Water Heater Timer

I am installing Intermatic's "Little Gray Box" at a junction where I previously had an off/on switch. The three wires from the fuse box connected up at the switch with the three wires to the heater. The bare wire in the center is a "neutral." I am assuming it can go to ground also. In the timer there is a pole marked A for the neutral wire but there is also a green screw that is supposed to be a ground connection. The question is, (now that I have the line and load wires connected) can I connect both of these neutral or ground wires to post A and also run a wire from there to the ground? I won't turn on the power till I know it is wired correctly. The schematic for this is rudimentary and I can't get any info from the company. Suggestions appreciated and thanked in advance. Derek
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The ground wire is bare and never carries current, under normal conditions. The white wire is the neutral, and does carry current. The white wire and the bare wire are tied together in the load center, BUT THEY SERVE DIFFERENT PURPOSES. The green screw is always for the ground connection and NEVER for the neutral.
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Assuming you have a full sized 240 volt water heater, you connect the bare to the ground terminal only, and the same thing on the water heater. Your white and black wires are both hot, you don't have a neutral. The white and black wires go to the "line" terminals of the time clock, also assuming you bought a clock with a 240 volt motor. In the event you bought a clock with a 120 volt motor, you need a feeder with a neutral (4 conductors). The "load" terminals is where you connect the two insulated wires going to the water heater

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Thanks to both of you for the clarification. All I need do now is connect the two bare wires to ground and skip the post at A. I don't know if the motor is 120 or 240 but I am going to take a chance and assume it is 240 as I don't want to disassemble the whole panel. The original wiring (circa 1956) is 12 gauge, so I went with that to extend the original wiring that was too short to reach the terminals. Once I screw in the two fuses I will know ---the moment of truth, so to speak. Took a cold shower this pm but after all, the ambient temp has been in the 90's here in Florida. Last week I patted myself on the back for R&R my Volvo's water pump. I like that feeling of doing things myself, as don't we all. Derek
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