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Electrical

timer switch - lights won't turn off

We have just installed a Defiant timer, model #32648.    I have correctly set the current time, date, etc.  I have confirmed that I have the AM/PM correct.  The timer can be used in AUTO mode or in MANUAL mode.  When in MANUAL mode, it does not follow any programs.  I have the timer set to MANUAL mode and for the life of me, I can't turn the lights off!  I went ahead and set 2 programs - one for the lights to come on at dawn and one to come on at dusk, both times to stay on for about an hour.  Now it's the middle of the day, so the lights should be off when in AUTO mode.   But they're staying on.  Back to MANUAL mode I went, and still the lights stay on!  

How do I turn my lights off and how do I get this timer to work correctly???
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Posted 2017-09-07T18:12:54+0000  by schnuezel schnuezel
 
Hello schnuezel.  Welcome to the Community!

There are only 2 things I can think of that could be happening.

First, and most likely, is that this switch requires a white neutral wire to be connected in order for it to work properly.  Often, switch boxes do not have a white wire, as a normal switch does not need one.  Without a neutral, the timer will do goofy things, if it works at all.

Second is that the timer is defective.  Certainly possible, but less likely.

Chris.

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Posted 2017-09-07T20:00:05+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your response.  I agree that it's unlikely that the timer is defective. I do have a white neutral wire.  I have attached a picture of how it is installed.   I hope you can see it okay.  Does it look correct?  I personally did not do the install.  The contractor who did is coming back today for something else, so I can have him take a look.

Riki


Posted 2017-09-07T20:16:16+0000  by schnuezel
BTW, I'm aware that there is no nut over the black wires.  That's going to be fixed later today.  The white wire that's going off to the right is the ground wire.  The two white wires coming into the timer and back out is the neutral.

Posted 2017-09-07T20:18:25+0000  by schnuezel
I'm not sure what's up with your timer but it being defective is always a possibility.  While your picture makes it difficult to tell for sure, there are some other issues with you wiring that should be investigated:

  • The "ground" wire going off to the right of your picture can not have a white jacket.  It can only be green (or bare copper).
  • It looks like there are three wires under that orange wire nut.  If so, the orange wire nuts are typically only rated for two #14 wires.  I also see what appears to be a bit of copper visible below the wire nut.  No bare wire should be exposed below the nut.
  • There several bare copper wires on the left side of the picture, which I assume are ground wires.  It's no longer acceptable to just twist them together.  Use either a wire nut of the appropriate size or a metal crimp.
  • It's hard to tell how many wires you have in there but you might have some box fill issues.
Posted 2017-09-08T01:13:51+0000  by Adam444
 
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