I would like to replace a regular switch with a timer switch. The timer switch I have purchased requires a neutral wire. Looking at the existing switch (first photo), I have a black and a white wire connected to it, but I believe they technically should both be black, and I'll need to connect to the properly-labelled white neutral wires in the neighbouring box (second photo). I've attached a photo of the current configuration and a link to the manual for the timer switch. Any help would be appreciated.


  • 4
    You need a 2 wire timer. They are available. – Tyson Mar 6 '17 at 17:54
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    You should not borrow a neutral from another circuit. Get a timer that does not need a neutral. – Tester101 Mar 6 '17 at 18:13
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    Also, that box is really messed up. The right box is not properly attached to the left box, and those single wires should not be going through holes like that! It may be OK to borrow netural from another circuit if it's the same circuit.your best bet might be to consolidate both switches into the left box, and abandon the right box. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 6 '17 at 20:52
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    Can you figure out what is going on behind the right-hand box? Something smells of a fairly serious Code violation back there... – ThreePhaseEel Mar 6 '17 at 23:14
  • I don't know enough to investigate further. Does it suggest something dangerous that I should have a professional look at? – MarcGuay Mar 7 '17 at 21:37

Get a different timer

You should be able to get a different timer switch that does not need a neutral to operate -- any Leviton LTT series model will do the job in your case, for instance.

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