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Page 2 of 3: Wiring diagrams
Return to Page 1:
Overview and buy materials for timer project
Go to Page 3 Wiring details
Personal safety. Always turn power off at breaker. Use non contact voltage tester to check if power is off. Never stand on bare ground or wet or damp surface when working with electricity. Put down dry boards. Tape wood sticks to tester leads to keep hands away from live power. More people are killed by 120 volt than any other voltage. 120-240 volt circuits can kill. Always match wire and breaker size with the rating plate on load (water heater). Use 10 gauge wire and 30 amp breaker for ordinary residential water heater. Make sure all electric connections are made inside enclosure or box. Box must be covered with a plate. Do not use ground wire for the Neutral. Tighten wire connectors and screw terminals very tight against copper wire. Do not use aluminum wire. Solid wire is preferred over stranded wire. Attach all wire to box using connector and secure all wire and conduit to structure.

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No Neutral
Basic 120-240 volt AC circuit
Understanding the basic 120-240 volt AC circuit is important for electric wiring.

Buy:
ST01 timer/ white or almond

Resource
See inside main breaker box
st01 timer
Larger image
No neutral:
This plan uses battery-operated ST01 7-day programmable timer. Not suitabe for freezing temperatures due to 12 volt CR2 battery. Replace battery after 3 years.
This installation requires no Neutral wire, and is maybe the simplist design. Fuse required: 15 amp fuse
Same plan works for any heavy-amp load such as heater, motor, pump etc single-phase or 3-phase.

Buy:
ST01 timer/ white or almond

Resource
Larger image of box with contactor
Go to Page 3 Wiring details
st01 timer
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No neutral:
This plan uses ordinary 15 amp switch

Resource
Larger image of box with contactor
Go to Page 3 Wiring details
water heater switch
See larger
Use 30 amp switch
Water heater can be turned on-off with 1 or 2 wires
Must be 30 amp switch for 240 volt water heater ... do not use 15 or 20 amp

Buy
30 amp switches

Resource
Wire water heater with switches

Ilustrations on this website made with photoshop elements
Buy:
Photoshop Elements

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Neutral Required
Basic 120-240 volt AC circuit
Understanding the basic 120-240 volt AC circuit is important for electric wiring.

Buy:
Programmable timer
Countdown timer
Zwave switch
Wifi switch

Resource
See inside main breaker box

Larger image
Neutral required:
This plan draws hot and neutral from any outlet box.
Applies to all programmable timers, countdown, wifi and zwave home automation devices.

Buy:
Programmable timer
Countdown timer
Zwave switch
Wifi switch
zwave switch Neutral required:
This plan draws hot and neutral from any outlet box.
Applies to all programmable timers, countdown, wifi and zwave home automation devices.
Rule of thumb: Outlet box will always have Hot and Neutral, Switch box will always have Hot but not always Neutral, Ceiling box with light will always have Neutral but only has Hot when light is on.
Switch box and ceiling box: Neutral wires are usually covered with wire nut and pushed to back of box.

Buy:
Programmable timer
Countdown timer
Zwave switch
Wifi switch

Larger-image

Neutral from different source:
Connect Neutral to independent 120V source
Illustration shows how to get neutral from a ceiling box. Example of this would be any box with a light bulb found in the attic, garage, or light controlled by 3-way switch.
Note: the black Hot wire going to light is only hot when light is on. Since it is not continually Hot, it isn't
a reliable power source for the timer and water heater contactor. However the Neutral is always good connection point for another Neutral.

Rules of thumb for residental electricity: Every box with a light has a Neutral but the Hot might be controlled by switch. Every box with a switch has a continual Hot but may not have Neutral. Every box with outlet has reliable Hot and Neutral.

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With neutral from different source:
Same as illustration shown above except with programmable timer:

Black Hot from fuseholder connects to Timer Black
White wire connecting to one side of contactor connects to Timer Red wire (or blue wire)
Neutral for timer and contactor comes from a independent 120V source

Buy:
Programmable wall timers
Countdown wall timers

Resources
Compare Programmable wall timers and manuals
Compare countdown timers
zwave switch
Larger image
With neutral from different source:
This plan draws Hot from one leg of the 240 volt, and draws neutral from different source.
Use this design when nearest box does not have Hot wire... for example ceiling box always has Neutral but may only have Hot wire when light is on.
Applies to all programmable timers, wif and zwave home automation devices.


Buy:
Zwave hubs
Zwave switch
Wifi switch
Spring-wound timers
Same wiring applies to ordinary 15-20 amp wall switch

Require NO neutral wire
Variety of times 15 minute to 12 hour
Connect black and white wires to either connection point on timer.
Make sure ground wire wraps of connects to metal fins on timer for proper grounding
Same wiring applies to ordinary 15-20 amp wall switch/ connect either wire to either brass-colored screw on switch, and connect bare ground wire to green screw

Resource
All brands spring wound mechanical timers
Ordinary 15-20 amp switches
EI210 Countdown timer Countdown timers
This wiring applies ONLY to the project shown on this page

Black Hot from fuseholder connects to Timer Black
White wire connecting to one side of contactor connects to Timer Red
wire (or blue wire)

Timer White and Timer Green connect to bare ground wire

Resource
Intermatic Ei200 single-pole countdown timer
More countdown timers

hand Go to Page 3: wiring details

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