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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

A while back I installed a motion detector switch in our garage to automatically turn the lights off after people leave (as some others here tend to never turn off lights). The switch has a fixed 5 minute time limit for when the lights will turn off after no motion is detected.

Recently we find that occasionally (maybe 10% of the time) we may be in the garage for an extended time where the motion sensor either doesn't detect us (due to positioning of the original switch, there is one blind spot) or we don't seem to move enough to be detected and the lights will turn off.

I'd like to install some sort of extra bypass switch where if that switch is on, the lights are always on, but if off they are controlled by the sensor. I have a spare switch already that I can use for this, and a free slot in the box I can use to install it in so that is not a problem.

My thoughts were I could pig-tail the hot line to each switch, and then pig tail the load to the load connection on each switch. Then if either switch is on, the load should have power, and if both are off the load has no power. I'm far from an electrician though and am not sure if this would work, or maybe cause other problems (like maybe too much power if both are on?).

I've though about moving the switch to the other wall where it'd have better coverage and eliminate the blind spot, but I'm not sure if I want to take on having to re-run the wires for that yet if I can get by just adding an additional switch for the time being.

Thanks for any advice,
Keith
 

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You just need to wire the switch parallel to the motiion detector switch. Just a matter of runing the wire from the motion detector to the new switch. The switch will always turn the light on, and the motion detector will work normally when the switch is off. It's a very VERY common solution.
 

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Master Electrician
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When you installed the motion detector switch, did it replace a regular wall mounted switch? Are you sure it doesn’t already have an on/off switch built in?
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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When you installed the motion detector switch, did it replace a regular wall mounted switch? Are you sure it doesn’t already have an on/off switch built in?
Agree - most motion sense switches have a by-pass position that keeps the light always on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When you installed the motion detector switch, did it replace a regular wall mounted switch? Are you sure it doesn’t already have an on/off switch built in?
Yes, I replaced the existing switch with the sensor switch. As far as I can tell from the little manual that came with it, there is no built-in way to bypass the sensor/timer. It does have a button to turn it on/off, but it sill will turn off after 5 minutes whether you use the button or let it turn on automatically.

This is the switch I installed:
http://www.homedepot.com/Whites/Ele...Id=10051&catalogId=10053&superSkuId=202887092

Here's a spec sheet for it I found online
http://passandseymour-beta.logicalsolutions.net/pdf/E39-E45.pdf
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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You are right, not manual on feature. Just bridge a single pole switch across the black and red leads to the motion switch.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for your responses.

I wired the second switch in like I described above, everything seems to be working just fine.
 
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