replacing 3 way switch with (1) Leviton motion switch

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Old 01-07-11, 10:58 AM
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Exclamation replacing 3 way switch with (1) Leviton motion switch

Hi,

Is it possible to replace one of the 3 way switch to a motion switch?

My current entrance has a light that can be controlled by 2 regular light switches. I want to change one of them into a motion controlled occupancy switch. I see 4 wires going into the original switch but there's only 3 on the Leviton motion switch. How do I go about this??

Last thing I want to do is blow out this $40 switch!

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 01-07-11, 11:00 AM
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What is the model number of your motion switch? Do the instructions include any section on "three-way" or "multiple location" installation?
 
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Old 01-07-11, 11:13 AM
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This item is: Leviton ODS10-ID

I don't have the product in front of me, but I believe I remember reading multiple locations somewhere on the front of the box.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 11:28 AM
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There were two diagrams on the instructions. One was for a single switch installation and the other was for 2 motion sensors wired together.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 12:10 PM
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I see 4 wires going into the original switch but there's only 3 on the Leviton motion switch.
How many screws does the original switch have? If only 3 screws does the fourth wire go into a hole in back?
 
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Old 01-07-11, 12:19 PM
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Ray:

The original switch has 4 wires and 4 screws. The motion switch has no screws, but 3 wires (blue, black and green).
 
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Old 01-07-11, 12:21 PM
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That sensor is not compatible with a three-way light circuit. If you want to stick with Levtion you'll need a motion sensor from the IPP15 series and the other switch in the circuit will also need to be replaced with either an IPP0R sensor remote or a VP0SR Vizia switch/remote.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 12:29 PM
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One choice to consider is the elimination of the second three way switch. I did this in my sisters house. After doing so, there was no more need for the second three way switch. The motion light turned the light on no matter which direction you came from.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 12:40 PM
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Was hoping to hear there's some workaround to this. I think the best way to go around this issue is to remove the second 3-way switch since the motion sensor will detect anyway. Guess I will have to put a plate over the 2nd switch as it won't be of use anymore.

Now to be safe, I am wiring the green to the ground, black to the wire supplying the constant 120v and the red to the white wire? Of course, I will have the breakers switched and tested before touching the wires. Am I on the right course?
 
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Old 01-07-11, 01:22 PM
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You'll need to determine which wires in the three-way circuit go where. Let us know what wires you have available at each switch and we might be able to determine the correct ones.

Note that you probably cannot eliminate the other switch if it is located on the other floor or landing of a stair case. If it is just across the room for convenience then it could be eliminated.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 01:31 PM
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On the original switch, 2 black wires goes on the left side. On the right, there is a red wire at the top and a copper wire at the very bottom.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by waynebrady9 View Post
On the original switch, 2 black wires goes on the left side. On the right, there is a red wire at the top and a copper wire at the very bottom.
Just so we are on the same page the switch has 3 wires and a ground not 4 wires.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 05:19 PM
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The original switch has 3 wires and a ground. The new motion switch has 3 wires only (including ground).
 
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Old 01-07-11, 06:54 PM
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Please answer Ben's question about location. If the second switch location doesn't require a switch to meet code we can by pass that switch.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 07:36 PM
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The switches are all on the same level. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-08-11, 12:26 PM
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There are four possible answers on how to wire this depending on the location of the power feed cable and the load cable. These two cables can be located at either 3-way switch or both at the same switch. This is essential for determining the detailed wiring plan. So here is what we need.

1. Locate the power feed cable. This is the feed cable from the circuit breaker and is hot all the time, no matter what the switch positions are. It is a two conductor cable with black and white and bare ground. Is it in box 1 (the switch you want to replace) or box 2 (the switch you want to eliminate)?
2. Locate the load cable. This is the cable going to the light. It will be hot only when the light is on. It also is a two conductor cable with white and black conductors with bare ground. Is this wire located at box 1 or box 2?

The other wire in play is called the traveller and is three conductors, black, white, red, and bare ground. The traveller wire always goes from switch 1 to switch 2, so we dont need to know anything about this, but it will need to be re-wired a bit.

Other possible wires in play are power feed pass-thru wires or extra load wires to extra fixtures. Hopefully you wont have any of those because that will confuse the issue a bit. But if you know what they are, it wont.

Anyway, if we can get the answers to those two questions, we can move on.
 

Last edited by DIYMaster; 01-08-11 at 12:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-08-11, 03:48 PM
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DIYMaster:

1. Found the feed wire. its located on the top left screw of the switch. It is in box 1.
2. Found the load wire. It is in box 1 as well.

Also, I realized when I remove the switch from box 2, the light no longer turns on from box 1.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 01-09-11, 05:17 AM
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Here are detailed instructions on how to proceed. First, make sure the circuit is off. Second, when foillowing these instructions, if something doesn't seem right stop and ask.

Since both feed wires and load wires are in box 1, we can eliminate the use of the traveler wire entirely. All work will be done in box 1. The switch in box 2 can either be removed or just left in place where it will do nothing.

1. Remove all three wires from the 3-way switch. These should be the black conductor of the feed wire, and the red and black conductors of the traveller wire.
2. Find the white conductor of the traveler wire. It should be wire-nutted to the BLACK conductor of the load wire. Remove the wire nut.
3. The traveler wire is now fully disconnected, and will no longer be used. Wire nut the conductors individually or wire-nut all three conductors together (black white, and red together, but not the ground wire).
4. Now you should have two remaining black conductors left disconnected. These are the black wire of feed cable and the black wire of the load cable. At this point, there should be no other conductors left disconnected.
5. Wire the green conductor of the new motion switch to ground. You will have to break into the twisted clump of bare wires. Be careful and dont break any conductors. Wire-nut the clump of bare wires back together.
6. Wire-nut the blue conductor of the motion switch to the black wire of the load cable.
7. Wire-nut the black conductor of the motion switch to the black conductor of the feed cable.

That's it.
 
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Old 01-09-11, 05:32 AM
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DIYMaster:

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I'm hoping to tackle this early next morning.

One question though: You mentioned that i can remove the switch in box2. When i did remove it (previously), my switch in box1 did not turn on the light anymore. What mightve happened and will this affect the new switch at all?

Thanks in advance!!
 
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Old 01-09-11, 05:53 AM
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When you removed the switch, did you connect the black and white conductors of the traveller wire together? I guess not. With the switch gone, the circuit is open, so the light can never come on. Think of it this way.....The hot feed goes to the first switch in box 1, then through the traveler wire (on red or black) to the switch in box 2, back to the box 1 on the white conductor of the traveller, then to the light.

The way we are going to re-wire it, the traveller wire and switch 2 are taken out of the circuit. We will go from hot feed to the new switch, then directly to the light.
 
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Old 01-10-11, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for providing the detailed instructions! I've got it wired and working the very try without frying something. Much thanks! Loving this new switch.
 
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Old 01-10-11, 07:30 PM
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Thanks for letting us know.
 
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