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I've been going to quite a few open houses lately, and I've noticed a strange trend. In more than a few houses, I've noticed a timer high up on the wall in the master closet.

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I've seen alarm control panels in the master closet before, but I can't fathom why a timer would be in there. I'm thinking maybe it could be for landscape lighting, or a sprinkler system. I just can't understand why you would choose to install a control for those systems, in a second floor closet. The first time I saw it, I didn't think anything of it (I have kids, so I understand the purpose of keeping things away from curious hands). After seeing it in more than a couple homes, I started to question the practice.

Anybody have any experience with this, that could shed some light on the purpose of it?

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    Have you been able to ask or trace it to an outlet or device? – BrownRedHawk Sep 29 '16 at 13:22
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    I would agree with some sort of exterior lights. Have you seen if the timers have a manual override? – rpmerf Sep 29 '16 at 19:05
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    my votes are soffit lights, and/or outdoor christmas recpts. One sub-division in our area, every house is wired with a split recept under each front window (inside) for holiday candles. Top recpt switched by the timer circuit, bottom always on, the timers are usually next to the panel in the basement tho. (Just curious are they really using Intermatic T101's or was that pic just for example?) – Tyson Sep 29 '16 at 19:09
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    Another possibility I just thought of, If in an area that needs snow & Ice melting equipment on the roof it could be set to run at nights but I think lighting is more probable. If they are intermatic units like the one pictured there is a Manuel on off switch just below the time dial. Also taking note of the time they are set to turn on / off may help provide another clue. – Ed Beal Sep 29 '16 at 19:52
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    I just talked to some of our residential service guys out in the shop. They were unanimous, likely soffit or other security lighting and that it was likely added after the insulation/drywall phase. I asked about ventilation or gutter heat, and the consensus was that would be better on a thermostat than timer, but then someone threw in there is always "Christmas". – Tyson Sep 29 '16 at 21:39
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Thus looks exactly like the timer we used to have hooked up to our water heater. We had it set to turn the water heater on at certain times right before we knew we would need hot water.

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