Convert light switch to always on


Old 09-21-07, 12:42 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Seattle
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Question Convert light switch to always on

Quick question:

I have a light switch which controls the power to outdoor lights controlled by an outdoors motion detector.

The light switch is one of a 4-gang box next to the front door and a common thing is for people to push the wrong switch, turning off the power to the motion detector.

Because of the particular motion detector, if the light is then turned back on within 5 minutes, it goes into a "test" mode and doesn't work normally for 24 hours. This is annoying and it happens all the time.

What I'd much rather have is for the power to the motion detector to be always on.

Here's what I was considering: Nutting the two wires connected to the switch together, essentially creating a hard-wired connection. Then, I'd cap the ground wire going to the switch and replace the switch with a blank (or maybe just leave the switch without being connected to anything.)

Is this OK? Is there any safety or code reason this would be a bad thing?

(Obviously if I was doing any work at the motion detector, I'd turn off the circuit regardless if there was a switch between the panel and the detector or or not.)
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Old 09-21-07, 05:09 AM
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Unless you have the motion detector in "test" mode, it won't go into test mode. The normal operation of the detector is when left on it will operate normally. If you turn it off and back on within 1-2 seconds it will remain on (for parties, etc.). When turned off again and left off for 5-10 seconds it will return to its normal motion detecting mode. I wouldn't remove the switch until I checked out the mode on the detector itself first. If your lights blink off and on, say during a storm, the light will turn on and remain on until the next morning when the light sensor turns it off. Very inconvenient.
Old 09-21-07, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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They make switch guards. These are small guards that fit over a switch and do not allow the switch to be turned off (or on if used that way). This would solve your problem without opening the switch box.

If you want to do it your way, you certainly can. In would recommend leaving the switch in place. Eventually someone (maybe even you) will want to put the switch back. I also recommend, if you by pass the switch) that you make a note of this in (or near) the circuit breaker panel.

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