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Old 02-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


The hallway at my church has 4 switches controlling ove head lights. To save energy, can we replace some or all of those switches with motion sensing switches? There are two 3-way sw. , one at each end, and two 4-way sw in the middle. I have purchased two Wattstopper 3 or 4 way motion sensing switches. But, I'm not sure how to wire them in, and if I need to replace all of the switches or just two. The instruction only show how to wire them for 3-way, not 4-way.

Thom

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


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The hallway at my church has 4 switches controlling overhead lights.
...can we replace some or all of those switches with motion sensing switches?
Probably.
The biggest issue is whether you have a functioning neutral wire in the junction box where the switches are (or can get one there).

Quote:
I have purchased two Wattstopper 3 or 4 way motion sensing switches.
The instruction only show how to wire them for 3-way, not 4-way.
Because there's no functional difference.
The 4 way is an additional switch added into a 3 way switching circuit.

Quote:
I'm not sure how to wire them in
and if I need to replace all of the switches or just two.
You'll replace one of the 3 way switches in whichever of the several lighting circuits that you use them on.

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Last edited by TarheelTerp; 02-04-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Probably.
The biggest issue is whether you have a functioning neutral wire in the junction box where the switches are (or can get one there).


Because there's no functional difference. The 4 way is an additiona switch added into a 3 way switching circuit.
I will check to see if in fact there is a good neutral. But, the present sw setup works fine.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


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I will check to see if in fact there is a good neutral. <-- Good
But, the present sw setup works fine.
Regular/traditional 3ways don't require a neutral in the switch box.
Look at the instructions & diagram the sensor device came with.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:36 AM   #5
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


All 4 conventional switches will have to be removed. You could install the two wattstoppers that you have. The other two locations you would have to wire nut wires together and blank cover them.

You could contact the Mfg. to see if there is a way to add additional motion sensors. But since they didn't put it in the instructions, the odds are not good.

The other option would be to use one of the motion switches and then put momentary switches in the other 3 locations.

Have you added up the wattage of the lights you are trying to control ? The motion sensor is only good for 600 watts.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


Thanks,
I like the idea of using monentary switches in the other three locatations.
I'm not sure what a monentary switch is??
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


Wattstopper makes a momentary switch RH-253. when you press it, it sends a signal to the motion sensor telling it to turn on. The switch is called a momentary, because it doesn't keep sending power after you let go of it.

The motion sensor would go into the location where the feed to the lights is located. The other 3 positions would have the RH-253 switches. A person entering the hallway (away from the motion sensor) would just tap one of the switches to get the lights on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:42 AM   #8
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


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Regular/traditional 3ways don't require a neutral in the switch box.
Look at the instructions & diagram the sensor device came with.
I did check yesterday, no neutrals in any of the 4 boxes
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


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I did check yesterday, no neutrals in any of the 4 boxes
In older construction (that is just about everything built until rather recently)the lighting circuit feed wire went around the structure
from room to room to room *at the light fixture*.

From there a "switch(ing) leg" was run to the switch.
For three ways additional wire is then run to the other 3way switch
(and/or 4way switches used. How all this gets done will vary.
Some of that variation can get very creative.

But NONE of these methods will put the neutral wire into the circuit...
(the same neutral wire that the sensor device requires to operate).
See diagram at bottom for one commonly used method.

Hopefully your church has always been a commercial building and the codes there required the electricians to use metal conduit.
That will make sorting this out merely tedious rather than a major PITA.

Your mission Mr Phelps, should you choose to accept it, is to find out what is installed there, what type of wiring methods were used and how the circuits have been run.

Good luck.
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches-4wayswitchdiagram2.jpg  

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Old 02-06-2013, 08:03 PM   #10
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


Thanks again,
Yes, the building has always been a commerial site. All of the wiring is in conduit. I did open all 4 of the sw. boxes. One 3-way at each end of the hall at a door way entrance. And one at each of two doorway entrances off center of the hallway. The hallway is behind the choir seating, and arc shaped. So I thing there is need to have sensing along the entire hallway. The connection appear to be exactly as shown in your diagram, except their is another 4-way switch in place. And the conduit is grounded.
So, is replacing the 4 current switches with 4 motion sensing units feasible?

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Old 02-06-2013, 08:22 PM   #11
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


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Originally Posted by tgray1 View Post
All of the wiring is in conduit. <-- Lucky you.
So, is replacing the 4 current switches with 4 motion sensing units feasible?
Electrically? Sure.

I'm not sure what you mean by feasible though.
Aesthetics and functional gets into design aspects.

Personally... I like to keep things simple. I'd put one of the four sets of lights on a motion sensor of some sort for the safety and conservation standpoint... and keep the rest off unless a function is going on that needs all the lights.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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How to replace 4 swithes in a hallway w/motion sensing switches


Thanks, that's a very good idea.
Prpbably should have been setup that way when the church was built 30 year ago.

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