New switch wiring confusion

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  #1  
Old 08-02-11, 11:35 AM
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Question New switch wiring confusion

I have a 2 switch wall plate where I am replacing one of the switches.

This switch controls garage lights. There is another switch on the other side of the garage that performs the same function (turns the lights on/off).

I am wanting to replace one of the switches with a new switch.

Unfortunately I am a bit confused on the wires as the current switch has a black, red, and white wire coming out of it. The new switch has a black, blue, and green coming out of it.

Any suggestions on how to install this new switch? Pictures attached.





 
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  #2  
Old 08-02-11, 12:09 PM
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I can't see your pictures but I think you are trying to replace a 3-way switch with a common two-way. You need to use the same type of switch as was there originally.
 
  #3  
Old 08-02-11, 12:14 PM
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The pictures might take a minute to load. One picture is of the wiring diagram that came with the switch and it does show a 2 location diagram on it?
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-11, 12:18 PM
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It appears that you want to replace one of the "three-way" (means three wires and two locations) switches with a motion sensor. According to the diagram you posted that is not possible, both need to be motion sensors. Perhaps you can read further in the instructions for a situation that allows one motion sensor and one three-way switch.
 
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Old 08-02-11, 12:19 PM
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Switch

What color was the ground wire for the old switch?
 
  #6  
Old 08-02-11, 12:22 PM
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What color was the ground wire for the old switch?
Have not tested them yet but the old switch has Black, Red, and White coming out of it.

It appears that you want to replace one of the "three-way" (means three wires and two locations) switches with a motion sensor. According to the diagram you posted that is not possible, both need to be motion sensors. Perhaps you can read further in the instructions for a situation that allows one motion sensor and one three-way switch.
In the instructions it says the switch can be used to replace a "single pole" switch. By "single pole" do they mean 2-way only?

If this is true that I would need 2 of the motion sensor switches this is fine, but even then how would I wire it? Attached is the instructions if it helps:
http://communities.leviton.com/servl...28ODS10%29.pdf
 
  #7  
Old 08-02-11, 12:38 PM
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Yes, single-pole means "two-way" (on or off from one location). If you get a second motion sensor then wire it according to the diagram for two motion sensors. You will have to determine which of the two existing switches has the power coming in first. The power will come in to the switch terminal (screw) that is colored black, or in your particular case, the wire inserted in the hole (back stab) closest to the black screw. The black screw on the second switch will be the wire going to the light fixture. The problem is determining which particular switch has the power.


Disconnect the wires from the black screws from each switch and use a test light or non-touch voltage indicator to determine which wire has has power. You will need to turn off the power when disconnecting the wires and then after making certain the disconnected wire cannot touch anything, turn the power back on and do the test. Only one of the two wires disconnected will show power. Turn off the power again.

Connect the power supply conductor to the black lead on the one motion sensor. Take the two remaining wires from this original switch (the one that had the power supplied) and connect one to the junction of the power supply and the black of the motion sensor. You will have three wires at this connection, the power supply, the black to the first motion sensor and the wire to the second motion sensor. At the location of the second switch take this same color wire that is connected to power and black of the first motion sensor and connect it to the black of the second motion sensor.

Going back to the location of the first motion sensor connect the remaining wire from the original switch to the motion sensor blue wire. At the second motion sensor connect this same color wire to the blue of the second motion sensor and the wire to the lamp that was originally connected to the black screw of the original switch.
 
  #8  
Old 08-02-11, 12:40 PM
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A single pole switch controls something from one location only. Your two switches for the same lights requires three way switches.

Pay attention to the wire connected to the odd colored screw on the old switches.
 
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Old 08-02-11, 01:36 PM
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Ok thanks for your help. I think I will just use this sensor in a walk in closet and figure something else out for the garage.

Now for the next issue... the existing switch in the closet has 2 black wires going to it. I assume I just figure out which is the hot vs load? But what about the green wire coming out of the NEW switch?

Seems like there is a twisted bundle of bare wires in the the existing switch/outlet as well similar to previous picture. Nothing on the green screw on the OLD switch.
 
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Old 08-02-11, 01:40 PM
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Green wires are ALWAYS equipment grounding conductors. Connect green wires to the bare wires.
 
  #11  
Old 08-02-11, 01:40 PM
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You probably have a collection of bare copper wires in the switch box. The green would connect to that bundle. I an no expert here but I think common practice is to add a bare wire to that bundle and then have the green wire connect to that new bare one.
 
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Old 08-02-11, 01:42 PM
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Ok thanks. I guess that leaves the question, can I just connect the green wire to the bundle "as is" or as you say pjaffe, get another bare wire, connect it to the bundle, and then connect that bare wire to the green wire?
 
  #13  
Old 08-02-11, 01:47 PM
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Just connect the green to the existing mess of bare wires. You may need to get a larger wire nut.
 
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Old 08-02-11, 01:52 PM
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Also, only way to remove a back stabbed wire is to cut it?
 
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Old 08-02-11, 01:57 PM
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It should have a little release slot you can pop open with a tiny screwdriver.
 
  #16  
Old 08-02-11, 02:40 PM
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Ok thanks again for all the help. One last question.

I have another motion sensor (single pole) which is a different brand but it has a black, red, white, and green. The question here is where does the white go? Inside the outlet there is also a bundle of white wires. I assume I hook it up here, but do I take one white wire our and connect it, or connect the switch wire to the bundle and re-cap them all?
 
  #17  
Old 08-02-11, 04:00 PM
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I have another motion sensor (single pole) which is a different brand but it has a black, red, white, and green. The question here is where does the white go?
Yes tie the white to the bundle.
 
  #18  
Old 08-02-11, 09:15 PM
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Thanks everyone for the help. I got it wired in our master closet and works great.
 
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