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Replacing switch with defiant timer

I bought and tried to install a Defiant timer for a single pole configuration.
Capped the red wire, and connected the ground. Then, I am left with white, black, and blue. However, I have black and white only coming from the wall. The switch was just interrupting. 
I connected the white to the white and the black to the black. Since the electronics work, I suppose that one is from the breaker and the other goes to the fixture. There is no apparent return from the fixture.
Can this device be installed with this electrical configuration?

The defiant unit manual says item #469-367 model #49814

I will appreciate your answers!

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Posted 2016-07-08T06:12:35+0000  by Danielito Danielito
Maybe some additional information...

1. Removed the bulb to test it (per other posts). The bulb is ok, but now the electronics do not work.
2. I changed the actual box, so there are no hidden wires (per other posts). There is, though, another regular switch with the same configuration that works. Just interrupting...

Hope this helps some...
Posted 2016-07-08T06:27:13+0000  by Danielito
Hello Danielito.  Welcome to the Community!

I think I know what's going on with your wiring, so let me take a guess.
Your house wiring is not through conduit, but is a cable like NMB, commonly referred to as Romex.
Running cable to a switch box often means no neutral wire is available, as a switch only needs one hot wire in, (line or power in), and a hot wire out to the load, (light).
Since economy in wiring is always an issue, the cable used for this would have a black power in, and use the white wire as the load out to the light fixture.  When this is done, that white wire should have been clearly marked with black tape to indicate that it is being used as a power wire, and NOT as a neutral.  All too often, the electrician will fail to mark the wire in this manner, leading to confusion.

If I am right, then there is no neutral wire in your switch box.  Unfortunately, the timer switch you have needs a neutral in order to work properly.  When you hooked up the switch with a power in to black, and the white, (load out), to the switch white, as long as the light bulb was in place the switch electronics would seem to function.  There was just enough current flow available through the light bulb resistance to operate the electronics.  Unfortunately, the switch cannot operate in this manner.  It needs a real neutral for the power it uses, and a load out wire to operate the light fixture.

The confusion comes from the fact that you need a white wire, and you have a white wire, but it's acting as if it is a blue wire. 

The only fix for this is to somehow run an additional white wire from the switch box to the lamp fixture box.  This will supply the neutral line necessary to operate the timer switch.

Otherwise, a timer that operates without needing a neutral wire would be the only other solution.  Typically these are mechanical countdown units, rather than programmable electronic models.


Posted 2016-07-08T14:35:41+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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