Post lamp / receptacle / photocell question

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  #1  
Old 04-26-05, 01:23 PM
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Post lamp / receptacle / photocell question

I currently have a post lamp with (3) 15 watt bulbs in it that is mounted on a wooden light post. The light post has rotted at ground level so I am going to replace it with a new post. In the house there is a light switch. The wire from the switch comes out of the house underground, and then comes up out of the ground into a plastic box, where I have installed a photocell. The wire is routed underground to the light post. I routed all the underground in PVC conduit. This is my current setup.
Now here are my questions I have about how I want to re-work the wiring. Im not sure if this should be done or if there are any codes for what I want to do. I have a couple of different ways Im thinking about wiring up the light post. What I thinking about doing is after the wire leaves the house putting in a double, waterproof box. I would wire to the first receptacle so that one would always be hot, but controlled by the switch in the house, (in fact everything could be controlled by the switch). I would then wire from the first receptacle to the photocell, then from the photocell to the other receptacle, then the light post. In this set up the second receptacle would be controlled by the photocell. We have some shrubs that we could run our Christmas lights from and plug them into the second receptacle so they would come on automatically when it gets dark and go off when it gets light out. Another option I thought about was to put a single box in and split the receptacle so the upper outlet was always hot and the lower one was controlled by the photocell. Can this be wired up either of the two ways as stated above? If not, can you suggest the right way or should I just keep the setup I have now? If I can wire it up the way I want does anyone know where I can get a single or double gang, PVC waterproof box with two conduit connections on the bottom of the box and one connection on the top of the box. Sorry about the long post, but if you need any other information post up and I will get back to you. TIA for all your help.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-26-05, 01:54 PM
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Anything is possible with the right wiring and components. However, you may have trouble getting the photocell to control the receptacle without power running through it.
 
  #3  
Old 04-27-05, 03:22 PM
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Racraft; thanks for the response. Here is the way I have planned on running the hot (120 volt) wire.
From the house --> First Receptacle
First Receptacle --> to Photocell
Photocell --> Second Receptacle
Second Receptacle --> Post Light
By routing the hot wire this way wouldnt the photocell have power running through it? Also, the photocell would control the receptacle after it and the post lamp. Am I correct on this? TIA for your help.
 
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Old 04-28-05, 12:25 AM
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I think you will be okay with this setup.
 
  #5  
Old 04-28-05, 02:04 AM
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I'm assuming the entire purpose of having a split receptical is so you can switch control from switch only to switch/photocell dual control. If you have another need for the split receptical, this may not be useful to you.


Here's an interesting use of a 3-way switch:

Assuming you have conduit all the way (which it sounds like you have), you can easily pull an additional wire and thus could do the following to eliminate the need to have a split receptical: Install a 3-way switch between the regular switch and the conduit going outside. This switch would be used to switch between always hot (albiet controlled by the existing switch) and photocell control.

To wire it, take the switched power from the first switch and attach it to one of the TRAVELER screws of the 3-way with a pigtail. This wire would also continue through the conduit to the photocell. Bring a wire from the photocell back to the 3-way and attach it to the other TRAVELER screw. Now, from the COMMON screw, run a wire to the receptical.

The original switch still turns power on or off. Now the 3-way will control whether the receptical is fed direct power, or power from the photocell.

Thoughts?
 
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