I am attempting to replace a single pole light switch for the outside garage light with a digital timer as there no street lights. It is located in a two gang box which has another switch that operates a two way. there are five cables in the box. One is a four wire cable that connects the two way switch. I've isolated the wires that operate the single pole switch for the outside light. The digital timer has four wires, black, red, white and ground. The directions state it will not work properly if not connected to a four wire cable. Any idea how to wire the digital timer? The timer is a Utilitech #0141224, model #UTDT9IW7.

  • To Ecnerwal: Yes, five multi-wire cables and one is red-black-white-bare/green. All of the white wires are tied together, none are connected to the two switches. How can I send a picture?
    – DFL
    Feb 2, 2015 at 3:47

1 Answer 1


Presumably the black and red wires are the hot and switched, corresponding to your current switch. If the box is gounded, that one's good. The issue (depending how the box is wired) may be that the timer needs a neutral connection, and if the box only has "switch loops" run to it it may not currently HAVE a neutral wire - in which case you need to get one there.

Now, when you say that there are 5 cables in the box, do you mean 5 multi-wire cables (black-white-bare/green) except one of them is red-black-white-bare/green and there are a lot of white wires connected to each other? If so, it's your lucky day, as one of those white wires will provide your neutral connection. Avoid white wires that are connected to switches, as those probably are NOT neutrals.

A picture would help a lot, but that's my educated guess, if you are using "cable" in the usual sense, as opposed to confusing it with "wire."

  • +1 "Avoid white wires that are connected to switches, as those probably are NOT neutrals". Might save this individual from all sorts of mayhem :)
    – Gabriel
    Feb 1, 2015 at 2:18

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