04:59PM | 12/07/09
Member Since: 05/12/03
67 lifetime posts
I need to replace an in-wall 120V timer. To my suprise, the ones at the Big Box Stores all have four wires - red, white, black, and green (ground).

I have two wires coming out the wall to switch the light. Both black. The old timer also has two wires, not four. The house was built in 1983.

I could probably figure this out with enough looking through my old text books, but rather than risk blowing up the house I thought I would see if anyone knew how to do the wiring for sure.


Never buy a house built by an oil company...


01:54AM | 12/08/09
Member Since: 07/22/04
661 lifetime posts
"I could probably figure this out with enough looking through my old text books,"

didn't the new unit come with directions?

are there any other wires in that switch box that you could "tap" into ?

also are you trying to automatically control incandescent or flourescent lights.

answer these questions and somebody may be able to quide you on the best route to take.


03:25AM | 12/08/09
Member Since: 05/12/03
67 lifetime posts
I tried one timer - if I remember correctly it said to connect the white and black on the timer on one side, red to the other, green to ground. Since I had no ground, I just put a twist connector on the green wire.

When I did this, the timer just clicked on and off and so did the incandescent lights.

I switched house wires, same thing.


Never buy a house built by an oil company...

doug seibert

06:15AM | 12/08/09
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Quit tinkering!!.....Like Norm says.....Read, UNDERSTAND, and follow all the instructions........

If you only have TWO wire then you need a simple Spring Wound Timer....

You do NOT have the Neutral wire to support a powered/electronic timer....

You MAY have toasted the timer.....

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

throw that one away and cut a new one...."
Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

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

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon