I've got a receptacle with three light switches, a single, a three-way and a four-way.

I'm trying to replace the single with a Honeywell timer switch. The wiring in the box seems a bit wacky to me (though I'm very new to this homeownership thing).

I'm attaching below the wiring diagram for the timer switch and my crude wiring diagram in the box (the black wires with white in the middle are all white). My crude picture has the only labeling I see on the existing switches, so I believe the daisy-chained wiring at the bottom is all neutral. But then I'm not sure what the bundle of white wires is (or what the completely unconnected black wire coming from the leftmost bundle is).

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  • Can you post photos of the insides of the box? Your wiring diagram doesn't add up... Oct 23, 2016 at 20:22
  • Thanks - I've added pictures. I also confirmed that my wiring diagram is accurate.
    – Josh
    Oct 23, 2016 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


The black wire at the bottom of your diagram is the incoming hot feed and goes to all the switches. If the timer switch has a terminal screw, hook it up to the new switch the same way it was done at the old. If it has a pigtail lead, you'll have to cut the black wire and wirenut both the cut ends with the pigtail from the timer. The blue wire or terminal on the timer goes to the other black wire (the non-doubletap one) going to the single switch, and the white wire or terminal on the timer needs to be connected to the bundle of white neutral wires at the back of the box -- you may need to use a length of scrap white wire as a pigtail for this.

Also, the weirdly wired 4-way switch is really a 3 way switch in disguise, and make sure the single black wire's loose end is capped off with a wirenut.

  • Thank you, that worked perfectly. 2 questions - 1) How did you know the bottom wires were hot, when the labeling suggested otherwise? Or maybe, does the labelling not matter? 2) What do you mean about the 4-way switch? It works perfectly as a 4-way switch, do you mean its wired incorrectly?
    – Josh
    Oct 25, 2016 at 22:13
  • 1
    1) The bottom wire being hot was an educated guess based on it being connected to all the switches. 2) The 4-way switch in that box is being used as a 3-way switch as one of the terminals on that switch is unconnected. (A 4-way switch circuit has 3-way switches on the end and 4-way switches in the middle.) Oct 25, 2016 at 22:15

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