As I was browsing reddit today, I found this nice simple project, an Outlet Timer. I remember leaving the hot glue gun on one day, and finding it the next day, still running as hot as could be. The glue that came out of it was orange, and I know that things would have been bad if I didn’t catch it when I did. Typically I try to be as cheap as possible, but for the importance of this project, I didn’t mind investing the $27.
In true DIY fashion, I’ll go through the steps that i used to make it. I first wanted to find out which wire was Hot (the conductor that is switched when you switch on/off the power strip. I first pealed back the insulation, being careful not to nick any of the wires. I picked this location so that it was pretty close to the strip.
In my case, the switch was connected to the black conductor (I could tell by measuring the conductance between the black wire, and that socket, when I switched on/off the power strip). I cut the wires, with a pair of wire cutters, and stripped the recommended length of conductor for the countdown switch. After feeding both wires through the 1 Gang electrical box, I inserted the trimmed black conductor into the countdown switch.
After that, I secured both green wires together using a WireTwist wire connector, and I did the same for the white wires.
At this point, I wanted some strain relief, so that things don’t come undone if someone accidentally pulls the power strip. So I took 2 black zipties, and fed it through the 1 Gang electrical box so that the power cable will be secure against the box.
By far the hardest part of this project was screwing the Countdown switch to the 1 Gang electrical box. Those flat-head screws weren’t fun. I wrapped it up by putting the faceplate on. I did a quick sanity check, by using my multimeter and checking conductance before it has been plugged in. Ground and Neutral were always connected, Hot was only connected to the wall if both the timer was on, and the switch for the power strip was on. I tested it using my plug tester, and it tested out 🙂
As always, proceed at your own risk. If you make this project, and it messes up, you take full responsibility.