorful, useful, and fun, these tire planters form the foundation for a delightful container garden. Just spray-paint old... Reused steel windows create an eye-catching splashguard in this walk-in shower. The vintage factory windows bring an inter... A galvanized steel tub is a surprising but charming fixture in this bright and breezy screened patio. It's perfect for was... If you're not crazy about the idea of commingling plants and pool, this modern variation may be more to your liking. The s... Yes, a freestanding garage can become its own tiny house. Artist Michelle de la Vega has all the comforts of a modern resi... If you lack plumbing skills but have a good sturdy tree, here's the easiest outdoor shower solution of all: Simply attach... Pursue what's known as the stack effect. To achieve it, open the windows on both the upper and lower floors, and as warm a... How do you like this smart use for an old bottle? Clamp an empty wine bottle to a fence or wall near your outdoor deck or ... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... For the cost of a can of exterior paint , you can totally transform your porch. Paint the floor a hue that complements yo... In this urban apartment, a standard-issue patio became a serene and green perch by replacing the typical concrete with gro... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon