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This is on an outdoor power receptacle that looks like it should be some kind of timer for switching power on/off. I'd love to use this for Christmas lights, but I can't seem to get it's little display to light up regardless of what I press. Does anyone know what this is so I can find a manual online?

timer image

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Quick tip: I'd replace those screws on the left. They look like drywall screws and will rust over time. –  BMitch Nov 22 '12 at 0:58
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I recognize that timer, I've gone through tons of them. I think its a Leviton or Leutron. It's probably dead - they never seem to last more than a year in my house. But check the wiring first to make sure its right and even getting power –  Steven Nov 22 '12 at 1:03
    
So, it's okay to put these screws into all your drywall, and put wet mud over them, but they can't hold a plastic box? –  Kaz Nov 22 '12 at 1:30
    
If it happens to be dead, make sure to replace it with one that is designed for exterior usage. Humidity, especially condensation, and large temperature swings can shorten the life of most electronics. An even better option would be to move the timer to the inside of the house so it's protected from the elements and so you can turn off the lights without going outside. –  BMitch Nov 22 '12 at 1:30
    
@Kaz mud dries and protects the screws from humidity and oxygen. Exposed to the elements, they will rust. –  BMitch Nov 22 '12 at 1:31
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is a GE device, though I think a Leutron or Leviton also make a pretty similar unit. Here's a link to it on Home Depot's website.

My experience with these units is that they fail very rapidly - I went through 3 of them in a year before I switched brands. You can see the comments on Home Depot echo this. They also can fail closed so that with a dead switch, everything is still powered and you have no way of turning it off - quite annoying if you ask me!

I would recommend that you replace it with another brand. They are not serviceable.

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I agree that it is definitely a timer for controlling the adjacent outlet. Have you tried activating the reset button by pressing it with a sharp tool (even a pencil)? Then try pushing and holding the clock button. If that works, you should be able to set the hours and minutes using those buttons. Then pushing the program button should allow you to set the timer on and off times. If this doesn't work, try cycling the bottom slide switch from off to timer. If nothing works, it may be that no power is getting to the timer and/or the outlet. Can you check that the outlet has power on either position of the slide switch. If not, then you need to check further as to how the outlet is getting power (perhaps a fuse or breaker is off). One way to check is to push the check button the GFI that is part of your power socket. That should cause the reset button on the outlet to pop out. If that doesn't happen, then either the socket does not have power or the GFI is defective.

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The outlets are both powered, so I guess the default for this switch is on. I tried pushing all of the buttons and flipping the switch at the bottom and nothing seemed to do anything at all unfortunately. –  Gregable Nov 22 '12 at 4:15
    
Those switches fail to "on".. –  Steven Nov 22 '12 at 14:12
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