Photo Sensor + Outlet


Old 10-25-04, 05:38 PM
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Unhappy Photo Sensor + Outlet

Hello, I'm trying desperately to wire an outlet and outdoor light that is controlled by a photo sensor. Here are the wires that I have:

Light - black, white, ground
Photo Sensor - black, white, red, ground
Outlet - no wires
Source - black, white, ground

I would like the top outlet and the light to be controlled by the photo sensor and the bottom outlet always hot. I have tried wiring it based on my electrical books and this forum, but my results are that both of the outlets are always hot, and the light and sensor don't work at all. I broke off the connector on the outlet, but both are always hot!!! I'm going crazy.....

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

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Old 10-25-04, 07:03 PM
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Location: NE Ohio
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Be sure you are following the instructions on the photo sensor correctly. Usually the black is the line in. The red is the photo controlled load out. White to white from source power.

You should have two hot wires going to the receptacle. One from the black source wire (to bottom receptacle) and one from the red photo sensor wire (to top receptacle). All whites together. All grounds together.

On the receptacle, only remove the connector from the hot(brass color) side, and leave the connector on the neutral side intact.

Good luck with your project.
Old 10-26-04, 08:23 AM
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Thanks for the rapid reply!

Ok, so if I break it down here is what I understand:

The only thing connected to the outlet is the black wire from the source (bottom) and the red wire from the photo sensor (top). Then I need to connect all the rest of the blacks (one from light, one from sensor ), whites (one from light, one from sensor , one from source), and grounds (one from light, one from source) together? Are there any neutral wires connected to the outlet? And how does power then flow through the top outlet if I remove the connector piece?
Old 10-26-04, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Connections should be:

- Source black to black of the sensor and bottom brass screw of receptacle.
- Source white to white of sensor, white of light, and either silver screw of receptacle.(keep tab between silver screws intact).
- Source ground to ground of sensor, ground of light, and green ground screw of receptacle. Also ground any metallic boxes that may be used.
- Red from sensor to black of the light and top brass screw of receptacle. The tab between the brass screws must be removed for each receptacle to operate as planned.

Good luck with your project

Note: If this receptacle is outdoors, it must have GFCI protection. GFCI duplex receptacles are not capable of being split. If this is the case, you can use a GFCI receptacle upstream of the source wires, or use a GFCI breaker on the entire circuit, or use 2 GFCI receptacles outdoors, 1 always hot and 1 controlled with photo sensor.

Last edited by bob100; 10-27-04 at 05:33 AM.

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