Timer Switch (16)

The fixture in our master closet is a stylish but hot three-bulb halogen. We love the brightness, but the switch is occasionally left in the on position. The closet heats up quickly. With shoe boxes and other combustibles in proximity, I don’t like the potential hazard.

I’ve jumped on my fire prevention soap box and lectured multiple times on the importance of returning the switch to the off position. The crowd is becoming hostile to the speeches and adding intensity to my warnings has not helped.

Timer Switch (7)

Perhaps it is time to retire the old switch? With a timer switch I can end this problem.

Timer Switch (13)

I gathered my electrical tools into one box for easy transport to the job site last summer. The church we were attending moved from one office building to another, and I invested several days running and terminating data cables. Useful skills and tools never go out of style.

I hope to become an old engineer. Careless engineers fade quickly. Just because your braggadocios coworker messes with live circuits does not mean you should. Be safe. Shut off the power before performing any electrical repairs.

Timer Switch (10)

The label sheet on our breaker panel is ambiguous. I’m never sure which breakers control the outlets and lights. An item on my list is to map the circuits and label the backs of the cover plates. One day.

Timer Switch (15)

In the meantime I use the guess and check method. I employed a very loud vacuum cleaner as confirmation I had clicked the correct breaker. I nailed it first guess! The closet and the bedroom were in darkness, and I offered thanks for the generous windows ushering light into our home.

Timer Switch (11)

Once the cover was removed I loosened the switch and unfolded the wires. The two black wires (circled) from this switch were moved to the new switch.

Timer Switch (8)

Timer Switch (14)

The switch and cover plate were well-packaged. I needed a knife and pliers to remove the plastic.

Timer Switch (17)

The new switch is installed. Can you see the faint lines in the paint? Are those noticeable and will this simple switch change trigger a repainting effort? Home projects have a way of generating more home projects.

After a short orientation and test session the customer decided on the ten-minute setting for the switch and signed off on the improvement.