I have a 2 water pump and a controller with a timer that need to be connected. The controller had two outlets for the pumps, and in the back has 3 terminals: HOT Neutral HOT.

But my 240 volt supply just has 2 hot cables but not neutral so how can I supply the neutral pole on the controller if I only have 2 hot lines?

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    It would be helpful to have the make / model number of the timer – Chetan Bhargava Sep 9 '16 at 21:51
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    Intermatic does still make a mechanical timer with a 240v clock motor which doesn't need a neutral to operate. – Tyson Sep 10 '16 at 12:26

If it's a small load like a timer motor, the appliance could be "hacked" by adding a tiny 240/120v transformer to produce the 120V within the appliance.

I would consult with the factory to see exactly how they use 120V within the appliance and if they have any sanctioned kit or instructions to do just that.

Very often, 240V appliances have some control that is 120V. When they sell that same appliance in East Asia, which is all 240V-only, they add a tiny 120V transformer just as I describe. That "East Asian" spec is perfectly compatible with US power and they could market them here... but they want to pinch pennies, so they remove the $2 transformer and require a neutral.

So if it's possible to convert the appliance to East Asian spec, that may be cheaper than running new cable with neutral.


You need to run a new cable with 4 conductors - 2 hot, 1 neutral and 1 ground. A new install would be configured this way but your current setup is common with older homes.

The only other alternative would be to find a new pump that only needs the two hot lines.

  • Thank but is the timer that has 3 cables not the pump, can i run a single line to neutral?? – Christ2000 Sep 9 '16 at 23:39
  • No this is generally not permitted – Steven Sep 10 '16 at 2:50
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    @Christ2000 only if the "hot" wires are individual wires in conduit. If they are a multiconductor cable such as NM or SE, you cannot add a neutral. All hots and neutral must run together in the same cable or conduit. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 10 '16 at 20:55

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