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Old 07-26-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


Would anyone be able to help a brand new forum member with this wiring question. I hope it is more straight forward to you than it is to me.

I would like to use an existing receptacle as the starting point from where to add a switch. This switch would control motion sensor lights but not the receptacle. The receptacle is indoors. I would like to add the switch just after the receptacle. The motion sensor lights would be outdoors. I would like to have two motion sensor lights working independently of each other so they can cover different areas of the yard and entrance.

If this is possible, would anyone know how the wiring should be set up? Do I need to take anything with the wiring into consideration since I am using motion sensor lights instead of regular lights? Thank you for your help.

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Old 07-27-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


If you going to leave the receptale alive { hot } all the time it will be easy hook up you will need either 2.5mm˛ or 4.0mm˛ { #14 or #12 AWG } NM cable depending on the exsting set up hook white to white and black to black and bare to bare or green wire if there. { it will be wise to get a deepwell old work box in case the original box is too small }{ Make sure you turn off the power to this receptale first before you do anything with it }

Once you get this part done then you can able snake up the NM cable to the switch box this part do you want one switch or two switches ??

If you going with two switches it will be wise to get two gang box otherwise a single gang deepwell oldwork box will just suit just fine.

Yeah I know you have to cut in the drywall that is easy part but if plaster lath wall it will be little more tricky but it can be done as long you don't go crazy with it

In the switch box all the bare conductor are wirenutted or crimped { some local code may require crimp on this part } then white conductor wirenutted up together and you may have to leave a pigtail in case your motion switch called for netural conductor otherwise just leave it wirenutted.
Then black conductor one is from power source while the other black go to the luminaire follow the motion switch manufacter instruction carefull with the hook up.

If standard toggle or rocker switch it is easy shot there just screw it on.

A tip I will pass to ya becarefull with some of the CFL bulbs some of them will not work very well with motion sensors if they do flicker like nuts just take them off and install the indentscent bulb in { make sure you do not go over the max wattage they listed on the luminaire }

then finetune the motion sensor to your "taste " then ya good to go.

Merci.
Marc

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Old 07-28-2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


Thanks Marc for your reply.

I will be working on the wiring this weekend. You're correct, I will be installing one switch for both motion sensors.

Your directions were clear. I had just one question:

"...then white conductor wirenutted up together and you may have to leave a pigtail in case your motion switch called for netural conductor otherwise just leave it wirenutted."

Where would this white pigtail connect to in the switch box?
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:42 AM   #4
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


Van Homé.,

Let me clear up little more clear when you install the new conductor in the switch box I know you will bring the power to the switch box first if that the case just wirenut the netural together for now unless your motion switch do require the netural then it is there ready for your useage { there are some motion sensor that can work without netural but a nice gotcha they will not work very well with CFL or LED which I know for sure they will flicker when it is off mode }

Most of the Motion sensor I install majorty of them I have use them do have netural conductor requirement due the CFL or LED or electronic ballast luminaire that will need netrual at the motion sensor.

However if your floodlights do have motion sensor up there then you don't have to worry about it due you will have netural at the floodlight juction box.

You can use the standard toggle or rocker switch.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:57 PM   #5
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


Okay, now I'm in trouble! I wired the receptacle, switch and two motion sensor lights. I turned on the switch and the breaker broke! I don't mean tripped. It broke. So I looked at the wiring and everything seemed to be connected correctly. But I'm wondering why the breaker broke instead of tripped. Would incorrect wiring break the breaker?
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:34 AM   #6
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


What do you mean by broke ?
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:33 PM   #7
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


The breaker doesn't have current going through it anymore. Whether it's ON or OFF it doesn't have current feeding to any of the circuit. It's a really old breaker and I was wondering if these just fail after a number of decades. Perhaps the motion sensor lights gave it too much to handle?
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:08 PM   #8
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


What kind of breaker you have ?

I know some older one you still can get replacement breaker but some brands no it can not be replaceable depending on what brand name.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


If I replace the breaker, I want to make sure it doesn't fail again when I try the switch and lights. I'm thinking that my first priority is to find out why the breaker failed instead of tripped.

1) Would a mistake in my wiring cause the breaker to fail?
2) Do breakers just fail over a long period of time?
3) Is it time to call an electrician?
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #10
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


Not too often the breaker can fail but they do one way or other and again I ask you what brand name the breaker itself??

The reason why I ask due there are few diffrent metholds to reset them if that fail then the breaker may did fail interally.

The new breaker cost will varies a bit depending on what brand and model it have in there.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:13 PM   #11
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


I finally got the motion sensor lights to work! I replaced the breaker. It's a Square D XO. It must be at least 50 years old but it works. Apparently nothing lasts forever (including breakers). Thanks for all your help.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:27 PM   #12
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Wiring receptacle > switch > motion sensor lights


Van Home.,

I think you should plan to replace the old XO breaker box soon due the replacement breakers are getting super hard to find I have run into them once a while in both USA and France { they have diffrent votlage rating on them } but that getting about history nowdays.

Merci.
Marc

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