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Old 05-13-2012, 12:51 AM   #1
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Light switch issue?


I Have a light switch that is stand alone ( only switch in the room) operates 4 recessed lights in 1 room. The switch worked fine, well when I went to install a motion sensor switch I removed the old switch to find that that switch had no ground going to the Side like others I have done. The switch box also has 4 bundles of wires coming into the one box( tight fit!!). Each bundle has the standard black, white and ground. I didn't pay attention when ripping the old switch out, but I do remember that there were three caps total with multiple wires in each. And the switch had a short daisy chain wire ( black) going into one of the caps. Now I can't figure how to get a new switch to work. I have got it so the lights actually come on, but only when I turn the breaker on, the switch itself does nothing. I have to turn the breaker off to get them to go off. So I have 4 bundles, 12 total wires, how do I figure this out? I have a multimeter, but not readily available at this time, I'm sure I'll probably need it though.... Thanks in advance
Chris

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Old 05-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #2
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Light switch issue?


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Originally Posted by Casey9004 View Post
I Have a light switch that is stand alone ( only switch in the room) operates 4 recessed lights in 1 room. The switch worked fine, well when I went to install a motion sensor switch...
These require a neutral wire at the switch.
You don't have that... so it won't work.

If you have convenient access to the ceiling above the room...you may be able to replace the 2wire currently there with the 3wire you need.

hth

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Old 05-13-2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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Light switch issue?


All the grounds get spliced together. All the whites {neutrals} get spliced together. The black that goes to the lights will go to one side of the occupancy sensor. The rest of the blacks get spliced together with a pigtail and go to the other side of the occupancy sensor.

Splice all the whites together first. Find which black has voltage...that is your hot. Splice one black at a time to the hot wire until you find the black that turns on the lights...that is your switch leg. The rest of the blacks {that do not control the lights or do not have voltage} get spliced with the hot black}

Not all occupancy sensors require a neutral. If yours happens to require a neutral, a white pigtail will be needed to go from the spliced whites to the sensor.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:56 AM   #4
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Light switch issue?


could be like this:
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Light switch issue?-1-switch-2-lites-all-switch.jpg  

Last edited by hammerlane; 05-13-2012 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #5
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Light switch issue?


You are right, it could be, but I don't think I've ever seen that situation.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Light switch issue?


The bundle of white wires is the neutral.

The daisy chain wire (pigtail) is (almost certainly) from the hot source.

The other black wire tot he switch goes to the light that the switch controls.

These three (and the bare ground wire cluster are all you need to install a motion control switch.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:08 AM   #7
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Light switch issue?


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The bundle of white wires is the neutral.

The daisy chain wire (pigtail) is (almost certainly) from the hot source.

The other black wire tot he switch goes to the light that the switch controls.

These three (and the bare ground wire cluster are all you need to install a motion control switch.
If the bundle of blacks is to two other sources like two other receptacles then your setup may be like this.
Cable 1 is incoming power
Cable 2 is to a receptacle
Cable 3 is to a receptacle
Cable 4 is to the lights(only show 3 lights not 4)
Attached Thumbnails
Light switch issue?-3-lites-daisy-chained.jpg  

Last edited by hammerlane; 05-13-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:09 PM   #8
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Light switch issue?


Thanks for all the helpful posts, I haven't had a chance to try any of the suggestions yet, but I will return with what worked...
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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Light switch issue?


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz
All the grounds get spliced together. All the whites {neutrals} get spliced together. The black that goes to the lights will go to one side of the occupancy sensor. The rest of the blacks get spliced together with a pigtail and go to the other side of the occupancy sensor.

Splice all the whites together first. Find which black has voltage...that is your hot. Splice one black at a time to the hot wire until you find the black that turns on the lights...that is your switch leg. The rest of the blacks {that do not control the lights or do not have voltage} get spliced with the hot black}

Not all occupancy sensors require a neutral. If yours happens to require a neutral, a white pigtail will be needed to go from the spliced whites to the sensor.
This is exactly what worked for my setup, thanks for your help. The others had pretty much the exact same ideas as well. Thanks to all
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:32 PM   #10
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Light switch issue?


Oh one last question, when I install the new motion sensor switch (haven't gotten it yet, tested it with a standard switch in the meantime). Do I pick any ground to hook up to the green wire of the motion switch or from a specific bundle. I imagine a ground is a ground, they all go to the same place. Thanks
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:44 PM   #11
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Light switch issue?


It don't matter too much on ground as long you can wirenut them but depending on how much room you have in the junction box you may want to leave a bare or green conductor pigtail sticking out so it will make it easier for you to hook up even after all you have pretty large numbers of ground is allready wirenutted.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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Light switch issue?


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Originally Posted by Casey9004 View Post
I didn't pay attention when ripping the old switch out,
If you learn anything here, learn to label the wires before you disconnect. Makes life a LOT easier for us DIY types, especially with multi-gang boxes and multiple switches.

With some masking tape and a sharpie (or different colors of electrical tape if you have it), label all wires that go into one wirenut (I like to label those A, B, C, etc.), then label where each wire goes into each switch. (fan switch brass, fan switch black, etc.)

Last edited by M3 Pete; 05-15-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
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Light switch issue?


Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Pete

If you learn anything here, learn to label the wires before you disconnect. Makes life a LOT easier for us DIY types, especially with multi-gang boxes and multiple switches.

With some masking tape and a sharpie (or different colors of electrical tape if you have it), label all wires that go into one wirenut (I like to label those A, B, C, etc.), then label where each wire goes into each switch. (fan switch brass, fan switch black, etc.)
Yea definitely will be doing this from now on

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