I just bought a wall timer to replace a three-way switch. The wall timer comes with three wires, one for the common screw wire, and the other two are for the travelers, with no place for a ground wire. When I took out the three-way switch it had the common and the two travelers that I needed and it also has the ground wire.

My question is, where do I put or what should I do with the ground in this situation?

I called the manufacturer and the guy said that "a ground is not needed in this situation and that I should just tape it off". Is that what I should be doing?

Here's a picture of the back of the timer. enter image description here

  • Where are you installing the switch?
    – Edwin
    Jan 9, 2014 at 3:42
  • What country, is what I mean.
    – Edwin
    Jan 9, 2014 at 4:07
  • I'm in the United States.
    – dalutulak
    Jan 9, 2014 at 4:34

1 Answer 1


If the switch has no exposed metallic parts after installation—and has no ground terminal—then a ground connection to the switch is not needed. Connect the three ground wires together (one from the power source, and two for the travelers).

If the timer has exposed metal, then there should be a ground screw. If the junction box it is installed into is metal, ground the box by adding a fourth ground wire into the junction with the other three grounds, and screw the other end of the wire to the j-box. Use metal screws to install the timer into the j-box: This grounds the timer and was the standard way of house grounding up until sometime in the 1960s.

If the j-box is not metal, but the timer has some exposed metal, run a ground wire to it and fasten it securely somehow. (Maybe add link to a photo of the timer for better advice.)

  • 1
    If the J box is metal, regardless of the switch, it needs to be grounded (in the USA).
    – Bryce
    Jan 9, 2014 at 10:48
  • I added a picture in my post.
    – dalutulak
    Jan 9, 2014 at 18:34
  • @dalutulak: is the j-box metal?
    – wallyk
    Jan 9, 2014 at 18:36
  • @wallyk nope it's plastic
    – dalutulak
    Jan 9, 2014 at 23:01

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