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Photo Sensor with 2 lights on poles

1304 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  frenchelectrican
We have an older house that has interesting wiring, there are to light poles on each side of the driveway, pole 1 has 3 Red Wires (10 gauge) - 2 are hot, 1 is a direct line to the other light pole.

Pole-1 has Black, White, Ground from Light and 3 Red wires - 2 are hot one appears to be slave to Pole-2.

Pole-2 has Black, White, Ground from Light - 1 Red Wire coming from Pole-1, not hot.

I'd like to set up a photo sensor which has a Red, White, Black.

I have no idea why is was wired this way, any ideas would be great.
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Pole 2 only has one wire feeding it?
Pole 1 has two hots? How are you measuring the voltage - between which wires? What voltage do you read on your meter?
I did not use a voltage meter, what kind do you suggest. I used a meter pen that senses a live wire or not. I'm not sure why there is two hots, what voltage should I be seeing between the two live wires. As to pole-2 I'll take the assembly off to review what is coming up pole-2, Pole-1 was enough to scare me.
Thanks for replying on the 4th.
I have see some of the pole mounted luminaires that they were wired for 240 volts some case 208 volts if on 208 volt network system

So OP you will need a voltmeter plus NCV { non concat voltage tester } and also if you can find the breaker for this luminaire it should be either one or two pole breaker if two pole breaker and you have 240 volts there this will be little tricky to add a photo cell but it been done many time for myself.

And some photocell are set for 120 volts so you may have to exchange for multi volt photocell which they will cover from 120 volts to 277 volts so that will cover that part.

Once you indenfity which is a incomming pair you may want to make a band with electrique tape so you know which one is incomming.

it should have a other pair go to the other luminaire { you should able see it in the " hand hole " near bottom of the luminaire post unless it is a wood pole let us know }

If the poles where set up for 220v,
That would explain the two hots,
But I would not rely soley on a volt stick type tester,
Use a test lamp,
Then find which breakers the hots come from.
Then you will have to find if there is a neutral.
If pole-1 is wired with out the photo sensor the light comes on.

As to the breakers, going back to the garage there is a small breaker box with 2 25A, Type FRN-R Cartridge Fuses, which is daisy chained from a second box that has 3 - 30A, Type FRN-R Cartridge Fuses, the left of the 3 control the 2 in the smaller box, I have not found out where in the the house the garage is controlled from or if it comes from the main feed, there are two more panels in the house, these are Breakers, nothing is labeled. One is in the first floor and the other second. I'm still trying to label all the breakers.

But from what all of you are explaining - makes me want to call an electrician - I've been hit by 220 - 30 amps - did not enjoy the experience.

Thanks again for all your help - I'll keep you posted on what happens. This job is getting done by a licensed electrician.

Have a nice and safe 4th.
It is wise to call in the electrician to sort it out for you due they will have proper equiment to test it.

Some case it will be very simple and some are not. However when you have free time it will be a good time to map out the breaker box to see what connected ditto with fuses.

It will really save alot of the time when we have to sort out what circuit and what goes and what not.

A tip with marking down the circuit do not just type in " lights " or plugs or recepectale. that part is too broad a detail so if you know which room like example in kitchen you will see half of countertop receptale mark down like " North half countertop recpectale " ditto with other rooms.

Just give you a head up we don't use the family member name on the panel like say Harry's room or Jane's room that do not mean anything escpally after change owner of the home. so just say North Bedroom light or plugs ditto with other rooms.

This part will take time but once you map it all of it. when you have to find a circuit breaker or fuse to shut it off it will speed up the time to find it.

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