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Old 02-01-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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Photocell Troubles


I saw on here an old post about photocell probs. Put I was just having a little different problem.

I have installed two photocells and they both worked exactly the same. Different manufacturers and Different stores (Lowes and Home Depot).

Problem is I can't see where I have hooked them up wrong.

Here goes, I had a simple circuit with my garage lighting on it. The Garage door outside lights I wanted to be on the photocell. I feed a 14-3 cable from the photocell to the switch box and spliced it in as necessary two wire it IAW the diagram on the box.

The black power feed goes to the black photocell lead throught the switch. All other connections are made exactly as required. Whites all together and red to light black.

It doesn't come on.

Dave

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Old 02-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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Photocell Troubles


If it is exactly as required then it is defective photocell or it's not dark enough. Are there other lights nearby that might be affecting how dark it gets?

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Old 02-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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Photocell Troubles


Is it dark out? Some other light source keeping the photocell from working?

Last edited by chris75; 02-02-2009 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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Photocell Troubles


Put some black electrical tape over the eye.

Does the light come on with the photocell being fooled that it's dark outside?
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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Photocell Troubles


Photocelss usually have bit of delay built into them. The light might not come for a couple of minutes after being covered.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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Photocell Troubles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman1195 View Post
I saw on here an old post about photocell probs. Put I was just having a little different problem.

I have installed two photocells and they both worked exactly the same. Different manufacturers and Different stores (Lowes and Home Depot).

Problem is I can't see where I have hooked them up wrong.

Here goes, I had a simple circuit with my garage lighting on it. The Garage door outside lights I wanted to be on the photocell. I feed a 14-3 cable from the photocell to the switch box and spliced it in as necessary two wire it IAW the diagram on the box.

The black power feed goes to the black photocell lead throught the switch. All other connections are made exactly as required. Whites all together and red to light black.

It doesn't come on.

Dave
14/3 wire to the photocell. Why 14/3? The red wire in the cable is not needed. You use 14/2 for this application. Disconnect the red wire at the switch and at the photocell. Connect the black hot to the photocell black, connect the photocell red to the light black. Connect the whites together.
You have an extra wire and that is why you are confused. The photocell is like a switch. One power wire and a switched wire. It will work now.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:52 PM   #7
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Photocell Troubles


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
14/3 wire to the photocell. Why 14/3? The red wire in the cable is not needed. You use 14/2 for this application. Disconnect the red wire at the switch and at the photocell. Connect the black hot to the photocell black, connect the photocell red to the light black. Connect the whites together.
You have an extra wire and that is why you are confused. The photocell is like a switch. One power wire and a switched wire. It will work now.
I think you're confused. You didn't read the OP's post correctly.

To the OP:

Cover photocell with black electrical tape. Meanwhile get out a meter and measure black-neutral at the photocell. If you get 120v, then wait at least 5 min for photocell to kick on. If the lights still aren't on, measure red-neutral, if 0 volts, replace photocell.

Last edited by Cow; 02-01-2009 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:59 PM   #8
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Photocell Troubles


I won't swear to this but I think I read on the package of some florescent bulbs that they may not light from a photocell; are these incandescent bulbs (regular bulbs or floodlights)?
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
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Photocell Troubles


Quote:
The black power feed goes to the black photocell lead throught the switch. All other connections are made exactly as required. Whites all together and red to light black.
Hmmm....The black power feed goes to the black photocell lead through the switch ?

The black power feed should not go thru the switch. The returning red switch leg shoud go to/thru the switch. It won't stop it from working but it does affect the function. If you teurn the switch from off to on in the daytime, the light will come on for a few seconds until the photo cell resets.

Quote:
All other connections are made exactly as required.
Probably not. You didn't explain exactly what you did at the switch.


You have two wires on the switch. One is hot, one goes to the fixture.

Disconnect the hot one and connect it to the black feeding the PC. Hook the red one to where you removed the black. Power will always be going to the photo cell and power will be available at night on the red wire. If the switch is on, the light will be on.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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Photocell Troubles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post
I think you're confused. You didn't read the OP's post correctly.

To the OP:

Cover photocell with black electrical tape. Meanwhile get out a meter and measure black-neutral at the photocell. If you get 120v, then wait at least 5 min for photocell to kick on. If the lights still aren't on, measure red-neutral, if 0 volts, replace photocell.
Just for YOU I read the OP's post three times. I still question the use of 14/3 and the mention of the red wire. I still think he is trying to use this (extra) red wire in the cable. He does not need the extra red wire and I am pretty certain this is where he has it connected wrong.
The only red wire needed is the one on the output of the photocell, not the one in the 14/3 cable.

I did not read anything to lead me to believe he is using this extra wire as a bypass either.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:51 PM   #11
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Photocell Troubles


Quote:
I still question the use of 14/3 and the mention of the red wire.
Confusing post.

I read it as existing switch inside garage operating outdoor fixtures. He wanted to control the fixture via photo cell and switch so he ran a 14/3 to an outdoor jb and installed the PC there. Black out, red back.

Re reading it, he may not have had existing outdoor lights and he left out some information.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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Photocell Troubles


220/221,
Yes, I am not sure if the OP is trying to use this 3 wire cable in this application. If he is, that is why it is not working. As you can see the OP is gone anyway and the case is closed as far as I am concerned. Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:40 PM   #13
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Photocell Troubles


Let's speculate and argue about something for a couple more pages. I'm bored.

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