Putting a timer on your light is a great way to make sure it’s on at the right time and won’t stay on all day. However, the setting timer might not always go exactly when you want it to, so it’s important that you know how to set a 24-hour mechanical timer if you need it in your home.
You can use a mechanical timer in your home as a security feature when you’re not home, to alert you when a meal is ready, or to activate aquarium lights or other electrical equipment when necessary.
You may choose between digital setting timers that are programmed or inexpensive mechanical timer using a 24-hour dial. Mechanical timers also require you to set them manually using pins, segments, or trippers; they do not require backup batteries.
Steps On How To Set A Mechanical Timer
Setting a mechanical timer is an important skill to have if you work with any type of electronic equipment. Knowing how to set a timer can help you save time when working on projects, and can even come in handy in the event of an emergency.
Here, we will walk you through the steps needed to set a basic mechanical timer
Step 1: Select The Timer Setting
The position of the button on the timer’s side is used to set the timer for your lighting device. It is possible that “T” means “timer” or “Auto” or some other term that is described in the instructions. Each setting timer has a unique setting, but the majority of the timer allows you to bypass the timer and operate the light manually when you don’t want it to control it.
Step 2: Plug The Timer Into A Wall Outlet Or Surge Protector
Align the three prongs on the back of the timer with the outlet plug socket. Plug in your aquarium or other electrically powered items into the timer’s plug socket, which is usually found on the bottom, side, or front.
Step 3: Set The Current Time
Align the dial so that the number on it corresponds to the current time. The position depends on which clock model you have.
Step 4: Position The Pins
The first pin should be positioned at the time you want the electrical item to turn off, the second pin at the time you want it to turn off. If you want a light to turn on at 7 p.m., position the first pin at 7 p.m. and the second at 11:00 p.m. if you want it to turn off at that time. For timers that have 24-hour modes, position the first pin at 1900 and the second at 2300. To change pins, toggle them on or off, or in or out.
Step 5: Test It
Verify that the light comes on when the timer is set to On by manually advancing the timer to that position. Verify that the light turns off when the timer is set to Off by manually advancing the timer to the Off position. Reset the timer to the current time after testing is complete.
7 Different Types Of Timers
There are seven different types of mechanical timers and here are the definition and purpose of each timers below;
1. Analog Timers
An analog timer has a 24-hour dial that rotates as time passes. When the dial reaches a pin or tripper, the light comes on and stays on until the timer moves to the next pin or position on the dial. The hash marks between the numbers on the dial indicate the half-hour position. A typical 24-hour analog timer has 48 positions, one representing the clock hour and one at the half hour.
2. Food Timers
A mechanical kitchen timer or food is usually set for 60 minutes. To start it, set the timer to the desired time, such as 45 minutes, by turning the clockwise dial. During the countdown, the timer ticks like a clock until it reaches the zero point on the dial. When it reaches the off point, it rings or beeps to let you know that the time you set has elapsed.
3. Vacation Timers
Vacation timers cannot be altered if you have chosen one. Vacation timers are preset to turn on and off lights at random times to make it look as if you are home when you are away. The on and off pins or connections are molded onto these mechanical timers; many vacation timers have seven-day, random on and off settings that repeat after seven days have passed.
4. Vertical Dial Timers
Vertical dial timers have small pins built into the dial itself. Follow the steps for the analog timer, pulling the pins out at the location where you want to turn the item on and off.
5. Segment Timers
You use segment timers the same way as you would a standard timer, with one exception. Each segment should represent 30 minutes – so that they rise above the timer’s face. For instance, if you want the light to be on at 7 p.m. and off at 11, lift eight segments beginning at 7 p.m and ending at 11:00 p.m.
6. Timer Trippers
The time-on positions are marked by physical trippers, while the time-off positions are indicated by small arrow-type pins. You insert the timer’s pins or trippers at certain positions on the dial or move the arrow-type pins to the on and off positions.
7. Auto Overrides
Newer timer models use a switch that allows you to manually or automatically operate the electrical device. When the switch is in the Off position, this generally means that the timer will not interfere with the flow of electricity to the electric device. In other models, a toggle can be set to Timer On or Outlet On. If it has two positions, this usually means that you can manually operate the electrical device without any interference from the timer.
How Mechanical Timers Work
Mechanical setting timers normally have 48 pins that can be set to on or off. Every hour has one pin and every half hour has one pin. Timers with 96 pins are available if you desire more control. These timers may be set in 15-minute intervals. Each pin is a two-position switch, meaning it has an up and down position. The up position is off, and the down position is on.
A factory switch can override the timer if you want to turn a light or pump on. Slide the override switch to the ON position to turn a light or pump on. When you’re ready to go back to the timer schedule, slide the switch back to the TIMER position. The timer will continue keeping time while in the ON position, and will immediately begin operating based on the current time settings.
How To Read The Time On A Mechanical Timer
Some timers have misleading arrows and other markings on their faces that make it difficult to distinguish between AM and PM. The arrows and markings on mechanical timers are color-coded to distinguish between AM and PM.
On the dial of the BN-LINK mechanical timer in the image, the darker portion indicates PM, and the lighter portion indicates AM. There is one important arrow on the face of the timer.
The current time arrow is typically found near the top of the inner ring. It is green in the photo. Rotate the dial until the current time arrow is pointing at the correct time.