Electrical Wiring in the Home/Timer switch


QUESTION: I have a Leviton electronic timer (6124H-W) switch operating three outdoor lights that I want to replace with a normal switch. Here is how it is wired:
- Three wires come into the box.
- The three white wires are connected together and go to the white wire on the switch.
- The first and second black wires are connected and go to the black wire on the switch.
- The middle black wire goes to the blue wire on the switch.

When connecting the wires to a normal switch I don't know what to do with the black wires. I tried putting all three black wires together and all three white together then running a short piece of wire from them to the connectors on the switch but  it didn't work as the breaker switch flipped to off.

I think it has something to do with the black wires being hot but I am not sure as this is very confusing to me. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Thank you

Gord this link has diagram and instructions, sort of     it is for installing and you need to do it backwards,    the blue went the load   now all you do is find which are power and which are load,  so it would trip if all three were connected,    three outdoor lights would be connected together,   then the blue has almost got to be one load black    the other two on the switch are the other blacks from two more lights         what would be easier is to find which are power leads, coming in,first     because you have so many blacks they didnt wire them from light to light to light in parallel,   you are sure all wiring in this box is for lights only correct?

Once you know which are the two incoming power   are three coming in black white and green?

I would think so somewhere should be a frame ground wire,green     

so you will have three whites from the lights and two black and one wired to blue, forget blue  now you need a switch leg  the three whites would all bundle with the incoming white,  and connected and taped off,

   now you need the three blacks or two black and blue  to top of on off switch  and the bottom of the on off switch would get the incoming hot lead,   

   but you mention three coming in but no green,   so you need to identify  the neutral and hot coming in,     tie the neutral whites and all the other light/load whites together,     the other side of all three loads will go to the top of the switch and the incoming black hot to the bottom       then you have a switch leg

basically cutting the hot lead in two for off,    then closing it to make parallel black leads from each load,    hard to verbalize that   but if you understand a switch leg   it is just cutting the hot wire in half          

but since they used that blue one,   you can forget it,  it now is wired to ONE OF THE black load leads     so in total you have three black load,    one black power,    there is your switch  the whites all bundled give you the other side,   

I think when you see the diagram it will be much easier to understand    if you are still confused,   find your white and black that has 115 between them   that is your feed,     send the white to all three load whites,  tap off,    then you have the incoming black  it is hot  one side of the switch     the other three blacks from the lights to the switch on the other pole   top or bottom is just a way of saying either side of the switch     just make sure you switch the hot lead    not the neutral  


Or you could find each lamp  two wires,     then the two incoming power leads  a white and black    that should light each light one at a time to confirm,   once you get into it with the diagram  I think you will see it,  if not let me know and I walk you through it,  
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

Awards and Honors

Past/Present Clients
Federal Government, National Weather Service, NOAA, Commercial Power Plants, Major Vehicle Manufacturers, Printers, Other industrial and Commercial Businesses

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.