Newbie electrical switching question

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by joe59golfer, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. joe59golfer

    joe59golfer New Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
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    Marketing and IT administration
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    Missouri USA
    I hope I can explain this question adequately to the forum so here goes. I have an outside standard 120 volt receptacle that all our Christmas lights are plugged into. I have an Intermatic wheel timer on the inside of the house that switches the receptacle on and off. When Christmas is over I'd like to install a switch on the hot side of the circuit ahead of the timer that would allow me to bypass the timer but still leave the receptacle energized during the other seasons. Any ideas of how I could do that?
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Sep 2, 2004
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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Some of the timers have a manual override, and if yours does, it's simple...flip that switch! Also, often, all you need to do is flip the time selectors in so it never turns things off. Note, any exterior outlet should also be protected by a gfci circuit. You can do that with a gfci outlet, or CB.
     
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  4. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

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    Dec 12, 2009
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    Ga.
    A lot of timers have an on position that overides the timer . You could look into changing it out . Or if you can get another cable the same size as the others (#14 or #12 ) into the timer . If you are lucky the screws on the timer are made to put a wire on both sides and you can add one of the wires to the hot in and the other to the hot out . If not you will have to get them connected together some way . mount an outlet box near the timer and connect the two wires , white and black to the switch . When the switch is off you can only get power through the timer because it stays connected . When the switch is on you have power no matter if the timer is on or off . Be sure to connect the bare wire to the switch and in the timer . Make sure the outside receptacle is a GFCI unless it is on a GFCI breaker in the panel . If not change the receptacle to keep santa safe . be sure all connections are tight
     
  5. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

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    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Ga.
    Oh I forgot , if the wirng is 20 amp , #12 wire and it probaby is , you would have to use a 120 volt 20 amp heavy duty switch , not a common 15 amp . You can dertermine the circuit by seeing if the breaker is 15 or 20 amp
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
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    If you do not want to reset the timer every time, the switch you are referring to would have to be installed after the timer. A switch controlling half the duplex receptacle would allow you to turn off the lighting by disrupting the timer's operation, while the other half would always by "hot". Otherwise it cannot be done the way you asked.
     
  7. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

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    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Ga.
    Am I missing something , If you install a jumper between the hot in and hot out on a timer it is the same as if the timer is not even there , the fact that a switch is in the jumper , returns it to as if the jumper is not there when the switch is off . Unless it is an electronic timer the setting have to be manually moved to change them .
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
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    Jumping "around" the timer would allow you to bypass it to turn things ON, but when the switch was off, the timer would still turn the circuit on when it reached its time settings.
     
  9. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

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    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Ga.
    He wont care then . he wants it to stay on after the christmas lights are down , he will just leave the switch on , he will only turn off while the lights are up so not run continuous.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
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