Can I do this? Electrical

I know you're going to tell me to do this another way but I don't know how strongly you're going to say it.
I am going away for a few days, and I didnt' expect this. I planned to put a timer on my kitchen ceiling fixture. The one I used to have worked fine but failed, and the one after that failed too (after about 15 years each). The one I bought recently turned out to be no good for CFL's so I just got another one and it wants the neutral wire.
Only for the current that it needs to run the internal clock. Not much more than a watch battery puts out, right?
All I've got available is the ground wire. How bad is it to use that until I can run a neutral wire?.
I already have a 12 or 14 gauge wire running to this box that used to be used for another purpose, but no time before I go away to scope it out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The neutral and ground wires are often tied together at some pint in the house wiring. Rather than go to all this trouble, why not just have the timer run a table lamp placed on the kitchen table??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 2 Mar 2017 20:37:15 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I want it to be the ceiling light, the same light I have on every night when I'm eating dinner etc. So it will look just as it usually does**.
I'm going to be away for 11 weeks, plenty of time for someone to notice I'm not really there, so I dont' want to be obvious also.
All the reasons on the web for not doing this are about the the ground being hot if the ground gets cut, and it will be, but any current that flows out of it will have to go through the switch's clock first.
**I have another timer to turn a light on in my "office" a couple hours later, when I'm normally there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:01:24 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:

So what you are telling us is that there are bad guys watching your house so closely and so consistently that they will notice as soon as the light in the kitchen changes from a ceiling fixture to a lamp.
Are you a spy or something? Who is watching your house so closely?
Ok, so let's say they are watching your house that closely. Do you turn the kitchen light on and off every night at the exact time that the timer is going to? If not, the folks that are watching your house have 11 weeks to notice the exactness of the pattern and will know it's a timer.
Of course, they are also probably going to know that you aren't home. They've already hacked your life and know your complete trip itinerary.
Forget the timer. You're screwed anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 2 Mar 2017 20:37:15 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

another "solution" is to put a small (like 5 watt) incandescent bulb in the circuit
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:23:40 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Do you mean in parallel with the load, or between the swtich and the ground acting as neutral?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

as part of the load.. The timer runs on the "tickle current" through the bulb, which is why it won't work with a cfl or led
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:57:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Oh, I get it. I could have done that. One of the 3 models on Amazon would work with CFL but only if it met the minimum draw, which was 40 watts (which iirc is 150 watt equivalent, which I think is what I'm using) but I bought one without that requirement. So I bought one that doesn't need a neutral wire after all. They promised it by 9PM if I bought it by noon.
I shouldn't be impressed. There have been messenger services that would deliver things quickly for over 100 years. In NYC inthe 70's there were lots of folks on bicycles dellivering financial stuff mostly, and my friend did that with his car. Maybe it's that it's only 10 dollars.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/02/2017 10:37 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

The only place a ground and neutral wire could correctly be "tied together" would be at the ground buss within the breaker box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

AKA the main bonding jumper
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

which WOULD allow the timer to work. Not Kosher, but workable.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 11:37:18 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Often tied together?
Next!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It is not legal but it works as long as there is no GFCI in there. I can't say it os a good idea tho. I found a 2 wire occupancy sensor at Lowes that supports CFL and LED so I bet you can find a timer. I suspect there is a resistor or diode array in there that creates enough voltage drop to power the circuitry.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 02 Mar 2017 23:54:22 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Dang, I didn't think of Lowes!
Maybe because they used to have a "search engine" for the search box in Firefox and they don't have one anymore, but HD does.
Thanks for checking. Yeah, I see that too. Lutron. Came up when I searched on wall timer.
It's interesting how countdown timers are more popular now, I think, than plain timers. People concerned about electric bills. I don't think Lowes has a single wall timer that replaces a wall toggle switch, and the other stores didn't have many. Home Depot had 4 that woudl handle CFL's but one or two were countdown, 1 was controllable from a tablet or phone!!!t, and the most expensive one, the one I want, by Intermatic, $37, no branch of HD stocks and the earliest they can get it is after I'll have left. That'll teach me to wait too long.
What else is funny is all these store with My Store are constantly changing My Store, never to a store I actually go to, and sometimes they pick one 50 miles away.

Okay. You know more than I do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:22:06 -0500, micky

What's amazing is that Amazon has two models, for about $24 and 43, and they will ship it to me tomorrow, meaning today the third if I order it by noon today (which is tomorrow afaic) For $9.98 extra dollars.
===> Okay, I bought the fancy one. Should come today. Amazing.
Even though I'm not in Prime. Were I in Prime it would be free, for over $$35 and $6 for under 35, but non-Prime it's $10 no matter what.
They have another model Woods, for $10 that won't come until Saturday, which is still plenty of time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It definitely won't meet code, but it will work, it won't kill anyone, and it won't burn your house down. Do I recommend it? No. Have I done it? Yes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 02 Mar 2017 23:54:48 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's very good!

In that case, I can get by when I'm not home. When I get back mabye I can disconnect the whole timer part (one wire), and if not, I'll get to work on that other wire.
The other wire was an early attempt to get the burglar alarm to flash the kitchen light, which I thought would scare away anyone who broke in, and make it easy to see which house had the alarm***
(The first summer I was here, someone kicked my front door in between 6 and 8 on a Sunday evening, when I was out for dinner. He didnt' steal anything, I think the annooying** dog next door started barking, but I still got very concerned about alarms, especially when they got rid of the dog. **The dog barked constantly every time they took him out, when I was trying to go to sleep and before I woke up in the morning. I hated him, but I dont' know why else the burglar would have left without stealling anything.)
*** The first alarm panel had a connection that did that, it had a pulsing ground, but I connected it through a relay to make sure it could handle the ceiling light, then 3 incancescent bulbs. It worked fine until I put a timer switch in in place of the simple switch, and I thought I had a way around that too.
Hmmm. Why didn't I just run another wire, since I'd run one already. Too late now. The current alarm doesn't have that....although I coudl put my own flasher in. I already have the relay wired. (There arne't enough burglaries to go to all this trouble, but it can be fun.) -- thinking outloud.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I guess I'll feed this troll.....
Do what you propose, but dont turn on the power until you're ready to leave for your vacation. Right before you leave, spill a gallon of gasoline on your kitchen floor, then toss a match into the gas, lock the door, and leave.
The end result will be the same...... The llames will provide a lot of light until the fire dept brings in a bulldozer to remove any dangerous standing walls (If there are any).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/02/2017 10:11 PM, micky wrote:

I call bullshit.
In the amount of time you have spent posting here, you could have traced out that apparently unused wire and wired the thing properly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Remember, it's Mikey. -----. I could say more, but I'm not nasty.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

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.