in wall timer wiring

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The timer I wired in (successfully I might add) says in the sales sheet it doesn't require a neutral wire. What is the advantage of this? Still trying to learn wiring :(
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On 3/1/2012 7:28 AM, Doug wrote:

a switch. The only difference between it and a regular switch is that it has a little wind up clock motor in it to turn the switch off after the time you set.
If it is an electronic time switch it probably has a battery in it that will run the timer. The problem with this set up is that you have to replace the battery every once in a while. I had one and it had to be turned off between uses or it ran the battery down very quickly. This kind of defeated its purpose, since you couldn't just start the timer and walk off and forget it until the next time. I took it out and put in one of the mechanical ones.
Bill
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On 3/1/2012 7:28 AM, Doug wrote:

Congratulations! Did you get it working with the timer at the light-end (not hot feed end)?
The advantage of not needing a neutral is that there is often not a neutral available at a switch. Because timers that are powered from the line are becoming so common the most recent code requires a neutral at most switches in new wiring. As you probably know, your timer doesn't need a switch because it has a battery.
--
bud--


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wrote:

No Bud, I had to wire it at the hot feed end per instructions. I tried almost a whole day everything I could think of, getting frustrated trying the leg end until I read on a site (not in the instructions by the way) that it had to be wired from the hot feed end. As soon as I switched it to the feed end, it worked. Funny thing is I haven't programmed it yet, just working it in manual mode right now. It is kinda funky tho on a 3 way switch because the timer controls the 3 way circuit (well at least in manual mode) so if you try to control at the other end, it won't work. As long as the timer is turned on, the other switch works fine. To me, that's not a true 3 way circuit but what do I know <grin>. I think it really would be better on a single pole switch which is what I plan to do with the other timer I have.
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On 3/1/2012 10:29 AM, Doug wrote:

Some timers used the ground wire in place of the neutral. If the current is within the allowed "leakage" current it can (or at least could) pass UL. It is possible that is what Leviton is doing (so it needs to be at the power end). (Doesn't seem likely since there is a battery.) It is one reason the code now generally wants neutrals at switch locations.

I would expect that if the timer is turning the light on maybe both switches wouldn't work. If timer is not turning the light on both switches should work. Does not sound like that is what is happening.
--
bud--

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wrote:

Just to clarify in case I wasn't clear... this timer replaced the hot end switch. The other end (leg end) had to be rewired tho when this timer was wired up. If you didn't see the schematic and want to, I posted it in early message.
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On 3/1/2012 1:16 PM, bud-- wrote:

is a pia because they shut down when the bulb that they're controlling blows, and have to be reprogrammed. Strangely, the diagram for the 3 way wiring showed the timer being located at the feed end of the circuit, but when wiring it as a single pole, it doesn't matter which of the two wires you connect to are hot. I haven't installed this particular model, but when I've done other Intermatic models, it hasn't mattered which side the thing went on. (lol) None of them work very well, for very long, anyway.
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That doesn't sound good. Gee I hope it lasts a while after all the time it took me to get it right.
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On 3/1/2012 6:04 PM, Doug wrote:

Well, from my experience with Intermatic electronic timers, most failures occur right at the time of installation, at such a high rate that I always carried two on my truck. If you're in an area subject to voltage spikes from lightning, they're toast. Other than spikes and DOA's , I've seen them last for many years and work just fine. One caveat, they don't work well on 3 way systems where the switches are pretty far apart, like front door and garage. These days, unless the customer specifically requests and electronic in wall time switch, I use the Tork in wall mechanical timer. They have to be installed in a single gang switch box, by themselves, and they require a neutral, but they are indestructible.
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I live in an area that doesn't get too many spikes but I've gotten some over the last 10 years or so. I haven't programed it yet but it works in manual mode so I presume that means not DOA. I guess time will tell. Thanks for the info...
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What about a whole house surge-suprpressor. I bought a moderately priced one but havent' had time to install it yet.

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On 3/3/2012 12:16 AM, micky wrote:

devices, depending upon the make and model of course, however unless you're spending a boat load of money on it, it won't do squat for sensitive electronic devices
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Okay. I had a boat load of money, but I spent it on the house. A rowboat, at least.
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On 3/3/2012 6:59 AM, RBM wrote:

They should protect electronics that only connects to power. A lot of sensitive electronics also has phone or cable connections. In that case they may or may not completely protect (they don't limit the voltage between power and signal wires). They should be listed under UL1449.
--
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On 3/3/2012 1:46 PM, bud-- wrote:

this exercise, I come up pretty much empty handed. My suppliers explain it to me like this: Lightning and voltage spike devices are rated by " clamping time", which is how fast they can shunt the spike, and by "joules", which is the size of a spike that they can handle. I can buy one for $5, and I can buy one for $20,000. I have always passed on the $20K. When the customer really insists on something, I use a $50 unit that wires into the service panel. Problem is, I have no way to determine if it's actually protecting anything. From my experience, the most sensitive things, the ones that seem first to blow out during an electrical storm are telephone answering machines, which of course have the phone line as well as power, garage door operators, and GFCI outlets
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I know what you mean. That's why besides the specs and claims, I would not use one from an unknown manufacturer. I recently installed an Intermatic IG1240RC, about $100, for a friend. I believe that properly installed they do offer sufficient protection on the incoming AC power. For devices like TV, phone, etc that are connected to other lines, whole house protection plus plug-in surge protectors that clamp the other lines to the AC is the best we can do.
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On 3/5/2012 8:01 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

About everything has MOVs as the voltage clamping element. MOVs are fast enough ("clamping time") for any surge.
The maximum surge with any reasonable probability of occurring is 10,000A per service wire. (That is based on a 100,000A lightning strike to the nearest utility pole in typical urban overhead distribution.) Higher ratings mean longer life. A guide from the IEEE suggests 20,000 - 70,000A per wire for residential, or 40,000 - 120,000A in high lightning areas.
For best protection the entry protectors for phone and cable should connect with a _short_ ground wire to the building earthing system. The distance from the N-G service bond to the common connection point should also be short. The longer the ground wire the higher the voltage between power and signal wires. For phones, 10 feet is about the maximum. Also short wire for dish, but probably not as critical.
GFCIs probably all have MOVs L-N. The UL standard maybe 5 years ago required better surge protection.

I agree on using major-brand devices.
And I agree that when using a plug-in protector, all wires (power, phone, cable, dish, ...) to a set of protected equipment need to go through the protector.
--
bud--

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Protection is defined by the item that absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. That is not a protector adjacent to appliances that does not even claim to protect from typically destructive surges. That is earth ground.
The 'whole house' protector protects all appliances even from direct lightning strikes because it connects destructive surges to earth. The distance to earth is critical (ie 'less than 10 feet'). A protector too far from earth and too close to the appliance can connect that surge to earth destructively via the appliance. An adjacent protector does not even claim protection.
Your 'whole house' protector also does not protect from surges. Instead, it connects destructive surges to earth. Hundreds of thousands of joules must be absorbed somewhere. No way around that requirement.
Either you connect that surge to earth BEFORE it can enter the building. Or that surge goes hunting for earth destructively via appliances. With or without an adjacent protector.
A typically lightning strike is 20,000 amps. A minimally sized 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. Direct lightning strikes must not even damage a protector. 'Whole house' protectors are sold by the more responsible companies including General Electric, Leviton, ABB, Siemens, Keison, Polyphaser, Square D, and Intermatic. A Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot even for less than $50.
But again, most important is the item that absorbs those hundreds of thousands of joules. Earth ground. To connect a surge to earth means a protector must be low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to that single point earth ground. This is how it is done in every facility that can never have damage. A protector is only as effective as its dedicated and 'must always exist' connection to earth. The effective protector is rated by how much current it can connect to earth. A least 50,000 amps.
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Here we go again with the surge protector nut. No one said a surge protector absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. No one said anything about "absorb", until you did. But now that will be the strawman to argue against.

It certainly may, but I would not count on it being 100% effective and would not be surprised if there were some damage to AC appliances by a massive direct lightning hit to a house. In my view, the more realistic and common scenario is that they will protect against surges on the incoming AC lines that are caused by nearby lightning strikes.

Of course the IEEE disagrees and says that the plug-in, point-of-use type of protectors can and should be used as part of a tiered protection strategy.

I guess that's a new version of English that you're using. By any rational usage, if a whole house protector connects destructive surges to earth and as a result the electrical gear in the house is not damaged, then it has indeed "protected from surges".

So now a whole house surge protector installed at the panel in my basement is now useless? Not only the IEEE, but every surge protector manufacturer that I know of disagrees.

Says who? I live in an area with moderate thunderstorm activity. My house has NEVER been directly hit by lightning. Don't know a single person's home who has. I do know of instances of appliances damaged during thunderstorms when there were hits somewhere in the nearby area.
Bud already outlined how it's very unlikely a full lighting surge is going to make it to the surge protector anyway, because arcing will occur BEFORE the surge protector, leaving the protector with more likely a 10,000 amp per phase surge.
So, why is it wrong if I choose to use a surge protector that can handle 20,000 amps?

I've asked you in the past to show us the link to that $50 mythical protector at HD or Lowes that meets your above 50,000 amp miniumum rating. Yet, here we go again. It's never been provided because it doesn't exist.

Then why do electronics manufacturers put surge protection in their appliances? You have a 10 ft ground on your microwave oven?
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wrote:

The poster asked about parameters that make a protector effective. Protection is always and only about where those hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. Always. Joules that a protector can absorb are not a relevant parameter. Important is its current rating. To remain functional even after a direct lightning strike.
We routinely suffered direct lightning strikes without damage to anything. We properly installed what absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. And connect a protector low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to that solution. Sorry that reality, micky's question and RBM's answer makes you so angry. That anger also does not answer relevant questions.
A request was for relevant parameters. A typical lightning strike is 20,000 amps. A minimally sized 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. Direct lightning strikes must not even damage a protector. Or a timer switch. Current in amperes is important for a protector and for connections to what must absorb that energy. Single point earth ground. Useful answers always discuss where energy dissipates. And what is necessary to also protect an electronic timer switch.
micky - even bud's citation says what makes any protector effective AND what is most critical to making a 'whole house' protector useful:

Motorola's R-56 Standard says same:

Protecting an electronic timer switch means a properly earthed 'whole house' protector. Protectors, without a short connection to what absorbs energy, are routinely called "useless".
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