Need help w/ dusk 2 dawn sensor wiring

Old 01-26-05, 10:01 AM
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Question Need help w/ dusk 2 dawn sensor wiring

I have a light switch that controls two lights...the porch light and a flood light over the driveway. (I believe the floodlight was added) It had a dusk 2 dawn photosensor installed at flood light fixture that quit working after several years. (The photosensor simultaneously turned off or on BOTH lights) I cannot figure out how to properly install the new dusk 2 dawn switch...everything it seems I've tried does not work. (Like an idiot, I did not make notes of how it was previously wired ) Here is the wiring at the flood light: -I have a black, white, & copper (bare) wire coming from house. -The floodlight has a black and white wire. -The photosensor has a red, black, and white wire. I tried wiring all 3 white together, along with black from house and photosensor together, red from photosensor and black from floodlight together, and copper (bare) to a screw in box. When I turn it on, the porch light is semi-bright, but the flood light is just barely on...very dim. (I am almost positive that the bare wire was previously connected to other wiring...not to a screw.) I have tried wiring w/o the 2 black; white 2 white; bare wire w/ the whites....then flood light works, but porch light doesn't. Also w/o sensor, I've tried white 2 white, black 2 black, and bare wire to screw...result= dim flood light and semi-bright porch light. I know it works when wired did for many years. I'm a rookie and confused ....plz help !!
Old 01-26-05, 12:29 PM
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You have a bad neutral (white) connection. Someone had "solved" the problem by wiring in the safety ground as a nuetral. The grounds and neutrals are physically connected at the main service, but they never cross paths once they leave the service. Grounds are never meant to carry current unless a ground fault (direct short) wherein they carry a tremendous amount of current (just long enough to trip the breaker). Neutral wires carry the return current back to the panel to complete the circuit.

What you need to do is trace the wire from the floodlight back to the switch and locate the problem. Does the floodlight wire go to the switch or to the porch light? If it goes to the porch light, have you checked the connections there?

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