Installing motion sensor with no ground

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  #1  
Old 03-27-12, 10:53 AM
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Installing motion sensor with no ground

I'm trying to install and Pass&Seymour indoor motion sensor switch. The install directions say you have to connect the ground. I'm in a 60 year old house with no ground wires. I tried installing anyway and it did in fact not work. Any way around having to install the ground to a ground wire? Is having to connect a ground for these types of motion sensor switches common for them to function?
 
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Old 03-27-12, 11:32 AM
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With few exceptions a ground wire is for safety not function. If it works it is okay. No need to install a ground unless you just want to. It would need to run uninterrupted back to the panel that supplies the switch.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 02:03 PM
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How did you wire the device? Motion sensors require power -- both hot and neutral -- plus the wires going to the light. They can't simply replace an existing switch unless there is power in the switch box.

If there are only two wires connected to the switch and nothing else in the switch box it is not powered. Don't go by color alone -- the "switch leg" typically uses black and white, but white in this case is not a neutral.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 03:30 PM
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I simply attached the hot wire to the black wire on the device and the other black wire that wasn't hot to the red wire on the sensor, per the directions that came with it. The box has three switches and I can see what I assume are the three white neutral wires in the back of the box.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 03:43 PM
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Looks like for some reason Pass Seymour is using the ground for the device to work. Try Leviton, they have a white neutral connection

http://www.smarthome.com/manuals/2522.pdf
 
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Old 03-27-12, 03:51 PM
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I simply attached the hot wire to the black wire on the device and the other black wire that wasn't hot to the red wire on the sensor, per the directions that came with it. The box has three switches and I can see what I assume are the three white neutral wires in the back of the box.
If the switch has no neutral then it is relying on a trickle of current through the light. That means the light probably needs to be incandescent for the switch to work. If you are using a CFL bulb try an incandescent bulb.
 
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