Q:

What are electrical timers used for?

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Quick Answer

Electrical timers turn an electrical item on and off at a particular time, eliminating the need to do it manually. The timers work on electrical items that plug in, such as lights and appliances. Timers for sprinkler systems, for example, turn on the irrigation at particular times.

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Full Answer

Electrical timers provide both convenience and safety in the home. The timer allows the user to set certain times and forget about the item. Examples include setting an electrical heater to turn on an hour before waking up, running a pool pump at certain times, and turning on landscape lights in the evening hours. Timers also make controlling Christmas lights easier by having them turn on automatically at night.

Electrical timers provide safety to a home when residents are out of town. Plugging interior lights into an electrical timer allows the user to have the lights come on at certain times. This gives the appearance that someone is home, even when the house is actually vacant. The same idea works for radios or televisions to create noise so it seems like someone is home.

An electrical timer works with a dial used to set the start and stop times. The timer plugs in to the wall outlet, and the electrical item plugs in to the timer. The item receives power through the timer, and it turns on and off based on the times selected on the timer.

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