Timer Switch?


I have a three switch panel to control three separate lights. I would like to have one of the switches replaced with a 'timer' switch to allow me to turn on outside lights and keep them on for a set time. I have not been able to find a switch like this in my local store ... do they make them, and any suggestions on namebrands or stores where I can get one? And I assume a DIY changeout.
Thanks in advance.
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I have replaced a switch with a timer for my bathroom vent fan. These timers are sold at most electrical supply houses. Home Depot or Lowes might have them. They are easy to install (as long as you turn off the circuit breaker first).
---MIKE---

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Buster Chops wrote:

It's not clear whay you mean by switch panel. If you're talking about a three gang outlet box that accepts three separate full size receptacles/switches, then yes, you can replace one of the switches with a timer. If you're talking about a single gang outlet box (typical size for a single switch - cover plate about 2.5" x 4.5"), then no - they don't make those in regular wall switches. You could use X10 automation to do it, but that's going to be a lot more expensive as you're not just replacing a single switch.
If you are able to track down a half height or third height timer please let me know! There are plenty of times I could have used one.
R
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Buster Chops wrote:

If you cannot find them locally
Mcmaster.com page 847
OR
http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/SearchResults.asp?sidE3AB4807C50617F&i=0&Ntt=timer+switch+grasslin&N=0&No &Ntk=Primary
cheers Bob
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You can use mechanical spring wound timers or Levitan mfg. makes some push button models, where you push one of four buttons for a predetermined length of time

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Buster Chops wrote:

at Lowes and HD; Lowes had a shelf for them, but none in stock. Found one at a local, independent hardware store. Ours has 60 min. limit, rotating dial. They have much more elaborate timers:
http://intermatic.com/Default.asp?action=subcat&sid 2&cidC&did=3
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On Sun, 22 Oct 2006 16:17:36 GMT, "Buster Chops"

I bought two of these (GE brand, 30 minutes) from Big Lots for about $5 each. You can get various max-time settings. They make a soft ticking sound. I use mine for bathroom vent fans after taking a shower. I'm sure Lowes or BORG has them.
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In my experience, the eletronic countdown timers are much more reliable and pleasant to use when compared with the mechanical timers. They are 100% silent, give you a choice of one touch time settings, and usually have a warning LED that flashes before they turn off.
Inevitably, the spring mechanism on the mechanicals gets twisted too far and the timer locks up in either on the on or off position. I've seen it happen more than once.
Be aware that there are the countdown timers, as described above for bathroom fans, heat lamps, commercial hot tubs, and anywhere you don't want something left on for an extended period of time.
There are also time switches that switch things on and off at the same time every day, (or at random times, or in step with astronomic sunrise and sunset). Check out the Leviton brand for these.
Beachcomber
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Just about any hardware or plumbing/electric store should have a number of choices available. Typically, the standard twist mechanical timer, and several electronic versions.
Bob
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