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Occupancy Sensing Switch Wiring Question - No Ground Available

Recently I purchased this occupancy sensing switch:

 

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/lutron-maestro-2-amp-occupancy-sensing-switch-light-almond-393029.html#customer_reviews

 

The instructions say that a ground is required.  I suspected that my wiring might be lacking a ground but I didin't think it would be very hard to fish a wire to make the connection.  So far I have had no luck getting my fish tool through my wall.  I suspect that this part of my house is framed differently than other parts with ballon framing and wide open stud access from the basement.  I still have some tricks up my sleve and may yet be able to get through the sill plate to make get a wire through.

 

I'm wondering, how important is the ground connection for this device?  How does it work?  Is it a safety issue alone or does it affect the fuction of the sensor somehow? 

 

Thanks!

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Posted 2012-06-26T12:50:57+0000  by DGray DGray

I HAVE NO GROUND OR WHITE WIRE WHAT DO I DO.

Posted 2014-01-11T18:01:33+0000  by janurary

I'm having the same problem, but there are no white neutral wires to connect to.   what do I need to do?

Posted 2013-12-28T21:01:18+0000  by dab151

I bought several of these switches along with some timer switches.  My house was built in the early 60's and all my switch boxes had the ground wire wrapped around the ground screw in the box.  Even after hookng the switch up to this it still was not working propery.  I had a neutral wire installed in some of these switch boxes, so instead I attached the ground to that and the switch worked as expected.

 

But, I think the reason why these switches aren't working properly with my ground connections is because I noticed there is no earth ground connected to my main panel.

Posted 2013-08-23T05:37:08+0000  by coffeysm

I was having the same problem with this sensor switch. I had the thing hooked up correctly but the light was on and would not go off, and the switch would not respond to manual on/off.

 

After trying everything and even reading this thread, I called the company. I didn't want to tie ground into neutral without getting the OK from them.

 

The tech was very helpful and immediately knew what was wrong. He said the device didn't "like" the ground attachment and that I could just connect the green wire in with all the other white wires. He said to just cut off the bare wire on the device. I did this and it worked!

 

Lots of frustration but problem solved.

 

 

Posted 2013-08-21T11:56:04+0000  by ajg123
Probably is will NOT work without the ground. Occupancy sensors require standby power to operate the sensor when the load is "off". To do that it needs a path to Neutral; some models require Neutral, others require Ground (which is used to draw power, but the current is less than 1ma is considered harmless). If that path is not connected, the sensor won't work after the load has been off for a while.

Note that older sensor switches did not use Neutral or Ground, but drew their standby current through the load (essentially like a dimmer set to a very low setting). This makes CFLs flicker and may not work at all with very low-watt loads; also it's a safety concern when changing a bulb in a supposedly-off fixture. Recent designs don't do that, and so require Neutral (or Ground) to complete the standby circuit.
Posted 2013-04-15T20:15:29+0000  by jimav

I was having the same problem.  My lights were working, In my switch box, I had two black wires and two white wires that were tied together.  I spoke with a licensed electrician who advised me to take the ground wire and bare wire from the Maestro sensor and tie them together with the two neutral white wires.  PROBLEM SOLVED!

Posted 2013-01-02T20:39:13+0000  by Foard

I was having the same problem.  My lights were working, but they would not turn off.  In my switch box, I had two black wires and two white wires that were tied together.  I spoke with a licensed electrician who advised me to take the ground wire and bare wire from the Maestro sensor and tie them together with the existing two neutral white wires.  PROBLEM SOLVED!

Posted 2013-01-02T20:26:05+0000  by Foard

I'm having the same issue, and have tried several differnent occupancy switches within this brand. A regular switch works just fine, but the occupancy switch does not. I do not have a ground wire (though the conduit should act as a ground when properly done) and no neutral (as this sensor does not have one either). I only have a wire to the light and to the breaker.

So - what do I do? The instructions say that the ground MUST be properly connected for the switch to work, but I don't know why or how that is. Please advise!

Posted 2012-12-18T03:53:02+0000  by MicahMc

anything is possible, its very easy to instal as you can see.  Just return it to the store, get a new one and try it again.

Posted 2012-06-27T21:26:21+0000  by AAriondo

Thanks for all the help guys.  I tried installing the sensor last night and it wouldn't work.  I reinstalled the regular switch and everthing worked fine. 

Could it be that the sensing switch is bad? 

Thanks.

Posted 2012-06-27T19:52:08+0000  by DGray
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