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mntentman 09-19-2008 06:55 PM

Trying to get switch to work...
I am replacing a wall swith in the garage with a motion sensing switch to control the light in the garage. The garage door opener/light are plugged into an outlet that is on this circuit beyond the light.

I got the new switch to work with power to both the light and the garage door/opener, but when I turned the switch off, the light went off but so apparently did the power to the opener/light, as they would not work... which is obviously not the way I want it.

Here is the actual setup, as it was with the old switch:

Coming into the box are three wires -- white, black, ground. The black connects to the switch. The white and the ground are pigtailed into a connector.

Then, a red and black wire come off the switch and go on to the light. A white and ground wire come out of the connector and go on as well.

The sensor has three wires -- two black and a ground.

So, given that, is there a way to make this work with the motion sensor?

Thanks much.

SD515 09-19-2008 07:48 PM

Use wirenuts. White to white (incoming to outgoing). Ground to ground (incoming, outgoing & switch)

Incoming (source) black to one of the switch blacks and the feed to the receptacle (probably the red). The other switch black to the feed to the light (probably the black).

Sounds like you might just be able to switch the red to the other black connection. If you verify if the red is at the light or receptacle, you'll know.

mntentman 09-19-2008 08:10 PM

Thanks, sd515. So.. no change to white, but add a jumper to the ground wires that are already in the connector (wirenut), from the new switch?

SD515 09-19-2008 08:30 PM

You want the 3 ground wires connected together in a wirenut (yes you want the switch grounded). You want the 2 whites connected together by themselves in their own wirenut...not in the same wirenut as the grounds. Sounds like you're not using twist-on wirenuts?? Just curious.

mntentman 09-19-2008 08:54 PM

Yes, they are twist on.

The white and the grounds are in the same nut, that's the way it was, but I will separate them out. (Why would the electrician who wired this house have put them together?)

I did get to work, though. I had to try a few combinations (red turned out to be the light). Thanks very much for your help.

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