I replaced a regular 2-way indoor switch that switches my outdoor
patio incandescent light on/off with a timer switch.
I followed the instructions and the timer works fine, The problem is
that when the timer switch is in the off position, the patio light
(with a very low light).
I bought another timer switch of a different brand, and the same
thing happens. Does it mean that all timer switches leak?
Both timer switches have a programmable electronic clock,
and use the same external wiring (black wire, blue wire,
red wire, ground/bare wire).
There is one thing. The regular 2-way switch did not use
the ground wire, it connected only two black wires.
The wiring behind the switch uses two 3-wire cables,
each cable has one black wire, one white wire, and one
bare wire. The white wires and bare wires are tied together,
and only the black wires go through the 2-way switch.
However, I did connect the bare wire from the timer switch
to the bare wires from the cables as the instructions
No. No. No.
You have something miswired. White wire should never be connected
to a bare wire except in the main panel.
You should probably get some experienced help.
If the timer does not have a neutral wire, or a separate power
source, such as a battery, then there will always be leakage,
as that is how it gets its power.
You misread the sentence. It does NOT say white wires are tied with
bare wires. It says white wires are tied together, and the bare wires
together and not with each other. Also, it says that I DID NOT TIE
it implied they were ALREADY tied and this alone should give you a
you misread something.
The sentence does not ask if to disconnect a bare wire from the
It asks whether the fact that the regular 2-way switch is NOT
the bare wire has something to do with the leak appear on the timer
switch and not the
regular 2-way switch.
You should probably get some experienced help with reading first.
Nice reply to someone trying to help you. There is no such switch as a "two
way" I suggest before you criticize anyone, learn some electrical basics,
then someone may be able to understand what you're talking about and help
you. Oh and loose the attitude
Ya know, electrical issues usually get very helpful responses in this
newsgroup. The best thing you could do right now is be quiet, wait for
answers, and hope some potential respondents haven't seen your obnoxious
On Nov 19, 5:26 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
re: It says white wires are tied together, and the bare wires are tied
together and not with each other.
No, your sentence does *not* say the "white wires are tied together,
and the bare wires are tied together and not with each other". That
may have been what you meant it say, and that may be what you *think*
it means, but physically, as written, with the combination of letters
you put together it *says* "The white wires and bare wires are tied
together". What it *says* is not even open to discussion. However,
how a reader might interpret the words could be.
I ran it past an English teacher at one of our local schools and here
is her reply:
re: "The white wires and bare wires are tied together"
"White wires" and "bare wires" are plural nouns and "are" is a plural
conjunction, thus it should be assumed that they are all tied
together. As there is no defining or clarifying clause in the
sentence, the only conclusion a reader can reach is that all of the
wires are tied together.
I wrote "get some experienced help with reading" and for the slower
types like you it means "reading" and not "parsing" English sentence.
Reading includes the ability to understand the IMPLIED MEANING of
written words through REASONING and KNOWLEDGE
of the subject matter.
The first part seems to contain a very common error. The following
would make more sense:
"Unavailable in some states, including South Carolina."
Advertisers have something in mind, and it's NOT the understandability
of their claims.
It's something like saying "All cars are not red." when you mean "Not
all cars are red.". Think they're the same? Only the second allows my
red car to be real.
On Nov 20, 5:21 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Wouldn't it be easier to admit that you worded the statement
incorrectly instead of trying to back-pedal your way out of it?
Try typing this - you'll be amazed at how good it feels: My first post
was unclear. I apologize to those that I insulted after my error was
pointed out. I got defensive and my emotions got the better of me.
What a miserable fricking MORON you are! Presumably your inability to
phrase a third grade level sentence properly is inhibiting your
ability to understand basic wiring terminology and concepts.
I'd encourage your thankless ass to grab a hold of the bare end of the
white and neutral wires and have somebody hit the switch for you...
On Nov 19, 5:26 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 13:17:57 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
The 120v wall timer I have for my outdoor accent lighting goes through
an outdoor transformer. If I disconnect the transformer, the wall
timer loses its memory and must be reprogrammed. Once set, it works
well until we have a power outage. The timer uses a little power to
drive the clock.
On Nov 19, 6:17 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
White to white. Not connected to anything else? This is the neutral or
un-switched lead through to the porch light.
Bare wire to bare wire (this is the grounding/safety wire) connected
to the metal box etc. and while there for safely connecting any metal
parts that one could come into contact with, does not under normal no-
fault conditions actually carry any of the electrcity to operate the
The black wires 'to' and 'from' the switch. This single switch
controlling the flow of of electrcity through the live (black) lead to
the porch light (or lights?).
Please confirm the above. Have an idea what is happening with an
electronic timer such as this; but do you have a compact fluorescent
bulb in porch light?
Have to agree the original post was not clearly written; and we have
had enough discussion in this news group alone by those who have seen
previuos electrical work where neutrals were incorrectly tied to (or
even used) as grounds!
That's why my post above (#9) spells it our for confirmation by the
original poster. Also the use of the term "Two way switch" could be
confusing. It sounds as though it is simple ON-OFF switch. The term
two way sometimes being used for situations like the top and bottom of
stairs where 'two' switches can control lights on and off as one
ascends or descends!
However my suspicion; presuming the the poster IS in North America (or
perhaps some other country which uses similar wiring and from 100s if
not thousands of miles away, is that there is an electronic timer used
with a compact fluorescent bulb.
And that the OP is right. Yes there is 'leakage' as the OP likes to
call it and that leakage or small flow of current is part of the
necessary operation of the timer. If not in a simple two wire circuit
when the timer switch was off the timer would be off and would not
work at all!
The apparent incompatibility of the various devices being sold these
days often to make us 'more green' (or at least feel like it) is not
understood by those without technical background or training. Note 1.
Oddly replacing a porch light bulb with a compact fluorescent IS one
way of not wasting the surplus heat energy of a regular incandescent
bulb! A regular bulb wastes about 60% or more of its electrical input
as heat, not light. With an outside light? that heat is just wasted to
BTW: A neighbour has gone to great trouble and some expense to change
his house lamps etc. to CFLs. He doesn't particularly like the light
quality of some of them; but his electrcity bill has hardly gone down
at all! What he/they don't realise is that the so called wasted heat
was contributing the warming/heating of their electrically heated
Note 1: Even when some of these devices are apparently UL
(Underwriters Laboratory) or CSA (Canadian Standards Assoc.) labelled
that may merely mean they are safe 'when used as intended for the
purpose intended'. It doesn't mean they will automatically match with
every other device on the market.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.