Questions on installing timer switch

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Patflemming, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Patflemming

    Patflemming New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I have three 1-way light switches and one bathroom fan switch in the same 4 gang electrical box. I want to replace the regular fan switch with a timer switch.

    There seems to be a hot wire running from switch to switch. Do I disconnect this wire and install the new timer switch? There is a bundle of neutrals in the back of the box but none are running from the switches.

    I welcome some step by step on how to connect the timer switch. It has a hot, ground, load ans neutral wire.
     

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  2. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    1. Turn off power.
    2. Remove connections to old switch.
    3. Take the hot running switch-to-switch wire and use wire nut to attach to new switch hot (line/black)
    4. Take white neutral from new switch and add it to bundle of whites. May need bigger wire nut.
    5. Green ground needs to attach to box ground. Hardest part. Sometimes get another green ground screw and give its own connection to metal box.
    6. Black wire that was feeding fan from old switch needs wire-nutted to red load wire of new switch.
    7. put everything back together and restore power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
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  4. Patflemming

    Patflemming New Member

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    Thank you Sir!
     
  5. hj

    hj Master Plumber

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    Plumber
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    If yo follow step #6, your light will not turn off. You have to connect the wire going TO the unit to the red one from the timer.
     
  6. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

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    I can see how it wasn't clear. Wording cleaned up so should be make better sense.
     
  7. Patflemming

    Patflemming New Member

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    Dec 22, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks to everyone's advice I installed the new timer switch without a problem. I did want to check to see if everything looks good. The switchbox feels a little bit and now. The new timer has four additional wires, A couple more wire nuts oh, and the switch itself is much bulkier than the old switch. I have attached a photo, does everything look good? Everything felt a little bit and jammed when I put the switches back in place.
     

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  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    You made at least one rookie mistake...all wire connections should wrap clockwise around their screws. Electrical boxes come in various volumes. There's a limit on how much you can stuff in one. You'd have to look up the calculation to see if you've exceeded it.
     
  9. Ameds613

    Ameds613 New Member

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    Jul 23, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario
    jadnashua - funny you mention it... I am not the original owner and did not wire the box. I did notice it was wrapped backwards. I wired the new timer correctly, however.

    Just for my own knowledge, what can happen if the connections and wrapped counter clockwise? Should I switch them all?
     
  10. Ameds613

    Ameds613 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario
    here is a more clear picture of the box before installing the timer. The timer i added has 4 wires (hot, load, neutral and ground).
    Am i within the allowable limit? box is 2.5" deep
     

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  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Wrapping the loop of wire around the screw clockwise means that when you tighten the screw, it tends to keep the end where you want it rather than moving it out of the screw terminal. Properly torqueing the connection means that there's enough tension to overcome the tendency of loosening the screw from the small thermal expansion/contraction actions that happen as current moves through, slightly heating the wire.
     
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