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Old 06-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
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New light switch is driving me nuts


I just recently bought my first home, it's a 1953 ranch and decided to replace 3 of the light switches with leviton occupancy sensors. I was thinking this would be a simple 30minute project but it has turned into a 5 hour cuss fest.

On my first light switch after killing the power at the circuit breaker I opened it up and pulled out the switch. It had 2 wires connected running into the gang box, upon further inspection I noticed in the gang box it has 3 black wires and 1 white wire, all 3 black wires were connected as one to the switch with the white wire going directly to the switch.

on my leviton occupancy sensor I have 2 black wires a green wire and a bare wire. I have the bare and green wire connected to the white wire as per the instructions but I am cluess as to which wires to connect to the black.

I have tried every concievable combination from 1 wire on each and rotation through the 3 to 2 on 1 and 1 on another and rotating through the combinations. Now....this is where things get complicated the original switch all it did was control the cieling light. Now depending on the combinations I do it controls either the electrical outlet in that room or the electrical outlet in that room AND the lightswitch in the adjacent room but never the light in the room I want it to!!!

Am I missing something here? Am I over thinking things? I need some major assistance before my head explodes and I have to call an electrician to install a simple occupancy sensor

Also, this is just the first switch out of three I'm hoping the other 2 go alot smoother but this is the more important one. I can take pictures of the setup if that would be more helpful

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Old 06-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #2
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New light switch is driving me nuts


The switch your replacing is what's called a switch loop. (black and white connected to switch) this means the power is at the light not the switch.
So 1 of the 3 blacks is power from the light, that power sounds to be also supplying power elsewhere (2 other blacks) . The white travels back to the light to complete the circuit.

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Old 06-01-2013, 06:32 PM   #3
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That makes sense but I am still unsure of how to proceed with this. It would probably be easier if I would go to homedepot and get a multi meter but I'd prefer to not spend the money and figure it out myself tonight if I can
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #4
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New light switch is driving me nuts


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Originally Posted by Tritonal View Post
That makes sense but I am still unsure of how to proceed with this. It would probably be easier if I would go to homedepot and get a multi meter but I'd prefer to not spend the money and figure it out myself tonight if I can
Well, all the blacks have to stay together as it feeds others. I suspect the black from the switch connects to the other blacks, the other black from switch connects to the white. Ground to ground.
Look in the box, there should be bare ground wire in it that's where the bare from switch gos.

Last edited by sublime2; 06-01-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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Hmm...I get the 3 blacks from gang box to 1 black on switch and the white from the gangbox to the other black but what is the ground in the gangbox? Here is 2 pictures hopefully they can help
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b0cmgos6rk...2019.40.24.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ilcwdp39rr...2019.40.20.jpg

If you can't tell by the pictures I currently have the green and bare from the switch to the white which is as the directions say. 1 black from switch to 1 black in box and 1 black from switch to 2 black from box

Last edited by Tritonal; 06-01-2013 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:01 PM   #6
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New light switch is driving me nuts


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Originally Posted by Tritonal View Post
Hmm...I get the 3 blacks from gang box to 1 black on switch and the white from the gangbox to the other black but what is the ground in the gangbox? Here is 2 pictures hopefully they can help
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b0cmgos6rk...2019.40.24.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ilcwdp39rr...2019.40.20.jpg

If you can't tell by the pictures I currently have the green and bare from the switch to the white which is as the directions say. 1 black from switch to 1 black in box and 1 black from switch to 2 black from box
One of the blacks from the switch need to be on the white to complete the circuit. Not the grounds.
Connect all 3 blacks in the box to 1 black wire from switch with wire nut. Connect the other black from the switch to the white. Connect the grounds to the ground in the box.
The ground in box should have been connected to the switch you removed.

Last edited by sublime2; 06-01-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:09 PM   #7
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New light switch is driving me nuts


I have it that way now. If by ground in the box you mean the bare wire I have it that way now. The bare wire wasn't connected to the original switch at all.

Still no joy, 3 blacks from box to 1 black from switch 1 white from box to black from switch and bare wire from box to green and bare wire from switch. I have also switch the blacks from switch up with no luck
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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New light switch is driving me nuts


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Originally Posted by Tritonal View Post
I have it that way now. If by ground in the box you mean the bare wire I have it that way now. The bare wire wasn't connected to the original switch at all.

Still no joy, 3 blacks from box to 1 black from switch 1 white from box to black from switch and bare wire from box to green and bare wire from switch. I have also switch the blacks from switch up with no luck
I'm at my limit of knowledge of electrical in this situation . in my mind the above connections should work.
Hopefully a pro will come along shortly to help you further.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sublime2 View Post
I'm at my limit of knowledge of electrical in this situation . in my mind the above connections should work.
Hopefully a pro will come along shortly to help you further.
Well thanks for your help! I'm hoping it is just something simple I am missing. I am going to go disconnect everything and start from scratch and see where that gets me.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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What's the model # on this sensor?
one of these?
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/Secti...1B84A4CD1264A1
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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What's the model # on this sensor?
one of these?
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/Secti...1B84A4CD1264A1
its this one here
http://www.amazon.com/Lutron-MS-OPS2...ds=ms-ops2h-wh
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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New light switch is driving me nuts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tritonal View Post
1953 ranch and decided to replace 3 of the light switches with leviton occupancy sensors. I was thinking this would be a simple 30minute project

I opened it up and pulled out the switch.
It had 2 wires connected running into the gang box

in the gang box it has 3 black wires and 1 white wire, all 3 black wires were connected as one to the switch with the white wire going directly to the switch.

Am I missing something here?
You will NOT be able to use that new occupancy control.
It's designed for modern homes where the switch box has a neutral/common wire. You don't have that.

Put the regular switch back in, close it up, go to sleep.

When you're ready to rewire the whole house...
then you can try again.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:02 PM   #13
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http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=4j6zl...%3D4j6zl_tPY0k
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
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New light switch is driving me nuts


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post

You will NOT be able to use that new occupancy control.
It's designed for modern homes where the switch box has a neutral/common wire. You don't have that.

Put the regular switch back in, close it up, go to sleep.

When you're ready to rewire the whole house...
then you can try again.
Actually that may be incorrect.
See the video. Sensor does NOT require a neutral.

Last edited by sublime2; 06-01-2013 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
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New light switch is driving me nuts


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Originally Posted by sublime2 View Post
Actually that may be incorrect.
See the video. Sensor does NOT require a neutral.
According to the amazon page it does not require a neutral. Thanks for the video post I found that one earlier. Here is how it is currently connected

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g5pblcmo7l...2021.19.59.jpg

3 blacks to 1 black
1 white to 1 black
1 bare to 1 green, 1 bare

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