I have a switch i would like to replace with a timer like this


i only have a positive wire in my switch box,

could i use the (ground) box as a negative?

is it safe?

EDIT: i linked the wrong model above

would this do any better?


  • 2
    You cannot use ground as neutral without violating code. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 12 '15 at 17:50
  • 1
    @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams I think it's worse than you think - it sounds like he wants to use the electrical box that holds the switch as neutral! But they do make switches that can be placed in-line (often labeled 3-way) – W5VO Apr 12 '15 at 19:58

No. The device you have requires a grounded (neutral) conductor to be connected to function. There's no other way to hook it up.

I believe Honeywell offers timers that don't require a grounded (neutral) connection. You might want to purchase one of those instead.

  • Yeah -- he needs an RPLS530 or RPLS540, not the RPLS730 he is trying to buy sigh – ThreePhaseEel Apr 12 '15 at 22:56
  • @ThreePhaseEel you're right on this one, i didn't notice the difference – YesItsMe Apr 13 '15 at 4:10

You do need the RPLS530A from the second link you gave for your application -- the unit comes with wiring instructions, but in short, connect the wires labeled C and 2 to the power coming in from the line, and the wire labeled 1 to the wire going out to the load (provided you're replacing a single pole switch, i.e. one with two brass screws and one green screw -- if you're replacing a three-way switch, follow the instructions in the manual carefully, and comment here if you need more help).

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