Replacing 3way switch with motion sensor

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Old 12-03-15, 08:53 PM
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Replacing 3way switch with motion sensor

hello, I am installing a motion sensor on a 3 way switch in my garage. In box #1, I have 3 separate cables feeding into the box. (one is definitely the cable that brings current to my exterior light, one of the other 2 seems like the travelers to the other switch and the last ones seems like the power source cable)

I have my power line coming in. the power line (one in the middle) is not only feeding my 3 way switch (on right) but also an exterior light (left switch).

This power (black) doesn't wire directly into the 3way switch, instead, it's wired with the black wire of the of my exterior switch and to the other set of wires which also have my travelers (red/white)

On box #2, no surprise, I have a black wire screwed to the common terminal of the 3 way and the white and red travelers. (this part makes perfect sense to me)

Back to box #1, the common terminal of the 3way switch has a red wire, which I believe goes to the light source and the other 2 wires, red and white are my travelers (but not 100% sure???) and since my light fixture is 20ft high, it's hard for me to confirm.

here are the pics of Box #1.
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I am installing a Cooper Motion Switch model Model #OS310U. There are 5 wires to connect per the instructions below.

a. The sensor black wire will connect to either one of the black wires in the wallbox.
b. The sensor red wire will connect to the other black wire in the wall box.
c. The sensor white wire will connect to the neutral wire (white) in the wallbox.
d. The sensor blue wire will connect to the red traveler wire in the wallbox
e. The sensor green wire will connect to the ground wire in the wallbox.

the sensor black and red wire, it mentions to connect separately to the black wires in my box... problem is that both my black wires (power line in and the black headed to the other switch are connected together.

Do I connect both the black and red sensor wires together along with the other 2 black wires?

any help would be appreciated.

thank you!!!
 
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Old 12-03-15, 09:39 PM
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They write these sensors up like they're cake to install. They are NOT easy to wire. You have to understand your wiring 100% before you start.

The following diagram is what you will be following. The colors in the diagram have to be transcribed to match your colors.

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Old 12-03-15, 10:13 PM
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In box 1 the black wire of the right three wire is connected to the yellow wire nut. Remove it and cap it. The black wire between box 1 and box 2 is capped off and not needed.

You need to confirm that at box 2.... the three wire cable goes directly to the switch. There can be no wiring splices in box 2 that currently involve the 3w switch.

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If you don't understand what you see....ask before attempting.
 
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Old 12-04-15, 06:24 PM
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this is much more clear. I figured I had one too many black wires in the mix!
just to be 100% safe, I'll upload a pic of box2 just to be 100% certain. And yes, there are only three wires in box2, all connected to the 3way switch.

thank you for the help!
 
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Old 12-04-15, 06:31 PM
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If you only have 1) three wire cable then you don't even to load a pic..... you're all set.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 02:41 PM
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Indeed just a 3wire cable. So I cap the black and connect the red and white to common, correct?
 
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Old 12-05-15, 10:40 PM
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Yup...... that is correct.
 
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Old 12-06-15, 08:13 AM
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Thank you, it works fine!
 
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Old 12-06-15, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for stopping back and letting us know. Most people don't so I never know if I was helpful.

Good job.
 
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Old 12-06-15, 05:16 PM
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I'll have a few more questions for my other 3 way senor switch. This one looks a lot more simple, its the Leviton IPS06.

IPS06-1LW > Wall Switch > Occupancy Sensors > Lighting Controls > Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products

I can take a pic of box 1 and 2 and share if it's beneficial.

The instructions is asking me to use all three wires to the load and pigtails.

On the box with the line coming in, it seems pretty straightforward. Black to BK on sensor, first traveler wire to the RD and second traveler to the 3way connection on the sensor.

its the connections in the other box where 3way switch side resides that is confusing.




thanks
 
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Old 12-06-15, 05:20 PM
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what I failed to mention is that when I first attempted it, when I would turn off the light from the sensor, there lights dimmed and flicker, but never shut off completely. Some posts mention that this is a cheap sensor allowing voltage leaks, hence the dimming/flickering effect.
somehow I think it's more a connection thing...
 
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Old 12-06-15, 05:47 PM
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Pictures are always helpful.

Why are you mixing and matching sensors ?
Why not use the same ones everywhere.

The switches like this Leviton that don't use a neutral are very bulb particular for proper operation.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 06:34 PM
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The other sensor works with florescent tube lighting, this one doesn't.
I only found this out after I threw away the receipt so I am stuck with it.

as for the pictures

In Box 1, I have what appears to the back wire going to light ( 2 wire on right of pic) and the 2 travelers (3 wire) on left.

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In Box 2, I have my travelers plus the black power wire which I believe is also giving power my other switch.

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The sensor will be connected to box 2 (where power presumably comes in from)


The connection for the sensor seems pretty straightforward, I connect the power and the 2 travelers.

My problem is I don't' understand the connection at the 3 way switch.

Appreciate your help.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 12-07-15 at 07:43 PM. Reason: reoriented/enhanced pics
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Old 12-07-15, 07:51 PM
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Standing by to help. I re-posted your pics. Right direction.... easier to see.

We have a problem. Using the red and white as travelers doesn't make sense. That means you have a black and white splice in the box. If your light is connected at box 1 then the white should have been carried thru as neutral and red and black should have been travelers. You will need to positively confirm where the power is coming in.



Conversely.... at box 2. Red and whites are travelers. It looks like the black (common) comes from a splice. That should mean power is there. If that is true..... what is the black wire doing in the three wire cable...... connected to white/neutral ?? Not good practice.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 08:04 PM
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Just a reminder you can not determine power with a non contact tester.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 08:11 PM
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Thanks Ray....


Here's what you are going to end up with. I always circle my three wire cables with a blue circle to illustrate one cable.

At switch box 1 .... you will have the red of the three wire connected to the black of the light. I used pink jumpers. You can use what ever color you have..... except white.

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Old 12-08-15, 04:31 PM
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so I can confirm, the power is indeed coming from box #2. (second set of cables from left (2 wire) which also feeds the other switch in the box.

The first cable on left (3 wire) has the 2 travelers (red/white) and the black wire is tied is wrapped with the white (neutral).

So If I follow your last diagram, I should be alright.
I'll let you know!
 
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Old 12-08-15, 06:18 PM
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Yes..... be sure to convert the white wire to neutral as shown in my diagram.
 
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Old 12-08-15, 07:01 PM
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so in Box 2, remove the black wire from the neutral connection, instead use this as a traveler and put the white as a neutral. same for Box 1.
 
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Old 12-08-15, 07:25 PM
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Correct. In your application..... white needs to be neutral.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 08:58 PM
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I completed the wiring, changed my neutral wires as well. Since I am using a fixture that has 2 GU24 CFL bulbs, there is voltage leak (lights faintly flicker). The dimmer states it's for incandescent and LED, so I'll assume that my problem is solely the fixture and not the wiring.

I'll replace the light fixture with a standard incandescent fixture and advise if all is working in order.
thanks again!
 
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Old 12-09-15, 10:10 PM
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Yup.... I had mentioned previously that the units that don't utilize a neutral require the load of the lamps for operation. CFL's don't present enough load. Usually 40w is required or better.
 
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Old 12-10-15, 06:15 PM
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so... I decided to go out and purchase another Cooper Motion Switch model Model #OS310U, just as my previous one. cheaper than changing my existing CFL light fixture.

so if I go back to my pictures posted previously, (please note I removed the black wire originally connected to the neutrals and switched it with the white)

In Box 1 I have 2 sets of cables,
-a 3 wire, which has my black and red travelers and a neutral.
-a 2 wire cable has the black wire going to the light and white
-both whites are jointed together.

In Box 2:
-a 2 wire which brings the power
-a 3 wire, black and red travelers and the white (which is now connected to the other whites in the box)

the sensor will be connected in box 2 where the hot wire is.

I'm a little uncertain how to connect the sensor & switch: please confirm if this is correct.
Box 2
1)black cables of the sensor to the hot wire in box
2)green to ground
3)red cable of sensor connected to the black traveler
4)blue cable of sensor to the red traveler.
5) white cable of sensor to the white traveler and join to other whites in box.

Box1
look like I should be joining by blacks from the (3 wire and 2 wire) together
red traveler to the switch
whites (3 wire and 2 wire) together along with a pigtail from the common terminal on the switch.

did I read the drawing right?
 
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Old 12-10-15, 07:34 PM
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Good job..... looks correct.

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