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Defiant Daylight Adjusting Digital Timer, Timer panel turns on, light does not

Hi there, 


I am installing my Defiant Daylight Adjusting Indoor Digital Timer. In my house I have old copper wiring and the previous switch had a black and a white wire. When I installed the new defiant timer, the timer lights up and I can play around with clock and settings, HOWEVER, now my overhead light will not turn on! I have connected black to black, white to white, and the green to the metal casing. If you could offer any tips on how to get my light to turn on, that would be so helpful!


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Posted 2013-10-18T02:23:22+0000  by ritchlz ritchlz

Hello ritchlz.  Welcome to the Community!


Since your new timer has a white wire, it must also have an additional power wire that you are not using.  The black wire you connected is the power in to the switch, and the white wire in the electrical box is actually a power out wire to the light.  By connecting the white wire from the switch to the circuit white wire, (which should be any color other than white or green), your timer functions will be powered, but the pass through power to light the overhead lamp is not connected.


As I see it, you have 2 choices.

First would be to clearly mark the white box wire as black with black tape and run a white neutral wire from the overhead lamp back to the switch box.  This allows the timer you have to operate as intended, with power in, power out AND a neutral white to complete the circuit for power consuming operations within the timer itself.  This may involve more work that you want to do, so I have a second option.


You can purchase timers that do not require a neutral wire.  Thus the mislabeled white wire in your box would connect to the black, blue or probably red wire from the new timer.  The black wire in your electrical box would connect to the black wire on the new switch and all would be well.  Green still goes to ground as always.


You can see an assortment of timers here: 


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Posted 2013-10-18T13:00:14+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Thank you Chris, this is exactly the help I needed. I will try a different timer switch and hopefully all will be well!

Posted 2013-10-18T13:41:32+0000  by ritchlz

You're welcome.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.





Posted 2013-10-18T13:52:42+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

We would like to switch the existing Defiant Daylight Adjusting Indoor Digital Timer to a new one. Unfortunately, the new one has four wiring and the old one has three. My husband and I got totally confused and call the electrician. Is it so complicated now that we can not replace these ourselves? A frustrated housewife. :(
Posted 2014-11-20T08:25:54+0000  by Hemy
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